I’m a mum and I’m worried my dream baby name ‘won’t work’ in the UK – but people are split

A WOMAN settled on the ideal baby name for her daughter, but was concerned that it ‘wouldn’t work’ in the UK.

The mum-to-be explained that she was from Finland and loved the name Selja – which means elderflower in her language.

The woman wanted to pick a Finnish name for her baby but wasn't sure it 'would work' in the UK


The woman wanted to pick a Finnish name for her baby but wasn’t sure it ‘would work’ in the UKCredit: Getty

She was hoping to use the name for her child but was worried that those from other countries – particularly the UK where she now lives – wouldn’t be able to pronounce it.

Taking to Mumsnet, she said: “Wondering if this name would work in the UK – Selja?”

She continued: “It means elderflower in my language and I’ve been encouraged by Mumsnet to go with the name that I love despite it maybe being a bit tricky in other countries.

“My husband is English/French and he seems to like it too.”

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Fellow Mumsnet users were quick to chip in with their thoughts on the unique name.

One person said: “Is it like Celia? No idea about pronunciation to be honest.”

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Another said: “I would pronounce it sel-ya.”

A third said: “I wouldn’t know how to properly pronounce it, so would have to ask if I met. But I wold imagine something like say-er?”

Another said: “I’d probably pronounce it sel-ya if reading it, but you can always correct people if they get it wrong at first.

While another said: “If we don’t know how to pronounce it the poor child is going to have a heck of a time all through life.

And another said: “Is it pronounced Selya or more like Celia? Because few people would know how to pronounce it, I would adapt the name to suit local pronunciation.”

But not everyone advised against the name.

One person said: “Definitely go with a name you love.”

Another said: “Britain is a land of hard to pronounce place names (Marylebone, Leicester, Cholmondeley etc). If they can cope with those, they’ll manage a Selja.”

A third said: “My children’s school is full of all different names, some are native to other languages, some are interesting takes on old names and some are completely made up.

“Your child may have to pronounce it correctly the first time, but any person with a modicum of decency will remember therein.

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“I don’t know how to pronounce it nor would try but I would ask and would remember.”

Another agreed: “Unless you live in a very insular part of the UK, names from other cultures are generally fine I think – at school the kids are definitely used to names with different pronunciations.”


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