Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Cecilia

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 223
sə-SEE-lee-ə or sə-SEEL-yə
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Cecilia

  • Humanitarian
  • Community-minded
  • Family-oriented
  • Loving
  • Affectionate
  • Compassionate
  • Sensitive

Etymology & Historical Origin - Cecilia

Cecilia comes from the Latin Caecilía which is the feminine form of the Old Roman family name Caecilius. Caecilius comes from the Latin word “caecus” which means ‘blind’ and developed as a byname for a Roman plebeian family who dated back to the 5th century B.C. The Plebs were free landowning Roman citizens and fell somewhere between the slaves and the elite Patricians. The family traced their ancestry to a Roman mythological figure, Caeculus (‘little blind boy’), who was a son of Vulcan, god of fire. Legend has it that Caeculus was born of Vulcan’s spark, found on a hearth and raised among shepherds. The boy showed mastery over fire, but the smoke did damage his eyes which remained smaller than normal (hence his moniker: little blind one). Caeculus is also credited as the founder of Praeneste, an ancient city east of Rome. An alternative tradition claimed that the Caecilii were descended from Caecas, who had accompanied Aeneas to Italy after the Greeks sacked Troy. By the 3rd century B.C., a member of the Caecilius family obtained consulship, the highest elected office in the Roman Republic. The name Cecilia was mainly popularized during the middle ages, in homage to the 2nd century Saint Cecilia (Latin: Sancta Caecilia). Cecilia refused to worship the Roman gods during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, and so was martyred after being tortured, suffocated and finally beheaded. She is the patron saint of music and musicians because as she lay dying she was said to be singing to God. As with many early saints, Cecilia became quite legendary in the Middle Ages and so her name was bestowed upon children. The French brought Cécile to England via the Norman Conquest of 1066. The English commonly spelled the name Cecily until the 18th century when the Latinate Cecilia came into favor.

Popularity of the Name Cecilia

Cecilia is the poster child for consistent moderation in the United States. This is a female name that has neither been overused nor ignored over the decades. That’s good news for the name bearers. In other words, it’s a familiar name, but you don’t have to share it with too many people! Cecilia was also made famous in song by Simon and Garfunkel (1970). The song refers to St. Cecilia – patron saint of music and musicians. The lyrics read in part: “Cecilia, you're breaking my heart / You’re shaking my confidence daily / Oh Cecilia, I’m down on my knees / I’m begging you please to come home.” It was probably Paul Simon’s way of conjuring up the “musical spirits” for his songwriting and his frustrations as a famous musician in general. Cecilia is a lovely name that is either sounded out in three or four syllables. Nicknames and pet forms include Sissy, Celia or CeCe. We are definitely not “blinded” to the beauty of this ancient name, are you?
Popularity of the Girl Name Cecilia
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Cecilia

  • Popular Songs on Cecilia

    Popular Songs on Cecilia

    Cecilia - a song by Paul Simon

    Cecilia - a song by Simon & Garfunkel

    Cecilia - a song by Ace of Base

    Cecilia Ann - a song by the Pixies

    Entering White Cecilia - a song by The New Pornographers

    Our Darling Daughter You Are, Little Cecilia Marie - a song by The Prize Fighter Inferno

    Shrine of Saint Cecilia - a song by The Andrews Sisters

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Cecilia

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Cecilia

    Cecilia's Year (Susan Gonzales Abraham) - Cecilia Gonzales is nearly 14, a book-loving, excellent student, and dirt poor. She lives in rural New Mexico on her family's farm with five siblings, her parents, and an aunt. It's a hard life, just barely post-Depression--the children go barefoot, receive an orange or nuts for Christmas, and work hard from a very early age--but it's supported by family closeness and respect for traditions. Cecilia dreams of leaving the farm, going to high school, and working in a big city, but her mother is intent that she should become a farm housewife. Recommended for readers 10-14.

    Surprising Cecilia (Denise Gonzales Abraham) - This sequel to Cecilia's Year tells of the teen's first year in the local high school in the Rio Grande Valley in the 1930s. Devastated when she learns that her crush is attending school in El Paso, Cecilia longs to live in a modern city. She continues to pine for Johnny throughout the novel, and readers will be relieved when the two are finally reunited in the last chapters when Cecilia accompanies her aunt on a brief visit to El Paso. A brief endnote brings readers up-to-date on the life of the real Cecilia. Recommended for ages 10-14.

  • Famous People Named Cecilia

    Famous People Named Cecilia

    Famous People Named Cecilia - Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz (Former First Lady of France); Cecilia Bartoli (musician); Cecilia Beaux (painter); Cecilia Beuchat (writer); Cecilia Chancellor (model); Cecilia Hart (actress); Cecilia Herrera Martinez (writer); Cecilia Krieger (renowned mathematician); Cecilia Paez (writer); Cecilia Parker (actress); Cecilia Tan (writer); Cecilia Tishy (writer); Cecilia Wennerström (jazz artist)

  • Children of Famous People Named Cecilia

    Children of Famous People Named Cecilia

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Cecilia - Soledad O'Brien (TV journalist/personality); Gregory Peck (actor)

  • Historic Figures

    Cecilia - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Cecilia - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Cecilia.

Personality of the Girl Name Cecilia

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Variations of the Baby Name - Cecilia

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