Unexpected name.

I met a four-week-old baby girl today named Ottilia and I wondered how much of an outlier it is. It's a name I was indifferent to until I heard it enunciated by the bearer's proud and gratified father and now it seems beautiful. It seems exotic to replace the much loved Olivia, now a modern classic, but it has some of the same sounds, starts with "O" and has the same number of syllables. Maybe Olivia felt a bit exotic originally. I don't think it had been popular in this country before the 90's.

 

Replies

1
August 27, 2016 8:58 AM

According to BabyCenter.com, Ottilia is a German name meaning wealthy. It was number 6,305 this past year.

2
August 27, 2016 10:07 AM

I also love Ottilie! We'd have used the -a spelling in the US to clarify the pronunciation as well. I know a girl with an elaboration of this name (+ana) so it also seems to me like it fits right in. Octavia is another Olivia-like name I am surprised not to see catching on more. I think Ottilie is just unknown, but one pop culture association could launch it since it has a lot of the stylish elements.

3
August 27, 2016 3:24 PM

I think Ottilia pronounced like Ophelia-with-a-T could definitely catch on. But in the US, I think if the first syllable is more like in otter (and Ottilie with the same Ah/aw/au vowel sound) the name is more problematic, as Americans generally can't distinguish between internal Ts and Ds, which makes the first syllable "Odd".

There was a semi-widespread story about name regret circulating recently, where parents fell in love with the name Ottilie in England, but then hated it after they named their daughter and realized it was almost always Oddily/Oddly in the US.

Here's the Huffington Post version of the story: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/08/08/baby-name-regret_n_11390468.html

4
August 27, 2016 4:54 PM

I just readone of those clickbait articles, something like Victorian names that should be resurrected.  On ename so recommended happened to be Ottilie, characterized as a good variant for Natalie.  Um, just no.

5
By PJ
August 28, 2016 9:58 PM

That was my great-grandma's name, though she almost always went by Tillie.

6
September 3, 2016 12:18 PM

This father pronounced it O as in hope, TEE lee a, if that makes sense, with each syllable articulated. it was very pretty, feminine and dignified.

7
September 7, 2016 9:06 AM

I love Ottilie and am still gunning for it (somewhat hopelessly) for a future child. In Spain/Catalunya it's also Otilia, and sounds about as old-fashioned as Ethel, judging by the nose-wrinkles I get when I mention it.

We were vaguely considering Ot for a boy, but as a poster about pointed out, it just sounded too much like Odd.