This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Baby Girl Chilelli, Sister to Giovanni Paolo

Abriana writes:
I'm looking for help in naming my second little one due on June 12, 2011. My name is Abriana and my husband is Ryan. Our last name is Chilelli (pronounced chill - elle - ee). Our son is named Giovanni Paolo. I know- Italian overload- but his name has significant meaning to us. He was named after Pope John Paul II who wrote extensively on marriages and families and really inspired my husband and I in our Catholic faith, which is really important to us. I am not tied to sticking with Italian names; we were just attracted to name his Giovanni Paolo instead of John Paul, since John Paul just seemed too ordinary to us. We absolutely love his name, and call him G for short.

For a girl, though, we are stuck. It's odd because I am obsessed with baby names-- I have been doodling baby names and thinking about my future children for as long as I can remember.

My husband loves the name Eilin, which we have heard is pronounced e-uh-lynn or a-uh-lynn by Swedish speakers.

I love that he loves it. He's not the most opinionated guy, and when he gets excited about something, I love it! I just think it would be so cute to be able to tell our little girl that her daddy named her.

Here’s where I’ll be honest, we heard it after hearing about Tiger Woods' wife-- which bothers the crap out of me!!! However, my family is Swedish and this is a really common Swedish name, and I think it'd be a great tribute to our family's heritage.

We would spell it Eilin to help people pronounce it phonetically. The issue is that if we choose to pronounce it a-uh-lynn, people seem to get confused when we tell them how we are spelling it. We like a-uh-lynn as the pronunciation—feel like it’s more feminine, but sometimes when I say it out loud, I hear “alien”. If we pronounce it e-uh-lynn, it seems a bit sharp to the ear.

Her middle name would be Maeva, which is a variation on Maeve. This has been a name that I’ve loved since college when reading an Irish myth about Queen Maeve.

So my questions are:

1) how should we pronounce Eilin? E-uh-lynn or a-uh-lynn?

2) Are there any other names that have a similar feel that might be more appealing? I feel like Eilin is warm, elegant, yet original.

Thanks so much for your help!!

Name update! Abriana writes:
Hi Swistle!

I have a name update for you from my post almost a year ago! Sorry. Having two kids keeps me busy!! :)

We were so thankful for everyone's suggestions! Most of all, they gave me the confidence to just choose the name I liked. No matter what, we knew we'd have pronunciation issues, so we just decided to go with what we wanted, and let everyone else figure it out. We ended up naming our beautiful baby girl Eilin Maeva. We pronounce it ee-lynn (ee like in "tree"). We actually had a day or two in the hospital after she was born wondering if we should name her something else, but now, 9 months later, Eilin truly is her name.

Thanks for all your help!


StephLove said...

I know a toddler girl named Ailyn. It's a variant of Eileen and pronounced with a long A sound. It would probably be less meaningful for you because it's not Swedish, though. I don't know too many Swedish names, but Astrid comes to mind because of Astrid Lindgren. Giovanni and Astrid would be cute.

Slim said...

I think you're going to be doing a lot of pronunciation-explaining with Eilin no matter which you choose, so go with the pronunciation you like better (which is AY uh lin, right?)

How do you feel about Elaine? "Elaine the fair, Elaine the lovable, Elaine the Lily Maid of Astolat" -- assuming Lily Maid-dom is something you'd be OK with.

I also like Astrid.

christine said...

I'm not familiary with Eilin, other than Tiger's wife; which I've always heard pronounced "EE-lynn". Would you be pronouncing Eilin with a long "e" or "a" sound, or the soft. I think I prefer "EE-uh-lynn," to avoid the "alien" type pronunciation.

I LOVE Maeve and Maeva though, and if you're worried about Eilin's pronunciation I might go that route instead.

Maybe you'd like other Swedish names as well? Linnea, Lovisa, Freja, Kajsa, Ronja, Thea, and Svea all come to mind.

Lynnette said...

Definitely going to have to do some public pronunciation training, as I thought it was pronounced EYE-lin. Gorgeous, though, any way you slice it.

Abby@AppMtn said...

I like the idea of Dad choosing Eilin, and if you're confident that's the name for you, then go for it.

But when you mentioned your faith, a name sprung to mind: Everild. She's a 7th century saint, known for forming a community of women religious. Her name is also recorded as Averild and Everilda, but I think Everild might be easier to say that Eilin, and since she's a saint, very much in keeping with Giovanni Paolo.

Rachel said...

I think no matter the pronunciation you like best, you're going to be doing some explaining. I thought it was pronounced "EYE-lynn" until I saw your choices. Sort of like Aileen. And Elin, Tiger Wood's ex-wife's, name is pronounced "E-lynn", and I think its a lovely name, for what it's worth. Is there another spelling you could use to get the pronunciation you like? Ayalynn? Ayalin? Eyalynn? I think if you like the name, go for it. People mispronounce really simple names all the time. During roll call in school I was called "Rachelle" multiple times. If you (and she!) love the name enough it'll be worth it.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't get the pronunciation you're going for with that spelling. I would think to pronounce it either Eye-lynn, maybe even Eye-leen or Ee-lynn.

I agree with the last commenter; if you'd like to be sure the name is pronounced that way, I'd consider spelling it phonetically: Ayalin?

I know of a little girl named Avelyn (like Evelyn with a soft "a" at beginning) & that name seems similar. I also like the suggestions of Linnea, Lovisa, and Thea above, though none of the names ending in "a" go well with Maeva - they would go well with Maeve!

MelissaInk Designs said...

I always heard her name pronounced E-lynn. The spelling Eilin makes me want to say "Eye-lynn."

Alternatives: Eva, Ellen, Eleanora, Eleanore, Elana ...

The Mrs. said...

The first name that popped to mind was (like others before me) Linnea.

Linnea Maeve would be a lovely name.

It also is feminine and soft, a nice balance to brother's macho 'Giovanni'.

And how great is the repeating 'ih' sound in 'Linnea Chilelli'! Wonderful!

As far as Eilin, the 'alien' mispronounciation would be a big drawback for me... elementary school can be rough, you know?

All the best to you as you anticipate your daughter's arrival!

Abby said...

When I see "Eilin", I immediately figure it's EYE-lin like Eileen.

I wonder if Eolin (or Eolyn?) might better indicate the pronunciation?

I guess either way it's going to be a name you'll have to pronounce for people, so if you go with it you'll just have to choose the way you like it best!

I know a little girl named Ashlynn, which sounds kind of similar (and can also be spelled Aislynn). Or I wonder if you might like Ainsley.

kimma said...

It’s a beautiful name and has special meaning for you which in my mind is the most important thing. Like some others my first thought would be to pronounce it Eye-lin or Ee-lin. However, I don’t think that should deter you. When she is introduced to new people you may have to point out the correct pronunciation, but as with any other name once you hear it a few times you remember how the individual likes it to be said.
The alien reference doesn’t seem strong to me so I wouldn’t worry over this.
If you are looking for an alternative perhaps Adalin? It has a very similar sound to the one you like, but unfortunately not the connection to your Swedish heritage.

caycecol said...

I have the most wonderful student named Aslan. She is named after the character in the Narnia books, who is a wise, strong namesake!

Anonymous said...

I love Eilin, however you choose to prounounce it... and for what it's worth, Tiger Woods's ex-wife will be old news in a few years- nobody will remember or care by the time she's in school :)

Frondly said...

What a pretty name! I'd never heard it before. I think I prefer it with the long-A sound.

Reading it, however, I would probably mispronounce it, like Eileen.

Someone recently mentioned the name Elowen to me, which has a similar sound.

Bree said...

Tiger's ex-wife's name is Elin, EE-lynn, 2 syllables, and much prettier and less confusing to pronounce in my opinion. I don't think of it as a negative association either.

JD said...

Eilin, pronounced A-uh-lynn, is SO beautiful!

Alison aka Baby B said...

A-uh-lynn does remind me of alien. It could be a source of teasing later. I think the fact that it is a name her daddy loved is definitely a point for it.

About spelling-pronunciation: Eilin really looks to me like Eileen (Eye-leen), so I would have pronounced it Eye-lynn, not A-uh-lynn or E-uh-lynn.

Anonymous said...

I like Elin, Eilin looks to me like a misspelling of Eileen. I don't see how it becomes a three syllable name although I do think you're right-- there are many pronunciation issues.

Would you like Aline, Eline, Ailis, Evelyn, Lianna, or Aveline?

Diane said...

I think it's a great name, and I have to admit I had no idea what Tiger Woods's wife's name was! I don't think it will be much of an association at all.

It reminds me of the name Eowyn, from Lord of the Rings, but I think the spelling is fine if it's the one you like. I tend to prefer a name be spelled in its native form instead of being changed to be phonetically easy to pronounce in English ... especially since people are probably going to find a way to mispronounce it no matter what! (Though, I think if you DO want to change the spelling, Eolyn or Eolin would convey the sound pretty well.)

Lena Phillips said...

When I see Eilin I think it is pronounced "eye-lin" or "ee-lin" which I think are both very pretty names. Choose whatever pronunciation you love because it seems that people mispronounce even the most common names and correcting is inevitable. My name is uncommon and I have to help people know how to say it almost always and it really doesn't bother me. In fact, it's kind of a conversation starter - an ice breaker, if you will.