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Help us Decide on a Name: Ellen/Elyn/Ellyn

(23 Posts)
Littlesaint15 Tue 11-Aug-15 15:37:00

We can’t decide to go for the slightly more conventional version (Ellen), or the more unconventional Elyn/Ellyn. All would have a similar pronunciation. We quite like the idea of the more alternative spelling and both Elyn or Ellyn are (albeit little used…) names in their own right, rather than made-up variants. However, we suspect that a lot of people have never heard of the variant names of Elyn or Ellyn, so we wonder if we are at risk of making DD’s life that tiny bit harder if we opt for the less conventional. We are not that bothered about what others think, but would be really annoyed with ourselves if we had saddled our daughter to any extent!

Key concerns on the more unusual spellings would be:

1. Will Elyn/Ellyn be recognised as a variant name rather than a variant spelling, or is everyone likely to think we’ve made it up/tried to be different or quirky?

2. Are we stitching up DD if we opt for the alternatives? Always having to correct spelling or pronunciation, or to field comment on her name when first introduced: 'oh that's pretty, where are your parents from…?’ etc?

3. Will DD be judged in the future as one of those babies from 2015's crop of individualised names, with extra letters and unusual spellings the current thing?

4. Are we inviting Lyn (not that keen) as a NN?

5. Are we just better off going with what we see as the classic, understated root name of Ellen?

Decision required today, as we’ve left it too long already. Help!

SmugairleRoin Tue 11-Aug-15 15:39:00

I'd go for Ellen. A lifetime of having to say "Hi I'm you spell it with a y..." would be a pain in the arse. I have an Irish name and when I go abroad continually spelling it out is v annoying.

SmugairleRoin Tue 11-Aug-15 15:40:21

And while Ellyn etc are legitimate names in their own right I think many people will automatically think it's a kre8tiv spelling.

MarieJeanne Tue 11-Aug-15 15:41:23

I would stick with the classic spelling of Ellen. Elyn sounds made up to me.
What about Eleanor or Ellis ?

Yika Tue 11-Aug-15 15:42:11

I've come across Elin before (Scandinavian?) so wouldn't be too fazed by Elyn. I would pronounce it slightly differently to Ellen. I don't think it would give rise to Lyn as a nickname. More likely Ellie.

I think the variants are pretty but I must say I love Ellen.

There are plenty of children/people with unusual names or spellings of all ages. I don't think it mark her out as being born in or around 2015.

catsrus Tue 11-Aug-15 15:43:44

I'm a classic name person tbh. Mine all have classic names and more off beat nick names given by friends and siblings. One has to say which spelling of her classic name she uses, but I have no regrets going for classic. Having grown up with a short classic name myself I did give dds longer names - I would have loved to have been able to reinvent myself with different shortened versions. Think Margaret able to be Meg or Peg or Peggy or Mags. There is only one diminutive of my name, think Ellen becoming El sad. But maybe if I'd had a longer, fancier, name I would have wanted a short one ? confused

sticklebrickstickle Tue 11-Aug-15 15:45:25

I would expect Elyn/ Ellyn to be pronounced differently to Ellen.

I would pronounce Ellen so it sounded like Helen with the last bowel sound a bit like the sound in lunch (although not quite).

I'd pronounce Elyn/Ellyn as El-in With the vowel sound of din/bin/chin.

Incidentally I prefer both the look and pronunciation of Elyn but If you're going to pronounce the name in the usual way use the usual spelling.

BertrandRussell Tue 11-Aug-15 15:45:30

Go Ellen. Unconventional with no good reason is almost always a mistake. It's a lovely, classic name.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 11-Aug-15 15:46:00

I'd go for Ellen, it's such a nice name without playing around with the spelling.

purplemunkey Tue 11-Aug-15 15:46:18

They sound like different names in my head. Ellen is El-un and Ellyn/Elyn is El-in. If you wanted it pronounced as Ellen but spelt Ellyn I'd find that confusing.

purplemunkey Tue 11-Aug-15 15:47:34

Ah, crosspost stickle. Not just me then!

mistlethrush Tue 11-Aug-15 15:48:36

1. No, yes, they will think you've done it to be 'different'
2. Yes. Always. Spelling it out and still having it spelt wrong.
3. Definitely
4. Possibly
5 Definitely. It's a nice name, don't mess about with it.

Dixiebell Tue 11-Aug-15 15:49:13

I prefer Ellen. I've known someone called Elin before, which as you say I'd pronouce slightly differently. But I've never come across Elyn or Ellyn, I'd suspect it was just trying to be different. And Ellen is far enough down the charts for it to be different anyway - 366 in 2013.

FizzyBubbly Tue 11-Aug-15 15:50:54

I'd go with Ellen too. We nearly called DD2 Eleni (pronounced El-en-ee) if you want a different variant to consider? Think it's supposed to be the Greel version of Helen

Ragwort Tue 11-Aug-15 15:51:31


I have a fairly conventional name but spelt unusually and it is an absolute pain to have to spell it out correctly every single time it is needed for an 'official' reason - and that seems more and more necessary these days with so many security questions etc etc.

You may think it is being 'cool' or 'original' to spell a name differently, it's not, it's just a massive pain in the backside. grin.

balletgirlmum Tue 11-Aug-15 15:52:03

I have an Ellen. She gets annoyed as it is that people thnk she's Helen & she complained when younger that often she couldn't get personalised souvenirs soelt correctly. (She loves it when she finds something)
So from her point of view id avoid the unconventional spelling.

CamelHump Tue 11-Aug-15 15:52:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HopOnTheMonnerBus Tue 11-Aug-15 15:52:14

I don't like Ellen has a name, just sounds like saying Helen but not bothering to pronounce the H.

However I love Elin. SIL's niece is Elin, they're Welsh so I've always assumed it's a Welsh name.

Elyn as a spelling is also nice but needs to be pronounced El-in not El-un.

EllenJanethickerknickers Tue 11-Aug-15 15:59:33

Ellen-Jane maybe? wink

sticklebrickstickle Tue 11-Aug-15 16:09:29

Yes, Elin and Elyn are both Welsh and both pronounced El-in. Fairly popular names here and I've seen both spellings.

Littlesaint15 Tue 11-Aug-15 21:39:01

Thanks for all the thoughts. Any final words of wisdom before we make our decision would be much appreciated!

Littlesaint's Mum&Dad.

BertrandRussell Tue 11-Aug-15 21:47:28

Just go for Ellen. Having to spell your name every time is a crashing bore. It's a lovely, quite unusual name- and Nell is a gorgeous traditional shortening if you want one.

sweetpeame Tue 11-Aug-15 22:11:45

Really like the name Ellen, it's classic and sophisticated. I think you seriously detract from it by using either of those other spellings. I think people will think you're trying to be u-neeq or they'll think you just can't spell. Much better for your DD if you stick with the usual spelling. It's a lovely name.

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