Need help with spelling: Cybele

Let me start with I [name_f]LOVE[/name_f] this name! . . . nobody else does. I originally selected it because it seemed honorific of my grandmother [name_f]Sybil[/name_f], I love the meaning and imagery that accompanies the goddess [name_f]Cybele[/name_f], and it’s so very musical.

Now that I love it though I am worried about spelling and pronunciation. [name_u]Baby[/name_u] girl will have a 3 syllable last name beginning with “L” that I do not even ATTEMPT to say on the phone with customer service (I just spell it out) – I don’t want my daughter to have to do this with [name_m]BOTH[/name_m] of her names!

My choice is [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] [name_u]Bird[/name_u] L. – I figure, she can go by “[name_f]Birdie[/name_f]” when she is younger and as an easy out at school if her name proves to problematic. I [name_f]DO[/name_f] NOT like the nicknames “[name_m]Cy[/name_m]”, “[name_f]Sibby[/name_f]”, or “[name_f]Belle[/name_f]” at all and I have been told that the name as is is very hard to pronounce and spell so I “need a nickname” . . . blahhh.

The alternate spellings [name_f]DO[/name_f] give the opportunity for the name to look more like “[name_f]Sybil[/name_f]”, and be more readily pronounceable by the American public (which needs to be specified since [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] is a much used name elsewhere) . . . thoughts, guys? I’m so lost :confused:

Here are the other spelling alternatives I’ve come up with, please give any and all feedback on “[name_f]Cybele[/name_f]” versus an alternate. Thanks!

Sybilee . . . (ugh, I really start to hate the idea of changing to a phonetic spelling around this point!)

I always thought the English pronunciation of this name was closer to SEH-bell-ee.

I imagine your daughter will have some issues no matter what. [name_m]Even[/name_m] if you spell the name phonetically, when she’s on the phone with customer service she’ll still have to say. “My name is [name_f]Cybele[/name_f]. It’s spelled phonetically”

Honestly, I don’t think the name works with a phonetic spelling. It takes away the meaning of the name. If you like [name_f]Cybele[/name_f], you should use [name_f]Cybele[/name_f]. A phonetic spelling would help with job applications, doctor’s appointments, and the first day of school. But is it really worth it to take away the significance of the name?

definitely change the spelling to match the pronunciation which i understand rhymes with “Civilly”

because it sounds like you need a y at the end, i wouldnt use it again, 2 y’s in one name is a bit much

Sibiley seems the best choice

Sibillie works for the Billie nickname (which i dont like much for girls anyway) but it will always be misspelled

Sibiley gives her a fighting chance

edit for above post: I imagine your daughter will have some issues no matter what. Even if you spell the name phonetically, when she’s on the phone with customer service she’ll still have to say. “My name is Cybele. It’s spelled phonetically”

  • people will STILL HAVE TO ASK, they wont know how you spell it phonetically because there are multiple ways, its just more likely Sibiley will get the most correct guesses

I only love [name_f]Cybele[/name_f], so no to any alternative spellings.

Actress [name_f]Cybil[/name_f] [name_m]Shepherd[/name_m] uses the spelling most familiar to me.

I vote for [name_f]Cybele[/name_f]. I think you’ll have pronunciation issues even if you spell it phonetically because people aren’t familiar with the name. If I were in your shoes and went with the phonetic spelling only to STILL have people mispronouncing, I’d be really annoyed. So just go with the classic. I relate to the customer service thing; I just changed my surname to something that I don’t bother pronouncing before spelling out, plus my first name is [name_f]Amity[/name_f]. It’s still not the end of the world. Good luck!

I like these alternate spellings


Go with [name_f]Cybele[/name_f]! Stick with what you love!

[name_m]Just[/name_m] [name_f]Cybil[/name_f] or [name_f]Sybil[/name_f]. [name_f]Lovely[/name_f] and the real spellings. She should only have to say “with an s” or “with a c”

I see your dilemma, but definitely prefer the lovely [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] in its purest form. Why not spell it [name_f]Cybel[/name_f]é?

[name_f]Cybele[/name_f] is pronounced completely different to how I would pronounced those other things on your list. And it’s much lovelier, the others are just mush. I’d go with [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] or [name_f]Sybilla[/name_f].

[name_f]Cybele[/name_f] - [name_u]SI[/name_u]-buh-lee

I would pronounce these like:
Sibiley - SEE-bee-lee
Sybiley - [name_f]SIB[/name_f]-ee-lee
Sibyley - SEE-bee-lee
Sibillie - SEE-bee-lee-uh
Sybelee - see-[name_f]BEE[/name_f]-lee
Sybilee - si-[name_m]BIL[/name_m]-ee

Ok, as a non-expert I assumed it was pronounced the same as [name_f]Sybil[/name_f] if that gives you an idea of an average first response.

I know, I know. I agree! I [name_f]ADORE[/name_f] the name [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] (which is NOT an alternate spelling for [name_f]Cybil[/name_f]/[name_f]Sybil[/name_f] – think: [name_f]Sib[/name_f]-a-lee) just as it is. My last name means “[name_f]Valley[/name_f] of the lion” so I am particularly drawn to the imagery of the goddess being in the company of lions. It is everything a strong name should be. . . except easy to spell/ pronounce in this country.

So, [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] [name_u]Bird[/name_u] remains my top choice.

Perhaps you lovely ladies would like to weigh in on that versus the rest of my short list? They are as follows:

[name_f]Rosalie[/name_f] [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f] (my main caveat here is that I disslike “[name_f]Rosey[/name_f]”)
[name_f]Matilda[/name_f] [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f]
[name_f]Ofelia[/name_f] [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f] nn: [name_f]Fe[/name_f]
And I love [name_f]Halia[/name_f], [name_f]Veda[/name_f], and [name_f]Elora[/name_f] but I have gotten NOTHING but negative feedback from baby’s entire family on those three (I know, shouldn’t matter, but I kind of does.)

Thoughts? I’m 29 weeks so it’s beginning to be a bit ridiculous that I cannot make up my mind :smiley:

I did not know how to pronounce [name_f]Cybele[/name_f]…but I do think it’s gorgeous now that I’ve seen how to say it!!!

[name_f]Cybele[/name_f] [name_u]Bird[/name_u] & [name_f]Ofelia[/name_f] [name_f]Eleanor[/name_f] are my favorites from your list.

Good luck =)

Thank you Jfern! It is a gorgeous name, no? So much more musical than [name_f]Sybil[/name_f] (which, while I loved my grandmother dearly, still strikes me as a tough name for a small child to wear) while retaining both the Greek roots, and the same whimsical meaning.

It seems like a name that will age well, too. There could totally be a senator [name_f]Cybele[/name_f], or Dr. [name_f]Cybele[/name_f]. . . of course, I’m an artsy type so perhaps in 30 years we’ll all have an “Original [name_f]Cybele[/name_f]” hanging on our walls! :slight_smile:

I am of the opinion that any unique spellings are just as much - or more - trouble as the original [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] (three syllables). Stick with the most authentic. Some names are worth the effort. :slight_smile: BTW - I love [name_f]Rosalie[/name_f] and [name_f]Matilda[/name_f]!

I think I like [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] [name_u]Bird[/name_u] the best of your other choices. It just seems so interesting! I also really like [name_f]Matilda[/name_f].

You’ll probably hear “[name_f]Rosy[/name_f]/[name_f]Rosey[/name_f]” a lot if you go with [name_f]Rosalie[/name_f]. If you dislike the nickname enough, you might want to reconsider.

I’ve never really cared for [name_f]Ofelia[/name_f], mainly because of the teasing potential. I’ve only ever known one and the teasing was merciless in middle school.

I have never CONSIDERED the teasing for [name_f]Ofelia[/name_f]! Holy moley! Thank you for that! Hahaha. . . it’s amazing what we don’t even notice once we have a name in a certain context. I have been listening to [name_f]Ophelia[/name_f] by the Band a lot lately (it’s even made it to my labor mix!) so the name has grown on me over the last few months but. . . I am a rather ahem “chesty” gal, and it stands to reason my daughter will be too. No need to invite even MORE teasing for her on that front!

I too love [name_f]Matilda[/name_f], mostly for the [name_m]Roald[/name_m] Dahl character, but I worry she may well end up being one of 30 in 5 years when she gets to kindergarten the way that name is going.

I guess I should mention that [name_f]Beatrix[/name_f] was also on the list, too. . . but I feel a bit weird about it because I raised a puppy who’s litter name was [name_f]Beatrix[/name_f] (the whole litter was named for the deadly viper assassins from Kill [name_m]Bill[/name_m]) just last summer and my friends/family still remember her fondly and ask after her. :rolleyes:

Definitely [name_f]Cybele[/name_f] [name_u]Bird[/name_u]. I have a first and last name that both have to be spelled out every time someone is needing to write them down and I wouldn’t change them for anything. You would also think that the first name [name_f]Cathryn[/name_f] would be easily pronounced when seen. Think again. I get [name_f]Carolyn[/name_f] about half the time. With all that being said, I would not change my name for anything because it is special to my parents and it’s special to me. Go with what you love and she’ll love it because you do. She’ll get used to automatically spelling it for people and not think twice about it.