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Aoife - if not Irish?

139 replies

Helpneeded12345 · 18/03/2023 10:36

I love the name Aoife. It is my all time favourite girls name but neither my partner or I are Irish (my great-grandparents were Irish but this is a very long way back!)

I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you think it is ok to use Aoife if not Irish or would it be weird / cultural appropriation?

I'm particularly interested in opinions from anyone Irish - would it be offensive?

OP posts:
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mathanxiety · 18/03/2023 20:49

KirstenBlest · 18/03/2023 19:19

@mathanxiety , I thought that Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and part of the British Empire, so I'm not sure that Irish was ever British.

Well, you thought wrong.

Ireland sent MPs to Westminster ever since the Act of Union dissolved the old parliament in Dublin in 1800.

Ireland and Britain were a unified political entity, both governed from Westminster, with a representative of the Crown resident in Dublin.

Ireland was as British as Wales was. There was no distinction between being part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and being part of the Empire, unless you're saying England, Wales, and Scotland weren't part of the empire?

It was the fact of political unity and direct government by Westminster that inspired the Home Rule movement of the late 19th century, followed by the Easter Rising of 1916, and the subsequent war of Independence.

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KirstenBlest · 18/03/2023 20:55

@mathanxiety , what do you gain bt telling me I thought wrong? I said Ireland was part of the UK not of GB, and I wasn't wrong.

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KirstenBlest · 18/03/2023 20:56

by not bt

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LizzieAnt · 18/03/2023 20:57

Berlinlover · 18/03/2023 20:29

I’m Irish and have never heard anybody with an English accent pronouncing Aoife correctly.

Really? How do they say it?

I'd have thought the sounds were straightforward enough in English once you'd heard it said a few times. Unlike, say, Órla, where the r will be said differently with an English accent, or Caoimhe, which you really need a bit of a blas to say correctly. Obviously I'm wrong though.

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ÉireannachÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ · 18/03/2023 21:05

I agree with @EarringsandLipstick


The name we are given shapes our identity; they give us a sense of who we are, the community we belong and our place in this world.

A name is also a descriptor that allows people to make quick judgments and assumptions about us. So with that in mind OP, please understand that It will be assumed she is of Irish heritage. Given there's still anti irish bigotry in Britain today I would recommend you have a rethink on your daughters first name.

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LizzieAnt · 18/03/2023 21:09

KirstenBlest · 18/03/2023 20:55

@mathanxiety , what do you gain bt telling me I thought wrong? I said Ireland was part of the UK not of GB, and I wasn't wrong.

I suppose the issue is there is no term for citizens of the UK other than British.

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LizzieAnt · 18/03/2023 21:11

No collective term, I mean.

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OliverBabish · 18/03/2023 21:15

I think if you can pronounce it properly then it’s fine

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Derrymum123 · 18/03/2023 21:17

Go for it. Nobody owns a name and you owe no-one any explanation. Most names come from somewhere else in the world. Your baby, your choice. Lovely name by the way.

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Templebreedy · 18/03/2023 21:27

LizzieAnt · 18/03/2023 20:57

Really? How do they say it?

I'd have thought the sounds were straightforward enough in English once you'd heard it said a few times. Unlike, say, Órla, where the r will be said differently with an English accent, or Caoimhe, which you really need a bit of a blas to say correctly. Obviously I'm wrong though.

It’s the combination of the ‘aoi’ triphthong and the schwah in the second syllable.

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memesndmoreme · 18/03/2023 21:30

I wouldn't, especially if not Irish. Most people can't even pronounce it

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PropellerDance · 18/03/2023 21:36

xJoy · 18/03/2023 12:51

It definitely is not the same as using a Japanese name!

For one thing, Irish people speak English. Irish people can wander down the street in the UK and nobody knows they're not 100% English going back ten generations.

You have journalists/acotrs in the UK with names like Dermot O'Leary, Steeve Coogan and Kevin O'Sullivan and Siobhan Conaty and Tony Slattery and so on. Nobody knows whether both their parents were Irish or whether they have one Irish grandparent or great grandparent. People like Craig Doyle, Ed Byrne and Dara O'Briain all built careers in the UK (so many men!) oh yeh, Aislinn Bea too, phew, a woman amongst them.
Can you name any Japanese people who integrated UK life so seemlessly. To compare using an Irish name with using a Japanese name is hilarious.

I'd use a Spanish or an Italian name without a thought. Love Paloma, Love Salvador. But a Japanese name, no.

Completely contradicted yourself there.

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mathanxiety · 18/03/2023 21:45

KirstenBlest · 18/03/2023 20:55

@mathanxiety , what do you gain bt telling me I thought wrong? I said Ireland was part of the UK not of GB, and I wasn't wrong.

I'm not sure why you said it wasn't part of GB - that much is obvious from the name the UK used to be known by (The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland). It was a united kingdom, a unitary political state.

?

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harrietm87 · 18/03/2023 21:59

People will assume she is Irish and probably ask her about it. Also the spelling and pronunciation will cause problems throughout her life.

I didn’t mind that when I “saddled” my kids with Irish names with Irish spellings because I am Irish and it was very important to me that they had that connection despite growing up in England, but no way would I do it if I wasn’t Irish. Not because I don’t think you have the right to use it OP but more because I don’t think it’s particularly fair to your daughter.

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LizzieAnt · 18/03/2023 21:59

Templebreedy · 18/03/2023 21:27

It’s the combination of the ‘aoi’ triphthong and the schwah in the second syllable.

Reading the name would be difficult if you weren't familiar with it or weren't an Irish speaker, granted. But I'm surprised that actually saying Ee-feh is difficult for an English person as @DramaAlpacadescribed. I'm not doubting you at all @DramaAlpaca, just surprised. I hadn't Aoife pegged as a name that's difficult to say, as well as to read, if you're not Irish.

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xJoy · 18/03/2023 22:02

@PropellerDance no I haven't, and lots of Spanish and Italian names become mainstream in English speaking countries. Japanese names don't.

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bubbles2023 · 18/03/2023 22:19

I'm Irish and have no issue with people using it. It's a completely different name to Eva though. I've an Irish name (one of the hardest to read/ spell) and lived in England for 10 years and had no issue. It's actually easy to say so once people knew it was grand.

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sunglassesonthetable · 18/03/2023 22:34

Go for it OP. It's lovely and in mho totally pronounceable.

Every name is from somewhere and these days children have all the names of the rainbow.

There always the shouldn't brigade on here but nobody owns a name.

In answer to " do you have Irish heritage?"
Your DD will answer " yes, my great great grandmother ".

End of.

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Wotnowconfused · 18/03/2023 22:53

Nice name but she'll forever be explaining how to pronounce her name if she's not in Ireland. Unless you're aware of Gaelic phonetics it not easy to decipher.

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CameraCoffeeCrochet · 18/03/2023 23:12

I'm shocked that people can't pronounce Aoife. It's simply Eee-Fa! It's not that unusual!! What about Siobhan?

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AnonymousArmadillo · 18/03/2023 23:18

Love it! It’s my DD2’s name and we live in England, I’m English (and Scottish) but DH is Irish. Not sure if I would have used it had she not had the Irish heritage. I would have been sad not to.

I have had some interesting pronunciations though because we just politely correct them and laugh about it later. My favourite so far has been Oof! 😂

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momtoboys · 18/03/2023 23:23

I’m Irish and would have loved to name a daughter Aiofe. Go ahead…it’s beautiful

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AnonymousArmadillo · 18/03/2023 23:24

AnonymousArmadillo · 18/03/2023 23:18

Love it! It’s my DD2’s name and we live in England, I’m English (and Scottish) but DH is Irish. Not sure if I would have used it had she not had the Irish heritage. I would have been sad not to.

I have had some interesting pronunciations though because we just politely correct them and laugh about it later. My favourite so far has been Oof! 😂

*but we just politely…

not because! 🙄

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Lostmarblesfinder · 19/03/2023 13:30

Aoife is more like Eef fa than Ee fa. Whereas Eva is Ee va. The Aoif is part of both the first and second syllable almost. Aoife ad Eva do not sound alike when pronounced correctly.

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KirstenBlest · 19/03/2023 13:41

I'd scroll through this and other Aoife threads and count the misspellings.
Anything with two or more consecutive vowels tend to get them transposed.

..would have loved to name a daughter Aiofe. Go...

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