Elfreda: pronunciation and usability?

I have a soft spot for [name_f]Elfreda[/name_f], but I’m not sure whether I pronounce it the way most people would.
I’d love some insight into how you would pronounce these variants:


[name_f]Do[/name_f] you think any of them are usable, or are they all too old-fashioned?
If you could mention where you live in your answer, that’d be great.
I’m not expecting, just curious.

This sounds too much like [name_m]Alfredo[/name_m]…like the pasta sauce. I think this would cause for teasing in school. However I would spell it [name_f]Elfrida[/name_f] I think? [name_f]Frida[/name_f] is a lovely name though (or [name_f]Freya[/name_f])

Thanks, Kipperbo.
I agree that [name_f]Alfreda[/name_f] would probably be difficult to wear.
Yes, [name_f]Frida[/name_f] and [name_f]Freya[/name_f] are lovely.

I’d spell it [name_f]Elfrida[/name_f] [ell-[name_u]FREE[/name_u]-dah], my favourite, or [name_f]Alfreda[/name_f] [al-FRAY-dah, probably due to the pronounciation of [name_f]Freda[/name_f] vs [name_f]Frida[/name_f]]. I think both are lovely, and Elfride ([name_f]Elfie[/name_f] from A Pair of [name_u]Blue[/name_u] Eyes, anyone?) is pretty too. I think they’re usable myself, but can see that [name_f]Alfreda[/name_f] may be too clunky for some due to the similarity to [name_m]Alfred[/name_m].

[name_f]Elfreda[/name_f] is lovely! Delightfully quirky, and reminiscent of forests and fairytales. I pronounce it “el-[name_u]FREE[/name_u]-duh” in all its spellings, my favourite of which is probably the [name_m]German[/name_m] Elfriede.

I consider [name_f]Alfreda[/name_f] a different name altogether, though, pronounced “[name_m]ALF[/name_m]-reed-uh”. The sound is less appealing to me, and I prefer its other forms, such as the intriguing Dickensian [name_f]Affery[/name_f]. I also like [name_f]Elgiva[/name_f], another Old English name, and some of its variants, such as Alfeva and Aileve.

Thanks for replying. [name_f]Elfie[/name_f] is a big part of the name’s appeal for me (and [name_f]Frida[/name_f]/[name_f]Freda[/name_f] as a more ‘grown-up’ nn option).
I like Alfreda, too, but I agree that it’s probably a bit clunky for a child.

I actually haven’t read A Pair of Blue Eyes, but Elfride Swancourt is a great name. Hardy has some excellent character names, doesn’t he? Thomasin Yeobright, Fancy Day, Bathsheba Everdene, Arabella Don, Diggory Venn, Gabriel Oak, Cuthbert Clare…so many.

Thanks for replying. I’d not come across Elfriede before - it’s great.
[name_f]Do[/name_f] you pronounce [name_f]Elfreda[/name_f] “el-[name_u]FREE[/name_u]-duh” too, or only [name_f]Elfrida[/name_f], Elfride and Elfriede?
I did wonder about [name_f]Alfreda[/name_f] getting ‘[name_m]ALF[/name_m]-red-uh’ (like [name_m]Alfred[/name_m]-uh), but I hadn’t thought of [name_m]ALF[/name_m]-reed-uh. Thanks for the insight.

[name_f]Affery[/name_f] is wonderful. I’ve never heard it outside of [name_f]Dorrit[/name_f], but it’s endearing.
[name_f]Elgiva[/name_f], Alfeva and Aileve are my sort of names too - I really like Anglo-[name_m]Saxon[/name_m] names and reading about that time in general. The original forms are a bit much, but there are a few modern options I hope might be usable.

[name_f]Elfreda[/name_f] - ehl-freh-dah
[name_f]Elfrida[/name_f] - ehl-free-dah
Elfride - ehl-freed
[name_f]Alfreda[/name_f] - ahl-freh-dah

I think [name_f]Elfreda[/name_f], [name_f]Elfrida[/name_f] and [name_f]Alfreda[/name_f] are usable, but I wouldnt use Elfride
They are very old fashioned but nicknames [name_f]Elfie[/name_f] (adorable!), [name_f]Frida[/name_f], [name_f]Edda[/name_f], [name_u]Free[/name_u] and [name_u]Allie[/name_u] make them usable!
Sorry if it has been already suggested but would you consider [name_f]Elva[/name_f]? It sounds more modern but it has a similar sound

Thanks, [name_u]Shay[/name_u].
I was wondering whether people might pronounce Elfride that way. I suspect you’re right. So far, it seems that [name_f]Elfrida[/name_f] and [name_f]Elfreda[/name_f] are probably the two most usable options.
They are old-fashioned (which is part of why I like them), but I like the nicknames too, and I’m glad you think they’re usable. I hadn’t thought of [name_f]Edda[/name_f], [name_u]Free[/name_u] or [name_u]Allie[/name_u] - thank you.
[name_f]Elva[/name_f] is lovely too, and certainly a consideration. Thanks for suggesting it.

[name_f]Elfreda[/name_f] - ehl-fray-dah
[name_f]Elfrida[/name_f] - ehl-free-dah
Elfride - ehl-freed
[name_f]Alfreda[/name_f] - ahl-fray-dah

I like them all and they are totally wearable :slight_smile:

Thank you! That’s really helpful.