\"\"

Can't pronounce these names? Most Americans can't! Photo by: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The most mispronounced Irish names in America

\"\"

Can't pronounce these names? Most Americans can't! Photo by: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It is the double vowel that catches out most Americans when they try to pronounce Gaelic names. Sometimes the triple vowel as in “Caoimhe” completely stumps them.

 

Here’s a list of the top ten tongue twisters: 

1. Caoimhe

Meaning “gentle in Gaelic. Pronounced “Kweeva”, not “Cam-he”.

2. Siobhan

Very common Gaelic name. Pronounced “SHIV awn” not “SEE o ban”.

3. Oisin

Historical old Irish name of a fabled Fenian warrior (pictured above). Pronounced “USH een” not “Waz an”.

4. Sinead

Again a common girl’s name. Pronounced “SHIN ade” not “Sign aid”.

5. Aisling

Meaning dream or vision. Seen in "The Secret of Kells" Often pronounced “Ass Sling” by Americans. Proper pronunciation is “ASH ling”.

6. Niamh

 

Very common name with girls in Ireland. Pronounced “KNEE ov” not “NI Am H”.

7. Grainne

Pictured above is what is believed to be her grave in Omagh, Co. Tyrone. After famed love partner of Diarmuid, a Fenian chieftain. Pronounced “GRAWN YAH” not “granny”.

8. Cathal

Boys name meaning Charles in Gaelic. Pronounced “Cah Hull” not “cattle”.

9. Tadgh

This is a difficult one. This is a boy’s name. Pronounced “TIG” as in the first three letters in Tiger, not “Tad guh”.

10. Saoirse

Meaning freedom, see also actress Saoirse Ronan. Pronounced “See Or Shah” not “Sway oar sha”.

Practice makes perfect! And remember, before you complain about how hard they are to pronounce, it's important that you keep in mind the reason it's so hard; the names are in another language!

Good luck!

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: