Saoirse (pronounced seer-sha)

(62 Posts)
somewherewest Tue 05-Mar-13 13:39:18

...sooo how cruel would I be to inflict this obscure Irish name on a child growing up in England grin. Honest opinions wanted. Its the Irish for 'freedom' by the way.

PS I'm posting as someone who always swears blind that she will give DCs nice 'neutral' names, so probably won't go there.

IllGetOverIt Tue 05-Mar-13 13:40:51

I know one pfb but her mum pronounces it Sorsha.

Quite like the name though.

HappyJoyful Tue 05-Mar-13 13:43:42

Assume you're Irish ? Sorry, it does make a bit of difference to me in whether or not you can 'pull it off'
Friend recently was going to call her DD to it. I believe what put her off is that it's the IRA's magazines title apparently
Also know of someone that has recently named her DD it, so I'm thinking it's not that obscure, if that's what you're aiming for.

ShowOfHands Tue 05-Mar-13 13:47:31

It's not obscure. I would imagine most English people can pronounce it. I know two.

It's about as known as Aoife or Niamh ime.

Beautiful name.

ShowOfHands Tue 05-Mar-13 13:48:51

The two I know aren't 'Seersha' though. I can't type what they are. They're Irish and I can't replicate the exact pronunciation. More like Saresha.

somewherewest Tue 05-Mar-13 13:52:19

Yes I'm Irish. Saoirse's in the top 20 or 25 girl's names in Ireland now, I'm guessing would be pretty obscure to most English people (don't know if the actress Saoirse Ronan has helped with that). It doesn't have any political connotations down south.

PrincessOfChina Tue 05-Mar-13 13:54:57

I like it, but thought it was prounounced as per ShowOfHands - closer to SaireSha.

somewherewest Tue 05-Mar-13 13:55:48

ShowOfHands Thats interesting. I would definitely say 'seer-sha'. Irish is divided into three regional dialects and Ulster Irish in particular can be a bit distinctive, so that might explain it.

ImNotaPheasantPlucker Tue 05-Mar-13 13:57:30

I know a Saoirse pronounced SeerSha, her nn is Cici if that helps.

mayanna123 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:58:39

Lovely name. All the Siobhans, Aoifes and Niamhs I know have no problem in England. Go for it!

milktraylady Tue 05-Mar-13 13:59:57

I think it's crazy to give a child a Gaelic name when they live in the uk. They will spend their entire life spelling it & explaining it. that's just mean!

somewherewest Tue 05-Mar-13 14:00:55

PS Also accent as well. The accent in the part of Ireland I'm from tends to compress and flatten things a bit, if that makes any sense (probably doesn't grin).

ShowOfHands Tue 05-Mar-13 14:01:00

Oh I know you can pronounce it Seersha and I suspect that might be the most common pronunciation. But I do know two who are Saresha and somebody has already mentioned knowing one who is a Sorsha (isn't that a different name?).

So people know it here I'm sure but you might have the odd slight quirk of pronunciation depending on what people are most familiar with. Like Esme, v common well know name but I know both Esmays and Esmees.

SirDoris Tue 05-Mar-13 14:01:27

I loved this name both times I was pregnant, but discounted it because I just felt it would constantly be spelt and pronounced incorrectly. It is beautiful though.

DewDr0p Tue 05-Mar-13 14:01:41

We considered Aoife as a girl's name and decided against for the same reason.
I think it's one thing to have a name you always have to spell and another that people wouldn't know how to pronounce having only seen it in print. Jmho though.

Must admit I thought it was pronounced Sorsha too. I don't think it's nearly as well known in England as Niamh, is it?

giraffesCantDateDucks Tue 05-Mar-13 14:02:26

I like it because of the dance in lord of theddance

WowOoo Tue 05-Mar-13 14:03:32

I'd have no idea how to pronounce it if I read it.

If I had to spell it from memory I'd find it very tricky.

But, that's my problem. I used to vaguely know someone who pronounced their name 'Sor-sha'. No idea how it was spelt.

Viviennemary Tue 05-Mar-13 14:09:29

I wouldn't. It just isn't worth the hassle. But it's up to you.

daimbardiva Tue 05-Mar-13 14:15:37

I think it's lovely. I live in Scotland where gaelic names are pretty common place - we decided against one for the spelling issue (Ruaridh/Ruairi etc) but if you like it, go for it!

somewherewest Tue 05-Mar-13 14:17:49

Milktraylady etc

Serious, thanks for the honesty. I don't want to use a name lots of people will react badly to.

CelticPromise Tue 05-Mar-13 14:17:55

I think it's lovely, and I'd know how to pronounce it.

noisytoys Tue 05-Mar-13 14:23:50

I went to school with a Saoirse. Her name was pronounced Sir-sha. She's a lovely girl smile

specialsubject Tue 05-Mar-13 14:25:41

a good chunk of people won't know how to pronounce or spell it. Don't make life difficult for your kid.

VinegarDrinker Tue 05-Mar-13 14:25:45

We have on in our NCT group (in London). Her parents are Irish, obviously.

Floggingmolly Tue 05-Mar-13 14:31:51

I'm Aoife (living in the U.K), I've rarely met anyone new who could either pronounce or spell it, and yes, it is a pain in the arse.

forgetmenots Tue 05-Mar-13 15:05:22

If no one gives their kids Gaelic names (or names from anything other than Hebrew and European traditions), we will have a million of the same name. My name is as common as they come and I still have to spell it for people. My other half's is less common (Gaelic), and after an initial explanation no one ever forgets it.

I see what people mean but saying 'no Gaelic names' is a bit harsh, Welsh Celtic names, Scottish Gaelic names, Irish names, Cornish names etc are all part of people's heritage and are (for the most part and for the moment) part of the UK. If people were from other parts of the world, they'd have no problem with names - it'd be part of their heritage and rightly so.

Go for it if you love it. I think it's great.

PS Floggingmolly, Aoife is beautiful even if a pain in the arse smile

badtime Tue 05-Mar-13 16:06:36

I think it's crazy to give a child a Gaelic name when they live in the uk.

So no-one in Scotland or Northern Ireland should have a Gaelic name? hmm

I know one that pronounces it almost like cerise...

milktraylady Tue 05-Mar-13 18:39:51

badtime, well i should have said england really, you are right in NI & scotland Gaelic names are much more common smile

MidnightMasquerader Wed 06-Mar-13 01:14:02

But we can't reasonably expect everyone living in the UK - or as some people would have it, England - to all give their DC bog-standard Anglo-Saxon names. That's not realistic.

I think it's a lovely name, and know how to pronounce it. She may get annoyed by having to spell it/correct people often, or, she may not.

I have a name which can be spelled a myriad of ways, so always have to spell it out (Isabelle/Isabel/Isobel/Isobelle/etc). Not a big deal. If you want a name no-one is going to have to question, then call the child Kate or Bob.

TakingTheStairs Wed 06-Mar-13 15:12:05

I'm Irish and live in London and have to explain my name (about the same difficulty as Saoirse) a minimum of three times a day. I hate that I have to do this, it's a PITA and I will never give my children names that are difficult for the country that we live in.
Please don't do it unless you're planning on moving to Ireland.
You don't have to give a bog-standard name but at least try to think about how difficult you are going to make their life. And you will <fed up emoticon>

freerangechickens Wed 06-Mar-13 15:16:38

I'm in America, and it would never be figured out over here, (which I know is no help to you) but I wanted to weigh in and say what a lovely name I think it is.

forgetmenots Wed 06-Mar-13 19:20:09

100% agree with Midnight.
Even 'safe' names need spelling/pronunciation instruction, and then you've got the pain in the arse and the boring name!! (I feel your pain!)

KenDoddsDadsDog Wed 06-Mar-13 22:16:24

I really love it but DH said it was a bit too up the RA for him. We did go with another Gaelic name and we live in England. And feck me, DH and I also have Gaelic names.

LynetteScavo Wed 06-Mar-13 22:25:20

I knew an amazing Sorsha (spelled Sorsha) and really wanted to use the name for DD....DH and I don't really like Irish names because of the spelling (even DH has a traditional Irish name spelled the wrong English way)
I don't think it would be cruel. A bit confusing, maybe. Personally I would go for Sorsha or even Sasha. (I know, I know it't not the same!)

Sineads and Siobians and Neaves have managed, so I don't see why Saoirse wouldn't.

Homophone Wed 06-Mar-13 22:26:22

I live in England. Love the name. Know one. Can pronounce it but have really had to try hard with the spelling.

LynetteScavo Wed 06-Mar-13 22:27:01

OK, so I just spelled Niamh maybe not!

amandine07 Thu 07-Mar-13 00:11:31

I do love the 'unusual' name, well for the UK anyway, I knew an Irish girl years ago we pronounced it 'sor-sha' I think.

Although I don't think I'd use it due to having to explain the pronunciation/spelling all the time.
I do think it's beautiful though.

amandine07 Thu 07-Mar-13 00:12:22

I do love Aoife- now by comparison that's a name I probably would use.

Tallyra Thu 07-Mar-13 10:40:57

I'm second generation Irish living in Kent, with a Welsh married surname. I love the name Aoife and a few other names with beautiful Irish spellings, but I can't see it being a good thing for the child. My sister is called Ciara and the number of people that called her Clara as she was growing up was stupid. Also no-one in S.E. England seems to believe it's spelled that way, they all try to spell it with a Kei (possibly miss Knightley's fault).
I will be looking for a genuinely Irish name when the time comes, but I will make sure it's one that's spelled an easy way for the English to understand, and also that it's not a anglicised version because that really gets on my nerves.

TakingTheStairs Thu 07-Mar-13 10:49:06

KenDoddsDadsDog - "I really love it but DH said it was a bit too up the RA for him"

What the actual fuck?? How on earth is a specific Irish name showing support for the IRA? Or do you think that because it's very Irish it sounds like something an IRA supporter would use? I'm genuinely confused by your DH's comment. I can't get my head around it at all.

And yes I'm aware you said that you have Gaelic names as does your DC, but I have no idea where that kind of thought process comes from. Seriously?

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 07-Mar-13 11:03:55

Put simply freedom and was/ is the name of the Provo IRA newsletter. And where he's from ( a very republican area, South Armagh) it's a name given with connotations. I could write lots on the topic but its very pertinent to the history of Northern Ireland and some communities.
You wouldn't have an idea unless you had lived it - and believe me you wouldn't want your child to.

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 07-Mar-13 11:05:14

And also a Gaelic name will instantly identify your religion.

mrsmellow Thu 07-Mar-13 11:10:04

I love the name, but have an English DH who refuses to consider gaelic names with 'difficult' annoying! I think they'll cope and learning that being a bit different but it is ok is a valuable life lesson!

I think it's a nice idea, but has too many ira connotations for me too. I have a sorcha, pronounced sur u kha, would that be an alternative?

TakingTheStairs Thu 07-Mar-13 11:40:46

KenDoddsDadsDog ahhhh! I never knew that about the newsletter! Wow, that would of course totally change the context of the meaning of the name for you and your DH. And yes the religion thing makes sense for NI too.

Just shows how much location can have an impact on naming a child.
My name isn't very common but not difficult for pronunciation, as long as you're Irish and live in Ireland (!).. but it was a whole new world of misunderstanding/weird pronunciation when I moved to the UK

Ginebra Thu 07-Mar-13 11:42:27

I don't like it at all. I'm in my 40s and Irish and when I was young, I thought that anybody called Saoirse sympathised with the IRA (or their parents did). Now I would NOT think that as Irish names are all much more fashionable.

I would prefer Síofra though. Can I persuade you to choose Síofra? So much nicer.

austenozzy Thu 07-Mar-13 11:47:48

I know someone who is English with an Irish name. Don't know if it's a family thing, or her parents just liked it, or whatever - the thing is that she has to explain all the time and it really gets on her nerves. And it's not one that can be shortened to an 'anglicised' nickname either, so she's stuck with it.

Lovely name, but it will be a pain in the backside for her for ever!

Ginebra Thu 07-Mar-13 11:48:58

Takingthestairs, I commented on this thread without reading the other posts and I am the fourth poster to link the name Saoirse to the IRA, so I don't think Kendoddsdad is on her own there making that link. It is a join the dots thing not a totally baseless bizarre thought process on her part.

I would avoid the name myself, and not because of the spelling.

Floggingmolly Thu 07-Mar-13 11:50:13

Síofra is even worse from a pronunciation point of view. And I hate it

I agree, siofra is not great, it means changeling.

Ginebra Thu 07-Mar-13 11:53:47

@ kendodds, i didn't know about the magazine, I just picked up a vibe. So I've learnt something there.

As well as Síofra, I love Siún. Which can be used as a nn for Siobhán, siobhan is a bit dated for me but I love Siún. That's so pretty, but strong.

Ginebra Thu 07-Mar-13 11:54:48

I thought it meant fairy!
changeling is not a nice meaning for a name confused

Skygirls Thu 07-Mar-13 11:57:28

Lovely name, but I wouldn't have known how to pronounce it if I hadn't read the earlier posts.
I have a very good friend called Siobhan, who is Irish and told me how to pronounce, and a friend I called Grainy for the longest time until someone whispered that I should pronounce Grainne as Gron-ya. I apologized profusely to her, and she smiled and said it didn't bother her as she got that all the time.

Go with what you would like your daughter to be called, but also be aware that she'll grow up always having to spell her name and tell people how to pronounce it.
At least she'll probably be the only one in her class with that name.

LulaPalooza Thu 07-Mar-13 12:09:57

How do you pronounce Síofra?

I like the name Saoirse.

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 07-Mar-13 12:41:13

I really really love the name - I do think such things are fading rapidly into the past. Maybe if I have a DD2!
Plus it's something that not loads of people would know, especially not in England. DH just thought it would get a lot of raised eyebrows / commrnts back in his home community.

wigglesrock Thu 07-Mar-13 13:07:39

It's a lovely name but I'm in NI and the political connotations is the first thing that popped into my head. Sort of nailing your colours to the flag so to speak. I also know about 5 dogs called it.

forgetmenots Thu 07-Mar-13 13:51:37

ginebra am I right in saying Siun can also be spelled Siubhan (but pronounced the same, not like shoo-von)? It's lovely.

No forgetmenots the bh makes a v sound so siubhan is Siobhan spelled incorrectly differently smile

Ah sorry blush it's spelled with a u in Scots Gaelic, o in Irish.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Thu 07-Mar-13 14:53:39

I really like it. I wouldn't worry about having to spell it, I have one of the most common names given in the year I was born and it has 3 spellings, so I'm constantly having to spell it out, and I have to spell out my surname as well. It's no big deal. I actully think that people are more likely to remember how to spell it once they have learned, they never remember mine grin

forgetmenots Thu 07-Mar-13 15:22:50

That's what's confusing me pig smile no worries!

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