Baby Names

Opinion

My DH is of Arabic origin ( I am Caucasian American) so we are trying for names that will not be too ethnic either way. Like, some girl names that work fine are Layla, Nora, and Sarah. But he told me a name yesterday that I really like: it's traditionally spelled Asma but is pronounced Esma. (Just like you are saying the letter S and ma.) I/we can spell a name any way we want in English, so should I just spell it Esma if we go for that? Don't you think it looks like Asthma or Assma spelled with an A? 
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Re: Opinion

  • I would have pronounced it like Asthma. BUT I prefer names spelled correctly so I'm torn.

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  • I do think that Asma would be pronounced like Asthma by most English speakers.

    I think it's usually ok to spell Arabic names the way they are pronounced because they are transliterated, so there's no real way to have an "original" English spelling. A name like Layla can be spelled Layla, Leila, Leyla, Lailah, etc. and they're all correct. So I would go for Esma.

    Other names you might like:

    Aya

    Esme

    Ayla

    Isla

    Alma

  • I think in the States people will understand Esma far more than Asma. And I would pronounce it "-ma" or "asthma" if I saw that spelling.

    I like PPs suggestion of Esme instead. 

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  • I like Esma

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  • image MelRC117:
    I would have pronounced it like Asthma. BUT I prefer names spelled correctly so I'm torn.

    I agree.  I think either way you will probably be correcting people.  I see Asma as Asthma and Esma as Ezz-Mah. 

    I think you have to choose what is the lesser of two evils.  If it were me, I'd go with Esma.

    Either way, it's a very nice name.

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  • image MelRC117:
    I would have pronounced it like Asthma. BUT I prefer names spelled correctly so I'm torn.

    I totally agree. I think that you should just toss the name. WDYT of Lila or Zara?

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  • image plunderb:
    I think it's usually ok to spell Arabic names the way they are pronounced because they are transliterated, so there's no real way to have an "original" English spelling. A name like Layla can be spelled Layla, Leila, Leyla, Lailah, etc. and they're all correct. So I would go for Esma.

    Agree. I'm usually a stickler for spelling names correctly, but in this case I don't believe there's just one correct spelling in English.
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  • I'm still getting the "asthma" connection when the name is spelled like Esma ....because they sound similar.  I don't like it at all.  I think Esme is a better option .... because you're not get the "asthma" connection.
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  • I think you could spell it either way but you're still going to have pronunciation issues. When I first looked at it I would have pronounced the s as a z, Azma/Ezma. I think you'd get that a lot.
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  • I think Esma is beautiful.

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  • Esma.  I think you'll probably only have to correct people the first time or two.  They'll get it.  And if they don't (as some people still mispronounce DD2's name after 6 years) then that's just a risk with a non-mainstream name; it's more a reflection of them than her at that point.  It doesn't detract from the beauty of the name itself. 
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  • image mouse10031978:
    I would go for Esma...


    Me too.
    Lilypie - (BKXw)

  • image mouse10031978:
    I would go for Esma...


    Me too.
    Lilypie - (BKXw)

  • I like names spelled correctly, but in this case, I would probably go with Esma.

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  • Agree with some of the PPs. Arabic alphabet isn't ours, so there isn't really a correct spelling. I think spelling it phonetically is fine. And I think Esma is lovely.

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