Is my mom right about 'Ophelia'

My husband and I love [name]Ophelia[/name] as a name for our second child (our son is [name]Caspian[/name]). My mom, who was a lit major was more than a little vocal about her distaste for the name- she thinks everyone will associate it with the [name]Shakespeare[/name] tragedy. Yes, [name]Hamlet[/name] is not the happiest story, but do many people read [name]Shakespeare[/name] these days? What do you think- will people make that association? Another option is [name]Odelia[/name], which is Hebrew (a plus with my Jewish lineage)…

I think the [name]Shakespeare[/name] association does still exist in today’s society, with the whole [name]Ophelia[/name] Effect thing.

My problem is more how it sounds, I’d get worried my daughter would be teased with “oh feel ya”.

I love how [name]Ophelia[/name] looks on paper with [name]Caspian[/name], but I just don’t think [name]Ophelia[/name] works that well in the real world.

[name]Odelia[/name] is much nicer!

I definitely think there will always be a [name]Shakespeare[/name] connection with [name]Ophelia[/name]. It’s not like choosing a name that’s associated with a fad – [name]Hamlet[/name] is one of the most classic of [name]Shakespeare[/name]'s plays and often required reading in high school and/or college. That being said, I love the name and I advocated for it but my DH vetoed it. I don’t think the [name]Shakespeare[/name] connection needs to be a turn off. I love the nickname Phee too. So cute!

i love the name and think if you guys love it too, then go for it!! :slight_smile: but if you are worried about how it may sound… then try [name]Octava[/name]. Has the same feel to it i think. but i’ve always had a soft spot for [name]Ophelia[/name] myself.

as a side note, yes, there will always be people who will make that association, but my name is eliza and people associate my name with my fairlady and hole in the bucket. doesnt make it any less of a great name and i wouldnt let hamlet be the deciding factor for you!

i say go for it!!! <3

Yes there will always be the [name]Hamlet[/name] association, but it’s a beautiful name and I don’t think it really would be that big of a problem. I don’t think it will cause a negative association with your daughter. And I think [name]Ophelia[/name] and [name]Caspian[/name] would be an adorable sibset!

Yes, the association will be there. In the school board I work in, most high schools teach [name]Hamlet[/name], so everyone knows the name.

However, it’s a beautiful name and I’ve actually met a little [name]Ophelia[/name]. If you’re strong enough to get around those (sometimes rude) initial reactions and you teach your daughter to be strong and proud of her name, you can make it work! And there are enough people who say “it’s a beautiful name but I wouldn’t use it” that she’ll probably get plenty of compliments and never meet another one.

I’ve heard the “Oh [name]Feel[/name] Ya” reference too, but pretty much any name can be teased. And if they don’t get you for your name, they’ll get you for something else. :slight_smile:

There is a LOT of people on this board who like [name]Ophelia[/name], but I just hear ‘Oh feel ya,’ as well as pedophilia, necrophilia, hemophelia, etc.

You can find a negative association and unfortunate word-play for teasing with absolutely any name.

And if a name doesn’t have any associations (nearly impossible!) and can’t be twisted to sound like “I feel ya” or whatever (which I don’t get, because I pronounce it oh-feel-ee-uh, not oh-feel-ya), kids will STILL find a way to tease. Yes, nixing [name]Fatima[/name] if your family has a predisposition to be heavy is justifiable, but in the vast majority of cases, it won’t make things any easier or harder for kids to tease.

My own name actually has a meaning that could so easily be used to tease me as being a villain, evil, ugly… but it never once came up until I started using it jokingly with my friends in high school. I initiated it. That’s not to say I was never teased, but it was never for my name.

If it doesn’t have issues for YOU, then that’s what matters.

[name]Even[/name] as a bit of a [name]Shakespeare[/name] buff and a fan of [name]Hamlet[/name], [name]Ophelia[/name] is high on my list (I’ve posted about it on nb before). Naming a daughter [name]Ophelia[/name] is not like naming a son [name]Adolph[/name] (and that one stayed in the top 1000 until 1971) - it’s the name of a complex and often misunderstood, but essentially good, character. I wouldn’t wish her fate on my daughter, but naming my daughter [name]Ophelia[/name] doesn’t mean I hope her to mirror that namesake’s life. It just means I like the name.

Besides, why should we limit our name choices to ones that point to nothing but highly positive meanings and namesakes?

I agree with the pps. [name]Ophelia[/name] will absolutely still have a [name]Shakespeare[/name] connection. It’s the first thing I think of when I hear the name, and the teasing potential is too great for me to like the name, though I do see the appeal. And yes, virtually any name can be made fun of; but it’s just so easy with [name]Ophelia[/name]. Why give a kid a name that’s so easy to make fun of when there are thousands of others that aren’t quite so teasable? I’m sure there are Ophelias out there who like there name and haven’t been made fun of, but it’s a risk I’m personally not willing to make.
That said, if you truly love the name, by all means use it. But if you can find another name you love equally ([name]Odelia[/name] is great, by the way) then I’d go with that.

I’ve always hated all the grief that [name]Ophelia[/name] gets, but frankly, you can’t really ever decide if a name is too tied to so and so, because everybody perceives things differently. [name]Ophelia[/name]'s first real major association was [name]Hamlet[/name], so it might be fair to say that yes, it will get a lot of that, but who knows how many people read [name]Shakespeare[/name] these days - maybe for school, though.

I love the name [name]Ophelia[/name]. I recently read [name]Lisa[/name] Klein’s version of [name]Hamlet[/name] which is from [name]Ophelia[/name]'s point-of-view, and it was a beautiful, touching book that showed [name]Ophelia[/name] in a very different light; it made [name]Ophelia[/name] feel like an inspiring name for young girls, and so I do associate it with that. I think [name]Ophelia[/name] is classic, gorgeous and has something almost wild about it–it’s beautiful.

This :slight_smile:

I’ve seen a few say precisely this, and spiderweb is right: everybody perceives things differently. In my entire life, I never heard the “oh feel ya” or “I feel ya” thing until I posted about [name]Ophelia[/name] on nameberry. Like I said, the why I say [name]Ophelia[/name] (and the limited experience I’ve had hearing others say it) negates that concern because there’s no “ya” sound, but rather “ee-uh” at the end.

So perhaps that’s a regional thing.

I can’t argue against the pedophilia bunch because while it does rhyme for me, even being aware of that it doesn’t seem connected/similar to me. If that makes sense.

The fact that many on this site give [name]Ophelia[/name] a hard time makes my main concern not the issues they bring up, but the fact that they likely represent the average populace when it comes to feelings on that name. So while I disagree with their issues with the name, I wouldn’t personally want to use a name that such a large majority of the average population has such issues with. I see a lot of posters on here singing the praises of names that I find just terrible for one reason or another, so I’m clearly in the minority in my tastes.

Thanks everyone. It’s good to have some other points of view. I think I’m favoring [name]Odelia[/name] over [name]Ophelia[/name] anyhow.

If you love the name [name]Ophelia[/name] go for it! [name]Ofelia[/name] ([name]Ophelia[/name]) is my oldest daughters middle name. I wasn’t brave enough to pick as her first and I regret it. Any name can lead to teasing… and the nn Phee if so cute! (as is the nn [name]Lia[/name]) While I knew about the [name]Hamlet[/name] connection I actually really liked the name for the heroine of the Spanish film '[name]Pan[/name]‘s Labyrinth.’ As a Latina (and political activist) I loved the bravery and spunk of the lovely little girl in that film. As such we spelled it [name]Ofelia[/name] and its pronounced as in Spanish, OH-fell-yah. It’s a lovely name & I wish more people appreciated it. Good for you on thinking of it!

Now we’re considering “[name]Guinevere[/name]” too, which has similar literary/tragedy ties.

I agree with what some others have said – I can get over the [name]Shakespeare[/name] tragedy for the name. And yes people do read [name]Shakespeare[/name] nowadays :slight_smile: No, it’s not the best character, but like I said I can get over it.

I can also get over the “feel ya” comments. All names have their teasing factors ya know?

What personally bothers me most about the name is that there are other words that end in philia (pron. the same way to me) that are not positive. This was one of my favorite names, but everytime I ask someone about it, they quickly mention these other words. Hemophilia? it’s a terrible condition, but it’s not as bad as pedophilia or necrophilia.