“Mira-ssi” and “Mira-ya”

What nickname did you have as a child that brings back memories?  What nickname brings up special connotations for you?

Mira from Desire in Any Language (did I say that it is being released this Friday?  Enough?  :P), has a few baby nicknames that haven’t made it into the story yet.  They probably will come up in the sequel, but I’ve held them in reserve for now.

I chose “Mira” for many reasons, both for aesthetic appeal and practical considerations.  It’s easy to pronounce, and it’s an international name.

“Mira” can mean “Look!”

“Mira” can be a shortened form of “Miranda” which includes a feeling of wonder.

“Mira” can mean several different things, each relating to types of beauty.

“Mira” can be a shortened form of “Miracle”.

“Mira” can also, I’ve found out recently, sound similar to the word for “Mummy”.  As in winding sheets of white cloth, not as a British mother.  LOL!

In Desire in Any Language, Mira has two ways of being addressed: “Mira-ssi” and “Mira-ya”.

“Mira-ssi” (pronounced “Mee-rah-shee”) is like a school uniform, proper and correct.  It’s the way teachers address their students and the way equals address each other when they know each other reasonably well.  It does indicate a certain level of formality, but it would never be used by a subordinate to a superior.  Think back to high school a generation ago when teachers would call their students “Miss Vitsky” or “Mr. McNamara”.  It spoke to etiquette and propriety rather than giving students the deference accorded to adults.  Sometimes being called “Miss Vitsky” indicated how much trouble you were in!  (That was a purely hypothetical example.  Honest.)

“Mira-ya” is like a caress, a mother’s hand brushing over her newborn’s cheek.  It is the teasing, tormenting sing-song of an older sibling calling out to a younger one.  It is the rough-and-tumble of adults who have been friends since babyhood and regress every time they see each other.  It is the imperious grandmother or aunt who demands to know when you will finally get married and/or produce children.  “Mira-ya” knows no boundaries, refuses to accept distance, and gets in your face.

When family calls you “Mira-ya”, you slide back into that role of childhood.

When a friend calls you “Mira-ya”, you kick off your high heels and flop onto the couch to simply be yourself.  Friends may say “Mira”, too, but the “ya” adds emphasis.  “Hey Mira, I…”

When an adult calls you “Mira-ya”, you may either resent the bossiness or relish the affection.  Sometimes both.

To make these nicknames is simple.

“Ssi” goes after any name.

“Ya” or “Ah” goes after names depending on the ending syllable.  If the name ends in a vowel (like “Mira” or “Ana”), you use “ya”.  If the name ends in a consonant, you use “ah”.  If the name technically ends in a vowel but *sounds* like it ends in a consonant (like “Celeste” or “Minelle”), you use “ah”.

And, yes, if you address Sue in the more formal way, her name does sound like Sushi.  😀

Give it a try!  If you were a character in Desire in Any Language, how would your teacher and friend address you?  Which one do you think better fits with your personality?

For the record, I am “Ana-ssi”.  Professional, dignified, businesslike, and above reproach in all ways.

Stop laughing.  🙂



Desire in Any Language (will be published Friday, January 18th by Blushing Books)

Mira thought she wanted a spanking.  What she got was love.

On her own for the first time, Mira is studying abroad for her translator’s certificate. Unfortunately, the heady excitement of dance clubs, late-night parties, and endless shopping quickly distracts her from her educational goals. Mira’s advisor offers her private tutoring, but the combined pressures of culture and language difference threaten Mira’s progress at school. She is unable to get her act together until she makes a discovery that horrifies and tantalizes her: in her new country, corporal punishment is a way of life. The secret to her academic success just might also fulfill her wildest, unspoken dreams.

35 thoughts on ““Mira-ssi” and “Mira-ya”

  1. Joelle Casteel says:

    Definitely Joelle-ah. Yup I have one of those names that ends in a vowel but doesn’t sound like it. I can’t tell you how many people over my life have tried to make it end in that last e though :D… what is so hard about it “Joe-L” being how it sounds?
    heh I lol’d at Sue-shi 😀


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