Nena or 99 Luftballons
Have you ever googled your name? Or did a research about its origin and meaning? My insomnia was the reason I did that. We probably all know a german singer Nena and her big hit 99 Luftballons. But I wanted to find out some interesting facts and stories about my name.
My first result was, that Nena is "a spanish slang word used as an affectionate term of endearment, usually from a boyfriend to a girlfriend, equivalent to "sweetheart" or "baby" in English. And you won't find it in the dictionary."
Next, the feminine name Nena is also used in Greece, Bulgaria (hier Nena is the new form of Nenka), Slovenia, Croatia and of course, in Germany.
3 interesting facts: Uma Thurman's mother's name is Nena. According to Aztec mythology, Nena was the first woman on Earth. It's a relatively frequent name in Latin America, with the attributes of grace and gracefulness.
Majority of the stories I found at german pages. There Nena means "a little girl". Their singer got that nickname as a child, during the holidays in Spain with her parents. But the best are comments from women, whose name is Nena. One wrote, that after each introducing people asked her: "Nina? He, Lena?" And as a child, everytime her name was mentioned, she had to sing 99 Luftballons. I laughed, because I also do that! :D (usually when I'm not completely sober). Some other girl said: "Lena? Nina? 99 Luftballons? And my teacher always sang 99 Luftballons instead of my name." The third girl posted: "Lena or Nina? And when they finally understood my name, in 99 % they asked me: "Were your parents Nena fans, or what?" Nena is also sometimes used as a nickname for Verena.
To sum up: in Germany Nena is often understood as Lena, but these women also agree, that they are happy to be called so, because it's: "a short, clear and (who would say) rare name.
And Nena in Slovenia? According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, there are only 197 women with that name. I don't have friends with that name. And quite often people ask me: "Is that your real name?"
To conclude, my personal story for the end: a few years ago, a guy (we weren't dating, just hanging out) brought me 4 packages of 25 balloons in each. He blew up one of them and we threw it into the river. Then he said: "Now you are Nena with 99 Luftballons." I still have most of them somewhere in my room. That was probably one of the most original gifts I ever got! (:
Also the nicknames are interesting, such as: Neen, Neentje, Neni, Nenita, Neenie, Nency, Nenatju, Nenatje, Nenuška, Nenči.