We are loving the name Serena but are concerned about having a name ending in A because our surname begins with A. We saw Serenah spelt with an H and thought that it might be the answer. What are your thoughts on the spelling Serenah?


December 24, 2015 5:06 PM

If you're concerned about the double-a sound, adding an h won't matter. Personally, having a name written that ends in a and the surname starting with a isn't a big deal. I don't know who came up with the 'rules' on this website, but if I wanted to name my child Felici@ Anders0n, why does it matter if there are two a's next to each other?

December 24, 2015 5:30 PM

I agree that the H is completely pointless in fixing the "problem" (which I don't think is a problem). If I saw Serenah, I would assume that the parents intended for the H to signal a change in pronounciation, and I'd be most likely to guess something like SAIR-en-uh. 

December 24, 2015 10:25 PM

I see it as SEH-rin-uh, so I agree with the pronunciation issue making Serena a better spelling

December 24, 2015 5:54 PM

I think some people avoid using a first name with the same end-letter as the start-letter of the last name because it may cause the names to smush together.  However, this is an auditory thing, so adding an H to the end of Serena isn't going to avoid anything.

So long as the smushing doesn't cause the name to sound like something unfortunate, I really don't think this is an issue.  If the name is something like Serena Amazing, it could sound a bit smushy.  Serena Umbrella would also have the same problem. However, this is easily corrected by articulating clearly & making sure to pause between first & last name. Something like Serena Alligator or Serena Aviator doesn't have the smooshy issue for me because the A sounds are different.

December 24, 2015 6:51 PM

I 100% agree with the previous posters. The "problem" would be in the way the name sounds so a change in spelling doesn't fix it. I think even if it does cause the sound of the names to blend a little it is a totally minor problem. I think changing the spelling could cause some much more significant issues than the As running together. As a previous poster mentioned, it makes the pronunciation unclear. When I saw the subject I wondered se REHN ah? Also needing to constantly correct spelling may be a burden. A much larger issue, to me, than the As.

I'd stick with Serena. It's a beautiful choice that will likely differentiate your daughter from her peers.

December 24, 2015 9:13 PM

My daughter is Norah, so I certainly see the appeal of the h-ending variants.  But in this case I agree with the consensus that Serenah will add some confusion over pronunciation, and plus it's such an unusual variant that I feel like it will create some confusion overall.  If you loved Serenah specifically, I'd say go for it, but from your post I don't get the sense that you are particularly drawn to the look and feel of the h-variation (as I was with Norah, which for whatever reason I very strongly prefer to Nora) -- more that you're hoping it will solve a problem for you.  

But I don't think that is a real problem that needs a solution.  A-ending girl names are so common I don't think it will raise any eyebrows to look at.  Here are some celebrity examples: Fiona Apple, Paula Abdoul, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Alba, Pamela Anderson, Maya Angelou, Rosanna Arquette.   None of those seem weird or awkward to me because of the repeated A.