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Irish Baby Names- it doesnt spell right!

(57 Posts)
Takingbabysteps Sat 06-Aug-11 21:46:34

Recently, my fiancé and I were discussing baby names, due to alot of our friends being pregnant and beginning to have babies.
When the topic came up of what we would name our babies, I suggested a couple of Irish names for a girl. Being Very proud of my Irishness (I should be the poster girl of Dublin- bright red hair, pale skin, cute freckles on the nose) I realised that when I moved to Surrey for my English partner, my Irishness came out multiplied by 100!
So I suggested Caoimhe. My fiancé liked it......until he asked the spelling. Unfortunately I dashed his idea that it was spelt K E E V A. It didnt go down well. He believes that his (english) friends would find our name very bizaare, especially because we would have to spell it phonetically.

Has anyone else gone through this dilemma. If so, who gives in?!

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 06-Aug-11 22:47:43

Well, i'm not sure it's a question of who gives in. You both need to agree on a name for your child (though presumably you wait until it's not hypothetical before really working on this).

I'm kind of with him (though i wouldn't give two hoots what friends think) I think it must be quite annoying for a child growing up with a "difficult" name. Having to explain it, spell it. Of course in Dublin, it wouldn't be considered difficult. But if you're staying in England, well, it probably is.

MrsOzz Sat 06-Aug-11 22:52:08

You will only have to tell people how to spell/say it once. It's a gorgeous name and if you want to honor it's irishness you need to keep its irish spelling. Changing it to Keeva makes it too English!!

My little girls middle name is Niamh and we spelled it that way because that's what it is! Neeve is easier to say and spell but then it feels like a different name and loses it's charm.

Bunbaker Sat 06-Aug-11 22:52:17

"I'm kind of with him (though i wouldn't give two hoots what friends think) I think it must be quite annoying for a child growing up with a "difficult" name. Having to explain it, spell it. Of course in Dublin, it wouldn't be considered difficult. But if you're staying in England, well, it probably is."

I agree. I have never come across this name before and had no idea how to pronounce it, and I consider myself to be pretty cosmopolitan and well educated. How about Siobhan or Niamh which us English oiks are more familair with.

rushofbloodtothefeet Sat 06-Aug-11 22:55:44

Niamh and Aoife are pretty familiar here in deepest South East, noone seems to have a problem with them. I know a Saoirse too, I guess you only need to be told once about the pronunciation.

GwendolineMaryLacey Sat 06-Aug-11 23:08:25

People would learn. This country is full of people with all different backgrounds and all sorts of weird and wonderful names. Should they all change their spellings to accommodate people who can't be arsed to think outside of Peter and Jane? It's a lazy, tired argument.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 06-Aug-11 23:10:16

I know someone who would talk to people on the phone at work and say "My name's Llinoswouldyoulikemetospellthatforyou?"

Maryz Sat 06-Aug-11 23:15:51

I think you have to decide if you are ever going to live in Ireland. Because, if you aren't, you could do Keeva or Caoimhe (though I always say it as sort of Kweeva anyway). But if you intended to come back here, or even to visit, Keeva wouldn't go down very well.

Actually I don't mind Keeva as much as Eeefa or Neeve (which aren't names imo hmm). And if you want to call your child Kate-Lynn, call her Kate-Lynn, don't name her Caitlin and pronounce it Kate-Lynn (a real bugbear for me).

Maryz Sat 06-Aug-11 23:16:59

Oh, just thought of another I really hate. Shivaun. Drives me nuts (though I accept I am being a bit ott about this).

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 06-Aug-11 23:20:35

See, I don't know how to pronounce Caitlin if it's not like that.

Bunbaker Sat 06-Aug-11 23:22:20

"don't name her Caitlin and pronounce it Kate-Lynn (a real bugbear for me)."

So, how do you pronounce Caitlin?

MrsOzz Sat 06-Aug-11 23:22:58

Out of interest, how would you say Caitlin? I thought it was Kate-lin, like Katelynn, Katelin, Catelynn, Caitlynn etc erc. Sorry for my ignorance!

Nagoo Sat 06-Aug-11 23:26:41

Caitlin Moran says cat-lin.

MrsOzz Sat 06-Aug-11 23:28:43

I just googled stand think the poster may mean it should have a 'th' sound instead of the 't'. So maybe more like Caithlin rather than Catelin. Could be barking up the wrong tree though (I am as English as they come! Sorry)

MrsOzz Sat 06-Aug-11 23:29:51

Oh actual Cat-Lin sounds like a better story. Or maybe I just need to learn to read those funny phonetic spelling symbols properly.

Maryz Sat 06-Aug-11 23:31:31

It's pronounced the Irish way, with a fada on the i.

So Cait (as in half way between Cat and Caught), li(fada)n (as in leen).

Pronounced Caughtchleeen, roughly. But it doesn't sound right without the soft Irish t in the middle which I've written as tch, but is really a soft t)which most English people struggle with.

Though in the North (or Norn Irn as they say) it is pronounced Cat-Leen, with a harder t.

Sorry, I've opened a can of worms here haven't I blush.

BluddyMoFo Sat 06-Aug-11 23:32:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MelanieWiggles Sat 06-Aug-11 23:34:00

Caitlin is pronounced Cawtch-leen in Ireland. The english translation is Kathleen.

MelanieWiggles Sat 06-Aug-11 23:35:39

Cross post Maryz !

SinicalSal Sat 06-Aug-11 23:44:08

Spell the name in the correct way, people get used to all sorts of funny forrin names and spellings.

BoosMaw Sat 06-Aug-11 23:48:31

It's worth considering that most kids can't read or write well enough to spell each others names until after they've started school, and at say 5 yo they have a fairly limited life experience, so Caoimhe won't be any more unusual to a home counties kid than ,any other more common names, and plenty of british names are non-phonetic anyway, just in a different way.

e.g. my 5yo DD misspelt Isabelle on a friend's birthday card, but she can spell Ruairidh as we have one of those in the family. We're not in Ireland, or the Scottish Highlands, and neither is Ruairidh, he seems to cope OK with his name!

SevenAgainstThebes Sun 07-Aug-11 00:07:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SinicalSal Sun 07-Aug-11 00:08:00

Yes stick to the authentic version.

Maryz Sun 07-Aug-11 00:12:04

And if you want authentic Irish names, try Siofra (fada on the i), which I think is beautiful smile. For those who don't know, it is pronounced Shee-fra, with a little lift on the Shee, so Shee-a-frah, sort of. Really lovely, imo.

wrigglerstea Sun 07-Aug-11 00:18:54

I have a very English name but it is very old fashioned and not at all "normal" and no one can spell or pronounce that either, even though it actually is spelled phonetically (people don't like z in the middle of a name). Spend half my time explaining that actually, no, it isn't foreign, but why would it matter if it was?

I don't think it matters what you do someone will have an issue with it, you might as well give your daughter a beautiful name, spelled right, and let everyone else get on with it...

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