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Baby names

Aoife - if not Irish?

138 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:

Luredbyapomegranate · 19/03/2023 13:44

It’s quite popular now so wouldn’t let it worry you. Anyway you do have Irish ancestry


Greenfairydust · 19/03/2023 14:23


"Bizarre. Like using Manuel if you are not Spanish, or Haru if you are not Japanese. Aoife is a lovely name but screams Irish heritage.''

So where does that live the many Juno, Orlando, Olivia, Dominic, Sofia, Zara..?

It is a very middle-class thing to give kids a name with a latin, greek or French origin without having any link to Italy/France/Greece. Or in the case of Zara, a name with an Arabic origin.

Can't see the issue with someone wanting to use an Irish name if they like the sound of it....


Stepuptowardsinfinity · 19/03/2023 15:43

Aoife is very Irish. The examples you gave are widespread across Europe. I've never met an Aoife who is not Irish or who has not got strong Irish heritage. It's just not comparable. OP Aoife is a lovely name but if you use it bear in mind that she will have a lifetime of people assuming she's Irish. It's just odd. I wouldn't use Angharad if I wasn't Welsh so why Aoife if not Irish?


sunglassesonthetable · 19/03/2023 16:15

I wouldn't use Angharad if I wasn't Welsh so why Aoife if not Irish?

Because that's just you🤷‍♀️?


AnonymousArmadillo · 19/03/2023 16:37

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...

Just out of interest, I counted the misspellings on this thread. 2. Aofie and Aiofe. I might have missed a couple but it really isn’t very many.

As it’s my DD’s name, I’m well aware of the issues people have with the spelling and pronunciation. Most friends and family have made the effort to learn it though. With the wide variety of names these days, people aren’t so quick to make assumptions I feel. People will always make mistakes in spelling people’s names. I have a very common name and people still spell it wrong.


Stepuptowardsinfinity · 19/03/2023 17:16

sunglassesonthetable · 19/03/2023 16:15

I wouldn't use Angharad if I wasn't Welsh so why Aoife if not Irish?

Because that's just you🤷‍♀️?

Fair enough. I don't expect everyone to agree. Still think its wierd though 😂.


KirstenBlest · 19/03/2023 17:39

@AnonymousArmadillo , that's 3 on a thread where the name is written clearly in the thread title, and the posts are by people who are interested in names, so not representative of real life.


KirstenBlest · 19/03/2023 17:43

@sunglassesonthetable , I wouldn't use Angharad either because it is too popular in Wales either as a first or middle name, and because I dislike the anglicised pronunciations. The name itself is nice enough, but Ann-garrud, Ann-harrud, Ang-garrud etc sound ugly.


halfsiesonapotnoodle · 19/03/2023 18:01

Just choose a name you love. It's fine, regardless of its country of origin.


mathanxiety · 19/03/2023 18:15

Wrt misspellings - so what?

Is there a suggestion that you should dumb down name choices in order to pander to people who are not very bright?

There are only a few guarantees in life, and one is that people who can't spell are going to make a mess of pretty much any name they're faced with.


KirstenBlest · 19/03/2023 18:22

@mathanxiety , it's annoying to have your name misspelt. I had a surname with probably the least popular of several spellings, and it caused problems.


mathanxiety · 19/03/2023 18:29

I have an Irish name and live in the US, and also a surname that has several spelling variations. Both of my names are routinely mangled, both in spelling and out loud.

It isn't a problem unless you let it become one.

We can't all be Jane Smith, and even if we were, some of us would end up being addressed as Jan / Smiff.


sunglassesonthetable · 19/03/2023 18:29

Tbh I can't get worked up about people misspelling my name. They pretty much have, my whole life. Until they get to know me.

Main thing is, I know how it's spelt.


sunglassesonthetable · 19/03/2023 18:30

Tbh there a couple of ways of spelling Ann....


sunglassesonthetable · 19/03/2023 18:32

Spelt or spelled - Hmm 🤔


KirstenBlest · 19/03/2023 18:36

@mathanxiety , no other than emails going to the wrong person or bouncing, redirected mail not matching the redirection details etc. I wasn't particuarly bothered by it, but I don't like having my first name spelt wrongly.


AnonymousArmadillo · 19/03/2023 18:40

I don't like having my first name spelt wrongly.

Neither do I but I have a name nearly as simple Jane Smith and people still spell my name wrong.


KirstenBlest · 19/03/2023 18:42

@AnonymousArmadillo , me too, but they know better than I do and insist they're right. Confused


sunglassesonthetable · 19/03/2023 18:44

A good reason not to choose your babies name on the basis of the behaviours of people in the future.

Just choose what you like.


AlwaysLatte · 19/03/2023 18:46

I have no idea how to pronounce it as I've only ever seen it written down but I've always thought it looks like a pretty name.


KirstenBlest · 19/03/2023 18:47

Oh we did. Adolf and Myra love their names


mathanxiety · 19/03/2023 18:51

It's impossible to predict all the ways the not very bright are going to get a name wrong and work around that.

People naming babies even in the 80s couldn't possibly have anticipated all the problems with emails and whatnot.

Choose a name you like, and at the very least it will end up being a way to identify people who know you from cold callers over the phone, and you can also keep a mental spreadsheet of people who fail to get it right after one correction. This sort of list can be handy.


Dora26 · 19/03/2023 18:51

I’m Irish and would be quite happy to see an Irish name used - with or without Irish antecedents- as pp said once spelt and pronounced properly. Enjoy!


user1469559754 · 19/03/2023 18:53

I'm an Aoife and Irish and would have no problem with you using it. I love my name! It's become very popular in Ireland now so wouldn't agree with a previous poster that it's becoming less common. My 7 yea old son knows loads of Aoifes. I also can't understand people saying it's hard to spell so don't use it - just tell people how to spell it! That is rarely said about names of other nationalities just the Irish.


Andanotherone01 · 19/03/2023 18:54

My DDs have a Gaelic names (DH’s parents are Irish) we live in the Home Counties. DD1 has an Aoife in her class, again parents are second generation Irish. We all have southern accents though, so no one would know we had Irish ancestry unless you asked. I don’t see the issue with using Gaelic names even if not Irish.

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