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Cecilia (Cecelia)

Today's name: Cecelia, Cecilia

Pronunciation: seh-SEEL-ya

Potential nicknames: Cece, Cici, Ceil, Celia, Cellie, Cilla, Lia, Cecily, Cicely, Cissy
Variant forms: Ceceilia, Cecely, Cecila, Cecile, Cecilea, Cecilija, Cecilla, Cecille, Cecillia, Cecily, Cicely, Ceila, Ceilena, Ceilia, Cela, Celia, Celie, Cellie, Cescelie, Cescily, Cicelie, Cici, Cicilia, Cicilie, Cicily, Cilka, Cilia, Cilla, Sasilia, Sacilia, Seselia, Seely, Selia, Sesilia, Sessaley, Silke, Sisely, Sissela, Silja, and Zelia. Sheila is related.

Origin: (1) Old Welsh, meaning "sixth," from the name Seissylt. (2) Latin, meaning "blind," from the Latin name Caecilia, the feminine form of Caecilius, also a Roman clan name. The modern male form of this name is Cecil. The Latin version of Cecilia started being used in the 18th century. If you don't like the "blind" meaning, stick with the Old Welsh meaning. (3) When the Normans brought this name to the Christians of England in the Middle Ages, the name became Cecily.

Popularity: Cecilia ranked in at #277 in 2010 with 1,186 births. There were also 373 baby girls named Cecelia, 96 Cecily, 15 Cecillia, 8 Cicily, 20 Cicely, 7 Cicilia and 7 Cece. (Cecilia's ranking has stayed about the same for a decade.)

Fun fact: (1) The blind Saint Cecilia from the 2nd or 3rd century was a virgin martyr known for being the patron saint of music. (2) Without knowing it, this is my 3rd post (Saoirse, Bryony) having to do with the movie Atonement. Cecelia Tallis was one of the characters. (3) Cecilia Jupe from Charles Dickens' Hard Times. (4) Cecilia Lisbon from The Virgin Suicides. (5) A character in The Hunger Games. (6) Opera star Cecilia Bartoli. (7) Cecily Parsley, a rabbit character from a Beatrix Potter story.

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Allifair

Alifair Hatfield
The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…