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Do you have to be Irish to use the name Niamh?

(43 Posts)
esmeraldasmith Mon 18-Aug-08 13:28:19

I'd love to know what the consensus on this is.
I think yes.

belgo Mon 18-Aug-08 13:29:43

yes, or at least have a very strong irish connection.

katiepotatie Mon 18-Aug-08 13:30:57

No, I know of two that are not Irish. What a boring old world it would be if we all stuck to names only from our own nationality

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Mon 18-Aug-08 13:31:44

i have neice called niamh not irish at all. i think its a lovely name though i am wondering why dh would not let me call dd2 anya because its not an english name <its a family name, my dads family originate from yugouslavia> when my neice is niamh.

hellebores Mon 18-Aug-08 13:32:57

yes agree with belgo - imo this applies to all names not just irish ones

Hopeysgirlwasntbig Mon 18-Aug-08 13:33:27

My daughter is called Niamh, my Grandparents on my mother's side were irish. But honestly, I don't think there needs to be any irish connection, it's such a beautiful name.

PuppyMonkey Mon 18-Aug-08 13:33:53

I dunno why, but I think yes too. Seems odd to have that specific delicious Irish spelling without having any connection to Ireland at all. Unless you went for "Neave" or something....

thefunkypea Mon 18-Aug-08 13:34:37

Nice name but go for anglicised spelling if no Irish connection

esmeraldasmith Mon 18-Aug-08 13:37:04

Is the Anglicised spelling Neve?

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Mon 18-Aug-08 13:37:23

my dd has a welsh name and there is no welsh connection in our family. i dont think she has the welsh spelling though, i think i may have made up a spelling all on my own as i have never seen her name spelled my way <oops> the end of her name is gaelic i think.

bikerunski Mon 18-Aug-08 13:44:38

... but the thing is "Zoe" is a Greek name and nobody ever questions that. My own name is considered to be a traditional English name and is very often raised as a "favourite girl's name" on this forum, but is actually an old German name. Adam, Eve, Sarah, Samuel, Michael and all those Old Testament names are Hebrew and nobody ever questions if you have to be Jewish to use them....

Isn't the world a global village now?

aGalChangedHerName Mon 18-Aug-08 13:50:02

My dd1 is Niamh and we are not Irish.

Don't see why you would have to be Irish.

WaynettaSlob Mon 18-Aug-08 13:51:23

yes, or at least pronounced properly, ie not Neve / neeeve

PilgrimSoul Mon 18-Aug-08 22:58:06

Rubbish, Neve or Neeeve are perfectly OK pronunciations.

My dd goes to a gael-scoil (school taught in Irish), student's names are Irish, Jewish, German, Greek etc.

PuppyMonkey Tue 19-Aug-08 06:44:42

How do you pronounce it Waynetta???

wellbalanced Tue 19-Aug-08 10:28:09

I know someone called Niamh with no irish connections.
If you like it go for it

zazen Tue 19-Aug-08 10:33:13

Knee-av is how the Gaeilge pronunciation would go. But I'm sure that ornery old Neeve will do!!
Blimey wink I think Niamh is lovely! Go for it!

mummc2 Tue 19-Aug-08 10:43:02

my niece is niamh and i love it, not too many around and its lovely wether your 3 or 33

clairebear88 Tue 19-Aug-08 14:38:24

I dont think you have to have connections, if you like the name go for it. Personally I would spell it Neave or Neve but only because alot of people dont know how to spell the proper Irish way ( inc me ) especially if none of your family are Irish
Very pretty name though

expatinscotland Tue 19-Aug-08 14:39:26

I know a Scottish girl called Niamh and another called Nuala.

They're Western Highland girls.

chipmonkey Tue 19-Aug-08 15:02:16

If everybody had that attitude, then all men would be Adam and all women would be Eve. 'Twould be very confusing!

TinkerBellesMum Tue 19-Aug-08 15:27:35

Agree with bikerunski. TBH none of us really know where our family comes from. Do you watch Who Do You Think You Are? The Colin Jackson one especially highlights how mixed our heritage can be without us realising it. He is:

55% Sub-Saharan African
38% European (Scottish)
7% 'native American'

If you look into the meaning of a lot of names you will find very few popular names are English. Biblical names are very popular. I have the most popular name from around mid 70s to mid 80s (Claire) which is Latin, my brother is called Mark, which is Greek, and my sister is Ruth which is Hebrew.

MrsMattie Tue 19-Aug-08 15:31:17

Yes, I do think it's best to have a fairly strong connection with a country/culture if you are going to use a name from it. A non Italian called Gianfranco, for instance? Really stupid.

Hopeysgirlwasntbig Tue 19-Aug-08 21:30:57

shock MrsMattie! Really stupid to call your DD Niamh if you're not of strong Irish connection!

muggglewump Tue 19-Aug-08 23:28:46

I have a Niamh and we're in Scotland.
I think it depends on the name, I thought it was OK to use it as it's more well known. I wouldn't have used a really unusual Irish(or other nationality) name

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