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Sons name Caleb pronounced differently, anyone else have child’s name like this 😡

(195 Posts)
Tonijo1990 Fri 08-Mar-19 22:08:58

So my son is 8 months and called Caleb
We pronounce it cay - leb (as in leb in the word celeb ).
everyone else pronounces it cay - lub as in the u in urgh (not lub that rhymes with tub 😂 lol)
We are so annoyed that we are thinking of changing his name
I correct people all the time but I’ve been told we’ve spelt it wrong and say it wrong even by my own sister and mil
It’s in the blooming bible haha
I do understand the name has modernised to be Kaleb though
Has anyone else got a child who seems like they have two names with the pronunciation?? Or anyone with a Caleb ??

Lalliella Fri 08-Mar-19 23:56:53

I wanted to call DD Na-Dia but didn’t because I live in the south and everyone here would pronounce it Nar-Dia. Good thing I didn’t because she hates the name! Works both ways though, I make the effort to call my friend Tania by her preferred “Tar-nia”.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sat 09-Mar-19 00:05:41

I’m interested to know now how everyone would pronounce my surname

Apparently it’s a Dutch / German background name though not completely sure if that’s true

About to hugely embarrass myself here, but I'll have a go!

Being a native English speaker, without any other knowledge of its origin, I'd naturally have a stab at 'Doyge'.

However, upon being told of German/Dutch origins and thinking, hmm, I don't believe that those languages tend to use 'oi' as a diphthong, I'd probably settle on something like the word 'Died' but said in a laid-back Black Country accent (sort of a drawn-out, almost two-syllabled 'Doi-ied'), followed by 'guh' (German slant) or 'chuh' (ch as in loch) (Dutch slant).

Am I ANYWHERE whatsoever approaching correct?!?!

JellyTeapot Sat 09-Mar-19 00:08:51

WeBuilt and Powernaps, my DD is called Isobel, pronounced IS-uh-bel as is normal in the south east where we live. And most of the rest of the country as far as I can tell. I was unaware of the central belt of Scotland pronunciation rhyming with visible. I actually want to cry every time my mother says her name sad

Powernaps Sat 09-Mar-19 00:21:12

WeBuilt Just a bit! grin

Gone4Good Sat 09-Mar-19 00:24:04

I have a friend born in the mid-50's who's name is Caleb and its always pronounced Cay leb.

Andylion Sat 09-Mar-19 04:42:56

*I’m interested to know now how everyone would pronounce my surname

Apparently it’s a Dutch / German background name though not completely sure if that’s true*

It looks like a misspelling of Deutsch. confused

Myfoolishboatisleaning Sat 09-Mar-19 05:22:34

I have never heard Cal-leb it sounds so odd. But I suppose it is much like Dan-EE-Elle. Which is a very odd way of pronouncing Dan’yelle.

BlueSkiesLies Sat 09-Mar-19 05:32:57

How do people not hear a difference between leb and lub- your mouth should be making a totally different picture when you pronounce those.

Leb you bring the corners of your mouth back. You can say “cal-leb” whilst smiling pretty much.

Lub you are bringing your mouth together to form a small o shape, and possibly pushing forward your lower jaw.

mathanxiety Sat 09-Mar-19 05:46:30

I'm quite puzzled as to how the name Elishah (a man in the Old Testament and, AFAIK, the only well-known owner of the name for thousands of years) is now used pretty much exclusively as a name for girls (often spelt without the silent second 'h') - as an alternative spelling for Alicia. That's probably just me, though.

The name Alicia can be pronounced Aleesha or Eleesha. It's the standard American pronunciation of that name. I very much doubt anyone using the Elisha spelling has ever heard of the prophet.

Areyoufree Sat 09-Mar-19 05:52:17

@donquixotedelamancha There's someone at the door...

ZippyBungleandGeorge Sat 09-Mar-19 05:52:20

Don't worry OP my DS is called Jasper and more than one person we know repeatedly calls him Casper, like the friendly ghost. One of those people is his GP 🤷

OneStepSideways Sat 09-Mar-19 05:54:56

I'd pronounce it Ka-LEB with an a like in Apple and Leb like in Lebanon.
I'm not sure if that's correct but I'd expect it to have a double a (Caaleb) otherwise.

mathanxiety Sat 09-Mar-19 06:10:26

And for the tub and urgh
It’s hard to try say what I mean
They don’t empathise the u to the extreme but it’s more of the u sound than the e I say
I feel the way I say the name maybe drags it out a bit more ?! I notice when my partner says his name fast it turns into more of a u than an e

That 'u' sound is called a schwa. All of the vowels and also Y when used in a word like rhythm can get turned into a schwa when they are spoken. The spellings remain the same. It is a neutral vowel sound. It is the most common vowel sound in the English language. It occurs in unstressed syllables.

Think of the word 'melon' - the O has more of a U sound than an O sound.
The first syllable is stressed - MEL, and the second syllable is unstressed - 'un'.
Pronouncing 'melon' with the O sound would make the word sound unnatural. Pronouncing it with equal stress on both syllables would also make it sound odd.
Think of the name Helen. It has the same pattern. 'HEL-un'

Similarly in Caleb the E is in the unstressed syllable.
CAY is stressed and leb is unstressed.
The E in the unstressed syllable gets turned into a schwa/neutral vowel when speaking. It is not incorrect. In fact, it makes the name fit into a very well recognised pattern followed by similar words and names, so it sounds more natural, and it is easier to pronounce the name with the first syllable stressed and the second syllable unstressed when the E is pronounced as a schwa..

It is still spelled Caleb. But that E does not have to be pronounced as an E. The schwa is completely acceptable. Yes, the way you say it with the E pronounced makes the name 'drag out more'. Shortening it by using the schwa is not incorrect.

Please don't get your son to correct people who use the schwa sound, and please don't correct people yourself.

I have to admit I have never heard anyone pronounce the name with the E used instead of the schwa - everyone I know who is a Caleb or who is the parent of one (and I live in the US where it was a very popular name when my DCs were younger) pronounces it CAY-lub.

In a dictionary the symbol for the schwa is /ə/ - an upside down lower case e.

AdoreTheBeach Sat 09-Mar-19 06:26:52

I grew up with a Caleb. He pronounced it cal - eb. “cal” as in CALifornia, “eb” as in ebb.

LindaLa Sat 09-Mar-19 06:27:02

My late Mil used to say "this is how your name should be spelt and pronounced"
Think Tamsin/Tasmin.

Until we were out and I introduced her as a completely different name to hers and just announced "it's horrendous when people ignore your actual name, isn't it" never happened again.

runninguphills Sat 09-Mar-19 06:34:44

I'm Welsh speaking Wales we would pronounce it ka-leb

HeronLanyon Sat 09-Mar-19 06:36:41

Cay-Leb here. Never heard it said differently. However I can imagine easily in a lazy moment saying cay-lub. In fact as I say it is think I might say it both ways !
Not sure why you hate cay-lub so much - it’s essentially the same name. At 8 months it’s not too late to change his name if it’s really bothering you. Cay-Leb could become his middle name (or a second middle name/family nickname?).
See if you can let it go and not be annoyed by it would be my first thought though.

HappyGoGoLucky Sat 09-Mar-19 06:44:11

As soon as I read it, I pronounced it as kay-leb. That's how it is usually worded where I am.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 09-Mar-19 06:56:15

I guess this is one of the reasons why someone I know spelt her son's name Jaykub. Can't go wrong with the pronunciation of that! grin

Tonijo1990 Sat 09-Mar-19 07:08:30

I actually had this discussion about Jacob !! Totally get why they would spell as it sounds haha
And Doidge is like Doyge but the d in the middle is said too
Surnames are strange ones though especially when you go deep into research to where they originate from
And yes I’ve heard ca as in California and leb a lot too especially from the dr
I believe that maybe the original bible / Hebrew way
But don’t quote me on that
I would always make the effort to pronounce how a person says their name not be like you’ve said or spelt it wrong
That’s just rude and disrespectful
I would always prefer to be corrected
I’m going to stick with the way I say his name and just say to people that’s right to us
It’s his name and he suits it smile his brothers also say Caleb so if a six year old and three year old can say it , I’m sure adults can
wink I guess everyone’s eighth about accents too
A lot of words and names are pronounced differently
Thanks guys

Tonijo1990 Sat 09-Mar-19 07:11:47

It maybe essentially the same name but it’s NOT the same name grin
I’d just appreciate if people were to make the effort to say it how my son is named , not be like you’re wrong and I’m still calling him cay lub
My sister will actually Make the point of telling people I say it wrong and she will say cay lub over and over again to the baby
Just rude when I’m his mother and I would appreciate it if they just said it how I do
But some people hmm

Purplecatshopaholic Sat 09-Mar-19 07:18:50

Of course its pronounced Cay-leb, and its a lovely name by the way...

Catsandbootsandbootsandcats Sat 09-Mar-19 07:24:13

Cay-Leb is how I say it.
We've had Cay-Lib which really annoys me (probably more due to who says it than the actual pronunciation)


It doesn't bother him, he's 14 and too laid back. We just laugh about it and I sometimes call him Cah-leeb etc when I'm mucking about.

If you/he says it that way then that's how people should pronounce it otherwise it's just rude (that's mainly aimed at your sister!)

WhentheRabbitsWentWild Sat 09-Mar-19 07:25:56

I would say it the way you do OP

It's a nice name too, in my opinion

lottielady Sat 09-Mar-19 07:26:39

What’s a Ronseal name?

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 09-Mar-19 07:26:54

Your SISTER should back the fucking fuck off. WHo exactly does she think SHE is, to be telling ANYONE that you are wrong, about your OWN SON'S name???

What a fucking bellend she is.

I'd give her what for at the very least - bitch! Seriously though, that is SO demeaning to you as the child's mother (and father) - making out that you somehow don't know how to pronounce your own son's name.

Raaah, that's made me so fucking angry!

MargeAtLarge Sat 09-Mar-19 07:40:38

I had chosen Imogen (I-mo-gen) if my last baby had been a girl ... but he was a boy smile My niece then had a girl and called her Imogen - beautiful... but with the regional accent she is known as ImIGIN .. quite glad I had a boy now grin

Tonijo1990 Sat 09-Mar-19 07:49:14

Haha we take the mick and say cah leb 😂 we heard it on you tube
but tbh we call him cj , Caleby , Calaby , baby and cub
So maybe I shouldn’t be so sensitive smile

mathanxiety Sat 09-Mar-19 07:51:05

It maybe essentially the same name but it’s NOT the same name grin
I’d just appreciate if people were to make the effort to say it how my son is named , not be like you’re wrong and I’m still calling him cay lub

But it is the same name. Not essentially, or basically. It is the same name.
It is perfectly correct to pronounce that syllable as a U sound (as a schwa).

Do you say lemon or lemun? Melon or melun? Syllable or sylluble?

How do you say -
'taken' - the E is a schwa
'pencil' - the I is a schwa
'memory' - the O is a schwa
'supply' - the U is a schwa
'rhythm' - the vowel sound between TH and M is a schwa
'sibyl' - the Y sound is a schwa

Jacob - that O is a schwa; it is pronounced as a u
Helen - the E is a schwa; same
Caleb - another E schwa; same

Quooker Sat 09-Mar-19 07:52:54

The biblical pronunciation would be ca - lib / ca as in cat.

Catsandbootsandbootsandcats Sat 09-Mar-19 07:58:06

I definitely pronounce it with the Leb sounded out properly. In fact his nickname is Leb, or Lebby, not Lb, lub etc.

His brother is Reuben and that is much more a schwa sound as I don't pronounce the Ben sound (but Roo-bin annoys me, same person!wink)

superram Sat 09-Mar-19 08:00:14

I’m northern but live in the south and don’t have much of an accent either way. I think I sound somewhere between the two. I also say dan-yul.

MadisonAvenue Sat 09-Mar-19 08:00:20

I only know one Caleb, an adult, and his name is pronounced Ca-lem (which is how I’d pronounce it anyway) although he usually gets called Cal.

likablum Sat 09-Mar-19 08:00:45

The second syllable is unstressed so it sort of loses its distinctive sound when it is pronounced. The same thing happens with any name with that sound at the end - linguists call it a schwa sound.

So Hannah, Emma, Peter, etc all have a uh sound, it would be weird if you emphasised the second syllable and said Em-AH, unless you are Italian.

I think you are being a bit precious. There's not that much difference between leb and lub.

MadisonAvenue Sat 09-Mar-19 08:00:52

*-leb, not -lem

mathanxiety Sat 09-Mar-19 08:04:27

You can have a Leb nickname and still use the schwa when pronouncing the full name.

Honestly, I defer to the preference of parents, but the schwa is perfectly correct and if you listen closely you will find it in pretty much all English words and a huge number of proper nouns - England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Italy... Words are not being pronounced wrong if the vowel sound is the schwa. There are actually very few words where vowels are pronounced exactly as they are written.

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sat 09-Mar-19 08:04:33

What’s a Ronseal name?

It's a brand of wood-stain/varnish sold in the UK for which the makers have long used the advertising slogan "It does exactly what it says on the tin."

Therefore, in the UK, it's used as a short-cut to denote something clear and straightforward without any floweriness or fluffiness - kind of like calling a florist's 'The Flower Shop' as opposed to 'Brenda's Beautiful Blooms' or 'Aurora Florealis'.

In case it wasn't obvious to anybody, I called Caleb a 'Ronseal' name for a dog as, apparently, the name Caleb means 'dog'.

HeronLanyon Sat 09-Mar-19 08:04:39

‘many a blub twixt the leb and the lub’

Who’d ‘a thunk it?

Btw op, your sister sounds an absolute pain in the ass about this.

TrainSong Sat 09-Mar-19 08:05:51

I've only ever heard it pronounced the way you say it: Cay-leb. Cah-lub sounds odd.

jobuddyp Sat 09-Mar-19 08:10:48

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

emilybrontescorsett Sat 09-Mar-19 08:14:17

I'd say ca leb.

MadAboutWands Sat 09-Mar-19 08:17:31

If I was you OP I would give up.
It seems people think it s ok to pronounce a name the way they want and nit the way it is pronounced.
All this stuff about accent between the south and north etc... is rubbish. Most people are totally about the sport acceht for any other words and pronounced them correctly. We. Are motntaling abiut a foreign language.
What we do have is the feeling that it’s ok to shorten or lengthen name, use nickname just because people feel Ike it and the owner if the name has to suck it up.
I think the same think is at play there. People will pronounce th enamel the way they want because that’s how they do it and they will expect you to sick it up.

Hippywannabe Sat 09-Mar-19 08:25:37

With all these Calebs, does anyone want for free a personalised Spiderman 0-3 month babygrow? It's too cute to throw but no good for anyone else!

Tonijo1990 Sat 09-Mar-19 08:26:59

I don’t care about schwa
It’s my sons name and il say it how I want it said
I didn’t post this to for people to correct me , I asked if others have a son called Caleb or a name of a child people pronounce differently

HeronLanyon Sat 09-Mar-19 08:27:31

grin sick or suck - now there’s a difference !!

Tonijo1990 Sat 09-Mar-19 08:27:39

Yes my sister is an ass
She has a dd called ivee instead of ivy aswell 😂

TaurielTest Sat 09-Mar-19 08:27:49

If it helps with correcting people, the issue here is vowel reduction. You say /ˈkeɪlɛb/, they say /ˈkeɪləb/. The stress falls on the first syllable. In the second syllable, you prefer to have a full e vowel ("leb") while some people are reducing that vowel to the centralized, unstressed vowel called schwa (as in the first syllable of "ago" or the second syllable of "bacon"). Speakers' levels of vowel reduction vary from person to person and dialect to dialect, and there's not much you can do about it except say "it's "leb" not "ləb"".
I don't see how spelling it with a K would make any difference!

Tonijo1990 Sat 09-Mar-19 08:28:24

Yes Caleb does mean dog 😂

Shakirasma Sat 09-Mar-19 08:29:44

It doesnt matter how a name is written or where a person is from, it should be pronounced as the parents choose it to be, and later on how the child chooses. Basic manners!

I have a name that can be pronounced a couple of different ways and can be shortened multiple ways but my parents chose my name and i like it how it is. I find it rude when people presume to pronounce it their way or shorten it. Its my name, part of my identity so have the decency to say it my given way please!

Thirtyrock39 Sat 09-Mar-19 08:30:12

I would say Cal - eb. Would never say cay for the first syllable

Tonijo1990 Sat 09-Mar-19 08:34:30

I think it gets to me more because I say cay leb and correct them ( a nice way of we say it cay leb) yet they still say lub, to me that’s rude
But I’m going to stick with leb and I see everyone’s point on here about the accents and the schwa etc
I like the name and I guess little man can decide whether he will be bothered when he’s older or not
Next time I’ll go for a name everyone can pronounce the same 😂😂

TaurielTest Sat 09-Mar-19 08:34:33

Just because vowels in unstressed syllables are often reduced to schwa, as I've just seen mathanxiety has posted above, doesn't mean that happens in all words. Yes, in "lemon" etc., but not in "latex", which is perhaps a better analogy for your preferred pronunciation of your son's name!
And your sister is just rude.

Raisinbrain Sat 09-Mar-19 08:35:37

I've only met one Caleb. Based on my very limited experience I'd say you are pronouncing it wrong! He was American tho.

Ski4130 Sat 09-Mar-19 08:36:28

I’d pronounce Kay-lib, but that’s how the one Caleb I’ve known said it.

Our daughter is Elena. Husband’s family are Spanish and I’ve only ever heard it prounounced Eh-Len-ah before, so the multiple butcherings of it we’ve had by people always strike me as weird, because it seems so obvious to us. Eleanor (my dad) E-lay-nah (most of the world, bar anyone Spanish) Ella (wtf?!) To be fair she goes by Leni mostly anyway smile

longwayoff Sat 09-Mar-19 08:37:36

3 pages of this,? Id pronounce it John.

HeronLanyon Sat 09-Mar-19 08:43:16

Op smile indeed !
Really honestly if you corrected me (which I would totally understand) I don’t think I would necessarily hear or remember the difference. That’s how similar they sound to me. Obviously it’s really diffeeent for you and you can hear the distinction but unless I pronounced it over dramatically to get it right I’m not sure I would get it as distinct in sound as you want/have named him.
I think (having bizarrely said the name many times just now) I say it as a messy in between of leb and lub. It is such a small difference that I don’t think getting wrong is wilful or rude except for your sisters approach which is just unacceptable and quite unbelievable !!

Thought of an analogy if your name was Katherine (3syllables) it would be a bit Much to insist everyone pronounce middle syllable wouldn’t it when Kathrine is the more common (if less literally correct) pronounciation ?
I don’t know.
Good luck.

AfterSchoolWorry Sat 09-Mar-19 08:52:00

Caleb and Calub sound identical to me.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 09-Mar-19 08:58:06

It's just a difference in emphasis. I would stress the first syllable, so am in camp Cay-lub.

I find Cay-Leb with equal emphasis on each syllable odd and wrong. Just as I find 'Char-LOtte' with equal emphasis on each syl odd and wrong.

Similarly Rueben is (emphasis on first syl) Rue-bn, not, as I heard someone saying to a poor confused child recently 'Rue-BEN' with emphasis on second syl, a la Ru Paul.

So if you're saying Cay-LEB I'd think you're crazy. Cay-leb ok but oddly mannered, CAY-lub normal.

Boulshired Sat 09-Mar-19 09:04:07

I once worked with two Callum’s, one pronounced cal um the other cal em. Both would get angry if pronounced wrong, so both became him over there or you would walk to their desk. It was the name never to be spoken.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 09-Mar-19 09:05:28

I'm guessing you're from the south east OP? Southerners often have a drawling manner of speech and take a long time over vowels, whereas northerners get to the point faster. All the equal emphasis 'Char-Lotte' pronouncers I've met have been south-easteners with drawling accents. Everyone else says Char-lut'.

Scottishgirl85 Sat 09-Mar-19 09:16:15

Emphasis on the first syllable so I'd say KAY-lib. Kay-Leb doesn't come naturally to me at all as emphasis on second syllable. I'm sorry OP but I think you'll forever be correcting people.

Boulshired Sat 09-Mar-19 09:22:33

I have never corrected the pronunciation of my name as it is obvious a regional/country variation. I have had an R added when I lived in Ayrshire and DPs Irish family also add an R but much more stronger. England no R at all as in the spelling (which many also spell wrong).

AnneOfCleavage Sat 09-Mar-19 09:26:12

OP I would pronounce your sister's DD as Iv-Eye instead of Iveee just so she understands how annoying it is. If she retorts with "That is why it is spelled Ivee" then say that Caleb has an e not an u in his name.

My DD has 3 pronunciations of her name (think Mia, Mya, Maya) and we correct to the one we have chosen. Job done, no hassle. I have a name that has two alternative endings and hate it when I get the wrong one used, especially by well known friends but I keep correcting and I'll get there.

Just keep correcting and when your son is old enough to speak he'll do it himself and you may find his aunt and grandma won't resist him. Don't change his name because some arse can't be bothered to learn and remember the right pronunciation. You love his name and chose it for a reason just as I did with my DD.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 09-Mar-19 09:37:59

How does 'it being in the Bible' tell us how to pronounce the name in modern English OP?

It's normal in English to emphasise the first syllable.

So Peter sounds like PEA-tuh, not Pea-TER. Simon SI-mun, not Si-MON. Judas JU-dus, not Ju-DAS, Noah NOE-a, not No-AH. Jesus JEES-us not Jee-SUS. I could go on.

MillytantForceit Sat 09-Mar-19 09:41:46

Sair-ah, Sarr-ah, anyone?

And I'm a fan of Agnes Poirier on The Reporters, and would always call her a'nyess not aggness.

Toddlerteaplease Sat 09-Mar-19 09:54:28

We had a kid and work that we all called Ca-leb, but mum called him Kay-lub. I thought it was just the way mum spoke!

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Sat 09-Mar-19 11:59:27

Similarly in Caleb the E is in the unstressed syllable.
CAY is stressed and leb is unstressed
The E in the unstressed syllable gets turned into a schwa/neutral vowel when speaking. It is not incorrect. In fact, it makes the name fit into a very well recognised pattern followed by similar words and names, so it sounds more natural, and it is easier to pronounce the name with the first syllable stressed and the second syllable unstressed when the E is pronounced as a schwa..

It is still spelled Caleb. But that E does not have to be pronounced as an E. The schwa is completely acceptable. Yes, the way you say it with the E pronounced makes the name 'drag out more'. Shortening it by using the schwa is not incorrect.

Please don't get your son to correct people who use the schwa sound, and please don't correct people yourself.

As has already been discussed, it doesn't always follow the same pattern as other names with similar spellings. Although we've established that many people (particularly in Scotland) pronounce the 'e' in the name Isobel as a schwa, it's also very common to pronounce the last syllable as 'bell'. Same with Annabel.

I think it comes down to the fact that your name is your own name (obviously, for young children, the default is chosen by the parents until and unless the child decides differently when older) and for other people to tell you how it's to be acceptably pronounced and that you mustn't correct people who say it differently is rather arrogant.

I agree it would be rude to correct a person's differing pronunciation of a neutral object, but who are you to dictate to somebody that your pronunciation of their name, when referring to them is as acceptable or more so than their own - and to tell them that they mustn't correct somebody?

Some people actively do this with perceived 'foreign' names and will deliberately pronounce them the 'proper English' way to make a nasty racist point and to belittle them - insist on calling Mina Patel 'Minor PAY-tell' and then, when she kindly corrects them, say "No, you're in Britain now*, so THAT's how it's said". *even though she may very well have been in Britain since birth, maybe longer than the racist disagreeing person has.

Take actor David Oyelowo. If somebody saw his name for the first time, didn't have a clue and ended up guessing at 'Oily-woo' or something, and he gently corrected them, would you accept that person telling him that, no, he's wrong - it's a 'fair-enough' way for a British English-speaker to pronounce it?

Our names are the most basic things that we ever own and nobody has the right to tell us how they are acceptably pronounced apart from us. Fine if you know another Caleb who pronounces it 'Kay-lub', 'Kall-ebb', 'Kar-leeb' or whatever - please call him that. But if somebody else has a slightly differently-pronounced name that happens to share a spelling, do them the basic courtesy of believing that they know their own name and, once aware of it, using it.

youllhavehadyourtea Sat 09-Mar-19 12:01:22

Sair-ah, Sarr-ah, anyone?

Sarah = Sayra

Sara = Sa-ra

I am personally invested in this. ;-)

Boulshired Sat 09-Mar-19 12:14:31

I see my cousin every 2/3 years I do have to use you tube to remember how to pronounce it before we visit. I think it was because a read her name in cards so had been saying it wrong in my head for years. Saoirse although a few recent Irish actresses have made it easier to remember. There is a difference between pronouncing a name wrong and the name being said in an accent. All my vocabulary has a scouse tone even though a left 30 yers ago.

outpinked Sat 09-Mar-19 12:15:58

Never heard it pronounced Kay-Leb, it’s Kay-lub like tub.

SnowyAlpsandPeaks Sat 09-Mar-19 12:19:55

@Tonijo1990 OP you mentioned Esme. This was on our baby list. I thought the pronunciation was Es-mee, not Es-may as you said you friend pronounced it. So which is the correct way? Just curious!

PettyContractor Sat 09-Mar-19 12:30:00

(I've not read the thread, so someone may have beaten me to this.)

There are two youtube guides to pronoucing Caleb, neither agree with OP.

The first says "cal-ib" with "cal" as in calcium or calculus.

The second (which claims to give American pronunciation) is closer to OP, it gives the pronunciation as "cay-lib".

I was suprised by the first pronunciation, I pronounce it the so-called American way. (Not american, but come to think of it, they only time I've heard it pronounced is in US TV programs. Though I think I would have pronounced it that way anyway.)

PettyContractor Sat 09-Mar-19 12:32:38

It may be that "lib" and "lub" are pronounced the same, I'm not sure what OP means when she says they are pronouncing it as "lub".

youllhavehadyourtea Sat 09-Mar-19 12:38:51

It may be that "lib" and "lub" are pronounced the same, I'm not sure what OP means when she says they are pronouncing it as "lub".

it's all about the schwa

mathanxiety Sun 10-Mar-19 06:15:01

I think it comes down to the fact that your name is your own name (obviously, for young children, the default is chosen by the parents until and unless the child decides differently when older) and for other people to tell you how it's to be acceptably pronounced and that you mustn't correct people who say it differently is rather arrogant.

As the bearer of an Irish name living in the US, I think my experience here is pertinent and so is my advice, which is born of experience. You gain nothing by being unnecessarily picky about what you see as the mispronunciation of a vowel sound that is actually perfectly correct in the context of spoken English.

In my case my name is truly mangled on a daily basis. It's not just a question of a vowel sound that I haven't noticed before. Think Owiffy for Aoife, or Madrid for Mairead, or Sayoilfin for Caoilfhionn or Nyam for Niamh. I only correct it if someone asks for clarification or if I will be having more to do with the name-mangler I am meeting for the first time. In the case of the OP's DS Caleb, the schwa is perfectly correct and going about correcting people would cause her to come across as oddly and unnecessarily persnickety.

Again, it is a perfectly correct pronunciation, just as Jacub is a perfectly correct pronunciation of Jacob and Helun is correct for Helen, as is the schwa in a huge proportion of words with an unstressed syllable in the English language. No, not every name and not every word with an unstressed second syllable (and I don't think I claimed every single name and every single word with an unstressed second syllable) but a huge number, perhaps even the majority.

And actually, to use your examples, I suspect the vast majority of people would pronounce the O of Isobel as a schwa. Similarly, the second A of Annabel is often a schwa. It's everywhere.

You can learn to live with it or you can set yourself up for a lot of unnecessary tooth grinding. You are fighting against the tide if you make a point of insisting on the E sound in the unstressed second syllable of Caleb where the schwa is normally found, a pattern to which people revert to in normal speech. The schwa is so normal and so correct that teachers of English as a second language concentrate on helping their students get it right because their spoken English sounds completely wrong otherwise.

Feb2018mumma Sun 10-Mar-19 06:27:34

I knew a Michaela,

Everyone pronounced it- mi-kay-lah

She insisted on- mi-kel-lah

Obviously her mum had chosen the name and how to say it but it always reminded me of hyacinth bucket! With your son I have only ever heard it pronounced your way? It's a lovely name smile

notyourmummy Sun 10-Mar-19 06:39:03

Unfortunately people will pronounce names how they see fit, no matter how many times you correct them! I've got an Eliana, pronounced with a short a (like Diana), but lots of people, my family included, insist on saying Eli-arna. She's started calling herself Ana now though, with a short a sound, so that's getting the message through to them!!

Jebuschristchocolatebar Sun 10-Mar-19 06:41:57

Your child won’t care and you will be that annoying parent who is obsessed with others pronouncing their name. I had a friend called Megan who was called Meeeegan and her mum was a nut about correcting everyone for years about the way her name was said.

AngeloMysterioso Sun 10-Mar-19 07:06:08

I’d pronounce Caleb the same way I’d pronounce Salem, if that makes sense. Emphasis on the first syllable. Don’t think I’ve ever heard it the other way.

murmuration Sun 10-Mar-19 07:07:14

I'm from the US and the US pronounciation of my name is VERY American. Like a vowel sound you simply don't use in the UK. So everyone here says my name slightly differently to me; sometimes I have trouble getting people to understand my name and have to repeat it several times. But if I try to say it with the UK accent, it just comes out a completely different word - I can't quite get the sound in between the US pronounciation and the other word. I always know who people mean when they say my name, so that's fine.

We did something similar to my daughter (accidentally) - there are alternate ways of pronouncing her name, particularly the local way is different to the way we do and the culture from which it derived. She uses a nick-name that avoids the issue, but I'm not too fussed - I call her the "original" pronounciation and people understand it, even if they then use theirs. If she didn't always go by a nickname, I'm not sure what I'd think - but I can't imagine anyone saying I'm spelling it wrong! You'd more have to change the spelling to get the common-here pronounciation.

SmiledWithTheRisingSun Sun 10-Mar-19 07:15:43

I would pronounce it your way too OP.
Keep politely correcting them. They will get it in the end.
When your son can talk he will certainly tell them too!!grin

Marchitectmummy Sun 10-Mar-19 07:34:25

In essence you can't control how others pronounce your child's name, especially when your pronunciation is a variant in itself. We are in London and know 4 Calebs - all referred to as CA-leb so prominence given to the first two letters. So if I came across your son I would presume and be used to that pronounciation.

It is a name that was rarely used in London at least until the last 4 or 5 years where its used super often so people are not accustomed to decades of pronouncing it. The fact it is in the Bible does not make it equal to david that is less subject to fashion and therefore learnt pronounciation over generations.

SmarmyMrMime Sun 10-Mar-19 08:15:46

I don't have a local accent to my area, and have stuck strongly to a fairly mainstream accent of my formative years despite not living there for 30+ years. I don't change accent easily, and millions of people in the country think I have the "right" accent. If I had picked up the local accent, millions more people would think I was "wrong".

It's very frustrating to be "corrected" about making sounds that I can't make. Being "corrected" that names like "James" are "Jay-ums" with additional sounds twisted in. The UK has a very diverse range of accents and it doesn't mean that people outside your area are wrong.

Someone doing their best with subtle vowel distinctions is different to making no effort with clear variation in names such as Louis (hard S/ silent S). I once had a day where I taught several boys with the spelling Louis, and when teaching 150 people in a day, it is easy to jumble up the "Loui" in lesson 1 with the "LouiS" in lesson 2 before reverting back to "Loui" again for lesson 3. Accidents can happen, and I did make the effort to remember the preference and correct myself when required.

It is wrong to deliberately use the wrong version of a name, but it isn't always possible to manipulate your speech into the umpteen subtle distinctions created by regional accents.

The schwa has been an education to me this morning. I know I instinctively do it, but wasn't aware of the terminology.

lovelylondonsky Sun 10-Mar-19 08:35:32

It isn't supposed to be pronounced Kay-leb with the e sound as in egg

But it isn't supposed to be pronounced Kay-lub with the u sound as in tub either

The vowel in the leb is very short and lhb would probably be the best way of writing how it sounds. But it does sound far closer to the tub pronunciation.

TallulahBetty Sun 10-Mar-19 09:14:26

CAY-lb would be the best way to show how it's usually pronounced.

As PP have said, it's only rude for people to continue to say it wrong after they have been told. My own great-grandmother said my name wrong til the day she died. I don't know how my mum was so patient with her (I was too young to notice)

TallulahBetty Sun 10-Mar-19 09:15:05


Tonijo1990 Sun 10-Mar-19 15:00:27

What I meant sbout bible was that it is a name
I’ve been told I’ve made it up
I’m just sticking with how I say it and how he knows his name
Thanks for all the comments
I know 2 esmes and one said esmee and the other esmae
I guess it’s the parents choice but I always respect how to pronounce whether or not someone thinks it’s “wrong”
I oribfinally heard Caleb years ago wen my drama teacher named her son Caleb Saul
She said cay leb
However , I remembered the name by seeing it on a tv show ( the originals) when I was pregnant and they say more Calub sound
So I’m not sure what’s “right”
I should’ve stuck with the name Wyatt that my mum wanted 😂
I’m not sure if I can close this thread as I’m new to posting but thank you all

lottiegarbanzo Sun 10-Mar-19 20:37:05

Caleb is much nicer than Wyatt!

mathanxiety Sun 10-Mar-19 23:55:36

Cay-leb and the Cay-lub (schwa/neutral, short vowel sound) pronunciation are both right.

And Caleb is of course a Biblical name.

If people are using the Cah-leb or Cah-lub pronunciation (like the first two letters of cat) then I would correct them. But if the problem is the very slightly different vowel sound in the second syllable it's not worth the raised eyebrows you will get.

Incidentally, how would you pronounce Wyatt?
Wy-att (same A sound as in cat) or Wy-utt? I would bet the farm that the vast majority of people would use the second pronunciation (with the schwa/neutral vowel sound), and you would be right back where you started.

Mmmhmmm Sun 10-Mar-19 23:58:29

I've heard it both ways. 🤷🏻‍♀️

SheriffCallie Mon 11-Mar-19 00:16:33

I have a Caleb, we pronounce it Cay-lub.
Actually, with our accent it’s more of a Kia-lub, Kia like the car. English friends pronounce it differently, but we don’t correct them as we understand it’s just difference in accent, not an insult. And despite his young age, he understands this too and responses to the different variations so it’s not worth getting het up about imo.

DeathyMcDeathStarFace Mon 11-Mar-19 03:25:01

We have a Caleb and our preferred pronunciation is the way you say it. Have never heard it said any other way until I looked up how to pronounce it on the internet just now!

And it is definitely not a name you have made up. Caleb and Joshua were in the Old Testament. When the Israelites were coming out of the wilderness and scoping out the promised land there were twelve men sent to spy on Caanan, Caleb and Joshua were two of those men and were the only two of those twelve who had the faith in God to believe they could take the town. (They are in the book of Numbers, early on in the Old Testament, so it is an old name.)

Coincidentally our Caleb has a brother named Joshua, which we hadn't realised we'd done until a few years after they had been named!

I think different accents mean it can get pronounced in different ways, I don't think there is necessarily a right or wrong way to say it, just personal preference. Keep correcting people when they say it differently to how your ds's name is pronounced, if they want to pronounce it another way they can have a son and give him the name so they can pronounce their Caleb in their way.

There is also a Kalib in ds's school, pronounced Kay-leb, I don't understand it.

Tonijo1990 Wed 27-Mar-19 17:32:18

Thanks everyone
I think it’s just annoying when it’s close friends and family who say “well I’m saying it the way I do and you’re wrong”
But guess I shouldn’t be so sensitive

GPatz Wed 27-Mar-19 17:38:13

You can pronounce my DS's name in two different ways. I just correct it when someone uses the wrong one. I would probably get annoyed though if someone insisted I was pronouncing it wrong.

SrSteveOskowski Wed 27-Mar-19 17:55:55

I'd pronounce it KALE-eb, but I'm Irish in Ireland so obviously a different accent comes into play there.

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