Morgan (F) spelling alternatives?

[name]Hi[/name], everyone – I’m new to this board and hope that you can help with my dilemma! Sorry this is kind of long. I’ve always loved Arthurian legend and “[name]Morgan[/name]” (or some variation thereof) has always been my top pick for a girl’s name. It sounds just perfect with our last name, and I haven’t been able to find anything else I’m quite as fond of. I’m not so keen on this spelling, however, for a few reasons:

  1. Spelled this way, it’s actually traditionally a Welsh man’s name or surname having nothing to do with Arthurian legend; “[name]Morgan[/name]” for a girl is much more recent in origin. In Arthurian literature, the spelling is all over the place (more on that later). I have a semi-unisex name myself and always wanted something more feminine; wouldn’t I be giving her the same problem I always had (teacher calling roll, looking around to see if it’s a boy or girl, etc.)?

  2. More awkwardly, we recently found out that a relative of ours on my husband’s side has a one-year-old BOY named [name]Morgan[/name]! The chances of us running into this branch of the family more than once a year are slim, but I know it’s the first thing my mother-in-law would say if she heard our choice, and I’d hate for our daughter to have to carry this baggage!

  3. My husband dislikes this spelling, and prefers the following alternatives: [name]Morgain[/name], [name]Morgaine[/name]. I prefer [name]Morgain[/name]. Or perhaps [name]Morgane[/name].

OK, so here’s what I’d like your advice on: If you saw the name “[name]Morgain[/name],” or “[name]Morgaine[/name],” would you be inclined to prounce it like “[name]Morgan[/name],” or “Mor-GAIN”? I’d always assumed they were interchangeable with [name]MORgan[/name], but lately in asking around, I’m finding a lot of people insisting that the pronunciation would be [name]MorGAIN[/name].

This has proved to be more complicated than I thought! I even had one person on another board lecture me about defying the English language by making up a spelling I thought was pretty. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as it actually is a traditional (Old French) spelling of the name (even listed on this board!), but it really made me worry about people judging my daughter – as well as her having to deal with constant mispronunciation of her name.

So I’d really appreciate your honest feedback, as well as any alternate spellings you might like for the name pronounced “[name]Morgan[/name].” Thanks a million!

I’ve seen “[name]Morgaine[/name]” before, and assumed it was pronounced distinctly from [name]Morgan[/name]. It ends like [name]Elaine[/name], so that’s how I’d automatically say it.

Being a fan of literature I understand why you want to use the name. Personally, though, [name]Morgan[/name] is on my boys list and I think it sounds harsh for a girl. I like that you are considering alternatives, however, I would tend to pronouned “[name]Morgain[/name]/e” as MOR GAIN or Mor GAIN, but not MOR gan. Have you considered [name]Morgana[/name]/[name]Morganna[/name]? Good luck on your search.


I really like the name [name]Morgan[/name] too, but I personally don’t want to use a unisex name so it is out. But if you really like it there is nothing wrong with a unisex name, lots of kids have them these days. I would pronounce [name]Morgaine[/name] as mor-gain as well. Bummer! Sorry I don’t have any good alternative suggestions for you.

While not connected to the Arthurian legend as such, there is the Irish mythological variation [name]Morrigan[/name] (MOR-i-gan). It’s a little more straightforward in terms of pronunciation, but is distinctly feminine - reminiscent of [name]Madigan[/name] and cognates which are current alternatives to [name]Madison[/name]/[name]Madeline[/name]. You could, conceivably, use [name]Mori[/name] or even [name]Mora[/name] as a more feminine nickname if you found it too unisex.

Also, the [name]Marion[/name] Zimmer [name]Bradley[/name] version (Mists of [name]Avalon[/name]) uses [name]Morgaine[/name], and also features an aunt named Morgause (variously a sister of [name]Viviane[/name] or of Uther Pendragon, depending on which version of the legend you read. not the most pleasant character, but a distinctive name).

I would pronounce [name]Morgain[/name] like Mor-gain.

I would pronounce [name]Morgain[/name]/e like “mor-GAIN” as well, or at least be very tempted to do so. What about [name]Morganne[/name]? You might have people pronouncing it “morg-[name]ANNE[/name]”, but I think mispronunciation is less likely than with [name]Morgain[/name]/e. I also just think [name]Morganne[/name] is prettier and more feminine than [name]Morgain[/name]/e.

No matter what, she’s always going to have people misspelling her name if you use anything other than [name]Morgan[/name]. Most of the Morgans I know are girls anyway. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about using the original spelling, but of course you should change it if that makes you feel more comfortable. :slight_smile:

I know a darling little girl named [name]Morgan[/name], and I think that spelling is actually the most feminine. If I saw [name]Morgain[/name], I would probably pronounce it Mor-GAIN. Also I think [name]Morgan[/name] may slowly be swinging over to the girls side of things, and her teacher would not have that many problems with the gender. If you feel it needs to be more feminine how about [name]Morganne[/name]? Sort of a strech, but… Or, you could use the variant [name]Morgana[/name].

Good luck!

I would be inclined to pronounce [name]Morgain[/name]/e differently than [name]Morgan[/name]. Honestly, I think [name]Morgan[/name] is the best spelling of the name. While there may be male Morgans, it seems like a solidly unisex name to me.

Ditto. [name]Morgan[/name] is the best spelling. I have a brother named [name]Morgan[/name] as well as a male friend and female friend named [name]Morgan[/name] w the same spelling. I prefer the name for a boy but I do not think it is too masculine for a female.

This forum is amazing, thanks, everyone! You sort of confirmed my suspicions/fears about alternative spellings – I just can’t seem to find one that would guarantee the traditional pronunciation I’d want. Aside from the unisex thing, I mainly worry about her having a male relative so close in age with that same name and spelling… my extended family would just give us too much grief, I think. [name]Morgann[/name]/e, like the French [name]Morgane[/name], is beautiful but I think the stress would be on the last syll, which I’d like to avoid. So maybe it just isn’t meant to be, sigh…

Interesting that you should bring up Mists of [name]Avalon[/name], punkprincess, as it was one of my favorite books [name]EVER[/name] growing up and probably contributed to my ongoing study of medieval Celtic and other literature and mythology. What a great character. I’d just always pronounced the book’s [name]Morgaine[/name] as “[name]MORgan[/name],” and have only recently come to find out I’m in the minority! (I never saw the film but apparently they use [name]MorGAIN[/name] in it). Good to know. But being such a fan of the book, I def. couldn’t do Morgause, nor could I do [name]Morrigan[/name], which has negative death/war connotations for me (though both are lovely names, true!). :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

[name]Morrigan[/name] / Irish. Gorgeous.

I would too. There’s a little girl at my daughter’s daycare who spells it [name]Morganne[/name].

[name]Just[/name] a suggestion but you could try Morgelyn.

It’s a Cornish name pronounced ‘mor-GEL-inn’ and means “sea holly”.

It is not a traditional Cornish name, it is a vocabulary word-name but I still think it’s quite appropriate considering Cornish is an ancient Celtic language (a sister-language to Welsh) and Cornwall is closely associated with the legend of [name]King[/name] [name]Arthur[/name]. Tintagel Castle supposedly being his birth place.

ETA: The “Sea holly” or the eryngo plant also appears to be called “Morgelyn” in [name]Wales[/name]. :slight_smile:

[name]Morgan[/name] is a family name…my brother’s middle name is [name]Morgan[/name]–and my aunt and my cousin’s daughter are Morgans too. I think it’s cute on both genders.

I personally like [name]Morgan[/name]. I think it is a cute name for both boy or girl. If you are looking to spell it more for a girl, you could think about adding a y. I like it for a girl spelled [name]Morgyn[/name]. Cute name. Good [name]Luck[/name] :slight_smile: