|A scene from Věra Chytilová's film Sedmikrásky (Daisies)|
Vera was at its most popular in 1919, when it reached #65. It went through a long, slow decline and finally disappeared from the list in 1983. Here's the part that makes me think Vera's up to something — after a 26-year hiatus from the top 1,000, it suddenly reappeared, in 2009, at #894. And in 2010? It climbed 219 places to its current spot at #675. Very sly, Vera. But I see what you're doing, there.
In English, Vera has two possible pronunciations. "VEER-ə," with a long "E" sound, and "VER-ə," to rhyme with Sarah. While it's impossible to tell which of the pronunciations is more popular with modern parents, I think gentler "VER-ə" fits right in with popular throwback names like Sophia, Emma and Ella.
Vera means "faith" in Russian, though it is also connected to the Latin verus, meaning "true," and the Albanian word verë, which means "summer." It is found as a place name around the globe — in Argentina, Mozambique, Spain, the US and Norway, to name just a few. I can't get enough of its longer, more elaborate variants, like Verusha, Verochka, Veruschka, Verica and Verena. Also nice are Finnish Veera, Ukranian Vira, and simple, Dutch Veer.
When the names statistics for 2011 are released next May, Vera's one of the names I'm most excited to check up on. Will it fade back into obscurity, or are the stars aligning to bring Vera into the naming zeitgeist once again? Either way, it's a lovely name and deserving of a closer look.