Because I have an Annalise, I don't know if I could use the name Louisa on my current to-be-born baby (too much "ise" - ?), but I wanted to know how people pronounce the name Louisa before I seriously consider it. My grandmother says loo-EEZ-ah, but I've always pronounced it and thought of it as loo-EESE-ah, and I think they sound like two different names. I wouldn't want to name my baby loo-EEZ-ah. Can we have a poll to determine what the common pronunciation is?
Good idea! This reminds me of a high school acquaintance who had to work hard to get people to say LESS-lee instead of LEZ-lee: I'd never realized there were two ways to pronounce it, and now I note which one it is when a Lesley introduces herself.
I say Louisa loo-EEZ-ah (and Louise "loo-EEZ"), and because I find it so fun to say I probably overdo a W sound: more like loo-WEEZ-ah. I use the Z sound for Louise and Eloise, too. I think if I wanted a soft S I would use the name Luisa: because I pronounce Luis "loo-EES," it would come naturally to me to use the soft S with Luisa. (Which is a silly and arbitrary thing, since I also say Louis with a soft S. But the Luis(a) spelling draws my attention to it in a way Louisa doesn't---maybe I think of Louisa as coming from Louise instead of from Louis.) Or I might use Lucia (pronouncing it loo-SEE-ah) to get similar sounds.
Let's put a poll over to the right: How do YOU pronounce Louisa? [Poll closed; see results below.]