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A winning name (or not?)
July 19, 2012 - April Leiffer Henry
People spell Elliot’s name wrong all the time.
I don’t think it’s that difficult to spell correctly, but I chose the spelling. Of course, it’s easy for me.
I have learned to automatically spell out Elliot when I give someone his name. “E-L-L-I-O-T. With one T.” The most common spelling mistake is to add a second T. Looking back, I think maybe I should’ve spelled it E-L-L-I-O-T-T.
So, when we were deciding on a name for our second child, I tried to be very conscious about the spelling. We knew we wanted the name Cecilia, and C-E-C-I-L-I-A is what I would consider the traditional spelling of her name. I was OK with spelling it that way.
But, then I got tripped up with nicknames. Interestingly, when we chose Elliot’s name, we purposely tried to choose one that could not easily have a nickname. However, we knew we wanted our daughter to have the nickname C.C. Honestly, the spelling of the nickname threw me off the most. Would we spell it CC (without periods), C.C. (with periods), Cici (like the pizza place) or Ceci, which is most similar to the spelling of Cecilia?
Oh, and then, Mike really likes the nickname Celia. I do too, but the spelling of C-E-L-I-A seemed to be a shortened version of C-E-C-E-L-I-A. That meant that I would be changing one letter from the traditional spelling. That E instead of I made me fear that people would forever spell her name wrong. They would spell it C-E-C-I-L-I-A even if I spelled it C-E-C-E-L-I-A.
And, spelling it C-E-C-E-L-I-A would also yield Cece, and I knew I didn’t like the nickname spelled that way.
I was back to C-E-C-I-L-I-A. With that spelling, Mike’s preferred nickname would be spelled “Cilia.” You know what that word means? Hairs in the respiratory track that catch foreign matter. I’m serious. Look it up. I will not let my daughter have a nickname synonymous with “nose hairs.”
So, in the end, we decided on the traditional spelling of C-E-C-I-L-I-A. Nickname No. 1 is C.C., spelled like C.C. Bloom, Bette Midler’s character in “Beaches.” (That’s not why we chose the name, by the way. It’s just coincidental). Nickname No. 2 is Celia.
I thought choosing the “traditional” spelling would keep people from misspelling my child’s name. She is three months old today, and people are already spelling it C-E-C-E-L-I-A. To quote the words of Baby from “Dirty Dancing:” "You were right, Johnny. You can’t win no matter what you do.”
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