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(31 Posts)
Mandalin Sat 23-Aug-08 05:21:18

We've named our latest boy (the 4th) Llewelyn.
Trouble is , most people in Australia seem to have never heard it before, they think it's a girl, a girl called Lou-Ellen!!!

We have to explain that it's Welsh, that it's ancient and the double 'l' is not a pretentious yuppy affectation (as in Siimon).

Would you recognise the name for what it is?

Califrau Sat 23-Aug-08 06:11:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

slayerette Sat 23-Aug-08 08:29:29

I'm presuming you are from Welsh heritage to have chosen it, and in that case it's not pretentious at all - why not use a name from your own culture?! I love the name but largely because of my abiding love for Sharon Penman's novels based on the Welsh Princes - I was devastated when my A level history paper with the compulsory Welsh component was based on the disestablishment of the church!

Of course I would recognise the name for what it is but you might have to spend some time explaining to people not familiar with Welsh pronunciation how to pronounce the name - it can be tricky to get the Ll sound right if you're not used to it. Just keep repeating the proper pronunciation to friends until they get it and as for strangers - life's too short!

Bumperlicious Sat 23-Aug-08 08:44:08

I recognise, but I lived in North Wales for 5 years and came across all kinds of Welsh names. My all time favourite being Twm!

3andnomore Sat 23-Aug-08 09:01:08

isn't the double LL pronounced somehting like Cl so it would be pronounced Cluellen?

Well, I can see the problem though, when people really don't know and have never heard of the name...

3andnomore Sat 23-Aug-08 09:03:30

Twm? Is that pronounced Tom or Tim or somehting like that?

My favourite welsh boy name is Gwilym....when we lived in Chepstow I worked in a Hospital and one of the old gentleman I cared for was called Gwilym and I just fell in love with the name....helped that the old man was lovely

Bumperlicious Sat 23-Aug-08 10:07:12

It's kind of pronounced Toom, I just thought it was a great name, no vowels!

3andnomore Sat 23-Aug-08 10:17:53

kazbeth Sat 23-Aug-08 19:31:02

Being Welsh obviously recognise it but I'm surprised they don't recognise it in Australia - even if they can't pronounce it.

The LL isn't pronounced 'cl' 3andnomore .. I got my husband to be able to pronounce it by getting him to say 'th' as in 'thing' but to widen his mouth into a half smile - the sound should come out of the sides of your mouth. It's one of the hardest things to pronounce in Welsh.

kazbeth Sat 23-Aug-08 19:31:58

Oops, forgot to add that you then need to pull the tongue back into your mouth a bit.

3andnomore Sat 23-Aug-08 19:36:46

now, that sounds rather complicated, kaz....

beanieb Sat 23-Aug-08 19:39:38

Am assuming you are pronouncing teh double LL correctly? It isn't 'cl'!

If you are prounouncing it Lew-El-in then you're pronpouncing it wrong and it's no wonder people think it's Lou-ellen!

wahwah Sat 23-Aug-08 21:02:00

It's a family name for me, but I know it is very difficult for non Welsh people to say properly (although Zulu and Ndebele people I have known say it perfectly) and for that reason I wouldn't use it, as we live in England.

I like your instructions, Kazbeth, but for some reason, people always seem to revert to the 'cl' sound. You should hear my BIL mangling Llanelli and thinking he's pronounced it perfectly! Bless.

3andnomore Sat 23-Aug-08 21:08:56

so, how is Llewelyn pronounced correctly?

It was actually a Lloyd that told me his surname was pronounced Cloyd....before he said that I wouldn't have thought at all about how to pronounce that double L

beanieb Sat 23-Aug-08 21:14:59

To pronounce it you need to know how to make the 'll' sound

then it's (ll)EW (as in 'new')-EL (as in 'Hell'-IN (erm as in 'in')

beanieb Sat 23-Aug-08 21:16:05

Actually - the EW bit is more , erm, Gosh I can't describ it - Like Pepe le p'EW' .. it's so hard to explain!

3andnomore Sat 23-Aug-08 22:27:47


3andnomore Sat 23-Aug-08 22:28:22

oh, and no taking the piss, or anything...genuinely interested

Califrau Sun 24-Aug-08 03:22:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beanieb Sun 24-Aug-08 11:59:10

3andnomore, there's no double LL in the last pat of the name.

What Califrau says is right. Put your tongue up behind your front top teeth then put your mouth into a grin and hiss like a snake or goose!

do that 'LL' then go EW but not (oooh) more like the 'eh' sound with a W on the end 'ehw' then EL then IN.

3andnomore Sun 24-Aug-08 14:28:14

if you could just seen me, sitting infront of the screen trying to get it out the right way, you would have been pissing yourself with laughter.....
I don't think I will ever be capable of saying it correctly blush...might aswell we never called any of the boys that name, hehe....nothing worse then using a name but pronouncing it completely wrong.....
pethate of mine....have come across severeal Linus and Noels in germany with people completely pronouncing them wrong....Leenus and Noelle.....and things like that...makes me cringe

Califrau Sun 24-Aug-08 18:48:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BananaSkin Sun 24-Aug-08 19:00:24

I know one. He is Llewi for short (pronounced as in Louis) - would that help?

beanieb Sun 24-Aug-08 19:00:43

I moved to Wales from England when I was 7 and it took me AGES to get the 'LL', also the Rh. now I get arsey when people do it wrong grin

Some of my friends still pronounce the Welsh for house, 'ty', as Tie rather than TEA, they just don't 'get' it grin

pointydog Sun 24-Aug-08 19:03:18

Do you get Laurence Llewellyn Bowen in Ozland? I'm trying to think of a ubiquitous reference point.

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