How do you pronounce Aurelia?

Hello there!

I posted my short list of names for baby Gray, due 2014. Thanks to you all, I've settled on Aurelia for a little girl. I was 100% confident with the choice (although DH still needs convincing)...until someone asked how it's pronounced.


I was do YOU pronounce Aurelia? Have you met any? How do they pronounce it?

I got the name from my brother, the Latin teacher. He's obsessed with all things Latin, and suggested it because it means 'Golden' - my grandmother's maiden name. He pronounces it the same as he pronounces the Roman Emperor, Aurelius... "Awe-rehl-ee-uh" or "Awe-rehl-yah" (He also says the beginning with the longer "Oh" sound...and says that usually depends on the accent...I like both just fine)

One of my favorite movies, Love Actually, has an Aurelia, pronounced the same way.

When I was asked by a poster, I looked it up on Name Wizard since it's a little complicated...and they have it phonetically as "oh-REE-lee-uh", with the long 'ee' sound in the middle. Oh no!

So...when you see Aurelia, how do you say it? If you've never heard do you think it would be pronounced?

thanks :)



December 7, 2013 11:14 PM

According to Elliott the Preschooler, his little bff pronounces it Awe-reel-ya.  But how her parents pronounce it I do not know.  I tend to pronounce it  with a vowel between eh and ay, probably close to what your brother says, but not aw-reel-ya.  But given Elliott's evidence, I would call his little classmate aw-reel-ya until her parents told me otherwise.

December 8, 2013 12:04 AM

I would always use four syllables and say either oh-REH-lee-ya (my instinctive pronunciation) or more accented like in Love Actually... man, I can't figure out how to write it... the first syllable like "ouch" minus the ch, the second between reh and ray but closer to ray, then lee-uh. But more the first. I would never think to put REE in the middle (even though I use DEE in Cordelia). 

I think that it's an uncommon enough name that most people won't know any others and will take your daughter's pronunciation easily (then apply it to any others they meet). As for the 3 vs 4 syllable thing, we've discussed that many, many times here and it applies to much more common names, too (e.g., JOO-lee-a vs. JOOL-ya). It also seems to be quite regional. 

By EVie
December 8, 2013 12:22 AM

I've known one, and she pronounced it oh-RAY-lee-uh. Similarly, I took a lot of classical history classes in college, and the name of the emperor Marcus Aurelius was usually pronounced oh-RAY-lee-us by the professors. However, I believe that the oh-REE-lee-uh/us pronunciation is the standard in the U.K., and some people in the U.S. say it that way as well. So really, it's a matter of preference. Your brother might be saying it with more of a "reh" sound in the middle if he's using the classical Latin pronunciation, which is obviously the original way of saying it, but not the most common in English today. 

December 8, 2013 12:35 AM

Oh. good call on the UK thing. (Lousy example but it's probably like the pronunciation of pedophile on either side of the pond. Listen to the two pronunciations here.)

December 8, 2013 12:08 PM

I have never actually met an Aurelia, but fell in love with the name thanks to the movie Love Actually. Because of the way THEY say the name (the character with the name is Portuguese, so I'm not sure if that changes the pronounciation or not), I say Aurelia as "aw-RAIL-yah". 

December 8, 2013 8:23 PM

Yes, this is how we say it as they do in the movie. the RAIL is just a tad bit harsher than I mean though, so I was trying to soften it with 'REHL', like Yehl. I over complicated it, sorry!


Anyway.... happy to see that most others are pronouncing it as I do, with the longer A rather than the longer E. Back to being at ease about the name! :)

December 8, 2013 9:03 PM

Yep. Like Colin Firth says it in Love Actually. Swoon. 

(Although being Australian my pronounciation is probably irrelevant!)

By mk
December 8, 2013 10:26 PM

We pronounced it in Latin class as Awe-rail-ya. That's how I still pronounce it.

December 9, 2013 5:33 AM

The -ree in the middle sounds super-wrong to me (Like, "Oh really? Uh?"), however, I haven't met any American Aurelias so I cannot really attest that it actually is wrong.

The Aurelia I know is German and thus uses the German pronunciation (ow-reh-lee-ah), which is what I remember from Love Actually, too.

Here is a smattering of international pronunciations: - but neither of the two American ones has a "ree" bit in the middle.

December 9, 2013 7:57 PM

Phew, thanks ladies! When I read that on BNW I started to panic a little!

Sticking with little miss Aurelia Louise Gray.


Oh, by the way, Love Actually is my favorite movie....and hearing Colin Firth say Aurelia over and over was probably the reason I fell in love with the name to begin with! Swoon!

December 9, 2013 10:39 PM

Hello! My 2 year old daughter is named Aurelia - we love it, get compliments all the time :) We pronounce it

Aur - EL - ia! As such her nickname is Rels, Rellies, or Ellie). 


I personally can't stand the aur - EEL - ia pronunciation, I think people get that from Amelia. The other thing we hear a lot is Aur - ray - lia, but kind of said like Or - rail - ya. I don't like this, so I politely correct them ;) As far as the first part of the name, I find "Or" to be more natural than the "Awe. Honestly, it all tends to flow out in the most natural way for you, so you will find that on your own I'm sure!

December 9, 2013 10:41 PM

Oh, and I'm proud to say we absolutely chose this name because of Love Actually, my favorite movie of all time! Not only that, Aurelia is my favorite character in the movie...such grace.

December 12, 2013 9:26 PM

I know a Portuguese Aurelio, and in Portuguese each vowel is pronounced separately, so like Ahh-oo-REH-lyo (uu in boo, REH almost RAIL). Very hard to say it properly! i also prefer the "eh" sound to the "ee" sound, and in a quick anglicized version would say something like awr-EH-lya. 

By Coll
December 14, 2013 8:40 AM

My son's former nanny also cared for a little girl named Aurelia. She pronounced it Aw-REHL-ya. The little girl's father is Italian.

December 13, 2014 12:37 PM

I first learned of this name when reading a Sylvia Plath biography, of all things.  Her mother's name was Aurelia.  

I believe the technical pronunciation is "Oh-reel-lee-uh" - similar to Amelia.

Unfortunately, I fell in love with the name because I mistakenly thought it was pronounced "Aura-Lee-Uh" - like the word "aura" and the name "Leah" put together. :)

December 13, 2014 7:55 PM

One of my friends is named Aurelia and her name is pronouced Uh-rail-ee-uh.

December 13, 2014 9:02 PM

So funny that this thread was revived today! For me, the name is inevitably uh-REEL-yuh, because I grew up in a town with an Aurelius Road pronounced that way. However, I was just listening to a text-to-speech book yesterday with a character Aurelia, and my British robot pronounced it alternately OR-leah (three syllables) and ORL-yuh (two syllables in the way that squirrel is one syllable), which I never would have guessed in a million years. It's likely this is the AI trying to parse an unfamiliar word, rather than an actual British pronunciation, but I thought it was interesting to find yet another couple of pronunciations for the name.

In any case, I hope Baby Aurelia and family are loving her name, however it's pronounced.

December 14, 2014 7:52 PM

I'd pronounce it oh-ray-lee-uh at firat glance. I think its a memorable and beautiful name with any of these pronunciations. I hope you stick with it! 

December 14, 2014 9:36 PM

I live where there is a high Hispanic population so it would probably generally be pronounced ah-u-RAY-lee-a. When I say it the first two syllables kind of wind up combined into our-AY-lee-a.  I love the name, btw.

December 14, 2014 10:19 PM


October 2, 2019 9:40 PM

My grandma name was Aurelia which she was name from her grandmother who was name from her mother plus have many aunts and cousins have as middle names as I etc 

in other words it old name that been used many times in our family it pronounced least by us  aw-reel-yah 

i remeber the way my grandma would teach people to say it was 

Singing a little song “Aw wheel ya “ round and around

there more to it but you get the gest of what I’m saying lol 

if I would had girl I would had also used it but I had all boys shall see if my boys will pass it on ☺️

October 4, 2019 11:53 AM

I would say Or-EE-lee-ah. 

October 10, 2019 11:50 PM

I say oh-RAY-lee-uh. Great name.