Thoughts on Niall?

(37 Posts)
Linguaphile Sun 28-Apr-13 21:15:46

Is it too crusty old-man or nerdy? DH mentioned he liked it the other day, so I thought I'd garner some popular opinion. What do you think? For what it's worth, we're having twins, and in the event it turns out to be two boys (won't find out for another week and a half), his brother would be Felix Peter.

Gray would most likely be the middle name (it's a family name), but that's not set in stone.

Other potentials are Maxwell, Robert, or Isaac.

AThingInYourLife Tue 30-Apr-13 19:25:28

It is a mistake.

There is no "variation" in the Irish language that makes the word Niall be pronounced Nye-ul.

It would have to be spelled Nadhal or something.

People can pronounce their names however they choose.

But Niall, pronounced Nye-ul is based on an English mispronunciation of an Irish name.

That mistake has become standard in Ireland.

But it's not the correct pronunciation of the name in the Irish language.

Which probably doesn't matter to most Nialls.

KobayashiMaru Tue 30-Apr-13 19:30:33

It's not in the Irish language, its in the English language. Which is what Irish people speak. So what has the pronounciation of it got to do with Irish?
It is by far the MOST common way to pronounce the name in this entire country. So by no means a mistake, but an established and accepted variation that is actually now the default.

AThingInYourLife Tue 30-Apr-13 19:36:55

The Irish name Niall is a name in the Irish language.

Just like the name Niamh, the name Cormac, the name Oisín, the name Sadhbh.

Those names, although popular with English speakers in Ireland, have correct pronunciations in Irish.

Nye-ul is not a correct pronunciation in Irish.

It is a standard pronunciation in English based on a mistake in pronouncing the Irish name using English pronunciation rules.

As OhBugger said to begin with.

DeirdreOfTheSorrows Tue 30-Apr-13 20:21:12

Don't shoot the messenger. Blame the Statutes of Kilkenny, or Spenser, or Cromwell, or the penal laws, or An Gorta Mór.

There are good historical reasons for people having become disconnected from the linguistically natural pronunciation, but Nye-ull is an incorrect reconstructed pronunciation based on a lack of understanding of Irish orthography, not a natural variation.

By all means say it how you like, so long as you realise that it's a result of violent colonisation and ethnic cleansing, not just an innocent alternative.

squoosh Tue 30-Apr-13 20:31:04

Umm, yeah, by pronouncing Niall as Nye-ull you're basically condoning 'violent colonisation and ethnic cleansing'

hmm hmm

mrspaddy Tue 30-Apr-13 20:35:16

I like the name .. it is a common Irish name and very nice I think. Have only ever heard it said Nye all

renaldo Tue 30-Apr-13 20:35:22

Am loving this pdebate . Has to be called Niall Oliver now smile

squoosh Tue 30-Apr-13 20:40:50

Call him Niall Cromwellian Confiscation. It'll be a vigorous conversation starter.

SoulTrain Tue 30-Apr-13 20:41:33

I came on to say I liked it, especially with Isaac.

This thread has gone a bit batty.

OhBuggerandArse Tue 30-Apr-13 20:47:45

We went through quite a lot of similar issues here.

bollockstoit Tue 30-Apr-13 20:49:43

I know someone called Nile, spelt like the river. Could that solve the problem?

Bumpsadaisie Tue 30-Apr-13 22:11:23

May I suggest Nye? It's close and would avoid the Irish Question.

But then, Aneurin Bevan - would it open up a whole new Welsh Question?

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