Duana Names: How about Eleri?

Duana Posted by Duana at July 10, 2014 18:44:11 July 10, 2014 18:44:11

Dear Duana,

My husband and I are expecting a girl in 5 weeks, and are desperate for some advice. We haven't told our friends and family our intended baby name (for fear of inviting unwanted comments), so we have no one to arbitrate our debate:
My husband is of Welsh origin; I am Bulgarian. Finding a name that we both love and that can be pronounced in both languages has proven difficult. I actually have a strong affinity for Welsh names, but most of them don't translate well into Bulgarian.
A name I absolutely love, and think could maybe work, is Eleri. (Rhymes with "Mary.") It's relatively popular in Wales, apparently, but I haven't heard it here in the US. My husband likes the name but fears the child will be doomed to a lifetime of being called "celery." I think the pronunciation is different enough that kids won't necessarily make the connection. What are your thoughts? Or any other suggestions?


OMG please, please choose Eleri.

This is the kind of shot in the arm that everyone in the naming community needs.   I’m with them. Sometimes I self-flagellate thinking if I suggest Nolan one more time they’re going to rip this column away from me in favour of someone who is more inclined to offer up Sandrine more often.      

Sometimes I think there are not enough “unusual names” that have broken through lately, and so everyone rides round and round on Bodhi until someone, anyone, breaks the cycle.

And then here come you guys with Eleri. For clarification, I hear it pronounced as “eh-LAIR-y” to rhyme with Mary – and I love it. I really do. The pitfalls are there, of course, mainly that it will be misspelled or mispronounced (it’s worth noting that nameberry.com offers EL-eh-ree as an alternate pronunciation), but you don’t care, do you? It’s gorgeous.

And really, the kids are going to call her celery? I mean, they could, but…celery’s kind of neutral. Yes, the eternal debate rages over whether it belongs in tuna salad (yes yes yes) but in my mind, the insulting names that stick rhyme with booger, or poop, or – you get the idea. If she somehow winds up with Celery as an affectionate nickname when she’s on track and field and everyone screams it when she rounds the last corner in the 800m in her teens, well, you’re not going to be mad at that, are you?

Eleri. I love it so much. Stick to your guns, don’t tell anyone, reveal it at the birth, mic drop. Gorgeous.  

Please let me know!

Tags: Name Nerd
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