HELP! With pronunciation and spelling please!

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] friends,
I am really in love with the name [name_f]Oliva[/name_f], but seem to pronounce it differently than 75% of people (I took a random survey at my retail job :slight_smile: My husband and I don’t want to name a child a name that they will have to correct their whole lives! Please help.

  1. [name_m]How[/name_m] would YOU pronounce [name_f]Oliva[/name_f]?
  2. If I want the name to sound like [name_f]Olive[/name_f]-uh, how would you spell it to be very clear that the name sounds like [name_f]Olive[/name_f]-uh?

Both [name_f]Oliva[/name_f] and Olivah yielded responses of O-leev-a.

Thank you!

I said [name_f]Oliva[/name_f] like you want it, right away. Yet, no matter how you spell this name, she will have to correct it and spell it and be called [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] all the time…My children have very obscure names. They consider recurring corrections a small price to pay for having names we/they love. :slight_smile:

I pronounce [name_f]Oliva[/name_f] like you said. Well, I pronounce it [name_f]Olive[/name_f]-uh, which I think is different than [name_f]Olive[/name_f]-ah but might be what you meant. I pronounce it like [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] without the I. English speakers will mostly pronounce it correctly, though I agree that it will be confused with [name_f]Olivia[/name_f]. I love [name_f]Oliva[/name_f], [name_f]Olive[/name_f], and [name_f]Olivet[/name_f].

Oh yes, I totally meant [name_f]Olive[/name_f]-uh. Thank you!

When I saw [name_f]Oliva[/name_f] I thought it was a misspelling of [name_f]Olivia[/name_f]. I’m afraid I agree with pp, that your kid will constantly have to correct people her whole life.

So no alternative suggestions to spelling?

I thought you were asking about [name_f]Olivia[/name_f]. I would avoid this one.

So basically, you want it to be pronounced like [name_m]Oliver[/name_m]?! That’s a boys name, just spelled in a “girly” way. Please, for your kid’s sake, use either [name_f]Olive[/name_f] or [name_f]Olivia[/name_f], or she will be mistaken for a boy and have to deal with mispronunciations and misspellings all her life!

[name_f]Oliva[/name_f] sounds like [name_m]Oliver[/name_m] said with a British accent. I’m afraid 99% of the time it would be mistaken for [name_f]Olivia[/name_f]. I can’t think of any other spellings that make sense.

I have to agree - I think it sounds like [name_m]Oliver[/name_m] said in a British accent. With [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] being so popular, I think it’s an unnecessarily difficult choice for your child. Pick something unique that doesn’t sound so close to a Top 10 name.

The best alt. spelling I can come up with is Olivva.

I seriously thought this was [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] until I got about halfway through your post and realized there was no I in the name… woops.

Once I read it correctly, I read it as Oliv-ah, like you want. But I can see how O-leev-ah would make sense as well.

I read it as O-leev-ah because that is a surname I’m familiar with. I don’t think changing the spelling will avoid any confusion and may just add to it. Is there a special significance to [name_f]Oliva[/name_f] that makes you hesitate to use either [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] or [name_f]Olive[/name_f]?

Ollivah? Allivah?

I would pronounce [name_f]Oliva[/name_f] like [name_f]Olive[/name_f]-uh, but it very much looks like a typo of [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] or a girly spelling of [name_m]Oliver[/name_m].

[name_f]Oliva[/name_f] is Latin for [name_f]Olive[/name_f] tree, so it’s a very old word/name and I [name_f]Olive[/name_f] seems to be getting very popular, and I don’t really like [name_f]Olivia[/name_f] at all.

I appreciate the feedback.

I agree with others who said this will just simply be mispronounced a lot, but if you love the name don’t necessarily let that stop you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve corrected the pronunciation of my second daughter’s name. Oh well.

[name_f]Oliva[/name_f] would be pronounced as Oli-vah or as you said “O-leev-a”.
The only name I can think of that has the pronounciation of “[name_f]Olive[/name_f]-uh” is [name_m]Oliver[/name_m].

Sorry - another vote that an [name_f]Oliva[/name_f] would spend her entire life correcting people who thought her name was [name_f]Olivia[/name_f].

Also, I’ve seen [name_f]Oliva[/name_f] before but as a [name_m]French[/name_m] Canadian masculine name, which doesn’t help with the [name_m]Oliver[/name_m] comparison. I thought it was pronounced more like oh-[name_u]LEE[/name_u]-va too. I guess to get to ‘[name_f]Olive[/name_f] + a’, Olliva might be the best bet. Olivva makes me want to stress the “liv” syllable.