Monday, February 25, 2013

Diverted by a Name: Fátima

Actress Fátima Ptacek via

So, what name jumped out at me during the Oscars? This year was particularly great with names like Joaquin, Denzel, Ang, Emmanuelle, and Quvenzhane in the mix. But the name that diverted me was said quickly in an acceptance speech for Best Live Action Short Film. That name was Fátima.

The actress Fátima Ptacek played Sophia in the short film Curfew, which won an Oscar last night. The writer/director/co-star in the film accepted the award and gave her work rave reviews. She also voices Dora in Dora the Explorer (so she speaks fluent Spanish). She was born in the United States, but I cannot find anything on how she got her name... her last name is Czech, but maybe her parents have Spanish roots? In any case, her parents saw the beauty in the name and chose it for their baby girl.

According to Behind the Name, Fatima or Fatimah is Arabic with the meaning "to abstain." It ranks in Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Catalonia, France, the Netherlands and Spain. It's also been ranked in the United States since 1973, and it ranked at #281 in 2011. The name Fátima is also a place name, with locations in Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan, Canada and Ireland. Our Lady of Fátima is a title for the Virgin Mary and has several references in Catholicism. Wikipedia lists many famous people with the name, but one that stuck out to me is a fictional one--Fatima Blush, a Bond girl from Never Say Never Again. I see the name given either with or without the accent over the first "a" and other variations of the name are Fatemah and Fatma.

What do you think of Fátima?


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