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Irene - pronunciation?

(47 Posts)
smartypants1000 Wed 23-Apr-14 23:24:49

We love the name Irene, but want it pronounced eye-ree-nee. Will she spend her life correcting people who say eye-reen?

Would you spell it Irenie to avoid confusion? I think so but dh thinks not as it "looks made up"!

BadRoly Wed 23-Apr-14 23:26:17

The Irene I know is pronounced Eye-reen. I've no idea how you would spell 'Irenie' but agree it doesn't seem to look right.

strawberrypenguin Wed 23-Apr-14 23:26:33

I would say eye-reen it wouldn't even occur to me to pronounce it any other way, sorry.

MoominsAreScary Wed 23-Apr-14 23:31:02

Yes it's a totally different name

TheScience Wed 23-Apr-14 23:33:59

You could spell it Irini, which is the Greek way and said eye-ree-nee.

lloydlf76 Wed 23-Apr-14 23:38:12

I have a MIL, an aunt and a cousin called Irene and all of them pronounce it Eye-reen. They all categorically hate their name too sorry

lloydlf76 Wed 23-Apr-14 23:38:34

I have a MIL, an aunt and a cousin called Irene and all of them pronounce it Eye-reen. They all categorically hate their name too sorry

squoosh Wed 23-Apr-14 23:40:18

I always thought the eye-ree-nee pronunciation was a pet version of the name. I would guess 99% of people will pronounce it as eye-reen.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Wed 23-Apr-14 23:42:35

It's Eye-reen. There is no such name as Eye-ren-ee. It sounds silly pronounced like that. Sorry.

TheScience Wed 23-Apr-14 23:46:27

I would imagine the original name is eye-ree-nee and it has been anglicised to eye-reen.

CoffeeChocolateWine Wed 23-Apr-14 23:48:26

There is such a name as Eye-ree-nee...I used to know one. A Greek girl who spelt her name Irini. But Irene would definitely be pronounced Eye-reen.

TheScience Wed 23-Apr-14 23:48:46

Eirene (eye-ree-nee) is a Greek goddess of peace.

RustyBear Wed 23-Apr-14 23:59:04

My neighbour's daughter was called Irene, pronounced eye-reenie. In the audiobook of the Forsyte Saga, Irene Forsyte's name is pronounced eye-reen, in the 1967 TV version it's Eye-reenie. Can't remember how the 2002 version said it, but I think it was Eye-reenie. Just because someone hasn't heard of the longer version doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Bubblybint Thu 24-Apr-14 01:10:52

My nan is Italian (lived in England for 40 yrs plus though). English friends call her Eye-ree-nee and Italian call her Ee-Ray-ne. I think Eye-ree-nee is used although the Eye-reen is most common and the one people will assume. I think Irenie looks fine though.

TheAwfulDaughter Thu 24-Apr-14 01:14:08

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fidelineish Thu 24-Apr-14 01:49:35

Both pronounciations are valid for the spelling. I used to know several of each.

fidelineish Thu 24-Apr-14 01:52:00

And for an Irene pronounced Eye-Reen-EE, Rene, pronounced Reen-EE, is a common diminuative.

LettertoHermioneGranger Thu 24-Apr-14 01:52:18

I would pronounce Irene as Eye-Reen-Ah usually, it's a fairly common English spelling of a Russian name... at least in my family...

For Eye-Ree-nee, I honestly think you're better off going with Irene pronounced Eye-Reen and using Irenie as a nickname. I really couldn't imagine an adult Irenie - better to give her the choice of a plainer name when she's older.

AdoraBell Thu 24-Apr-14 01:56:34

The only person I've heard with it not pronounced eye-reen is a Russian woman, and every time DH mentions her I think "no, it's eye-reen, oh wait, it's the Russian woman". She probably is Irini, but my British mind always fills in eye-reen.

fidelineish Thu 24-Apr-14 01:56:37

Go and find an englishwoman in her 80s and ask her OP. They were both common until recently, but due to the written record not being much help on this one, you need a live source. How nice to be able to save a name from extinction.

nooka Thu 24-Apr-14 02:16:35

I have a friend called Irene. She is eye-reen. Irenie looks very odd to me, and I think if I came across it I might initially pronounce it with a short 'i' (like ink). I think the OP's dd might well end up with people both mispronouncing and misspelling her name. I've never heard eye-reen-ee.

stepmooster Thu 24-Apr-14 02:52:40

My nan born 1918, yorkshire lady, pronounced eye-reen-ee by anyone who knows her well. Her brother used to call her reen-ee for short.

It's my daughter's middle name and I love it.

NadiaWadia Thu 24-Apr-14 04:13:31

It is a valid pronunciation, which used to be quite popular. That's why you get the short form Rene, pronounce Ree-nee, as fidelineish said. Apparently the 3 syllable pronunciation is closer to the original Greek, according to my name dictionary. I think they are talking about classical Greek, not modern day, IYKWIM. It also says 'from Greek Eirene 'peace''. A nice meaning.

So I think this 'classic' spelling - Eirene, gives you the 3 syllables you wanted, whereas a lot of people will see Irene and just assume it's I-reen. Could be a solution?

Tenrec Thu 24-Apr-14 05:26:48

I know an Irene pronounced eye-reen-ee which I love. Can't use it as people would make jokes due to our surname, but I really, really like the name!

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