[ 3 syll. ce-ci-lia, cec-il-ia ] The baby girl name Cecilia is pronounced Sah-SIYL-Yah or Sah-SIY-Liy-ah (English), CHeh-CHIY-LYaa (Italian), -THeh-THIY-LYaa (Spanish), or Seh-SIY-LYaa (Spanish-Latin American) †. Cecilia is of Latin origin. It is used mainly in English, Finnish, German, Italian, Scandinavian, and Spanish. An old form of the name is Caecilia (Latin). The first name is derived from the Roman family name Caecilius; the surname could be of Etruscan origin, or else it could be from the Latin caecus, possibly first used in tribute to an important ancestor who was blind.
Saint Cecilia (176-180), the patron saint of music, was a possibly mythical figure whose tales of martyrdom for rejecting Roman gods and subsequent large cult following helped promote the popularity of the name among medieval Christians. The name was introduced by the Normans into England, often in the form Cecily, as borne by one of the daughters of William the Conqueror. The Latinate form Cecilia was first used by English speakers in the 18th century. In literature, it has appeared as the name of the titular heroine Cecilia Beverley in Frances Burney's novel Cecilia (1782), and as the name of Cecily Cardew in Oscar Wilde's comedy The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Cecilia is the feminine equivalent of the English Cecil.
Cecilia is a widely used name; it has 120 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of Cecilia include Cacelia, Cece (also used in Latin), Ceceli, Cecely, Cecelyn, Cecette, Ceci, Cecia, Cecila, Cecile (also used in French), Cecilea, Cecilee, Ceciley, Cecille (also used in French), Cecily (also used in French and Latin), Cecilya, Cecília (also used in Portuguese and Slavic), Ceclia, Cecyl, Cecyle, Ceilagh, Ceileh, Ceileigh, Ceilena, Ceilia, Cele, Celicia, Celli, Cellie, and Cescelie. Other English forms include the shortenings Cecil, Celia (also used in Italian, Latin, Polish, Scandinavian, and Spanish), and Selia, the familiar forms Cee, Ceil, Ceila, Celie, Cici (also used in Romanian), Cis, Cissie, Cissy, Sessy, Sis, Sissie, and Sissy, and the spelling variants Ceceilia, Cecelia, Cecillia, and Secelia.
Forms used in foreign languages include Cacilia (German), Caecilia (German), Cäcilia (German), Cäcilie (German), Ceciel (Dutch), Cecilie (Czech, German, and Scandinavian), Cecilija (Slavic), Cecilla (Spanish), Cecílie (Czech), Cecylia (Polish), Cesia (Polish), Chela (Spanish), Chila (Greek and Spanish), Cile (Czech), Cili (Hungarian), Cilka (Czech and Slavic), Cilli (German), Cilly (German), Icía (Galician), Kekilia (Hawaiian), Kikilia (Hawaiian), Silja (Finnish, Frisian, German, and Scandinavian), Silje (Scandinavian), Silka (Frisian and German), Sille (Scandinavian), Sisel (Yiddish), Sissel (Scandinavian), Sìle (Scottish), Sìleas (Scottish), and Síle (Irish). The familiar forms Cilla (Dutch and Scandinavian), Cille (Scandinavian), Silke (Dutch, Frisian, and German), and Zilla (German) are other foreign variants.
Variant forms inherit the origin and thus the meaning of the name Cecilia.
Cecilia is popular as a baby girl name, and it is also perceived as trendy. The name has been rising in popularity since the 1960s. At the recent peak of its usage in 2018, 0.097% of baby girls were named Cecilia. It was #155 in rank then. Out of all girl names in its family, Cecilia was the most popular in 2018. Cecilia was used 4 times more than the 2nd ranked name, Cecelia, in that year.
Baby names that sound like Cecilia include Cecylia, Ceceli, Cecelie, Cecila, Cecilee, Ceciley, Cecilie, Cecilla, Cecillia, Cecilya, Cecília, Ceclia, Ceely, Ceilia, Celea, Celeasha, Celeashah, Celeesha, Celeeshah, and Celeisha.
† Pronunciation for Cecilia: S as in "see (S.IY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; Y as in "you (Y.UW)" ; CH as in "cheese (CH.IY.Z)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; TH as in "theme (TH.IY.M)"