Names you love that don’t work in English

(157 Posts)
MangosteenSoda Tue 13-Apr-21 19:54:59

A name on another thread made me think about this...

I love Manon in a French speaking environment and I like Belen in Spain, but think neither work well in an English speaking environment.

Are there any names you feel like this about? I’d occasionally come across a name in my expat (and childbearing) days and think YES, then, oh no.

OP’s posts: |
Another888 Tue 13-Apr-21 20:08:04

I love Manonsmile

Babette is so pretty but I think English people might just hear baguette when she introduces herself

I also loved Dayanara but then realised it sounds quite similar to diarrhea sad

Junebabe Tue 13-Apr-21 20:14:13

I love Fia, but sounds too much like fear...

Luckyelephant1 Tue 13-Apr-21 20:16:24

Quite a few Indian names. Eg. Ruhi- it sounds delicate and light when said in the proper accent but awful with an English accent. There's more but that's the one that springs to mind immediately.

EugeniaGrace Tue 13-Apr-21 20:17:21

Agnes - but in French. English hard ‘g’ makes it so ugly in comparison.

HelpMeTony Tue 13-Apr-21 20:18:17

I love Kofi, but as I was having a planned CS on a Thursday and the name means born on a Friday, it just wouldnt have worked sad

Violetlavenders Tue 13-Apr-21 20:18:45


catscatsallthecats Tue 13-Apr-21 20:18:59

@EugeniaGrace I had a university friend called Agnes who pronounced it with a soft g. Very pretty name.

I love James (pronounced Ha-mez) for a boys name but not James (pronounced James) grin

EugeniaGrace Tue 13-Apr-21 20:19:12

I like Agnieszka though.

Hufflepuffsunite Tue 13-Apr-21 20:20:52

I love the name Anaïs, with the French pronunciation, but really dislike the English way of saying it.

MangosteenSoda Tue 13-Apr-21 20:22:26

YY to Indian names. Anal is pretty in India, not so much in the UK blush

I remember a thread from ages ago about the Hungarian (I think) name Boglarka which was super popular in Hungary, but less good here.

OP’s posts: |
Lockdownbear Tue 13-Apr-21 20:23:32

I'm trying to think what word has a soft g?
Trying to figure how Agnes sounds different.

RickOShay Tue 13-Apr-21 20:23:38

Tiago. Such a lovely name. Sadly I’m not Portuguese.

BlackLambAndGreyFalcoln Tue 13-Apr-21 20:24:41

Anastasia - the English mispronunciation is awful.
Saskia- much prefer the Dutch pronunciation.
Maren - sounds lovely in German, but it doesn't rhyme with Karen!

Chicchicchicchiclana Tue 13-Apr-21 20:25:14

Sheherazade. Lovely name but no one knows how to deal with it in English.

ValerieMorghulis Tue 13-Apr-21 20:25:20


It’s my perfect Italian name but sounds awful when people don’t know how to pronounce it!

whatausername Tue 13-Apr-21 20:30:37


whatausername Tue 13-Apr-21 20:31:14


EntreMummy Tue 13-Apr-21 20:34:27

Camille in French. One of my favourite names. Mimi for short. (Sounds like Camee, you don’t sound the “l”)

Whereas I really dislike the English pronunciation

MangosteenSoda Tue 13-Apr-21 20:35:43

I like a lot of these names a lot!

How is Saskia pronounced in Dutch?

OP’s posts: |
BaggoMcoys Tue 13-Apr-21 20:38:26

How is Benon pronounced op? I once worked with a Benon, but we only interacted by email so I never heard his name said out loud. I always wondered if the way I pronounced it in my head was correct. I read it as Beh-non.

BaggoMcoys Tue 13-Apr-21 20:39:18

Oops just realised the name in your op was Belen, so ignore me!

sleepy78 Tue 13-Apr-21 20:44:00

lockdownbear Agnès sounds a bit like Anyes in France.

I live in France and wanted my kids to have names that were sort of close in pronounciation in English and French... it was actually very tricky! One example - I like Arthur in French but not English... and Mathieu... and lots more!

Kolo Tue 13-Apr-21 20:47:40

When discussing names with my Fanish husband, I really liked the Danish girls name 'Line'. In Danish its pronounced sort of leena. In the uk everyone would call her line as in straight line. I still really loved it and desperately tried to convince myself it would be ok. Then we had a boy anyway.

Kolo Tue 13-Apr-21 20:48:18

Fanish? How'd that even get through autocorrect?

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