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This name is perfectly fine as it is. Jillian looks weird in my opinion and gill-ee-un is a cute pronunciation.
NO NO NO! Use Jillian! It looks a lot better. Some people might even pronounce this "Gill - ee - en."
My mother was born in the early 1940's and her name is Gillian pronounced with a hard G. She was born in Australia and is of Scottish and Irish ancestry, and she believes that Gillian with a hard G is the Scottish version of the name. She doesn't consider it an odd pronunciation and even knew other women with the same name. Her friends call her 'Gilly' for short.
I've been friends with three Gillians and every one of them pronounces their name JIL-ee-ən. So, for me GIL-ee-ən sounds so wrong. All three are early to mid-nineties babies.
We are proud to have a Gillian with a hard G here in Pennsylvania. She was born in 1998. At the time, I had only heard the name once previously as it was the name of my cousin's girlfriend about 8 years previous. My wife liked the name too. Ironically, when we moved into our present home, we found that there was a Gillian with a soft G across the street that was the same age.
I am Gillian - pronounced with a hard G. My grandmother named me after finding the name in a book. My mother wanted to name me Marion Roberta after my two great grandmothers, but my grandma persisted. I wish I knew the book, or more about the name. I have never met anyone with the same spelling and pronunciation. I love my name now, but I didn't like it as a kid. Does anyone know the origin of the pronunciation? Is it in fact Gaelic? My mother and grandparents have all died and I have so many questions about my name.
I'm elated to run across this thread after years of feeling like the only woman in the world with the hard "G" pronunciation. I've embraced my name with age and appreciate the uniqueness, but it's nice to know I'm not carrying the name alone. I've yet to run across another Gillian with a hard G in the U.S.

My mom got my name from an Irish book in 1977. I too was called Gilligan and all too often, Jillian, which all you hard G Gillian's will understand is burdensome. I cant blame anyone for not knowing and I respect the effort but it gets old correcting people all day who still get it wrong. And seeing the fear in people as they approach you and don't remember how to say your name. I don't want people to feel bad so I always say close enough works but it does matter to me. I have this longing to hear people say it correctly. I too cringe when people call me Jillian. I'm a beautiful but tough, tattooed woman and hard G fits me. But Jillian does not fit my personality. I feel like when it's mispronounced, I'm being misrepresented. It's a constant struggle.

I get called Joanne a lot too over the phone because without lips to read, their minds can't comprehend someone being named Gillian, no matter how many times I correct them. Or before they hear me speak over the phone they assume it's a man's name and seem thrown off at the woman's voice on the other end. My last name is a very masculine Irish name too, so my whole name has a masculine feel to it. The struggle! But I love being called "G" or Gill. Its takes the stress off of everyone involved.

I love the comments here that say it's a beautiful name but they wouldn't name their kids that. I can understand that. It's not an easy name to live with. Wouldn't change my name but I wouldn't put that burden on my own child.
I love this name. It's classy and classic, regardless of whether the G is soft or hard. I love both pronunciations. Unfortunately, I don't think I could use this name, though, because I could probably never decide on which way to pronounce it.
This hasn't been active in a while but I'm writing a book and I want to name a male character Gillian. I've read that it's an exclusively female name but it seems masculine to me and really fits him. Would it be weird to name him that despite this?
I thought this was masculine for some reason. I prefer Jillian.
Along with Jillian, this name is also Latin and means ‘youthful.’.
The hard G pronunciation sounds unpleasant.
The soft G rolls off the tongue like a ball of butter.
My friend pronounces her name Jillian but it's spelled Gillian.
The other day I was trawling quickly (with a specific, non-name, search in mind!) through a London periodical of 1760, and my eye fell on the cast list and a review of a play then being performed at one of the London theatres. Amid the fancy character names such as Clarinda was the name Gillian, a character defined in the cast list as "Gillian, a cook". I was so surprised to see Gillian there at all in the Georgian era, and then it struck me that, like Audrey, Gillian had come to be associated with rustic people or the servant class, until revived in the 20th century in Britain, when, although never "upper-class" it was virtually solidly "middle-class". The fact that Gillian was a 17th century version of Julian (then used for girls) as a version of Juliana betrays its "soft G" origins, the way Brits traditionally pronounce it.
I think if you want the soft G pronunciation, you should spell the name Jillian. If you spell it Gillian, it will always be a mystery whether the G is pronounced like a g or j.
I like the hard G pronunciation a lot more. I think it's because I don't like the name Jill at all. But I think hard-G Gillian sounds pretty.
As someone with the name of Gillian, the CORRECT pronunciation... depends on the person. I have the U.K. English pronumciation of GILL-ee-an. GILL as in what fish have...
I have a feeling that this name will become a popular English name for Chinese people, since it sounds like the words "lucky" and "peaceful" in Chinese.
My name is Gillian, I use my middle name as first. I think it's beautiful, not too girly or boyish or different or common or too anything, don't like it shortened or with a j as much. People always tell me it suits me. It's classy and interesting sounding in my opinion.
I like both the hard and soft pronunciations. Although Gillian with a hard G almost sounds masculine, and I'm afraid to say I may like it, although I'd never use it on my children.
I know a sweet girl named Gillian (soft g) so that's what introduced me to this name.
It is one of my favorites, this is a very nice name either way, with many opportunities for nicknames if desired. Love it!
My name is spelt as Gillian. I've been called and enjoy being called: Gillian, Gillie, Gilly, Gilliana. It has been pronounced as both g and j. I have no preference really with the exception of being called Gill/Jill. I absolutely LOATHE that...
I feel like this name is pretty unusual, which makes me love it even more! I love the fact that it is uncommon and is spelled with a G. Probably not something I would name my child but I still love this name.
All Gillians with the traditional soft G:

Gillian Rubinstein (born 1942, Britain) - Australian children's books author
Dame Gillian Shephard (born 1940), former British Cabinet minister (Minister for Education)
Professor Gillian Triggs (born 1945 in Britain), Australian Human Rights Commissioner.
There's an Australian television reporter called Gillian Bowen whose name is pronounced with a hard G.
It sounds so wrong to anyone born and brought up in Britain, where Gillian is always correctly pronounced with a soft G. Growing up in Britain, I knew half a dozen Gillians at school and there was a British politician called Gillian. All without exception pronounced their name with a soft G.
The hard G is a very contemporary twist and detracts from the beauty of this historic name.
The name Gillian was given to 120 girls born in the US in 2015.
The guide says to pronounce it "jill-ee-en", with a "j" as in "joke", but Gillian Anderson, Special Agent Dana Scully from the ever-popular X-Files series, pronounces it "gill-ee-en", with a "g" as in "good." Just thought I should leave this here! ;p
[added GIL-ee-un as an alternate pronunciation, but the actress pronounces her name the other way -ed]
The comment from 4/17/16 is incorrect. Here's a quote from Gillian Anderson herself: "My name is pronounced with a soft g, not a hard one. It's Gill like jam, as opposed to gun." http://www.gilliananderson.ws/transcripts/96_97/9710us.shtml.
I just have to say it is REALLY annoying when people accidentally pronounce my name as Jillian, because I don't like how it sounds and that's how Americans pronounce the name. I mean, I'm Australian and American (More Australian) and having an Australian name is SOOOOOO boss! Americans need to get it right!
I am Gillian and I pronounce my name with a hard G. I like this pronunciation way better than Jillian but everybody tries to call me Jillian. It is annoying. I think Gillian with a hard G is the Welsh pronunciation. I also got called Gilligan and I hate that. Gilligan's Island. Not a good association with my name. I like to be called Gilly, after the Gilly flower, or Gill or G. Or just Gillian! My middle name is Grace so my name is alliterated and it sounds pretty.
I think Gillian is way better than Jillian. Gillian - the traditional, unique form, and I think it looks better. I love it!
My name is Gillian. And ever since I was a kid, every single teacher has mispronounced my name with a soft g sound. And people still do it today, and it annoys the crap out of me! I'm always telling them, no it's Gillian, with a hard g, just like it looks. I now say, it's the Irish way of saying, which in fact is actually the correct way of saying it. Ugh! But I love my name and would not change it for anything! I love my nicknames too, I have several of them. Gili (which is Israeli), Gillie and Gilly.
My name is Gillian with a soft G, I like my name spelled with a G versus a J because it makes it more unique. The name is classy and simple at the same time. However I think that both pronunciations of the name are nice.
Regarding pronunciation, if you go by English phonetic rules, then pronouncing Gillian with a soft-g (like Jillian) is the correct pronunciation.
The rules for hard-'g's versus soft-'g's is:
A) If the word is of Greco-Latinate origin, then the g is followed by an i, e, or y, it is said with a soft-g. If it's followed by pretty much any other letter, you say it with a hard-g. [ ex: germ, angel, allergic, clergy, biology vs. Galaxy, gulf, gown, Greece, glacier]
B) If the word is of Norse or Germanic origin, the letter 'g' could be said as a hard-g even if it comes before i, e, or y. [ex: get, girl, gills, stringy]

Since Gillian is derived from Julian and all it's Latin cousins, I think it's safe to say that it should follow rule A, and be said with a soft-g/j sound.

Personally, I love this name. This spelling is somehow more aesthetically pleasing than Jillian. It also looks more "grown-up" to me. More mature than Jillian. Maybe because "Jill" is just right there in front, and Jill tends to be a bit of a nondescript little girls' name it makes it look more juvenile? I don't know. I do know that I adore this name.
Beautiful, but only when pronounced with the hard "G." When pronounced with the soft "G," it falls short and you might as well spell it with a "J" if you are going to say it that way.
The name Gillian was given to 165 baby girls born in the US in 2012.
Gillian Joseph is a British newsreader on Sky TV.
I really like this. It seems very English to me because both my grandma and a girl I knew in high school were from England and spelled their names this way, but pronounced differently. My grandma pronounces it with a soft J and the girl from my high school pronounced it with the hard G.
Gillian Ayres is one of the leading British abstract painters of her generation. Born in 1930.
I have actually heard of this being used as a boy's name. I can understand it seeming highly feminine, but then, I was just reading the comments for Julian over yonder--a name more masculine I have never heard!--and it astonishes me how many seem to think THAT's feminine. So for me Gillian doesn't sound overly feminine, but that said, I wouldn't use it for a son. Except possibly as a middle name. I did name a fictional character this once, and it suited him fine though he was in no way effeminate.
I should also add that, if hypothetically this *were* used as a man's name, I'd prefer the hard G pronunciation. Currently I'm seeing that as more masculine and the Jillian pronunciation as more feminine.
A famous bearer is American actress Gillian Jacobs (born 1982). She's best known for her television work in "The Book of Daniel" and currently in "Community".
I absolutely love this name. It's so much prettier than Jillian.
Love this name. It is my daughter's name and I pronounce it with a soft G.
I think this name is pretty but I would spell it Jillian as Gillian reminds me of "Gilligan's Island".
Gillian Hewley is a character in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. She is Angeal's mother and gets killed off. (For those who don't know, Crisis Core is a prequel to the PS1 game Final Fantasy VII. It follows Zack Fair and his influence on the main character of FFVII, Cloud.) Despite the fact that it is an interesting name, I will forever think of mad scientists when I heard it.
I dunno why, but the name reminds me of rotting fruit. I seriously despise it.
Well I really like my name because it makes me unique. It's quite pretty to hear someone calling me with the pronunciation of hard-'G' sound, rather than soft 'J'. I also prefer calling me in my nickname "Gill". To all of you, love your names because it can be the expression of the inner you. Gillian Rocks!
Strangely enogh, I don't like the name Jill at all, but I think Gillian is quite a pretty name without being too girly and cutesy. I like both pronunciations, actually. To me, the 'g' sound is softer than the 'j' sound.
My name is Gillian and I really like it. I use the hard "G" - it sounds and looks prettier than if it was spelled with a "J". I usually get called Gill or Gillza though. :)
Gillian Welch is a famous American bluegrass musician. She pronounces her name with the hard G sound. Personally, I prefer the soft G.
Nice name, very strong and pretty. My mum wanted to call me this, but obviously didn't think it through as my brother's name is Jack. Jack and Gill. No matter how you pronounce Gillian, it would still be awkward. Luckily she changed her mind.
This is a really pretty name, with a medieval flavor, and not overused. I much prefer it with the soft G. The hard G makes me think of the gills on a fish.
I love this name! I much prefer it with a hard "G", as in "Gill-ee-an", and I'm glad to see that that pronunciation is noted! Gillian is so cool and unusual!
To the people saying it's "wrong" to pronounce it with a hard G, I know someone who pronounces it that way.
Gilliam Owens is a character in both the movie and the book, Practical Magic, written by Alice Hoffman. In the movie she is portrayed by Nicole Kidman.
I personally think this looks much prettier than the J variation.
A famous bearer of this name would be the author Gillian Cross, whose works I can't remember right now but include a series about a demonic headmaster.
I see the guide has an alternate pronunciation of this name. It is wrong to pronounce it any way but with a soft G, like a J sound.
One of my penpal's name is Gillian, she is a really good friend.
My younger sister has this name, I like it very much. Not to mention it's highly amusing when people pronounce it wrong (with a hard G instead of a J).
Gillian Anderson is a famous actress, known as Agent Scully on the TV show the X Files.

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