Would you pronounce Esme - Es-me or Es-may?

(60 Posts)
Minicooper Sat 08-Aug-09 10:11:24

I know it depends on whether you use an accent, but just wondering. Think I prefer Es-me, but Es-may is prob the original pronunication. And how popular is it in your neck of the woods?

stripes200 Sat 08-Aug-09 10:18:06


I don't know any little ones called Esme.

Deemented Sat 08-Aug-09 10:20:48

I went to school wsith a girl called Esme, and it was always Es-me.

bronze Sat 08-Aug-09 10:24:02


don't know any. Know of a couple. Pretty name

edam Sat 08-Aug-09 10:27:53

Ez-mee - at least, that's how we always pronounced my cat's name. grin Vague memory that Ez-may is a Scottish pronunciation but could have that wrong.

There was a little girl of that name in nursery with ds.

KingRolo Sat 08-Aug-09 10:31:30


Tidey Sat 08-Aug-09 10:32:36

I've only ever known one person called it, but it was Es-me, she got rather fed up if people said Es-may.

GwarchodwrPlant Sat 08-Aug-09 10:38:12


Ondine Sat 08-Aug-09 11:30:20

I would always pronouce it as Es-me unless there is an accent i.e. Esmé or Esmée.

cece Sat 08-Aug-09 11:56:31

I have an Es-me, she quite often gets Esmay. She doesn't seem to mind as she says she quite likes it as well. I would add that when we named her no one had heard of it but where we live now there are quite a lot of Esmes and one Esmay. (All younger than mine I would add!)

JulesJules Sat 08-Aug-09 12:06:57

I know two - both Ez-may.

RedDeadFail Sat 08-Aug-09 12:09:42

Seen this thread on here a couple of times before. Opinion always divided with the general argument being that -me is the original. Prefer -may that said.

PuppyMonkey Sat 08-Aug-09 12:11:11

I have an Ez..mee. Definitely don't like Esmay and get cross if people pronounce it like that. But not many people do actually so that's all right! grin

She is two now and we have only ever met one other Esme. smile

juuule Sat 08-Aug-09 12:15:31

It's Ez-meh round here.

giraffesCanRunA10k Sat 08-Aug-09 12:16:11


happyjules Sat 08-Aug-09 15:55:05

Es-me. I have an aunt of that name, it's lovely.

Minicooper Sat 08-Aug-09 19:25:07

Thanks, everyone. Divided opinion, unsurprisingly, but we'd obviously get away with Es-me if we chose it. Obviously we'll have a boy now grin

Esmee Sat 08-Aug-09 21:04:33

I know one, and she's pronounced EZ-may.

SloogBoog Sat 08-Aug-09 21:15:04

My 3 year old is Esme (with an acute accent on final e - can't find it on this computer!) Therefore, it is pronounced Ez-may. It's usually pronounced Es-me without the accent. My daughter's named after the main character in a short story - For Esme with Love and Squalor by JD Salinger.

The accent version is originally French and came over, I believe. So I guess you can have either/or depending on whether you use the accent (took a while for my partner to come round to the poncey accent!!)

NotanOtter Sat 08-Aug-09 21:15:54

i say es may but most are es me

NotanOtter Sat 08-Aug-09 21:47:32

i think it should be thus Esmé not pretentious just makes it more easily pronouncable

mopsyflopsy Sat 08-Aug-09 21:48:22


Esmée (female version) should be pronounced like Renée (neither Es-mee nor Es-may, but Es-meh)

Esmé (like René) is the MALE version.

We English are of course free to pronounce and use these names in our own, made up way grin.

NotanOtter Sat 08-Aug-09 21:49:25

i seee

i dont get that meh sound though - what is it like?

greensnail Sat 08-Aug-09 21:51:33

I know two pronounced es-may, and one pronounced es-mee.
Apparently the Es-mee often gets es-may though

ReneRusso Sat 08-Aug-09 21:59:03

I know one Esme and for her its Es-mee. very nice name

purplehighheels Sat 08-Aug-09 23:12:12

My 4 yr old is named Esme and we pronounce it Es-me. I don't know of any others, so not too popular.

mopsyflopsy Sun 09-Aug-09 08:55:55

Hard to describe the -mée part as it is not a sound found in English. I guess like -may bit without the 'y' at the ending. Not sure if I explained that well grin.

juuule Sun 09-Aug-09 09:24:17

I think you mean the 'meh' sound.
That's how we pronounce it, too.

juuule Sun 09-Aug-09 09:25:17

Think in phonics it's short 'e'.

PuppyMonkey Sun 09-Aug-09 10:37:48

Pronouncing it Esmay always makes me think of Des'ree that singer. Or is it Des'nee??? Oh I dunno, anyway I don't like it.

On another thread about the name Esme, some very learned person cam long and said all this stuff about French accents etc was a load of poo anyway. The name Esmee with accents does not actually get used over there at all.

But I dunno... is there a French person here who can confirm if it is a much used name over there? I know it was very common in Scotland at one time. For a boy!

DaisymooSteiner Sun 09-Aug-09 10:40:55

I would pronounce it Es-may, but that's because I used to like that really dire Australian soap 'A Country Practice' when I was a teenager and that's how they pronounced it blush

annasmami Sun 09-Aug-09 21:10:22

Please note that in France people would assume René and Esmé were boys and Renée and Esmée were girls.

cthea Sun 09-Aug-09 21:15:03

I'd say it Es-meh. I've only met 2 girls (both under 2) and I can't remember how their mums pr. it (but not like I would).

Alishanty Mon 10-Aug-09 21:29:08

I have an Esme and we pronounce it Es-mee. She sometimes gets Ezmay but I didn't know people pronounced it that way. I have always thought it was Esmee after my gran saying she had a friend at school with that name so I thought that was the 'old' way and Ezmay is a modern take on the name.

PuppyMonkey Tue 11-Aug-09 12:23:00

Nah, Esmay is just people pronouncing it wrong Ali. wink

lotspot Tue 11-Aug-09 12:31:41

There are two at our Brownie pack - both are Es-me

Enna1234 Wed 12-May-10 15:09:11

My daughter is called Esme and we have always pronounce it Es may, I think it is the same as Andre and names like that, no accent over the final e but still pronounced ay

crumpette Wed 12-May-10 15:42:34

Es-mee (with an accent) i.e. more like Es-may

StrictlyTory Thu 13-May-10 12:09:12

Ez-Mee, can't stand Es-May!

gemcgem Fri 14-May-10 11:25:35

i liked esme but i like it es-may an after months of back an forward about spelling an pronunication we decided on it as a middle name spelt esmae .

ShowOfHands Fri 14-May-10 11:27:53

Stop bumping Esme threads.

This instant.

Hedwig3 Fri 14-May-10 11:46:22

Nice name but don't you find needing to have this sort of discussion puts you off?

tammy234 Fri 14-May-10 12:52:46

I think Esmee sounds nice in French (Es-meh), but both Es-may and Es-mee sounds wrong to my ears.

SuzanneIBCLC Fri 05-Oct-12 11:23:21

My Esme is 15 and def is called Esme not may.

MoonHare Fri 05-Oct-12 13:29:42

It's interesting to see this bumped thread.

We're considering Esme for DC3 due soon. I did some research that suggested the correct pn is Ez-may with the accent over the last e, from the French. It was a unisex name in France but has been regarded as female for many years now.

I much prefer the sound Ez-may to Ez-mee.

olliesmum234 Fri 05-Oct-12 13:31:26

Wasn't Esme the boys version and Esmee the female one?

Badgerina Fri 05-Oct-12 20:43:06

Ez-mee - lovely grin

TribbleTuckandDismount Fri 05-Oct-12 20:55:40

Es-may, not sure why.

Teamthrills Sat 06-Oct-12 19:29:11

I know one Esme - she's my dd & we pronounce it Es-me.

SomersetONeil Sat 06-Oct-12 20:18:17

I never even realised people pronounced it Es-me until I came on MN. To me it's Es-may.

How the Es-me pronouncers pronounce Renée, out of interest? And paté? Do they really say Ren-ee and pat-ee?! grin

NimChimpsky Sat 06-Oct-12 20:24:31

Is there a law that Esme threads have to be bumped once a year? I've already contributed to this thread twice. Now three times. In three different namechanges. I need to come up with something new to say about Esme.

Natnat29 Sat 06-Oct-12 20:28:02

Es-may we were going to use it as a middle name but it's getting used a lot at the minute where I live

Tryingtothinkofnewsnazzyname Sat 06-Oct-12 20:29:38

Es-may. Haven't ever met one that was Es-me (although there seem to be lots on here!

Soleil3 Tue 06-May-14 09:49:41

The female version in France is only used if the person speaking the name is a female, it has nothing to do with the bearer of the name and is the name with all French conjugations. Same with male versions

Soleil3 Tue 06-May-14 09:51:19

What version is used - male or female - is decided by the person speaking the word or name, not the actual bearer of the name.

I'm in Scotland and the first one I met was a very posh older lady and she pronounced it Is-meh/may

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 06-May-14 22:07:33


TheHorseHasBolted Sun 11-May-14 11:40:31

Es-me unless it's written with an acute accent over the e.

BaconAndAvocado Mon 12-May-14 21:16:57

I used to teach a little girl called Ysmay, which you pronounced Iz-May.


mathanxiety Tue 13-May-14 04:32:31

Ez-may. And spelled with an accent. I never heard it pronounced any other way tbh.

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