We have our list of names for our baby girl narrowed down to [name_f]Elodie[/name_f] (with middle name [name_f]Claire[/name_f] or [name_f]Mae[/name_f]) and [name_f]Juliette[/name_f] [name_f]Elise[/name_f]…but I just stumbled across [name_f]Zelie[/name_f] and kind of love it!
What do you think? Is it useable in the States? The closest pronunciation here would likely be Zay-lee.
A bit of background:
[name_f]My[/name_f] family is [name_u]French[/name_u], husband’s is not. Our last name rhymes with [name_u]Sailor[/name_u], so it could be a little rhym-ey.
here are some thoughts:
- I immidietely thought it was pronounced zee-lee because the -ay pronounciation isn’t intuitive, so pronounciation might be an issue
- it is a bit rhyme-y which I don’t usually mind, but I do think [name_f]Elodie[/name_f] and [name_f]Juliette[/name_f] sound especially good with your last name, and first name last name combos that sound that good are hard to come by, so it might be smart to use it.
- Zelie [name_f]Mae[/name_f] and [name_f]Zelie[/name_f] [name_f]Claire[/name_f] sound a bit repetitive
- I think [name_f]Juliette[/name_f] and [name_f]Elodie[/name_f] are kind of similar, so you could pair them together if you ever had another daughter, while [name_f]Zelie[/name_f] doesn’t necessarily fit in with your style
- it is usable in the U.S. but once again watch out for the pronounciation issues I know will be there with this name unlike [name_f]Juliette[/name_f] and [name_f]Elodie[/name_f].
- it does seem less professionally wearable than the others. It just gives off kind of cartoonish and hyper vibes while the others are gentle and calm.
I hope this helped. Overall I do like the name, but there are some things to think about.
Hi, me again. I just saw the accent in the title and I guess that’s where the ay- pronounciation comes from. I think most people in the US would be able to tell that the pronounciation isn’t zee-lee from the accent, but whether they will be able to tell that the pronounciation is zay-lee is a different story. Also, the accent will be dropped off frequently when other people write her name, so that’s something to think about.
Another aspect to think about… the US barely recognizes hyphens and apostrophes when registering names – their inclusion is down to whomever is entering the data in the records department. They do not include accents over letters as part of their accepted letters. Many people with hyphens and apostrophes in their names have multiple files within the vital records departments because their name is dependent upon who they are conversing with and who is entering the data.
Pronunciation will not be intuitive without the accent, and most places won’t add it to a name. You’ll more than likely be getting zee-lee and your child will be correcting people their entire life.
I worked in one facet of vital records in the US.
I think it’s a totally cool find, but I pronounced it wrong upon seeing it and I think without the accent being used at all times, finding someone who pronounced it correctly would be few and far between. If you really do love it but don’t like any other pronunciation besides zay-lee, possibly use it as a middle? Or you could spell it a little differently? i.e. [name_f]Zaylie[/name_f], [name_f]Zalie[/name_f], [name_f]Zailie[/name_f], Zeylie, Zaelie, or any of those with a different “lee” spelling on the end.
(I’m from the U.S., btw)
Thanks!! These are all great points. I was fairly certain we wouldn’t be able to use an accent on a birth certificate, so the use of the accent would be entirely casual. I guess it’s the same with the [name_f]Elodie[/name_f] too!
I have one name that’s on my list that has the same issue. I think [name_f]Zelie[/name_f] is a great name, and the casual use of an accent is still great.
Zélie is so gorgeous! I think it’s perfectly usable in the US. You’ll probably have a few pronunciation issues, but it’s really not a big deal. I’ve personally always found the pronunciation pretty straight forward.
I would have said it Zelly just like jelly with a Z. I’m American and I have no idea what an accent does to a letter’s sound but it does look cool. I think it’s usable for sure but probably won’t be read correctly. I’m not even sure they have accents on birth certificates here…
I’m American and I would say zay-lee, but I’ve run across the name before.
I personally was able to know it was Zay-[name_u]Lee[/name_u], but a lot of non name-nerds might not be able to. However, this could be an easy correction. The fact of the matter is whether or not you want to deal with correcting people on spelling and pronunciation for her whole life.
Zélie is gorgeous- it feels usable to me Sleek and sweet
Zélie is so cute! It’s uncommon but somehow sounds familiar. I’m not American so not going to comment about usability.
I appreciate all the additional input, thank you!
I was thinking through possible mispronunciations, and “Zelly” like [name_u]Kelly[/name_u] or Jelly came to mind first…Especially considering the popularity of [name_f]Ellie[/name_f]! If that’s the worst that happens, it’s not too big of a deal. [name_f]My[/name_f] name is not unusual and still gets mispronounced at Starbucks half the time. I don’t mind it, I just call that pronunciation my coffee name lol.
It’s helpful to know some of you see Zay-lee first too.
Zélie/Zelie is beautiful! I would know how to pronounce it, but even if people mispronounce it on first reading, it’s such a sleek and simple, yet striking, name that I think the correct pronunciation would quite quickly stick in people’s minds.
All three of your options are beautiful, but I have to say that Zélie has that little extra je ne sais quoi for me
Elodie and [name_f]Juliette[/name_f] are both pretty, sophisticated names with uber-feminine [name_u]French[/name_u] flair – but Zélie has all that plus a bit of extra zip and vibrancy from its spiky Z initial and its uncommonness.
I would personally rank them: Zélie > [name_f]Juliette[/name_f] > [name_f]Elodie[/name_f], but all are lovely and it is true that the latter two would be extremely straightforward to pronounce in the US, whereas Zélie might cause a few minor issues. It depends how much that would bother you!
@katinka [name_u]Love[/name_u] this, thank you! I think that’s exactly what draws me to this name - the combination of that feminine, [name_u]French[/name_u] vibe with the fun, zippy Z sound!
I’ll keep this one on our list and am going to start playing with some middle name combos, just to see if it sticks.
I love [name_f]Zelie[/name_f], much more than [name_f]Elodie[/name_f] or [name_f]Juliette[/name_f]! I think it works fine.