Meaning and Name Origin
Cecilia \ce-ci-lia\ as a girls' name is pronounced sess-SEEL-yah. It is of Latin and Old Welsh origin, and the meaning of Cecilia is "blind; sixth". The name came from the Welsh name Seissylt meaning "sixth". It was later used as an English form of Latin name Caecilia, feminine of Caecilius (see Cecil). The feminine form is more popular than the male form because of the blind Saint Cecilia (second or third century) virgin martyr known as the patron saint of music. The name became common among Christians during the Middle Ages when it was brought by the Normans to England, where it was commonly spelled Cecily. The Latinate form Cecilia came into use in the 18th century. Cecil Rhodes was an industrialist and founder of Rhodesia. Soprano Cecilia Bartoli.
Cecilia has 89 variants: C'Ceal, Cacelia, Ceceilia, Ceceley, Ceceli, Cecelia▲, Cecely, Cecelyn, Cecette, Ceciel, Cecil▼, Cecila, Cecile▼, Cecilea, Cecilee, Ceciley, Ceciliane, Cecilie, Cecilija, Cecilla, Cecille, Cecillia, Cecily▼, Cecilyann, Ceclia, Cecyl, Cecyle, Cecylia, Cee, Ceil, Ceila, Ceilagh, Ceileh, Ceileigh, Ceilena, Ceilia, Cela, Cele, Celia▼, Celie, Celli, Cellie, Cescelie, Cescily, Cesia, Cesilie, Cesya, Cicelie, Cicely, Cici, Cicilia, Cicilie, Cicily, Cile, Cili, Cilia, Cilka, Cilla, Cilly, Cissie, Kekilia, Kikelia, Kikylia, Sacilia, Sasilia, Sasilie, Secelia, Seelia, Seelie, Seely, Selia, Sesilia, Sessaley, Sesseelya, Sessile, Sessilly, Sessily, Sheila▼, Sile, Sileas, Silke, Siseel, Sisely, Siselya, Sisile, Sisiliya, Sissela, Sissie and Sissy.
Cecilia has 1 masculine form: Cecil.
Cecilia is a very popular first name for women (#318 out of 4276, Top 7%) and a slightly less popular surname for all people (#65076 out of 88799, Top 73%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the baby name popularity of Cecilia for girls. Cecilia reached its highest position of #185 in the U.S. during 1900-1909, and is at #206 presently. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Below is a graphed analysis of the popularity of the girl name Cecilia and related names. Prominent variation forms of Cecilia (#206 in 2014) rated in the Top 1000 are Cecelia (#572 in 2014), Cecil, Cecile, Cecily, Ceil, Celia (#788), Sheila and Zelia. These girl names were at the peak of their popularity during the years 1900-1909 and have become significantly less widespread since, with the versions Cecil, Cecile, Cecily, Celia and Sheila falling out of fashion. Cecelia (#572) is the most trendy girl name among these, with this name undergoing a revival in usage. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Cecilia is alike in pronunciation to Sicilia. This name tends to be less frequently used than Cecilia.