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Alasdhair - have you come across the spelling?

(58 Posts)
purpleliza Sun 07-Aug-11 19:42:28

We are struggling to find a name for DC3. We both like Alasdhair but I rejected it for DS1 because I knew the spelling was unusual and would be constantly written wrong. We have to use this spelling because it is passed down in DH's family. We have a traditional and fairly common Scottish surname but live in the south of England. Since this first argument, DD1 has been named Isobel which is constantly spelt wrong so I guess I am used to it now but I still have some reservations because no children seemed to have been named recently with this spelling at all.

Is this spelling common/regarded as normal in Scotland?
If you saw this name written down would you know how to pronounce it?
Do you think I am committing my child to a lifetime of name-spelling grief?

If you google it the only person alive with this name seems to be Stella Macartney's husband!

Thanks for your thoughts smile

pointydog Sun 07-Aug-11 19:48:58

I have never seen this spelling. I would assume someone had got it wrong somewhere down the line.

Ruairidh - the dh is silent. So I can't see why Alasdhair would be correct. But I don't know gaelic.

thesurgeonsmate Sun 07-Aug-11 19:50:12

This is not a common spelling in the central belt of Scotland no, but I can't speak for further north / west. I would have doubts about how to pronounce it, but I'd just go with Alasdair until I was told otherwise. I think your only real problem is the name-spelling grief. Which, as you say, can happen with many names. Even if you called him Alasdair, you'd get people spelling it Alastair.

Northernlurkerisgoingonholiday Sun 07-Aug-11 19:53:41

I like this spelling. I am an Eleanor - and people spell that wrong all the time and call me Helen! Doesn't mean I don't have a fab name grin

purpleliza Sun 07-Aug-11 19:54:48

Thanks v much for your responses. I don't have any idea how to pronounce Ruairidh.....

the surgeonsmate - is Alasdair the usual spelling in Scotland?

SaffronCake Sun 07-Aug-11 19:54:55

I don't think of Isobel as any less "correct" than Isabelle, in fact my first assumption would be an O and one L actually, I don't know why. Alasdhair is a nice name. It will be most people's assumption that you are spelling it more like either Alasdair or Alistair so you are going to have to do a bit of correcting, but then is that really so awful? Most people who are irritated by varient spellings (I admit to not loving them) would tell you that properly justified cultural traditions are a different matter. If DH's family are Scottish and Alasdhair is a family tradition then I think it falls firmly into the exemption category. (And it goes with Isobel).

MrsPlugThePlumber Sun 07-Aug-11 19:57:15

Totally agree that, if anything, "Isobel" is the "proper" spelling.

Alasdhair... well.. it's certainly an unusual spelling - I had to think about it to see what it spelled.

talkingnonsense Sun 07-Aug-11 19:57:16

I have an Alasdair, and get alistair, Alastair, alister, alisdair. I wouldn't worry unless it offends you.

thesurgeonsmate Sun 07-Aug-11 19:57:53

Yes, I would perceive Alasdair to be the "Scottish" spelling.

LemonDifficult Sun 07-Aug-11 19:58:03

Don't do it. If you like the name, pick a version that others will know how to spell. You are wasting your son's valuable time in the future, as he spends - and he will spend - actual hours of his life correcting this.

IslaValargeone Sun 07-Aug-11 19:59:16

Absolutely what lemon says.

purpleliza Sun 07-Aug-11 20:00:22

Dh insisted on the spelling of Isobel for DD1 which I understand is the Scottish version. I was not really bothered, but knew this spelling was common enough to be recognised. Not sure that Alasdhair is the same though. I don't want anyone to think I have tried to spell it differently for some kind of effect. I would use Alasdair or Alistair instead if I could.

DS1 ended up with Oscar which is not Scottish as all (partly as a result of the Alasdhair argument).

thesurgeonsmate Sun 07-Aug-11 20:00:53

On Ruairidh, I'd pronounce this like "Rory" but with an "oo" sound where the roar is. Roorie

pointydog Sun 07-Aug-11 20:01:11

Ruairidh - roo-aree

Alasdhair looks all wrong.

purpleliza Sun 07-Aug-11 20:05:13

Thanks so much for your help. This is really useful. I do love the name but don't think I can persuade DH to drop the h sad.

suzikettles Sun 07-Aug-11 20:11:03

Going by the Scottish General Registrar's lists for last year, Alastair is one of those names with multiple spellings floating about. In order of popularity in 2010:

Alistair (37)
Alasdair (24)
Alastair (22)
Alisdair (4)
Alister (2)
Alistar (1)
Alasdhair (1)
Aleister (1)
Allister (1)

I think it's lovely name however it's spelled. Probably would draw the line at Aleister though, but can see that it might attract those with esoteric interests..

fluffles Sun 07-Aug-11 20:13:18

the spelling with the h is very odd as in gaelic the dh is pronounced as a v (like in siobhan).

i would use alasdair first choice, alastair second choice... i'm scottish.

pointydog Sun 07-Aug-11 20:15:43

I thought mh was v, as in Mhairi?

PacificDogwood Sun 07-Aug-11 20:16:21

It is very common for names to change in the course of decades/centuries. So if you want to stick with a family name, there is really no compelling reason why you cannot bring it up to date wink.

I like Alasdhair, but would hesitate to use that particular spelling. The first three in suzikettles' list look 'right' to me.

Disclaimer: I am not Scottish and live in Scotland's Central Belt.

We need some Gaelic speakers on this thread.

purpleliza Sun 07-Aug-11 20:18:10

Suzik - thanks for this. So there is one other little Alasdhair out there but I think this definitely backs up the too unusual argument...

Whyriskit Sun 07-Aug-11 21:16:05

I have an Alasdair, which I believe is the Gaelic spelling. As you know, it is one of those names which has a myriad of different spellings and even close family have problems with it! DS1 has a very simple name and while I love DS2's name, I jokingly blame the drugs I was on during childbirth for it! I've never seen Alasdhair.

nearlytherenow Sun 07-Aug-11 21:38:22

I am Scottish and agree with the general consenus. I have never seen Alasdhair as a spelling. It looks all wrong / made up to me. DS2 has Alasdair as a middle name, which I always view as the traditional Scottish spelling (it's a family name for us and this is the way everyone spells it), but Alastair / Alistair are also accepted spellings (although I personally think that Alasdair is nicer).

Isobel is definitely the correct spelling to my mind! The "Isabelle" spelling seems very anglicised / modern.

nearlytherenow Sun 07-Aug-11 21:40:16

PS although I am not a Gaelic speaker myself, "Alasdair" as a name has been passed down through generations of my family who were Gaelic speakers, so I assume that this is the Gaelic spelling.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 07-Aug-11 21:51:16

"DD1 has been named Isobel which is constantly spelt wrong"
confused How else can it be spelled?

I was at school with an Alistair and dated an Alasdair, it is a lovely name. But if your husband won't shift on the 'dh' (which I've never seen) how about Andrew? Angus? Alexander?

thesurgeonsmate Sun 07-Aug-11 21:54:17

Sounds like you are Scottish WhereYouLeftIt! Apparently that isn't how they spell it down south. Who knew?

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