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Is Aoibhe a step too far in the UK?

(257 Posts)
mika2 Thu 09-May-13 23:09:36

I'm Irish, living in the UK and due DD1 in 4 mths. I really want to give the baby an irish name - DH has reluctantly agreed - and had come up with an extensive list of boys names i liked (and was convinced it was a boy!) but now i know it's a girl I'm still struggling. Not helped by the fact that a lot of them (Ciara, Tara, Niamh, Beibhinn, Saoirse, Siun) have already been taken by my very extended family. At the moment this is the best we can come up with;

Clodagh (klo-da) - but DH is insisting on nn chloe (which defeats the purpose of giving the baby an Irish name IMO)
Aoife (ee-fa) - pretty, but v v common in ireland and getting more so here?
Caoimhe (quee-va) - I love, but DH isn't so keen
Aoibhe (eva) - alternative to aoife, but a bit more "out there" than the others as even Irish ppl seem v confused on how to pronounce. And with such an obvious english alternative, can see DH/DD giving up and spelling it Eva eventually

Thoughts on the above for a baby growing up in the uk? And any other suggesions gratefully received!

NMM Thu 09-May-13 23:14:13

Emer (not the 'correct' Eimear spelling I know, but pronounceable!)

katkoala Thu 09-May-13 23:18:22

we love Nuala, but having a ds grin

amonthefence Thu 09-May-13 23:19:26

I know several Irish friends called Aine. (On-ya)

Movingtimes Thu 09-May-13 23:19:37

I also like Orla.
I have an Aoife and we never meet any others until we go to Ireland where we are tripping over bucket loads of them. She does get a lot of people spelling her name wrong or not knowing how to pronounce it, but once they know they know. I would go with the name you like best and not bother to worry about what other folk make of it.

Beehatch Thu 09-May-13 23:21:09

All Irish names, even with trad spelling seem to be getting more common here in SE England. In our nursery pretty much all the names you have listed are on the current rolls, even Caoimhe.

GwendolineMaryLacey Thu 09-May-13 23:21:55

I think that if you want to give an Irish name, then go the whole hog and give one that has a specific pronunciation rather than Aoibhe which, as you say, lazy sods will try to spell Eva. At least if you use Caoimhe you know they're going to have to make an attempt to spell it correctly, there's no easy get out.

All of them are lovely, I do like Eimear as suggested by NMM though smile

Irishmammybread Thu 09-May-13 23:22:18

Catriona (though the sneaky silent o catches everyone out!)
I really like Caoimhe too.

GwendolineMaryLacey Thu 09-May-13 23:22:38

Dervla has issues of its own although it's a gorgeous name (Dearbhla, Deirbhile anyone?)

tethersend Thu 09-May-13 23:22:54

Caoimhe is lovely.

AThingInYourLife Thu 09-May-13 23:24:11

Aoife is soooo much nicer than Aoibhe.

Why call a child Eva but make them spell it Aoibhe?

You could try Aoibheal grin

Apparently this is an old name that has inexplicably fallen out if favour wink

onedev Thu 09-May-13 23:27:09

I love all of your suggestions except Clodagh & I also love Nuala (& Fionnuala.)

I don't think Aoibhe is too out there at all (although I'm from NI, so all your names sound normal to me). Eva is vv popular around here, living in England (as is Eve, Evie etc) so Aoibhe would be great as its that bit different!

onedev Thu 09-May-13 23:28:37

Should add, that bit different & also reflects your heritage smile

intheshed Thu 09-May-13 23:29:11

I once knew a girl called Fionnula, which I thought was lovely.

Or how about Aisling?

AThingInYourLife Thu 09-May-13 23:33:04



AThingInYourLife Thu 09-May-13 23:35:19

Actually maybe not for a child in England.


Sadhbh? (tricky spelling, but v easy to say)

AThingInYourLife Thu 09-May-13 23:36:41

OK, just two more



threepiecesuite Thu 09-May-13 23:39:51


dontblameme Thu 09-May-13 23:43:16


CointreauVersial Thu 09-May-13 23:56:20

I'm not Irish, but DH is, so we wrestled with this exact dilemma.

I think there are some Irish names which the average Brit may have encountered and can probably cope with (Niamh, Siobhan, Orla etc).

Then there are some which are more tricky (my friend has a least, I think that's how it's spelled...). You will always be struggling with a name like that. Pretty names, but make sure that spelling/sounding out DD's name for the next 20 years won't drive you nuts.

We ended up with a Sorcha and an Erin (not Irish, but means Ireland....and no-one ever asks us how to spell it grin ).

K8Middleton Fri 10-May-13 00:05:15

Caitlin (pronounced Cat-lin) is lovely though I expect lots of people will call her Kate-lin.

ALittleBitOfMagic Fri 10-May-13 00:13:02

Oooooh I love beibhinn !! (sorry no help)


Cookethenook Fri 10-May-13 07:38:15

As a person with a non-phonetic, difficultly spelt name, I would never use a spelling like that dor my child's name when there is an alternate, easier spelling available. Sorry. I just spend half my life spelling my name for people and them going 'oooh, that's unusual!', it drives me nuts!

forgetmenots Fri 10-May-13 08:38:28

Hahaha Cooke I've got a common as muck name that has a few variant spellings, everyone knows how to do them but I always have to spell it out - has meant I'm so much more likely to support unusual hard-to-spell names, at least there's a point then smile

Stokes Fri 10-May-13 18:11:48

I went to school with a girl called Aoibhe who pronounced it Aoife. Used to drive the teachers crazy and does the same to me now. Anyway, that's beside the point!

Aoibhe is nice, I would've thought it would be more like Eev-uh than Eev-a, but it's a lovely name. There's also Aoibh and Éabha in a similar vein.

My favourite on your list Clodagh, although I see what you mean re Chloe. What about Bronagh? It's a lovely sounding name, but would the meaning put you off?

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