I am in need of some unbiased opinions. I would love if you could do a poll for me. I don't want to ask family or friends because I think I will not be able to take their opinions separate from what my opinions of them are.
My husband and I are expecting our first baby in March - a girl. Our last name is !llingworth. One of our top girl names is Ellie. I love the way it sounds and it means shining light. My husband and I are Christian and many of our favorite Bible verses talk about being a light.
However I am worried about the Vowel - double L - I combo that would be in both her first and last name.
Other girl names that we like are (this is probably the order of what we like)
Her middle name will be Kay after me and my mom.
For reference, if we were expecting a boy we liked the names
Matthias (family name)
Jamieson (family name)
Augustus (would go by Gus)
We are hoping to have three children
So can you help us? Is Ellie !llingworth to much of a mouthful?
My own opinion is that the Elli-Illi of Ellie !llingworth is definitely highly noticeable, but that it might land right in that zone of Distinctive/Memorable rather than Silly/Difficult. I think you're right that we need a poll; I've put one over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]
The name Ellie doesn't have a meaning, per se; the name Ellie started as a nickname of other names, so it would have the same meaning as whatever name it was a nickname of. For example, if the full name were Elle, the name and its nickname could both be said to mean "she"; if the full name were Elizabeth, the name and its nickname could both be said to mean "God is my oath"; if the full name were Penelope, the name and its nickname could both be said to mean "duck." (Meanings taken from The Oxford Dictionary of First Names.)
One possibility if the meaning is important to you is to take a name that is said to mean light, and then use Ellie as the nickname; this would in some cases also reduce the Elli-Illi effect. Elena, for example, is the Spanish/Italian version of the name Helen, which may mean ray, sunbeam, or sun.
Another possibility is to use a baby name book or website that sorts names by meaning (I have Baby Names Made Easy: The Complete Reverse-Dictionary of Baby Names) and look in light-related sections for other options: Clara, Lucia, Lucy, Neve, Phoebe.
I'd double-check with a reliable guide such as The Oxford Dictionary of First Names, however: many baby name books use meanings they found in other baby name books, so the meanings are only as reliable as the sources used---and of the sources THOSE sources used. Often I'll find that a name's connection to its reported meaning is so slim as to be almost completely irrelevant, and that it would be just as accurate to make a similarly tenuous link to a completely different meaning. Entire categories of names without meanings of their own are sometimes assigned the meaning of a similar name. And some names have an assortment of meanings from the different languages that came up them.
To give an example, Baby Names Made Easy says the name Etta means "light" from Yiddish and "little" from German. The Oxford Dictionary of First Names says it's a feminine diminutive---that is, letters added to a name to make it cute and girlish.
To give another example, Baby Names Made Easy says the name Kira means "light" from Latin and Russian, and "sun" from Persian. The Oxford Dictionary of First Names says Kira is a variant spelling of Kyra; that Kyra is from either the Greek and means "lady," or else a feminine version of Cyrus, or else a feminine version of Kyran. Kyran turns out to be a variant of Kieran, and Kieran turns out to be an Anglicized version of the Irish name Ciarán, and Ciarán turns out to be a diminutive of the Irish word for "black." Hm. So that's not "light." Let's follow Cyrus instead. The origin of the name Cyrus is not known, but it was associated with the Greek word kyrios, or "lord." So that doesn't give us "light," either. Even if Cyrus or Ciarán DID give us the meaning light, would that mean the Anglicized feminized version Kira means light as well?
Which is not to say it would be wrong to use the name Ellie and go with the source you found that said it meant light. Meanings are not inherent to names---that is, no one is Lord of Name Meanings, giving each name its Real True Meaning of What It Really Truly Means. The name Ellie is a collection of letters we traditionally use as a name for girls; if you like to think of it as meaning "light" and of that meaning as having a pleasing connection to your religious beliefs, there will be no Name-Meaning Police coming out of the shadows to verify the source and give you a ticket if that source isn't traceable back to a stone tablet.
If I were you, though, I might prefer to go with Annie/Anna, which through its connection to the name Anne, and the name Anne's connection to the name Hannah, is said to mean "God has favored us with a child."
Or the name Grace can of course be connected to the biblical concept of grace, if you like.
Or Isabelle comes to us from Isabel, which is connected to the name Elizabeth, which is the usual English spelling of Elisabeth, which as we've mentioned is said to mean "God is my oath." However, I think Isabelle !llingworth is a little tricky to say.
If name meanings were important to me, I probably would not choose Cora, with its connections to the goddess of the underworld; Persephone/Cora was a nice girl, herself, but Hell is not a good neighborhood. I'd choose Clara instead, with its connections to light and brightness and clarity. Or I might choose Eleanor (nicknames Nora, similar to Cora, and also Ellie), which could also be connected to Helen (ray, sunbeam, sun).
All right, enough chit-chat. To the poll! [Poll closed; see results below.]