My hubby and I have debated the name Rilea (RYE-Leah) Elizabeth as a name for a future daughter. Does this sound like a normal name? Obviously, she could have the ever trendy female "Riley" nickname, but do you think that name is bound to be too become too trendy in the next 10 years? We love the name, but have found many family members/friends wondering why we are "making up" a name. We are both teachers, so this is one of the few names not wrecked (or sweetened) by past students. But, being academics, we are hoping to have a name that could also sound educated without being stuffy. Does the name have too trendy of connotations? Or does the Rilea pronunciation give it (like we hope) an ability for the name to carry into adulthood?
What are your first impressions?
FYI: other kid names are already mostly decided on. We just like to have though this through and "lived" with the names for awhile first before kids come.
Others: BOY: Ethan David; Lincoln James; GIRL: Reese ________ (something biblical to be decided on)
-Sarah-- a girl with a common name, married to a guy that has that conversation "Where did you get your name from, can you repeat it again for me" every day.
I have two first impressions:
1. I would have pronounced it ry-LEE-ah on the first attempt.
2. I'd put it in the category Modern Invented Name, with names such as Kiana and Kiera, Brylee and Caleigh.
There's nothing wrong with multiple possible pronunciations OR with being a modern invented name. My name has been pronounced Kirsten and Kiersten and Kristine, even though I would have thought there was only one sensible way to pronounce the name Kristen, so there are few names that DON'T have to be corrected now and then. And every name has to be a modern invented name at SOME point in its life---and it makes sense to use one when the parents are teachers and more likely than other parents to encounter their child's name elsewhere...and elsewhere...and elsewhere....
AND, I think that if you LOVE a name, other issues are usually well worth it.
I think if you're looking for a name that sounds academic, I would recommend Leah instead. It's more common, yes, and you may have already had students with that name, but I think ROOTS are one of the things that can give a name academic heft. Modern Invented names tend to sound Trendy, because they tend to be formed from sounds and spellings that are currently trendy.
A much less common choice would be Amalia. It sounds similar to Rilea, but has ROOTS. And I'm hoping the "oh, it's a typo for Amelia" problem will be slightly lessened by a Malia living in the White House.
Or Cecilia: again, similar sound, but more academic.
I'd like to add a third impression of Rilea:
3. I spelled it differently every time I typed it in this post, and had to keep scrolling to the top to remind myself. I spelled it Rylia, then corrected it to Rylea, then corrected briefly to Rilia, then corrected to Rilea.
But of course all my impressions come from my own experiences with children and my own tastes in baby names and my own region of the country, so what we need is a much wider set of responses. Comments section, do your stuff!