Ah, I have the same concern as Elsa is my top pick for a daughter born in the next few years, hopefully. I am considering a double first name to distinguish it slightly in case it becomes more popular. I agree with others here that based on the trends it is unlikely to be as popular as Emma, Ella, or Ellie. Also, Elsie seems to be gaining faster than Elsa so that may be good and/or cause confusion as a girl may get called "Elsie" even if her name is Elsa. Some other similar names you might like... Elodie, Elspeth, Lisette, Liese, Lotte, Maelle, Elya, Elena, Helena, Delia, Clio, Sybil, Lorelie, Adelia, Etta, Ada, Maisie. Good luck!
I feel you, I'm really fond of Ellen but the popularity of El- names and the fact she could end up nnd Ellie which I don't like has meant I'm keeping it as middle only material. Elsa, though, isn't anywhere near as popular as the others and the 's' sound makes it different. Elsa's really pretty, if I were you I'd still keep it.
This is an interesting issue: The name that is lovely and distinctive in itself, but contains many of the elements of much-more-popular names. In Elsa's case, it's not just the E but the El and kind of the two-syllable, a-ending too, making it similar to Ella and Emma as well as Elise and Eliza. In fact, the vowel beginning and the L in the middle kind of give Isla (especially) and Ailsa and Ilsa a similar problem.
My feeling is that if you want to name your daughter Elsa, name her Elsa and not one of those other substitutes, which have their virtues but have their problems too that make them ultimately not an improvement on Elsa. You're only too aware of Elsa's downside, and all the reassurances about its prettiness will not take that away. Indeed, she may end up with lots of friends over the years named Ella or Ellie or Elsie -- and may even be called (and want to be called) Ellie herself. Will that drive you mad?
I think if you really want to get away from this issue, you have to move further away from a vowel-beginning name -- Lisette or Helena or Clio do the trick. To me, even Elodie or Elspeth may end up as Ellies; I love Adelia, but she might be conflated with all the Adelaides and Adelines and become Addie.
My middle name is Elza, and I've been using it as my first for the longest time. It's not a misspell of Elsa, but I've never had anyone mistake it (no matter what it says on this site). The only other person I've heard of with the name was my great grand, who I was named for. As a kid, I felt I was unique for the z alone.
What about Ilsa, Ilse, or Ilka?
I know exactly how you feel! I love the name and used it for my now two year old. I still love the name, but it does bother me how it blends in with all the "El" names that are so popular right now. She isn't in school yet, but she has a few Ellie's/Ella's in her play group, and of course when you call one of them, ALL of them respond because they all sound so similar. It also bothers me that she gets called Ella all the time. I reallllly hope nobody ever calls her Ellie or the more intuitive Elsie, which is another name I am hearing more of lately. I don't necessarily regret naming her Elsa, but if I could do it over I may have stuck with one of our more unique "finalists". Elsa itself is more unique than say Ella or Ellie, but it doesn't *feel* unique at all (to me, anyway) because it is so similar.
Thank you for your response Pam. As someone else who hopes to be faced with this exact same issue it is helpful to hear your perspective. The one thing that surprised me is that you said Elsa might be nicknamed Ellie. Do you know of actual Elsa's who are called Ellie? I only ever thought of Elsie as a natural derivative.
Originally Posted by pam
It is a challenge for me to foresee how I'll ultimately feel about the popularity issue as I had a very uncommon name growing up, Addie. While I experienced both the advantages and disadvantages of having an uncommon name as a child, I now find it unsettling to hear of so many little girls with the nickname, Addie. It pushes me to the side of wanting a more uncommon name for my daughter. Until the last five years (since I've been married coincidentally) I would never have imagined Elsa being anywhere near popular or even popular-like. My hubby is stuck on Elsa as our first pick so it'll be hard to change his mind now...
Thanks to somckenzie for starting this topic!
This is so helpful to hear norskelove, thank you! Elsa has been one of my favorite names since I was in elementary school plus is has special family meaning so it pains me also to see the huge rise in popular "El-" names. I would like your opinion on my idea of making a double first name for Elsa to help distinguish it from similar sounding names. The second name would be one syllable. I feared it might be a little cumbersome to say but we recently adopted a dog with a double name and are finding it no trouble at all. I appreciate your response.
Originally Posted by norskelove
Gosh, we think alike ;-)
Originally Posted by peach
My daughter actually has a double name......her name is Elsa Jane Ingrid. Unfortunately we are having a difficult time making it stick! Everyone ends up calling her Elsa instead of Elsa Jane *sigh* , but I admit that we find ourselves calling her "just" Elsa a lot, too.
SHE calls/introduces herself as Elsa Jane, and we try to correct people without making it a huge deal. I thought it was somewhat inevitable that it would get shortened to just one name, so I am not too surprised. We are hoping it might stick when she gets to school -- the teachers are very good about calling the child what you want them called. But if her classmates are anything like her sister and friends, they will call her "just" Elsa.
So I do love the idea, but I think you have to be very willing to accept that she may not be called the double name (like any name, kids can develop nicknames.......she may prefer "just" Elsa over a double name, anyway). But the main thing (in our experience) is that people get lazy and tend to forget that there is more to her name than Elsa.
I love your favorite name list, by the way! Many of them were on my list, too. Alyce, Helena, Louisa, Margot, Zinnia......I also had Sylvie on my list -- maybe you could use that as a nickname for Sylvana? I had Abram, Anders (LOVE LOVE LOVE!!) and Eliot on my boy list. I would have loved to use Anders (likely Anders Vincent or Anders Eliot), but never had a boy. I hope you use it someday! =)