Countdown is on... Aoife or Fiadh??

(72 Posts)
mika2 Mon 29-Jul-13 16:55:34

Hi, with 4 weeks to go I'm starting to panic about names. I'm Irish and DH is English so after months of heated debate we've finally agreed on an Irish name for DD1 and narrowed it down to;

-Aoife (ee-fa) - really like it and our "safe" option but worried it's very overused. Feel like I'm tripping over Aoife's in Ireland and becoming increasingly popular in the UK? Also have a (not very close) cousin with the same name and mum's best friend has an Aoife (so can see imagine lots of "your Aoife" or "my Aoife" confusion between them)

- Fia/Fiadh (fee-a) - means deer in Irish and I saw 3 deer while pregnant so thought it was a sign smile DH liked it, but now keeps saying it sounds like "fear". Does it?? DD will grow up in the UK and don't want her tormented for years in playground with "what are you afraid of" etc.

Also don't want to use one as middle name in case we have a DD2.

Thoughts please??

makingdoo Mon 29-Jul-13 17:13:06

Love Fiadh. Don't agree with your DH at all.

Not so keen on Aoife but that's because I'm Irish and know so many!

curlew Mon 29-Jul-13 17:14:56

I hate to say it, but it does sound like fear. Bother.

squoosh Mon 29-Jul-13 17:17:03


I too am not a huge fan of Aoife as I know billions and trillions of them. I've never heard Fiadh used as a first name before and yes some English people will hear it as 'fear' but I like it and would pick it over Aoife any day of the week.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 29-Jul-13 17:17:09

It's a shame about the "Fear" thing...
Aoife is lovely, but surely there are as beautiful names that are less commonplace?

curlew Mon 29-Jul-13 17:19:30

How about Eimear or Grainne?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 29-Jul-13 17:20:45

Caoimhe is nice (Keeva)

mika2 Mon 29-Jul-13 17:47:06

I love Caoimhe (and always imagined I would have a DD with this name) but DH hates it sad To be fair I also vetoed his favourite name!

We've googled "Irish girl's baby names" to death and those 2 are the best we can come up with. I wasn't keen on Aoife myself originally, but DH really likes it and it's def grown on me although I know all the Irish relations will probably be stifling a yawn if we go with it! Hopefully it's a bit more unusual in the UK though?

Twostep Mon 29-Jul-13 17:53:15

Is Fiadh a 'real' name? I've worked with a couple of Aoifes, not too many. Must Irish women (not men for some reason) with 'unusual' names in the Uk (that I've worked with) changed their spelling (so a Nuala used to spell her name Noola).

What about Ethna? I rather like that.

ShowOfHands Mon 29-Jul-13 17:54:48

Aoife is really quite popular in the UK. I know a few. It's pretty though so can understand its popularity. It's been part of the Eva/Evie/Ava explosion so you can reasonably expect to meet lots of dc with a similar sounding name too.

Fiadh is very pretty but I didn't know it as a name before this thread. I'd definitely pick it over Aoife but if dh isn't keen, you might need to go back to the drawing board.

squoosh Mon 29-Jul-13 17:55:43

Nuala spelt Noola made me giggle. It just looks so wacky!

MardyBra Mon 29-Jul-13 17:57:14

I like Countdown. Although I miss Twice Nightly Whiteley.

mrstowers Mon 29-Jul-13 17:59:26

Although Aoife is more popular than Fiadh I wouldn't really say that it's overly popular here in the UK and I absolutely love the name. To me, the way that you pronounce Fiadh it sounds like you are trying to say Thea (Thee-a). You know like some people say free instead of three.

squoosh Mon 29-Jul-13 18:00:12

Oh yes, that's a good point re. Thea.

Scruffey Mon 29-Jul-13 18:03:17

Aoife is better, although plenty of people will still not know how to pronounce it in England.

I really don't like Fiadh. It is pronounced like "fear" as in afraid unless I am mistaken (?). Had you not written a pronounciation on this thread, I wouldn't have had a clue how to say it anyway.

FriskyHenderson Mon 29-Jul-13 18:03:35

There's an Aoife in every class in my DC school.

I like Aoife, but it is getting very popular - which means people shouldn't have a problem with it.

Also like Sadhbh, Orla and Laoise.

mika2 Mon 29-Jul-13 18:30:42

Fiadh, like mrstowers mentions, is pronunced like Thea (with a speech impediment!) which is fine - just worrying about it sounding like "fear" in some accents...

Other names mentioned have been vetoed for various reasons - when I suggested Orla, DH responded "as in Kiely" and I think Laoise/Naoise (lee-sha/nee-sha) sound more Indian than Irish.

valiumredhead Mon 29-Jul-13 18:35:58

Fea sounds to me like someone who can't pronounce Thea.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 29-Jul-13 18:38:02

What MrsTowerssaid - people may just think you're too lazy/uneducated to say "thea".

This risk has ruined "Theo" for me hmm

I don't get the fear thing. but I'm Scottish and pronounce my Rs.

Sophia is mega popular and.I don't see anyone saying it sounds like so-fear.

in fact I know a Phia.

where in the do England or Ireland?

Trifle Mon 29-Jul-13 18:43:08

The mere fact that you have had to spell it out so that people reading the thread know how to pronounce it is testament to the fact that your dd (and you, dh etc) will have to spend their whole lives doing exactly that.

MortifiedAdams Mon 29-Jul-13 18:45:02

What about Freya? Similar but no need for any explainations.

MortifiedAdams Mon 29-Jul-13 18:47:12

Or Isi...means Deer in native american

curlew Mon 29-Jul-13 18:49:54

What language is Native American?

mika2 Mon 29-Jul-13 18:56:03

We live in England (SE) and yes it's ppl not pronouncing their r's that's the problem with Fiadh.

Freya is pretty, but definitely want an Irish name for DD. Maybe Aoife is easier esp if it's getting more mainstream here, just a pity there are so many in Ireland!

MortifiedAdams Mon 29-Jul-13 19:02:28

Sorry, should have been more specific - Choctaw.

Wbdn28 Mon 29-Jul-13 19:09:53


MargeSimpsonzz Mon 29-Jul-13 19:21:33

Definitely Fiadh. AOife if too popular. I only know one Fiadh. An Fiadh Rua boom boom. NO seriously, it's lovely, I like it.

rosyryan Mon 29-Jul-13 19:22:41

Aoife really is popular over here. I know loads in North London. Fiadh on the other hand is brand new to me and I think is lovely.

MargeSimpsonzz Mon 29-Jul-13 19:23:05

Mika, what about Siún (Shoon). That is very pretty I think. I also like Fraoch, it's Irish for Heather. It's pronounced FRAYoch, so if you like Freya you might like Fraoch

TidyDancer Mon 29-Jul-13 19:32:06

I actually think both the names are quite pretty, but I agree with the evaluations. Aoife is overused and Fiadh is a pronunciation issue.

Are you planning on raising your DD in England? If so, would it be viable to use an English sounding name as the first name and one or both of your favourites as a middle name?

Fiadh is nice and definitely more unexpected (and agree with pps that I've known a couple of Sophias who are Phia for short) but Aoife will be much more "accessible" to an Anglophone audience.

Siun is a great name. I know a really lovely Siun.

Openyourheart Mon 29-Jul-13 20:04:16

I prefer aoife.

wigglesrock Mon 29-Jul-13 20:24:32

I like Fiadh, although I have a Sofia and she is Fia. I know what you mean about the Fear pronunciation. I had never thought about it, but my husband mentioned the way some people pronounce Sofia as Sufear - I'm just waffling now and as much use as a chocolate teapot blush . Aoife is lovely, I just know a lot.

OddFrog Mon 29-Jul-13 20:29:12

Fiadh is lovely. Aoife is incredibly popular, but then it is a nice name and a bit more accessible than Fiadh because of its popularity iykwim.

How about Saoirse? (Seersha)

Frikadellen Mon 29-Jul-13 20:52:09

utterly biased as I have an Aoife and I just adore the name

ZolaBuddleia Mon 29-Jul-13 21:17:50


weasle Mon 29-Jul-13 21:32:36

Aoife very popular and too similar to Ava Evie etc to me. Fiadh does sound like it should be short for something.

I also really really like Saoirse.

Openyourheart Mon 29-Jul-13 22:46:59

Saoirse / sorcha is really nice too.

Threeree Mon 29-Jul-13 22:53:34

What about

Trea? Pronounced Tray-a?
Roisin - ro-sheen
Grainne - graun- ya
Siofra - sheef-ra
Rionagh- Ri-o -na

Threeree Mon 29-Jul-13 22:54:03

Forgot about Tara or Tierna too.

NapaCab Mon 29-Jul-13 22:58:10

If you want an Irish deer-related name then Sadhbh/Saibh/Sive would be perfect. That was the name of Fionn MacCumhail's wife who was turned into a deer by an evil spell and then transformed back into a woman long enough to marry Fionn and become pregnant with his son, Oisin, but was then transformed back into a deer again and was lost forever to Fionn.

Personally Fiadh doesn't work for me as it's not a 'proper' name as such. It would be like calling your daughter River or Summer or something in English.

Sadhbh on the other hand is a 'proper' Irish name and once non-Irish speakers get past the spelling they can pronounce it pretty easily.


hawkmcqueen Tue 30-Jul-13 09:52:20

I totally agree about Sadhbh, it is beautiful when you hear it. Here's another one that travels easier :

And that's pronounced phonetically as well.
Search for it on babynamesworld parents connect, also means sunrise in other languages.

mika2 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:44:54

I like Sadhbh, but DH can't get past the spelling and don't want to Anglicise it... Might be able to talk him into Aoife Sadhbh though.

Going off Fiadh now - it is a bit of a "made up" name and hadn't though about it sounding like a nickname for Sophia.

Just had another big row chat this morning and although DH has agreed to go with an Irish name, he still thinks that giving the baby an English name (i.e. Olivia, Annabel) would give her a better start/more opportunities growing up in the UK i.e. in job interviews etc. His theory is that we should pick as posh a name as possible as DD will be judged on her name sad

Openyourheart Tue 30-Jul-13 15:45:19

Well, let me tell your husband that I have a very Irish name with a very Irish spelling which does not sound the way it looks and i was born and bred in England. I have never had a problem getting interviews or jobs. In fact, I've done quite well in my career so far. I'm sure it has nothing to do with my name but all to do with my education, experience, etc. etc!!!! My name has NEVER held me back.

No offence but he is talking codswallop smile

is your dh Katie Hopkins confused grin

your dd will stand out from all the amelies sophias Eva eve avas. giving her a better chance if anything!

Twostep Tue 30-Jul-13 20:04:04

What if you went for 'dear' instead of 'deer'? Maybe there are other names that you can consider?

squoosh Tue 30-Jul-13 20:05:48

Alannah means 'darling'

fuzzle Tue 30-Jul-13 20:59:24

Orla Niamh Maeve Siobhán Fiona Caitriona Aine Ailish Ciara Any of these?

NapaCab Wed 31-Jul-13 05:39:00

Well, if it makes your DH feel any better, mika, Sadhbh has posh connotations for me as when I was growing up my best friend's older sister had that name and she was the epitome of posh. Always perfectly dressed, very pretty and highly intelligent. She became a lawyer and is now a successful exec with a major US corporation - so her name was definitely never an issue!

babyblabber Wed 31-Jul-13 12:11:19

Love Fia, don't think it sounds like fear at all.

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 12:21:57

How do you say it so it doesn't sound like fear?

Want1morechild Wed 31-Jul-13 12:23:09

What about Fiana? (Pronounced Fee-ean-a, would rhyme with Raina). Know a little girl with Irish parents called this and think its lovely. Also love Orla, Cara, Clodagh, Erin, Tara.

squoosh Wed 31-Jul-13 12:34:50

Fiana isn't really a name though plus it would remind me of Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael (two main political parties in Ireland).

squoosh Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:16

In an Irish accent Fia sounds nothing like fear.
In an English accent it sounds very like fear.

April13 Wed 31-Jul-13 14:32:47

I like Aoife, but I know what you mean about it being common. Roisin is my favourite name for a wee girl, and also love Saoirse and Orlaith too x

PointyDogs Wed 31-Jul-13 21:45:10

Amazed at how popular Aoife seems to be - I haven't come across any round here (south-east England). It was my favourite for DD until I found out how popular Eve/Eva/Evie etc was, and realised people would probably think we were saying Eva sad. We went with Niamh - and people still think I am saying Eve...

Love Caoimhe, but I met a little girl (7ish) the other day who introduced herself "my name is Caoimhe-its-Irish" - she clearly has had a lot of comments about it!!

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 31-Jul-13 21:50:28

One of the Saturdays has a daughter called Aoife, so that has probably raised its profile. It is nice.

How about Aine? I don't know its meaning but I know one and it's a pretty name (pronounced On-ya by my friends)

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 21:57:46

Sadhbh is lovely, I know a Sive. Spelling would be slightly tricky but that's going to be an issue with most Irish names.

allthenews Wed 31-Jul-13 22:05:48

I have an Aoife...DH is Irish but we live in Scotland, where it is not popular. I would be surprised if it is in the top 100 English names; its certainly never made an appearance in the Scottish top 100. To be honest, I would not have chosen the name had we lived in Ireland, because of its popularity. What about Ailbhe as an alternative, if you're not sure about Aoife? ps To be honest I think an English accent can mangle a lot of Irish names. (Sorry! Bit controversial)

PerchedOnMyPeddleStool Wed 31-Jul-13 22:18:12

Saoirse and Sorcha are completely different names.
They are not even pronounced similarly.

Why would anyone put and R in Fiadh?
It's a beautiful name OP.

squoosh Wed 31-Jul-13 22:26:30

It's not that they'd put an R in Fiadh but that they don't always pronounce the R in fear.

DramaAlpaca Wed 31-Jul-13 22:31:19

Fia/Fiadh is pretty, but I agree with squoosh - in an English accent it sounds like fear, but it doesn't in an Irish accent.

I'm English living in Ireland, and I know a child called Fia. I have to make a real effort to say her name correctly and pronounce the "a" on the end - in my English accent I would tend to pronounce Fia and fear the same, as would most English people.

For that reason, if you are living in England I'd go for Aoife, which is lovely.

Openyourheart Wed 31-Jul-13 23:03:35

I thought Sorcha and Saoirse were similar but I stand to be corrected. This is how one of them is pronounced

And the other

I have a friend whose daughter seems to have a hybrid of both names but spells it Sorcha. Hence my confusion.

squoosh Wed 31-Jul-13 23:08:37

Saoirse pronounces seer-sha/sur-sha/sare-sha (depending where in the country you live)

Sorcha - is pronounced surr-ika. I have heard of people pronouncing it sore-sha, this is wrong. It would be like saying Phoebe is pronounced po-bee or Lucy is pronounced Lucky.

Openyourheart Wed 31-Jul-13 23:10:47

Yes, Squoosh, that is exactly how she pronounces it!

LucyBabs Wed 31-Jul-13 23:11:29

How about Aisling op it means to have a dream or vision.

Shrugged Wed 31-Jul-13 23:15:23

OP, your husband sounds as if he is suffering from some kind of ethnic anxiety about Irishness. Following on from someone up the thread, I have an Irish first name and surname, and have lived and worked in England for my entire adult life - it has never held me back professionally, and people learn the pronunciation. It's not some kind of life sentence. My son would have been Meabh (sorry, can't do fadas on iPad) or Sadhbh, were he female.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 31-Jul-13 23:19:57

Is Fiadh said more like 'fay-a', then?

I like Aisling, too, and it's another name that is better known in England so might have a better chance of not being mangled.

mika2 Thu 01-Aug-13 16:16:10

I'm not wild on Aisling, mainly cause I went to school with so many of them back in the day, plus I think it means sad dream/vision...

Thanks for the comments on DH's anxiety re Irish names - the katie hopkins reference definitely hit home! smile Think he was just parroting MIL tbh, who thinks the child will be doomed without a solid British name, preferably of a former king/queen! grin

A lot of the names suggested - Saoirse (which I love), Orla, Ciara, Meave, Fiona - have all been taken by relatives already so Aoife still frontrunner at the moment...

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