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Niamh vs Neve

(69 Posts)
Mango194 Mon 18-Mar-13 19:52:18

One month to go until DD1 is due and one of the (very few!) names on our shortlist is Niamh, which I've always loved. We live in England; do you think most people know the correct pronunciation, or would it be better to spell it Neve (I'd rather use the authentic spelling but don't want to saddle DD with an unpronounceable name, having grown up with one myself!). I should add that our Irish connection is fairly distant (my paternal grandmother, long deceased, and no other family there with whom we're in touch). Opinions gratefully received!

squoosh Tue 19-Mar-13 13:15:09

Yes it's a two syllable name pronounced NEE-uv. Neve is something else entirely.

Listen here to the correct pronunciation.

Re. Neve Campbell, a bit of googling tells me that Neve (pr. Nev) is her mother's maiden name. I'm sure there's a Hebrew boy's name Neve pr. Nev also.

BikeRunSki Tue 19-Mar-13 13:16:01

My best friend's DD is Niamh. She is 4 and has never had any problems. Niamh is in common enough usage in England that people may not understand the spelling, but they do know it.

notso Tue 19-Mar-13 13:30:52

Interesting thread. DS has a Niamh, Neve and Neave in his year, the first two are pronounced Neeve, the last pronounced Nee-vuh, none are pronounced like squoosh's video!

squoosh Tue 19-Mar-13 13:33:26

I'm not surprised, I've never personally heard of a UK Niamh with a correctly pronounced name.

DancesWithTheEasterBunny Tue 19-Mar-13 13:38:02

I liked either Niamh or Neve for DD3, but DH felt that if we went with Niamh some people would pronounce it wrong and not know how to spell it, but if we went with Neve people would think we didn't know it was "supposed" to be Niamh. I gave up trying to convince him one was or another. She is called Georgina...

notso Tue 19-Mar-13 13:51:23

It's the same with Rhys, SIL goes mad when I say it the welsh way.

badtime Tue 19-Mar-13 13:58:01

lesliewink1e, Orlaith from Big Brother was Northern Irish, not English.

lljkk Tue 19-Mar-13 13:58:12

I strongly prefer Neeve. Neve is just confusing again.

I am foreign & lived here 14 years before I encountered the name Niamh (had no idea how to say it correctly). So not common at all, ime.

foxrivereight Tue 19-Mar-13 14:00:23

Niamh .

Fwiw both myself and dd have names we have to spell out constantly , although it is annoying you get used to it and it's worth it to have a pretty and unusually name grin

foxrivereight Tue 19-Mar-13 14:00:39


Beehatch Tue 19-Mar-13 14:03:46

There is a Niamh, Neve and a Nieve at school, all pronounced 'Neeve' (rhyming with sleeve)

giraffesCantDateDucks Tue 19-Mar-13 14:12:08


Natty4 Tue 19-Mar-13 14:28:15

We have a Neve and have never come across a Niamh although have met another little Neve. I know it's not a favourite on mumsnet but it's really up to personal choice.

Out of interest, does anyone know if the spelling Keira is an "accepted" and used name in Ireland now?

ItsallisnowaFeegle Tue 19-Mar-13 14:35:08

Niamh grin my 7 year old niece is a Niamh. No competition.

apachepony Tue 19-Mar-13 14:40:50

To my knowledge there's no k in Irish, so Kiera wouldn't be an accepted spelling, it would be ciara

KobayashiMaru Tue 19-Mar-13 15:00:10

it is a little used and would be accepted but not as an Irish name. k is a foreign letter.

squoosh Tue 19-Mar-13 15:13:06

Keira would be very unusal in Ireland, Ciara is the only version I've come across and there are millions (slight exagerration) of Ciaras in Ireland.

MarthasHarbour Tue 19-Mar-13 20:32:37

Yep my friend is Irish and she has a Ciara

NightmareSpoon Tue 19-Mar-13 20:46:07

Team Niamh

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