Amalie?

My husband loves the name Amalie. Whenever I suggest anything else he gets a sad look on his face. 

Honestly, I don't hate it. But I'm worried for two reasons: first, it sounds a lot like Emily and Amelia, and I'm worried she will go through life correcting people who get her name wrong. Of course, I think people get pretty much every name wrong somehow, but hers seems more susceptible than most. Second, he prefers the German spelling, but most Americans are more familiar with the French spelling (Amelie, sometimes with an accent over the first e). Are people going to think we are doing some kind of obnoxious cutesy spelling? My research indicates that Amalie is a very common spelling in a number of European countries - just not on this side of the pond. 

We aren't telling anyone our name choice, because when we were talking over names with family the feedback was just stressful and not really constructive, but I wanted to run these concerns by someone...and who better than name nerds.

Replies

1
February 14, 2013 8:30 AM

There is an Amelie at my children's school and as far as I know, no one ever confuses her name with Emily or Amelia. I think Amalie is very pretty and the spelling is not going to cause too many problems.

2
February 14, 2013 10:06 AM

I love Amalie, the spelling and the pronunciation. Your concerns are certainly valid, but they wouldn't be dealbreakers for me -- and so sweet that your husband loves it!

3
February 14, 2013 10:54 AM

I love the name and don't think it will be too hard for most people to distinguish between it & Emily or Amelia.    I also wouldn't be very concnered about the spelling.  While the name is familiar enough that people will "get it" I think it is still uncommon enough that most people won't be sure how it should be spelled, so they'll accept whatever spelling you use.  If anyone mentions it, just explain "we prefer the German spelling".

 

4
February 14, 2013 10:56 AM

Oh-I did want to add, the proper German pronunciation of Amalie is Ahm-ah-lee-ah and not Ahm-ah-lee.  I don't think most people in the US would automatically use to the German pronunciation, but you should probably be prepared to encounter it once in a while.

5
February 14, 2013 7:20 PM

That's actually one of my favorite things about it - I have a very French name and it's always fun to run into an actual French person because they say it so differently to how Americans do :) 

6
By hyz
February 15, 2013 4:22 PM

Hmm... ok, maybe this is something that would only occur to a name enthusiast and/or someone accustomed to German names, but I have to say that using the (americanized) French pronunciation with the German spelling does bother me a bit.  Even though/because of the fact that I am aware of Amalie as a correct spelling, the pronunciation would make me wonder if the parents had just creatively/phonetically respelled Amelie, and maybe weren't aware of the German name/pronunciation.  So, if it were me, I'd stick with Amelie for the pronunciation of AH-meh-lee (yes, I know this isn't the real French pronunciation, but it is how I hear most Americans pronounce the name), and use Amalie or Amalia for ah-MAH-lee-ah or ah-MAHL-ya.  Maybe that's too rigid, but pronouncing Amalie like Amelie violates my expectations (that is, expecting that a German name will be pronounced in the German way), so it throws me off.  Since you specifically asked about people thinking it was a cutesy spelling, I thought I had to respond, because I think it's a valid concern, although not necessarily a dealbreaker.    

All that aside, it is truly a lovely name, and I'm sure I'd get used to your intended spelling/pronunciation if I were to know an Amalie, and pretty quickly get over my mental block against it.   

7
February 15, 2013 11:30 PM

That's funny because I would so much prefer a phonetically-spelled Amalie, even if it's a "misused" German name to an Americanised pronunciation of the French name Amelie! Even if it's technically German, it's also following English spelling rules to arrive at the desired pronunication - a pronunciation that I am a huge fan of in this context but that drives me crazy when the name is French.

8
By babs
October 29, 2013 8:25 AM
  1. Hi there,

Amalie is the name we gave our daughter 28 years ago. Back then it was quite an uncommon name here in Australia. 

We pronounce Amalie phonetically as AM-AH-LEE (with a short AH).  It is a German name, and in that country is pronounced AM AH LEE AH.  If people think you have chosen cutesy spelling, just tell them that Amalie is a proper name. Amalie worked in USA as a ski instructor for 9 years and she has never mentioned that anyone had a problem pronouncing her name.

In two weeks time we will be celebrating the marriage of Amalie, our beautiful daughter.

I do hope your husband won with his choice of name!