Pronunciation of Selah

I posted a few weeks ago about needing a third baby girl’s name to complement our two older daughters, [name]Carys[/name] and [name]Elise[/name]. We had some great suggestions, including the name [name]Sela[/name], which generally is pronounced SEE-lah. Husband and I had thought of that name, but dismissed it. After reconsidering however, we found that we really liked the name [name]Selah[/name]. The addition of the “h” made it feel finished. I guess the “problem” is that generally [name]Selah[/name] is pronounced "[name]SAY[/name]-lah, although I’ve also seen name sites (and people) who pronounce it SEE-lah, or even SELL-ah. Husband and I have decided that we like the SEE-lah pronunciation the best and don’t care for the others. [name]Just[/name] curious how others would pronounce it upon seeing it. I guess it’s not that big of a deal - the people in our lives will pronounce it however we say it - and we had a similar issue with the name [name]Carys[/name]. Most people didn’t know how to pronounce it, but after saying it 1 or 2 times, they got over it. I think we may love the name enough to go with it despite the three different pronunciations, but I’m still curious. [name]How[/name] would you pronounce it upon seeing it, and are the three different possibilities annoying/confusing?

P.S. We considered [name]Selia[/name], to alleviate this whole debate, but for some reason don’t like it as much.
Our girls’ full names are: [name]Carys[/name] [name]Anne[/name], [name]Elise[/name] [name]Margaret[/name] and the baby’s full name would be [name]Selah[/name] [name]Catherine[/name].

[name]Selah[/name] [name]Catherine[/name] would be a beautiful name. I always pronounce the name [name]SAY[/name]-lah, though. Since there are a few common pronunciations of the name, just expect to correct others as to your preferred pronunciation.

[name]Selah[/name] is beautiful! I always pronounce it SEE-lah.

I always see that name and pronounce it SEE-lah. A friend named her daughter that though and pronounces it [name]SAY[/name]-lah, however I think the poor kid will be correcting people all her life. SEE-lah is what it seems like at first sight.
Good luck! :smiley:

I pronounce it sell-uh or seh-lah if that makes sense. I think that is supposed to be the way it is said in Hebrew, but I could be wrong. [name]Selah[/name] [name]Catherine[/name] is lovely.

I pronounce it [name]Say[/name]-lah, because that is how the musical group [name]Selah[/name] pronounces their name. Either way, I think the name really complements your sibling names. It just fits!

I like it. I am with @spunkiedoodle, I grew up on the [name]Christian[/name] band [name]Selah[/name], so I’m very used to [name]SAY[/name]-lah. I’ve always heard [name]Sela[/name] was SEE-lah and [name]Selah[/name] was [name]SAY[/name]-lah, so that’s what I’m accustomed to, but I think you could get away with SEE-lah spelled [name]Selah[/name], just because it’s not a very common name.

Good luck!

I pronounce [name]Selah[/name] like [name]SAY[/name]-luh.

[name]Selah[/name] has a pretty look, but if you use it, you’d run into many problems with pronunciation, and honestly, I think for that alone it might not be a good choice. It will get pretty exhausting correcting people constantly.

I would say SEE-lah if I saw it.

I pronounce it as see-lah. [name]Selah[/name] [name]Catherine[/name] is lovely!

The correct pronunciation is [name]SAY[/name]-lah

As a [name]Tara[/name] that is constantly called “TAIR-uh” I hate when people take a name and pronounce it the way THEY think it should be said. Because then other people who aren’t familiar with the name think that that’s the correct pronunciation and it just snowballs into a bunch of people butchering a beautiful name. [name]Selah[/name] is a word, I don’t think pronunciation should be up to interpretation. You wouldn’t name a child [name]Lake[/name] and say “No it’s pronounced luh-KEE” would you?

If you want SEE-la then spell it [name]Sela[/name] but I think “[name]SAY[/name]-lah” sounds a lot better with [name]Catherine[/name] and with the other kids’ names.

Nat108, thanks for your kind reply. There are, actually, quite a few [name]Web[/name] sites and name sites that show the various pronunciations. And obviously, the pronunciation also varies by world region and local dialect. If I lived in [name]Israel[/name], maybe I would pronounce it [name]SAY[/name]-lah. It’s not like I just made up my own pronunciation … [name]Even[/name] the name [name]Sela[/name] can be pronounced [name]SAY[/name]-la.

Maybe it’s just me, but it sounds like the woman in the above link is saying SEH-lah… Either way, I think both SEH-lah and SEE-lah are absolutely gorgeous names (although I slightly prefer SEH-lah…) But fortunately for you, it seems SEE-lah is the most common pronunciation, so maybe it might not be that much of a hassle. I think the [name]Sela[/name] spelling would be much more straightforward though… [name]Selah[/name] does look really beautiful, but I don’t like the [name]SAY[/name]-lah pronunciation at all, and anyone familiar with the band will probably say it that way unfortunately…

I pronounce it [name]SAY[/name]-lah with equal amount of time given to each syllable. I like [name]Selah[/name] Caatherine. :slight_smile:

That’s the snowball thing I was referring to. The people who make those sites often put the popular pronunciation (I know you didn’t make up it up). Many sites say my name is TAIR-a yet that is totally wrong. [name]Vivien[/name] [name]Leigh[/name] screwed up the pronunciation in GWTW and Americans blindly adopted it. So I’ve had a lifetime of people asking why my parents chose to pronounce my name the “wrong” way.
Many Christians and Jews are familiar with the biblical word and know that it’s [name]SAY[/name]-lah. I don’t know of the band but if they are well-known that reinforces the [name]SAY[/name]-lah pronunciation. [name]Even[/name] if a lot of people pronounce it SEE-la, there’s also just as many or more that pronounce it [name]SAY[/name]-lah. So a [name]Selah[/name] “SEE-la” will have a lot of hassle while a [name]Sela[/name] would have little to none

@julia johanna
Your ears don’t deceive you, it’s SEH-lah. I pronounce it more like SEH-lah also but when writing it out, I think [name]SAY[/name]-lah is clearer since some may see SEH-lah as “SELL-uh”
And I agree, [name]Sela[/name] is more straightforward. [name]Selah[/name] is prettier looking but [name]IMO[/name] pronouncing it SEE-la is unfortunate

Ditto from me.

I’d say seh-la or sell-uh, the Hebrew vowel in [name]Selah[/name] isn’t right for an ee sound, its a short vowel. Also see-lah sounds odd to me, but probably just because I’m not used to it.

If someone introduced themselves to me as see-lah of course I would use what they said but honestly I might not even connect it with the Bible, or that origin at all, I’d think it was its own independent name, it sounds too different.

There is actually a town near where I’m from named [name]Selah[/name]. Everyone pronounces it see-lah. I think [name]Selah[/name] [name]Catherine[/name] is beautiful.

I found this post while googling how to pronounce the name [name]Selah[/name]! The amazing thing is–and I kid you not!!!–our top name choice right now is [name]Selah[/name] [name]Carys[/name]. Obviously, I think the 2 names of your kids would go together!

Did you end up naming your daughter [name]Selah[/name]? If so, how do you pronounce it? And, how do people deal with it? Our oldest daughter also always gets mis-pronounced, so we are used to it (and not worried about it), but I am curious to know what the reaction has been, all the same.

I think it’s lovely! And [name]Say[/name]-luh is how we would pronounce it, too.

And what’s even crazier–I have to add this–is that our oldest daughter’s MN is [name]Elyse[/name]!

Wow, we really have similar taste (and I can’t say that much, because of our name choices). :wink: Cool!