Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name 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.

All About the Baby 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.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL 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?

Quick Facts

ON CECILIA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Latin

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

223

PRONUNCIATION:

sə-SEE-lee-ə or sə-SEEL-yə

SIMPLE MEANING:

Blind

Characteristics

OF CECILIA

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Cecilia

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME CECILIA

Popular Songs

ON CECILIA

Shrine of Saint Cecilia
a song by The Andrews Sisters

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

Entering White Cecilia
a song by The New Pornographers

Cecilia Ann
a song by the Pixies

Cecilia
a song by Ace of Base

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

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Cecilia

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME CECILIA

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