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how do you pronounce these baby names?

(106 Posts)
lunavix Fri 11-Aug-06 22:04:33

kian/cian and niamh?

to the best of my knowledge it's kee-an
and neem?

Is this right?

TambaTheDragonSlayer Fri 11-Aug-06 22:05:02


HRHQueenOfQuotes Fri 11-Aug-06 22:05:09

neeve (I think)

bakedpotato Fri 11-Aug-06 22:05:19


gothicmama Fri 11-Aug-06 22:06:27

yes neev and keean

lemonaid Fri 11-Aug-06 22:07:26

Niamh is like neeve, but more NEE-uhv with the two syllables slurred together a bit to make more like one-and-a-half syllables. It tends to be pronounced neeve by most English people, though.

lunavix Fri 11-Aug-06 22:08:01

so it's definately kee-an and not kai-an?

neve? really? neve is on my baby name list lol! How can it justify being spelt like that lol

HRHQueenOfQuotes Fri 11-Aug-06 22:08:47

luna - because it's Irish Gaelic

lunavix Fri 11-Aug-06 22:09:04

If someone announced themselves as a 'neev' you'd expect it to be spelt 'neve' wouldn't you? Or is this a name thing I just don't know about??

lunavix Fri 11-Aug-06 22:09:42

I know it's from a different origin (which I fully respect!) but those letters don't make those sounds!!!

Still very pretty either way.

MarscusGarvey Fri 11-Aug-06 22:10:32


lemonaid Fri 11-Aug-06 22:40:42

There isn't an immutable law of the universe that determines what noise a particular letter or combination of letters makes. In Irish mh (as a combination) makes a "v" sound, just as in English gh (as a combination) makes a "f" sound (in "enough" -- or it can be silent, or any of a number of other options). You don't look at "enough" and say "but those letters don't make those sounds!!!" (well, I haven't been spying on you, maybe you do...)

chubbleigh Fri 11-Aug-06 22:43:24

Yeah but if you are Irish you know what they sound like and how they are spelt and probably know at least one person with that name.

laudaud Sat 12-Aug-06 00:02:38

I actually had someone at work ask me about this earlier in the week - I'm Irish and we do a lot of work with Irish companies so have collaugues coming to me frequently with names to check if they are male or female and how they are pronounced. The other one I had this week was Grainne.

Speaking of Irish names what real;ly annoys me is the singer Ciara who pronounces her name Sierra as in the car - generally it is pronounced Keera.

laudaud Sat 12-Aug-06 00:05:30

Lunavix - the English don't always pronounce words the way you would expect them to be pronounced either based on spelling - Leicester, Loughborough!!!

Here's another Irish one for you - Caoimhe (pronounced Keeva)

shhhh Sat 12-Aug-06 09:52:15

another example seamus...Shay- mus..LOL I always wanted to say it as it read..!

zephyrcat Sat 12-Aug-06 10:12:16

I would pronounce Kian as Kyan - only beacause a friends ds has that name but I guess it could be either way!

Flumpybumpy Sat 12-Aug-06 13:35:27

Niamh is def NEE VE

Kian is KEE AN

They are irish names. I had Niamh on my list but went for Caitlin in the end as no-one could pronounce it when i asked.

How about Saorise?? Another irish name pronounced

HRHQueenOfQuotes Sat 12-Aug-06 13:49:28

laudaud - I think the best example (one that's local to us too) of English place names that don't make sense is

Towcester (pronounced Toaster!)

squishy Sat 12-Aug-06 14:01:01

My BIL is called Seamus and we always call him Seamouse!!! Grainne is a nice one, but unexpected too.

We're looking for Irish names as DH is Irish - we named both our cats with Irish names and are now wishing we could use one of them (Gilligan - Gilly - meaning little lad and Sorcha meaning brightness and radiance!!)

kayzed Sat 12-Aug-06 17:43:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

melpomene Sat 12-Aug-06 18:20:04

On CBeebies the other day they showed a picture sent in by a child named Caoimhe - the name was written on the picture. I had no idea how the name would be pronounced until the presenter pronounced it "Keefer".

lunavix Sat 12-Aug-06 19:48:39

thanks everyone!

I feel really ignorant, but I just love irish names. Always thought my ds had one until I was told I'd spelt it wrong (his name is Ayden!)

Very surprised about Caoimhe it looks quite feminine to me but I'm assuming as it's pronounced 'keefer' then it's male.

I think I'll be sticking with the spelling 'neve' it looks so gorgeous the other way but I think -especially knowing how people are where I live - that she'd get a constant 'huh?' out of it.

time4tea Sat 12-Aug-06 21:27:55

hello, this website might come in handy -

you can listen to Frank McCourt the author pronounce them properly! as well as buy yourself some very flash christening gowns with Irish designs embroidered on....

UrsulatheSeawitch Sat 12-Aug-06 21:43:06

So how do you pronounce Grainne? Nobody has said yet (I don't think)

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