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Caolan for a boy

35 replies

Nov2023 · 25/10/2023 22:29

Any thoughts on Caolan or Caelan for a boy please ? Pronounced Kay-lyn

OP posts:
Gcsunnyside23 · 27/10/2023 00:02

Nov2023 · 25/10/2023 22:29

Any thoughts on Caolan or Caelan for a boy please ? Pronounced Kay-lyn

It's pronounced kee-lin

Gcsunnyside23 · 27/10/2023 00:04

Nov2023 · 26/10/2023 10:05

@user1492757084 Cormac is on my list but my husband is less convinced. Likewise with Cathal he pounced it incorrectly. It seems caolan is the only name he likes! He is not Irish and pronounced it correctly though. Also have Cillian, Lorcan, Rory and Tiernan as options. Picking a name has been the hardest part of this pregnancy. It is such a responsibility!

Love all the last 4 names on your list, cillian is my fave

Nov2023 · 27/10/2023 13:43

keelin is very much a girls name where I come from maybe it works for caolan up north though?I have definitely heard caolan as Kay-lyn around my home region. It should really be cway- lawn with a fada on the second a but I am 100 percent sure I want to avoid any names with fadas. I think Caolan is off the list now. This poor child will be called baby forever if we can't agree on something 😬

OP posts:
PeacockingAbout · 27/10/2023 14:20

Caolan was on my list, but fairly low on it - there are nicer names. I'm also Irish heritage born in London with an English DH

We also had Cahal, Cillian, Cian, Lorcan, Faolán, Oisín, Tadhg, Cillín, Ronan, Orin.

My name has a fada and i grew up in England, and it's not been much drama tbh. I've not discounted any names due to fadas

ismu · 27/10/2023 14:25

Caolan would be pronounced differently in Scottish Gaelic so more like Coolan or Kyle-an depending on where you're from. Caelan has potential for being pronounced as ceiling...

TheLonelyGoatTurd · 27/10/2023 14:40

I love Lorcan and Cathal if Caolan is off the table. Also partial to Cormac and Dara.

franceskasofiaa · 11/11/2023 01:39

Nov2023 · 25/10/2023 22:50

I think Caelan is more instinctive to say but am not fully convinced that it is spelled correctly. That said neither is Caolan as I don't want to use the fada accent!

Irish name nerd here, sorry if I’m too late to help op!

Caolán (pronounced Qway-Lawn or Kay-Lawn depending on which province of Ireland you’re from) is the modern Irish spelling of the name, it means slender lad (Caol meaning slender + án is a diminutive ending for male names) and is strictly male.

Cáelán (pronounced the same as Caolán) was the Middle Irish spelling of the name (we had a spelling reform/standardisation of the language in the early 1900s)

Caelan is the most common Anglicised spelling I’ve seen and is generally pronounced Kay-Lun or Kay-Lin (again regional accent dependent)

As an Irish speaker if I saw Caelan written without accents I would 100% think it’s the Anglicised version of the name and read it as Kay-Lun.

Caolan on the other hand I’d have to ask if it was Kay-Lun (English) or Qway-Lawn (Irish), even if written without the accents, just because sometimes accents get dropped when typing etc.

Caoilfhionn/Caoilinn is pronounced as Qwee-Lyn or Kee-Lyn, it means slender and fair maiden (from Caol again meaning slender + Fionn meaning fair or blonde, when joining the two words they change to the genitive case hence the added i in Caol and the h in Fionn) and is strictly a female name

Because both names look similar and essentially mean the same thing, there are many variations and sometimes they get mixed up with each other. I have met both boys and girls called Caoilfhionn and its variations but only ever boys called Caelan and its variations so far ☺️

Hope this helps!

LizzieAnt · 11/11/2023 10:39

@KirstenBlest@franceskasofiaa
The vowel sound in Caol varies with dialect. In Munster it's ay, in Connacht and Ulster it's ee.

Also á is not generally pronounced as aw in Ulster Irish.

So there are a number of correct Irish language pronunciations of the name. On top of that there is an older Irish spelling as pp outlined, and also anglicised pronunciations and spellings.
One of the latter, Keelan, is also an anglicisation of the girls' name Caoilfhionn as @franceskasofiaa said.

I'm in Munster where Caolán is said Qway-lawn in the local dialect, but I know both boys and girls - mostly girls - called Keelan (that spelling).

Nov2023 · 11/11/2023 11:00

Thanks folks. Caelan is off the list now. I speak Irish so while I understand that the names will be pronounced differently in the UK and even regionally in Ireland, I can't bring myself to break spelling rules and leave out fadas etc. So I am back to the original plan of names with simple spellings! Something that both sets of grandparents will pronounce in a similar way!

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