Unpronounceable Irish Baby Names That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head 3 years ago

Unpronounceable Irish Baby Names That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head

We love an aul Irish moniker around here. Judging from the comments on every Irish baby name piece we produce, so do you guys.

My own parents were partial to an Irish name for their kids too: Niall, Crea, Fergal, and my own, Sive. I don't think any of us have ha s a day when we weren't called Neil, Fergus, Ciara, and Sieve. I really hated my name growing up – I longed for something exotic and 1980s and of years requested people call me Kim instead of Sive. These days, however, I love my name. I can appreciate the roots and uniqueness of the name and its link to one of the best Irish plays of the 20th Century. What I don't appreciate is people telling me I have spelled it wrong, though, or anglicised it – it's after the John B.Keane play title, and that's good enough for me.

Disclaimer: Every time we write about Irish baby names, it proves virtually impossible to satisfy everyone's staunchly held views on correct pronunciation and spelling. So apologies in advance: If your pronunciation or spelling differs from ours – as any Sadhbh or Sive or Saibh or Sadbh will tell you: it's not always easy to settle on the definitive spelling or pronunciation for names, and any parent is entitled to spell or pronounce their Irish name in whichever way they damn well please!

Irish names, as suggested by our readers:

Céri

How it should be pronounced (I think): Kerry.

Meaning: An old celtic name meaning 'to love.'

 

Rioghnach or Rionadh

How it should be pronounced (I think): Ree-na.

Meaning: Royal.

 

Éimhín

How it should be pronounced (I think): Evan.

Meaning: Swift and active.

 

Conchubhar or Conchúr

How it should be pronounced (I think): Conor.

Meaning: Lover of canines.

 

Róise

How it should be pronounced (I think):  'ro-cha or 'row-sha'.

Meaning: Little rose.

 

Aedammair or Aodhaimair or Adhémar

How it should be pronounced (I think): A-de-mar.

Meaning: Fire or flame.

 

Fíadh

How it should be pronounced (I think): F-I-A.

Meaning: Wild/wilderness/land or territory.

 

Daimhín

How it should be pronounced (I think): Daw-Veen.

Meaning: Little deer.

 

Sibéal

How it should be pronounced (I think): Shib-ale.

Meaning: God is my oath, Irish form of Isabel.

 

Odhrán

How it should be pronounced (I think): Or-awn.

Meaning: Little pale green one.

 

Aodha

How it should be pronounced (I think): A-da.

Meaning: Fire or fiery.

 

Éadaoin

How it should be pronounced (I think): Aideen.

Meaning: Derived from Étaín – in Irish mythology she was a sun and horse goddess who was the lover of Midir.

 

Or one of these from the original HerFamily.ie post:

 

Seanán

How it should be pronounced (I think): Well I knew one Seanán who called himself 'Shinawn', but I've also heard it pronounced 'Shawnawn'!

Meaning: Diminutive of Seán, Irish version of John.

 

Eoghan

How it should be pronounced (I think): Oh-win.

Meaning: Born of the Yew tree (appara).

 

Coillte

How it should be pronounced (I think): Qweelche (let the berating of my attempt to pronounce Coillte commence in the comments!).

Meaning: Forrest.

 

Líadain

How it should be pronounced (I think): Lea-dan or Lea-dawn – again I know two people who say their names differently.

Meaning: Grey lady.

 

Raghnall

How it should be pronounced: To rhyme with urinal.

Meaning: Strong.

 

Clodagh

How it should be pronounced: Clo-dah.

Meaning: Irish river name.

 

Aoibheann

Meaning: Fair or beautiful.

How it should be pronounced: Ave-een or Eve-een.

 

Tadhg

Meaning: Poet, philosopher.

How it should be pronounced: Ty-ge.

 

Sinéad

Meaning: God is gracious.

How it should be pronounced: Shin-ade.

Do you have an unusual Irish name? Tell us about the crimes against your moniker in the comments...