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Welsh names – when others see them as creative spellings

(15 Posts)
shetland3island Wed 13-Apr-16 17:59:37

Neither of us are Welsh, but we have Welsh heritage. We like to use a name with Welsh ties as a middle name. So far we are thinking about using the Welsh form/equivalent of a name that has meaning to us. Names as:

Mari (as word marry)

Alis (AL-iss, Alice with longer S-sound/Ellis with A-sound)

Elen (EL-en, both E as in word elephant)

Catrin (KAT-rin, Catherine with hard T-sound)

Hanna (HAH-na)

(Pronunciations I have come across, others might be in use as well.)

But these names are versions of classic, well-know names. They might seem incorrect compared to English spellings. When I read about or test them on people I know, people understandably see them as creative spellings or misspellings. The response to creative spelling seems very negative. I know these names are versions with history behind them, but we don't live in Wales and can't expect others to know. Are we setting up for problems and negative judgement if we choose a name like these? Possible first name and surname is typically English.

sonlypuppyfat Wed 13-Apr-16 18:02:32

All my children have traditionally spelt Welsh names and we live in England

Cyrli Wed 13-Apr-16 18:05:33

Lovely names, all of them. We had Catrin and Alis on our lists.

Kirjava Wed 13-Apr-16 18:07:04

I'm not sure anyone will have a problem. Is it not the same as Shaun/Sean/Sion and Euan/Ewan/Iuan? Just different regional spellings of classic names.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 13-Apr-16 18:09:42

The Welsh is Alys, have never met or indeed seen Alis as a Welsh name.

They're all nice names and easy for a non Welsh speaker to say. I'd have urged caution if Llinos was on your list smile

DilysPrice Wed 13-Apr-16 18:11:26

TBH some people might think that, because none of those spellings are that well known in England.
A) screw them, you can't live your lives according to their ignorance
B) it's natural when spelling a name out to say "M A R I; it's the Welsh spelling" - helps it stick in people's minds and explains that you're not just making things up.
C) they're middle names - the issue will rarely arise after babyhood

whatsagoodusername Wed 13-Apr-16 18:12:04

I wouldn't have thought you'd have much trouble with those names.

They'll be misspelt because they aren't the common English spelling, but none are that unusual.

Paddingtonthebear Wed 13-Apr-16 18:15:07

My DD has a slight variation of one of the names you've listed. We are not Welsh or Scandinavian and it's both a Welsh and a Scandinavian name. We just liked the name and the fact it was uncommon (outside top 500 in current name charts) yet still familiar sounding. Can't see why anyone would have a problem with it and we are yet to meet another child with the name. People do sometimes mishear it as a more currently popular name sometimes though.

Paddingtonthebear Wed 13-Apr-16 18:18:37

I've just seen you mean for a middle name not a first name. It won't be an issue, people barely register middle names in my experience. They are a bit redundant really. I doubt any of our family or friends can remember what DD's is and I can barely remember any of my friends kids middle names. I don't think we've mentioned DD's middle name since her birth announcement. grin

LittleCandle Wed 13-Apr-16 18:21:21

DD2 has one of the names you mentioned above. I have no Welsh connections, I just like the name and the spelling appealed to me. She always has to spell her name and of course there are no commercially produced items with her name on them. But my name has a slightly unusual spelling and I had the same problems. I don't see a huge amount of difficulty with any of those spellings, as I would think most people would be able to pronounce them and, to me at least, they are clearly from another language. Far better than the stupid ways that people spell other names that are just ridiculous IMO.

Laquila Wed 13-Apr-16 18:23:39

I have a Gwilym (in England) and spend a lot of time spelling it out for people but I don't mind as I love it!

BikeRunSki Wed 13-Apr-16 18:39:36

I'm called Alice, I used to live in Wales and I have Welsh (and Welsh speaking) relatives, the Welsh spelling of Alice is definitely Alys.

CalicoBlue Wed 13-Apr-16 19:23:49

We are Welsh and my DD has an English name that was used in Wales a lot as her first name. She then has a very Welsh middle name, like Rhonwen. I don't think anyone even knows her middle name. We live in England.

shetland3island Thu 14-Apr-16 08:59:01

From thread starter

I apologize for mistakes/confusion about Alis. (I did say we shouldn't write "we know about the names" as what we have found out certainly can be wrong!) I have seen Alis described as a variation of Alys/older form of Alys/name from Adalheidis in several sources that seemed trustworthy, and found Alis in statistics over people registered born in Wales. Honestly, we thought both were legitimate spellings and listed Alis as we preferred it a little more. (We would not have actually used Alis without checking if it was correct.)

Either way you are correct it would be best to use the form that has wider usage in Wales, and the form people recognize as a Welsh name.

MissHooliesCardigan Thu 14-Apr-16 09:06:52

I Am Welsh and have an Owain. He does sometimes get called O-wane by supply teachers but he said it doesn't bother him and he likes that it's spelled differently.

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