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Caitrìona, Ùna and Mhàiri

(213 Posts)
dunkydunker Tue 15-Nov-11 00:58:49

What do you think?

I want something Scottish but not very very obvious (DH is very very far away from Scottish)

dunkydunker Tue 15-Nov-11 01:01:05

By obvious I meant names like Shona and Angus and Donald.

lizziebennet Tue 15-Nov-11 10:03:17

You don't say if you're in Scotland, but if not, I think Mairi would be more practical than Mhairi as many non-Scots would mispronounce the 'Mh'. Una is lovely, also Elspeth is not too popular and very pretty. Not sure which names are obviously Scottish and which aren't, but personally I would steer clear of the accents if you are trying not to over-Scotify.

AitchTwoOh Tue 15-Nov-11 10:05:10

Mhairi means Mairi, as in 'come here, mairi!" the m is lenited with the h to make it softer, but it's not the name, it's a (iirc) vocative case.

lizziebennet Tue 15-Nov-11 10:15:34

Ok Aitch I have no idea what you're talking about there, but what I meant is that Mhairi is pronounced Vari as far as I know.

AitchTwoOh Tue 15-Nov-11 10:22:28

it is pronounced vari, but vari isn't a name. it's the vocative case of mari. so 'come here vari' but 'mari went down the street'. mari changes to vari under certain circumstances but doesn't exist on its own.

lizziebennet Tue 15-Nov-11 10:23:15

Oh dear

AitchTwoOh Tue 15-Nov-11 10:24:34

(i know. anyone spelling it mhairi basically marks themselves out as A Bit Of A Numpty grin)

macsaid Tue 15-Nov-11 10:26:52

The correct stand alone name is Màiri which is the noun in the nominative case. The form of Gaelic nouns changes depending on how they are used and when you are addressing Mairi by name you then use the noun in the vocative case, i.e. A Mhàiri.

The point is that Mhàiri used as a stand alone name is incorrect although people do it and even change it to Varri/Varry/Vari although there is no letter 'v' in the Gaelic language!

lizziebennet Tue 15-Nov-11 10:48:54

But the OP isn't necessarily going to be speaking in Gaelic to her/about her DD, so you could view Mhairi as an accepted adaptation of a name which is Gaelic in origin. Kind of like Shona, no?

macsaid Tue 15-Nov-11 11:02:09

Well lizziebennet if you agree that it is 'an accepted adaptation' ok. Personally,I do not really find it acceptable, I find it wrong... sorry

macsaid Tue 15-Nov-11 11:04:36

Also, Shona is different as it is an anglisisation of Seonag which is already pronounced Shonnag in its stand alone nominative form

OhBuggerandArse Tue 15-Nov-11 11:09:45

What macsaid said. And Aitch.

(Perhaps not the moment to point out that Hamish is also definitely wrong, by the same token?)

lizziebennet Tue 15-Nov-11 11:12:33

I just think you are being a bit harsh with the whole 'wrong' thing. Plus there is a difference between a Scottish name and a Gaelic one, and the OP has requested Scottish names.

OhBuggerandArse Tue 15-Nov-11 11:21:37

It's not harsh, it's factually correct. And all the names OP suggested are Gaelic ones.

lizziebennet Tue 15-Nov-11 11:30:42

Ultimately a name is just a collection of letters, so a name can't be wrong, it can just be a deviation from the accepted norm. I have certainly met plenty of people called Mhairi, so therefore the name must be relatively widespread.

The OP may have given those examples, but she asked for Scottish names, not a lesson on Gaelic grammar. Also, I believe that, according to you all, Mhairi is not a Gaelic name, so I guess not all the examples she gave were Gaelic.

chipmonkey Tue 15-Nov-11 11:32:52

I'm not scottish, I'm Irish and I was wondering about the Mhairi as it's wrong in Irish too! It would irritate me.
Like Caitlin, it's not Katelynn, it's Kathleen.

OhBuggerandArse Tue 15-Nov-11 11:35:08

There are plenty of people called Mhairi, yes. It's still wrong. They have wrong names. Some of them even know they're wrong because they pronounce it with an 'M' rather than a 'V' sound, but they can't change the spelling because that's the one they were given. Imagine being saddled with a name that was a mistake? Wouldn't do it to my kid. And MAiri is, perfectly sensibly, a Gaelic name - Mhairi is a mistakenly spelled hypercorrection, but that doesn't stop it being Gaelic.

AlpinePony Tue 15-Nov-11 11:39:22

Wrong for you gaelic speakers, "right" for the Moray valley it would appear. wink Incidentally, just to throw a spanner in the works, my family have always pronounced it with an M.

midnightexpress Tue 15-Nov-11 11:41:31

Gaelic pedants! Fabulous. grin

chipmonkey Tue 15-Nov-11 11:42:58

Pedantry is not restricted to the Home Counties, you know!wink

lizziebennet Tue 15-Nov-11 11:44:18

But the point is that it's in no way 'wrong' in English and there's nothing to suggest that the OP evens speaks Gaelic - given what you've said it seems like she doesn't. sure, it doesn't work in Gaelic, but is perfectly sensible in English, which is the medium we're presuming she'll be using, so what's the problem?

lizziebennet Tue 15-Nov-11 11:45:24


chipmonkey Tue 15-Nov-11 11:49:07

There is no "Mh" in English so it's not correct either.

OhBuggerandArse Tue 15-Nov-11 11:50:02

I just can't fathom why anybody choosing any sort of name wouldn't want to try and get it right! I mean, if she was proposing to call the kid Chathy, or Bhetty, or Khirsty, you'd see how weird it was - no different to that.

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