My husband and I are having our second baby boy and Elliot is one of our top names. The problem is that our nephew's name is Elijah and he goes by Eli. We do not plan to use Eli as a nickname for our child but, we are concerned that our family will think they are too similar because of their spelling. Any input would be appreciated :)
My opinion is that they're not too similar. The spelling does trick the eye a bit, but the vowel sounds are completely different: ee-lye vs. eh-lee. And the emphasis is on different syllables, which further separates the sounds: ee-LYE-jah vs. ELL-lee-ot.
The styles of the names are so different, too. Elijah: ancient, prophety, biblical, with an ending used mostly for girl names in the United States. Elliot: light, surnamey, intellectual. I can't think of a situation in which I'd ever recommend both names to the same family---but because they're too DIFFERENT, not because they're too similar.
And especially for cousins, I think a slight similarity is completely fine: an Eleanor and an Elizabeth, an Addison and an Adelaide, an Emerson and an Emmett.
Let's have a poll over to the right to see what everyone else thinks. [Poll closed; see results below.]
Name update! R. writes:
Thank you Swistle and readers for weighing in on our name dilemma. Though we considered a few other names as well, Elliot remained our favorite. Because of the overwhelming majority of people who responded to the poll saying Elliot and Elijah were NOT too close for cousins and the wonderful comments we felt confident in our choice. Elliot Miles was born last week - mom, dad, and big brother are so in love :)