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Stressing out about whether to use Gaelic name when living in England

(37 Posts)
DefinitelyMaybeBaby Sun 31-May-15 17:41:11

I am Scottish, DH is English, we live in South England.

I have always adored the name Ruairi(dh). Love the way it sounds, love the nicknames Ru and Ruay. I really wanted a Scottish name since baby will be brought up down south and DH agrees with this but just doesn't love this particular name like I do. He says it's hard to say in an English accent, people will always spell it wrong and no one will know how to pronounce it from seeing it written down.

I agreed to the spelling Ruairi, rather than Ruairidh. But DH still isn't keen and will only go as far as to suggest Rory as a compromise, which to me is just not the same - different sounding name, no nicknames and the name of a family member of mine so I'm less keen.

I feel like I'm flogging a dead horse here and if he doesn't love it I should just drop it but I can soo imagine our little boy being Ruairi. I love that it would be quite unique and unusual down here. I'm really struggling to let it go.

So basically I guess what I'm asking is 1) what do people think of using Ruairi living in England? and 2) If DH has said he doesn't love it should I drop it or keep trying to see if he comes round to the idea? (still got a few months of pregnancy left)

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Sun 31-May-15 17:43:53

I know a Ruairi, so it's not completely unheard of in England! Yes, he will have a life time of spelling it out and telling people how to pronounce it, but that's the case with lots of other names too

If DH doesn't love it, what are his alternative suggestions?

MrsHathaway Sun 31-May-15 17:47:45

The pronunciation issue would drive you nuts and potentially spoil it for you when he's tiny and you're vulnerable. If it were totally unlike anything else they'd take care to learn, but they'll hear Rory and that's that.

Tbh though it could be the simplest and most beautiful name in the world, but if DH doesn't like it you can't use it.

scribblegirl Sun 31-May-15 17:52:23

I slightly disagree. I don't think you can use a name DH doesn't like, but I know an Eilidh and once she explained the how to say it we've never had issues!

HirplesWithHaggis Sun 31-May-15 17:53:33

People learn how to spell and pronounce names from all over the globe these days, one from the same landmass shouldn't be too much of a challenge. It's pronounced pretty much as spelt anyway, esp if you're leaving off the dh at the end.

SlicedPan Sun 31-May-15 17:56:31

I think you'd get over the pronunciation and spelling thing, I have a dd with an Impossible to spell of you hear it, impossible to pronounce of you see it' type name and it's fine.
I do though think you're dh should be given input to the name so that will put a scupper on it anyway!

BackforGood Sun 31-May-15 18:01:19

If you live in a multicultural environment, then there probably won't be as much of an issue as if you don't - but that said - I don't have a clue how to pronounce it and I live in a very multicultural city grin.

It depends if it will bother you when people pronounce it wrongly having seen it written down and not knowing what to say - it's not just friends, it's years ahead of him in hospital/Dr/dentist waiting rooms or on playschemes or when he graduates, or anyone of a million times you get your name read off a list by people who don't know you - and of course all the wrong spellings you'll get. Personally, that would rule it out for me, but I know there are folk who deliberately make up names so their child will be unique - so that's for you to decide.
However this little one has 2 parents, and, if your dh doesn't like it, then his opinion should count as much as yours and you should keep looking until you find one you both love.

Curioushorse Sun 31-May-15 18:06:06

We did it. It was a mistake. People assume, because of his very Welsh name, that my son isvery Welsh. While his father is, my son has lived his whole life here. It's led to a confused identity. Wish we'd stuck with the anglicised version.

JacobWrestling Sun 31-May-15 18:51:33

There's a Ruairi in the Archers... * helpful face *

florascotia Sun 31-May-15 19:41:30

I live in a Gaelic-speaking part of Scotland currently heaving with English-speaking holidaymakers. If English people can read signposts around here, they can cope with a Gaelic name, however it is spelled. I really wouldn't worry too much. Go with what feels best for you. Best wishes.

florascotia Sun 31-May-15 19:49:51

Gosh, I hope that didn't sound too aggressive. All I meant to say was that a 'foreign' name is no big deal these days. People are used to looking at different spellings...

Tomfunsnumber1trolley Sun 31-May-15 22:28:57

I have a Ruairi (could out myself here) - I am English and DH is Irish. Most people cope with the name once they are told, the odd one still calls him Rory but generally people get it! I have an unusual pronunciation of a fairly common name so perhaps I'm used to correcting people! Anyway, it's a great name and we get lots of compliments about it. And Ru is a fab nickname.

Tomfunsnumber1trolley Sun 31-May-15 22:29:31

Forgot to say, we live in England!

ragged Sun 31-May-15 22:40:39

Are Ruairi & Rory said very differently? What is the difference? Would an idiot like me be able to hear the difference probably not

I come from an immigrant country where people often anglicised their names to fit in. I don't know people who regretted doing that, although they like to remember what their name was before (Abramovitch became Abrams or Paniyota became Patricia, etc). So I don't see it as a problem to anglicise the spelling. Now living in the UK, I'm used to changing my ways to fit in here, too.

TheOldestCat Sun 31-May-15 22:44:57

We have an Irish name for DS, despite me being Welsh and DH being English - and we live in England. DH's mum's family were Irish and we just love the name so went for it. Don't regret it at all and at least it's not boring. DS may think differently when he has to spell it out seven billion times, mind you.

But I still maintain it's better than my boring common name. Which thousands of years ago was Hebrew. Names, like language, evolve.

Ruairi is a lovely name.

Tomfunsnumber1trolley Sun 31-May-15 22:50:28

Yes, Rory is Roar- ree and Ruairi is Roo-ree. With some Irish accents they do sound quite similar but there is a noticeable difference!

DampAndRotten Sun 31-May-15 22:55:41

I think people would cope with the spelling, and get the difference from Rory (i.e. RER-y rather than ROAR-y) but they might not pronounce it perfectly iyswim (I'm English and I suspect I don't) and you will have to spell/explain it a fair bit.. I guess you just have to be realistic about how much this will bother you and whether you are willing to accept it.

NinjaLeprechaun Mon 01-Jun-15 05:09:44

The most interesting explanation I've heard for how to pronounce Ruairi is that it's "brewery without the B". It works for me.
I like the name, and don't think it should be too difficult for people. My Rs always try to come out as Ws, which makes both Ruairi and Rory complicated, but I don't think most people have that issue.

DuhNuh Mon 01-Jun-15 05:34:52

If your DH isn't convinced it sounds like you'll have to let it go, or at least put it on a maybe list and concentrate on finding a name you both love as much as you love this one. It's hard and I had to let go of my very favourite name in pregnancy as my DH just didn't like it. It's better to find a compromise than name the baby something your DH isn't keen on and always be aware of that.

Having said all that, it's worth keeping it on a maybe list and revisiting closer to the time - he might change his mind!

BathshebaDarkstone Mon 01-Jun-15 05:45:29

I'd go for Rory, this is why DD isn't called Aoife, which I love, but I could foresee all sorts of problems living in England.

DoctorDonnaNoble Mon 01-Jun-15 05:48:33

I'm a Scot in the South East married to an English man. That's the name we're going for if bump's a boy. I got DH to agree when he was drunk after a Calcutta Cup!

JakeyBurd Mon 01-Jun-15 08:44:17

Much as I love the name, in my experience it's one that just sounds awful in an English accent (sorry, English people!). It just contains too many sounds that are totally different in that accent, i.e. the 'r' and the 'oo' sounds.

If that won't bother you then that's fine. And NinjaLeprechaun's "brewery" example above would definitely help - a good explanation of the sound.

AnnieHoo Mon 01-Jun-15 09:30:38

Both are great names. Rory is easy to say and very easy to spell. Rhuari will require explanation and learning to spell but so many names do.

If it helps I know quite a few Rhuairidh's who are called Rory (RO-ree) at work or wherever they live now but are Rhuairidh (ROO-a-ree) to family in Scotland.

And yes "Ru" is a lovely nn.

DefinitelyMaybeBaby Mon 01-Jun-15 19:06:55

Thanks for your replies everyone, it's so helpful to hear different opinions! Love the "brewery without the r" thing - never heard that and i think it will really help some people. I'm going tell DH that one tonight!
I think I'll put Ruairi on the maybe list and come back to it every so often to see how DH is feeling about it while also looking for another name we love. And I'll mull over Rory a bit more and see if I come round to that!

BearFoxBear Mon 01-Jun-15 21:19:07

We have a Ruaridh and very rarely have any problems with people not getting it, mostly we get compliments on his lovely name smile

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