Cecilia Name Meaning & Origin


Pronunciation: sə-SEEL-yə, sə-SEE-lee-ə (key)

Origin of the name Cecilia:

Feminine form of Cecil, which is derived from Caecilius, an old Roman family name, which has its root in the Latin caecus (blind, dim-sighted). The name was borne by a 3rd-century Christian who founded a church in the Trastevere section of Rome. During the 6th century, a story of her life was written and she was henceforth venerated as a martyr. She is regarded as the patron saint of musicians.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

Related Names:

Cecelia, Cecile, Cecilie, Cecily, Ceil, Celia, Cicely

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US Popularity of Cecilia Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Cecilia

My name is Cecilia and I love it so much. I think it looks pretty written down and said aloud. I get lots of compliments too. Although the meaning isn't wonderful the name meant a lot to my parents (Great Grandmother Cecile). Cecilia is also the patron of musicians and in the Simon and Garfunkel song (this also influenced their decision). I don't get many pronunciation problems and I have only met a few other Cecilias. I am usually called Ceci, but would like to switch to Cia or just Cecilia:)

What IS the meaning?

I'm not surprised to find Cecilia so low in popularity in the '50's. I knew my name was unique--and that wasn't a good thing for me when I was young. I always wanted to find my name on one of those name plates at stores, and never did. When it was my turn, I named my sons two of the most popular names for boys in their birth years. They had to cope with the problem of having several people in their classes with the same name. There must be a happy medium. Although reading some news about boys with unpopular names doing poorer, I'm glad I named my sons strong, common, traditional masculine names. I do think names make a difference, and more for boys than for girls. Both of my sisters had names which were unusual for the 50's. One named her daughter a fairly common name, and the other a rare name. (Not in top 1000.)

My daughters name is Cecilia, we just kind of named her this 'cause we didn't have a name and we had to name her. NOTHING stood out to us. I figured she could always go by Cici if she doesn't like Cecilia. The spelling is a little bit long and I hope she doesn't have trouble spelling it when she gets into school. It goes good with her last name Kane. She was born in 2008. Little kids can't say her name and neither can she so they say Cici or "Ceeyuh" it's pretty cute. I did not pick the name for it's meaning so I wouldn't worry about that. Three years later I am just now learning the meaning and I don't think it matters.

Your name of Cecilia gives you a clever mind, good business judgment, a sense of responsibility, and an appreciation of the finer things of life.
You are serious-minded and not inclined to make light of things even in little ways, and in your younger years you had more mature interests than others your age.
Home and family mean a great deal to you and it is natural that you should desire the security of a peaceful, settled home environment where you can enjoy the companionship of family and friends.
Cecilia is a beautiful name.

Personal experiences with the name Cecilia

I was Cissy until college, and then I demanded that my family give me back my original name of Cecilia. They did, which made me happy. Other friends and relatives who tried to reclaim names from nicknames were not so lucky.

My cousin couldn't pronounce Cecilia when we were little so he started calling me Cila, my family all followed his example (this is in South Africa).

My birth name is Cecilia but most people know me by my nickname, Cee (given because I have a personality similar to the character Cecilia "Cee" Tallis in the book Atonement). I've always liked my name and I've never been teased about it but it's misspelled often.

We named our daughter Cecilia in 2003, expecting to call her "Ceel" as a nickname. She turned out to be much better suited to Cici, as she is a small person physically. We taught her how to spell her full name with the rhyme "we have a little girl, she really likes to play,, C-E-C-I-L-I-A," which she easily memorized. It also turned out that she (unlike anyone in the family) is severely far-sighted, but fortunately none of the kids in school know the meaning of her name. She's a smart, tiny beauty and we couldn't be happier with the name.

Nicknames for Cecilia

Cici, Ceci, Cece, Sissy, Cissy, Ces, Celia, Celie, Ceil, Cila, Ciel, Lia, Cia, Cecil, Celia-Belia, Sesame, C.C. Sicily

Meanings and history of the name Cecilia

(Latin) Female name of Latin origin meaning "the way for the blind."
(French) "one of the shining light" or "one of the world".
"blind one"

The name of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music.

Famous real-life people named Cecilia

Cecilia Peck, American actress; daughter of Gregory Peck
Cecilia Bartoli, Italian opera singer
Cecilia Parker, American actress
Cecilia Cheung, Hong Kong actress
Cecilia Beaux, American portraitist
Cecilia Delphine Walton (b. 2012), daughter of American actress and singer Majandra Delfino and American actor David Walton

Cecilia in song, story & screen

"Cecilia," song by Simon & Garfunkel.
"The Shrine of St. Cecilia" sung by The Andrew Sisters
"Does Your Mother Know You're Out, Cecilia?" (second line "Does she know that I'm about to steal ya?"), song by Hal Derwin with Shep Fields, 1940s big band artist from the West Coast.
"Cecilia and the Satellite" song by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
"Cecilia," song by Ace of Base

Cecilia "Sissy" Jupe, a main character in Charles Dicken's "Hard Times"
Cecilia Tallis - Atonement
Cecelia - SouthSide
Cecilia Lisbon, character in the novel and film The Virgin Suicides
Cecilia Vanger, character in Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Cecilia, the main character from the novel "Cecilia" by Fanny Burney
Cecilia was the girlfriend of Tom Riddle Sr. in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.
Cecilia "Tommy" Rainham Linton from the Billabong series
Detective Cecilia Garza, character in The Intercept by Dick Wolf

Cecilia, character played by Camilla Luddington in the film The Healer (2017)
"Cecilia" Veronica Lodge's middle name in the show "Riverdale"

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