About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I love Adelie! It’s one of the names I discussed when I was writing my blog. My husband loves penguins, so that’s how it came to be on our list.

    The big problem is pronunciation. ADD-uh-lee (like Natalie) would be the most reasonable Anglicization. But AH-dey-LEE seems to be the more legitimate French pronunciation — though you’d sound awfully snobby to insist on that if you live among English-speakers. And Webster’s dictionary lists the penguin pronunciation as uh-DAY-lee (as in “a daily multivitamin”), which I find the least attractive.

    Definitely not a modern invented name, Swistle! I would imagine it was originally a nickname for Adele or the French version of the elaborate Adelia.

  2. I think this name is actually quite pretty. I didn’t think of it as a made-up or trendy name at all.
    I much prefer the similar Amelie though.

  3. I also think its odd that someone who like Adelie would like a name like Quinlan or Wyndan for a girl. I also disagree with Swistle about Adelie’s history.

    Cool about the penguins.

  4. The first person I heard pronounce Adelie have it the same rhythm and vowel sounds as Natalie – and, given Natalie’s popularity, I can imagine that would happen with some frequency. It’s also closer to rising Rosalie.

    Sebastiane, the French pronunciation is gorgeous, but I’m not certain it would work here. It should, as it isn’t hard to say – but there are so many Ad- names out there right now, I think it might quite the battle. Or maybe not …

  5. Well, to add to the pronunciation confusion bonanza, I saw it thought ADD-a-lee or ADD-a-lye?… to honor a Grandpa Adlai? I don’t hate Addie type names by any measure, but this is not one of my favorites – I just can’t endorse such a confusing name (in terms of pronunciation… I’d prefer Adalee – it’s not as pretty to look at but there’s less pronunciation confusion). I do like the “French” style pronunciation best.

    1. THE PENGUINS! How could I forget the penguins?

      And I do think you’re quite right – Ad

    2. Yup, the first thing I thought of was Adelie penguins! I’d pronounce this name uh-DELL-ee. (Rhymes with “the deli”!)

  6. I have seen this used very rarely in France, accent mark over the E, pronounced (AH-day-LEE). I think its very pretty.

  7. I’m not entirely sure how to say it. I think it’s AD-ah-lee, but I keep seeing ah-DELL-ee. I don’t know why. I read that post on Swistle, and was both surprized by the parents’ description of Adelie, and how blunt Swistle was about it. She tends to be a bit more neutral/tactful about people’s style. And, umm, no to Adelie. Adele, Adelaide? sure.

    1. Kayt, I was surprised by Swistle, too! She’s usually Switzerland.

  8. Is Adelie pronounced like Natalie? Ad-a-lee? I was saying it more like Ad-deli – like where you get your cold meat sandwiches.

    I prefer Adeline or even more so: Ada – especially after watching the BBC adaptation of ‘Bleak House’ recently.

    1. Ahh, my name is Adelie! And I’m not a baby, I’m 32. 🙂

      It always seemed very flowery and delicate, which suits me perfectly.

      I pronounce it add-eh-LEE. A lot of people, especially when talking quickly, say ADD-lee, which is close enough for me. It’s never, ever pronounced a-DELL-ee (“a deli”). Anyway, most everyone calls me Addie.

      FYI: The original, proper French would be ah-day-LEE.

      And yes, it’s not just a made-up name. It’s a variation — what they call an elaboration — of the French name Adèle, which itself is a diminutive of Adelaide, which came down from the Old German name Adalheid. They all mean “noble.” 🙂