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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!

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

Team Niamh

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

Yep my friend is Irish and she has a Ciara

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.

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.

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

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

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

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?

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


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

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

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


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

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.

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

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

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

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

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...

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.

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!

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.

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.

AmandaPayneNeedsaHoliday Tue 19-Mar-13 13:10:54

Yes, in England, if you say you are called Orla, people will write Orla, not Orlaith (or the other spelling I can never remember, the one with the d). If you say Neve, people will write Niamh.

MarthasHarbour Tue 19-Mar-13 13:08:21

You know what would happen - she would say Neve over the phone to say a shop or something and the caller would write 'Niamh' grin

Seriously i think the name Niamh is known enough. I am biased, my friend has a Niamh wink

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 13:03:26

yes, Orla and Maeve are accepted spellings in ireland! In fact, the first Orlaith I was aware of was English. The girl from BB, years back now.

AmandaPayneNeedsaHoliday Tue 19-Mar-13 09:00:29

I would go with Niamh.

I think that, with Irish names, there are some names where the Anglicised spelling has become popular even in Ireland - Rory (although not quite the same name as Ruaraidh) or Orla spring to mind. But I doubt you'd get someone in Ireland naming their child Neve.

I have a name you have to spell. It is no biggie. I introduce myself and, if someone is taking down my details, automatically spell it out too. I have to do it with my very simple surname too, because there are various variations.

GooseyLoosey Tue 19-Mar-13 08:41:53

Dd has an Irish name and most people have got on OK with it. I would definitely not use an Anglicised spelling, it just looks wrong.

slippysnow Tue 19-Mar-13 08:37:28

On screen neve looks like nevel (or Neville). Most people know Niamh now, and if not corrections aren't that bad- you grow to anticipate them. I could write a naming book of strange variations of my name, despite its regular spelling. Congratulations smile

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