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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Pronunciation of Cecily

Katie writes:
I noticed that you recommend the name Cecily a lot. It's one of my favourite names to look at but I can't figure out if it's pronounced Cess-a-lee or Suh-see-lee. Which one would be the more common, "go to" pronunciation?

I say it Sess-ah-lee---and would not recommend the name if I thought it were pronounced with a Suss. Let's have a poll over to the right!

[Never mind! I misunderstood the question! See new post/poll!]

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's pronounced SES-i-lee (i.e. similar to the way Sicily is pronounced; indeed, Cicely is a variant of Cecily).

Gail said...

I have a friend from London with daughters named Imogen & Cecily. They say it Sess-ah-lee.

Cait said...

Reading the name, I say it suh-SEEL-ee in my head or like Anonymous above, "like Sicily, Italy".

Anonymous said...

I think the queation should be how do you pronounce the second syllable. Is the name Ses-i-lee, or Ses-ah-lee?? That's where I've always thought there could be a difference in the pronunciation. I never really thought there would have been a question of the pronunciation of the first syllable.

C said...

I read the question as which syllable should be stressed: so, SES-i-lee, or, as Cait said, suh-SEEL-ee, like the beginning of Cecilia. (The poll on the right doesn't quite make that distinction.)

Swistle said...

Hm, maybe I'll just take the post down, if we don't even know what the question is!

Brigid said...

I've always heard SESS-uh-lee
Whether uh sounds like a soft i or a soft a...probably doesn't really matter, as my ear can hardly distinguish it. I imagine that's more a matter of accent.

The Italian city is SISS-il-ee. Cecilia is sess-EEL-ee-a.

Anonymous said...

Cecelia without the a or like Sicily with a Sess beginning is what I'm hearing. I have never heard it pronounced like Cecelia without the a, I've only every heard Sess-uh-lee :)

Angela said...

I fell in love with this name when I met a girl named Cecily. She pronounced it SESS-il-ee.

Tam said...

I agree with "C" that I think the original question was wondering where the emphasis is put, 1st or 2nd syllable, not really on a "Seh" or "Suh" distinction. And anyway, even if you think "Seh" it can come out sounding a bit like "Suh" when you say it quickly.