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How would you pronounce this name...

(31 Posts)
GlaikitFizzog Thu 25-Aug-11 11:22:27


I'm thinking like Yvonne, but not entirely sure.

LaTristesse Thu 25-Aug-11 11:46:16

Oh blimey I'm terrible at these Gaelic names... They're really pretty once I know how to say them, but I'm an English heathen I'm afraid...

Stab in the dark at A-von? or Ay-veen?

Grumpla Thu 25-Aug-11 11:52:27

Errrrrr... Aveen?

PerryCombover Thu 25-Aug-11 12:02:15

eve von ee vagh

cjbk1 Thu 25-Aug-11 12:09:45


SheCutOffTheirTails Thu 25-Aug-11 12:15:14

It's spelled Aoibheann

Pronounced prett much like "even"

It is the Irish word for lovely.

PerryCombover Thu 25-Aug-11 12:15:56

oops i meant ee vagn or eve von ime

Suncottage Thu 25-Aug-11 12:17:29

It probably sounds lovely but looks like someone has dropped a load of Scrabble tiles.

ExitPursuedByATroll Thu 25-Aug-11 12:19:34

Reminds of the Vicar of Dible joke - "Did your mother have something against consonants?"

I would have said that Eveen, or Aveen. Tis lovely, but there would be a lot of spelling it out for people - unless you live in Ireland of course.

BluddyMoFo Thu 25-Aug-11 12:22:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SheCutOffTheirTails Thu 25-Aug-11 12:29:22

It doesn't have an -een ending, it has an -en or -an ending.

In English it sounds too much like "even" to sound attractive.

Also interesting that everyone on this thread so far (other than me, and I speak Irish) has guessed wrong.

This name would be a burden to an English child. Would you call your daughter Even? It's really just a complicated way of spelling it.

WeShouldOpenABar Thu 25-Aug-11 12:45:13

if you want it to end een you need to change it to aoibhinn , but agree with shecutofftheirtails, everyone i know with an irish name has huge problems in the uk, even aoife which i would have thought is an easy enough one has proved problematic

GlaikitFizzog Thu 25-Aug-11 13:16:54

Not burdoning a child, its the name of someone in a book I'm reading and every time is come acroos it it takes me too long to get on with reading because I try to figure out how to say it!

Thank you ladies! I knew someone here would be able to tell me!

HardCheese Thu 25-Aug-11 13:51:19

I'm Irish, and it's pronounced more or less exactly like 'Even'. It means 'lovely' or 'beautiful'.

HardCheese Thu 25-Aug-11 13:54:18

SheCutOffTheirTails and WeShouldOPenaBar - are you both Irish people living in the UK? Have you given your children Irish names and found that there was mass pronunciation difficulties? Am Irish, pregnant with my first, but not sure whether it will grow up mostly in Ireland or in England, and that will probably have an impact on our choice of names. Would be interested to hear your experience, if relevant.

PerryCombover Thu 25-Aug-11 14:16:37

This is my aunt's name and she pronounces it e von or ev von

SheCutOffTheirTails Thu 25-Aug-11 14:45:12

HardCheese I live in NI, so Irish names are familiar to some people but pretty alien to others.

DH is English, so in-law issues around name pronunciation.

Both my DDs have (quite rare, but not unheard of) Irish names. I picked them to be easily pronounced by non-Irish speakers.

I don't like the name Aoibheann anyway, but I would not have used a name that had the same sound as an English word. I think the child called Even is the worst part if the burden - people can learn to spell and pronounce things as long as there are no difficult sounds eg no way would I choose Cathal, although in Ireland it would be fine.

Congratulations on your pregnancy smile

WineAndPizza Thu 25-Aug-11 15:25:57

Ay veen or ee veen

I am Irish and have a couple of friends with this name

wigglesrock Thu 25-Aug-11 15:29:10

I thought it was Aay (to rhyme with Bay vean).

SheCutOffTheirTails Thu 25-Aug-11 16:38:58

It is not correctly pronounced Ayveen, although some Irish people do mispronounce it.

The correct way to say it is Even.

Or if you spell Aoibhinn, then Eeveen/Eevin

Aoi makes a beautiful sound, but the closest in English is ee

Ayveen would be spelled Eabhaoin (or something)

Aoibheann is a standard word, there is no way to make those letters make the sound Ayveen.

PerryCombover Thu 25-Aug-11 18:22:29

ee from the Aoi and v from the bh and aan

i'm still getting eev aan <norn ironer though>

HardCheese Thu 25-Aug-11 18:35:58

Thanks, SheCutOffTheirTales!

PerryCombover, 'eann' or 'ainn' is always just a neutral 'en' sound, unless there's a fada lengthening one of the vowels. So Siobhán is pronounced 'ShuvAUN' because of the síne fada on the 'a', but Aoibheann (or Aoibhinn' as it's sometimes spelled) are 'EE-ven', because t doesn't have one.

As SheCutOffTheirTales said, though, Ireland isn't immune from people inventing their own variant spellings to Irish names, especially if Irish is a dim and distant memory from their schooldays! If you actually speak it, though, the variant spellings/pronunciations become a lot weirder, because names like Aoibheann are also just ordinary words - 'Aoibheann' means beautiful or lovely, so you can't just reinvent it!

SheCutOffTheirTails Thu 25-Aug-11 21:58:49

Actually WeShould is right - Aoibhinn could legitimately be pronounced Ee-veen, depending on accent.

I would pronounce that as Eev-inn, same as I pronounce the word binn like bin.

But some people would pronounce that narrow vowel sound as ee, eg. binn as been (particularly in Ulster dialect) and that is perfectly fine.

Aoibheann uses a broad vowel sound, so there is no way it can end in een.

And Perry is right too, that the broad vowel sound in Aoibheann has a particular sound to that is broader than just Even would allow. But the closest you'll get when people are speaking English is Even.

I hope you guys have some idea what I'm talking about. Irish sounds in English are hard to represent well. smile wink

<nerd - and not just me grin>

PerryCombover Thu 25-Aug-11 22:25:31

Phew..wondered if we were all mad or speaking Irish with an Ian Paisley accent perhaps

cjbk1 Fri 26-Aug-11 19:38:27

sorry if u think i guessed wrong mrs irish speaker but in the kingdom of kerry it'd be eve-een thank you

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