Celestina - she's strong yet feminine and lacy, a beautiful name inspired by the night sky.
I came across Celestina as a 'contestant' on a food network show today, and wondered why I haven't been hearing more about this name lately. I say this because she seems to be a great blend between similarly themed names Nevaeh (the notorious "heaven-spelled-backwards" name), Luna, Nova and Skylar; and more elaborate multi syllable names such as Clementine. Looking at Abby's post on the fastest rising girl names of 2014 in the U.S, both categories are hot property right now. Of the 25 names on her list one fifth of them have four syllables. So if both are gaining popularity right now why isn't a name that blends both getting more attention?
That's kind of hard to say. Perhaps it's just a little bit too frilly next to her counterparts Celeste and Celestine. The French flavoured Celeste has been in the U.S top 1000 since 1881, and is clearly the most popular of the three options. And although Celestine has never been close to the top 1000, she traditionally charts better than Celestina. Maybe Celestina reminds people too much of the popular Christina, which has been slowly dropping in popularity for the past three decades. Or perhaps Celestina just doesn't read as "French" (aka "chic") as Celeste does?
As you may have already surmised, Celestina comes from the Latin word for 'heavenly', which is the meaning of this name. Behind the Name gives three different pronunciations - apparently the Spanish say the-le-STEE-nah, the Italians say che-le-STEE-nah, while the Latin American Spanish pronunciation is se-le-STEE-nah. The latter is the one I would naturally use if I saw it written down without hearing it first, which I suspect would be the case for most people more familiar with the name Celeste.
All of these have a magical, melodic, romantic quality to them though. She feels like a great name for a fantasy princess or fairy. Or maybe a singer if you're a fan of 'Harry Potter' and recall that Celestina Warbeck is a favourite singer of Molly Weasleys. The name was also given to the heroine of an 18th century novel of the same name by English poet Charlotte Turner Smith, which is thought to have inspired Jane Austen to write 'Sense and Sensibility'. Very romantic indeed.
Celestina is a pretty one indeed. Maybe if frilly is not quite your style you'd prefer it as a lovely, surprising middle. Or maybe this one lies firmly in fantasy fairy tale territory for you. But it's a pity that more people are not loving Celestina.