Posts Tagged With: Eoin

How Do You Pronounce Aoife? Guide To Pronunciations of Popular Irish Names

from thebridescoop.com

One of the great conundrums in life is how to pronounce Irish names. I went to a Catholic secondary school, and there was a clear, disproportionate number of students with distinctly Irish names, the type that make most non-natives quiver. I’m thinking Oisín, and even Róisín – both of which are names I know of people who bear them.

Since it seems a common problem, given what I read when the topic of Irish names come up, it seems worthwhile to provide a list of all the names in the Northern Ireland Top 100 which may pose pronunciations problems, and if you really don’t think you can carry the original form of,  I’ve also given any applicable English forms of the name.

Áine (#65) – awn-ye

means radiance in Gaelic.

sometimes taken as the Irish version of Anne, although this is not strictly true.

Aoibheann (#82) – ee-van

means beautiful sheen in Gaelic.

variants: Eavan (English), Aoibhín (Irish)

Aoife (#11), ee-fa

means beauty in Gaelic.

some take Eva as the English form of this name, again, not strictly true.

Caitlín (#28) – kaht-leen

Irish form of Catherine.

also pronounced (mostly by English-speakers) kayt-lin.

I have a Great Auntie Caitlín who pronounces her name kaht-leen.

Caoimhe (#35) –  kee-va

means beautiful, gentle, kind in Gaelic

variants: Keavy (Irish, think B*witched) and Keeva (English)

Ciara (#57) – keer-ah

means black.

variants include Kiara, Kira, Keira and Kiera

Clodagh (#44) – clo-da

name of a river in Tipperary.

Eimear (#49) – ee-mur

possible means swift.

Irish variant are Emer and Éimhear.

some take Emma to be the English equivalent of this name.

Meabh (#73) – mayv

variant of Medb, which is the original Irish form of Maeve.

means intoxicating.

Niamh (#22) – neev

means bright in Irish.

Orlaith (#77) – or-la

variant of Órfhlaith, which means golden princess.

A few other female names I want to mention, given that I know several people with the name:

Ailbhe – al-va

possibly means white.

The name Elva is the English form of this name.

Aisling – ash-ling

means dream, vision

The name Ashlyn is often taken as the English form of this name.

Bronagh -bro-nah

means sorrow.

Catriona – ka-tree-na

another Gaelic form of Catherine.

English form: Katrina.

Róisín – rosh-een

derives from Róis, which is the Irish form of Rose.

Siobhan – shi-vawn

Irish form of Jeanne.

Sinéad – shi-nayd

Irish form of Jeanette.

Then we have the boys:

Aodhán (#80) – ay-awn OR ay-dawn

means fire.

English form is Aiden.

Caolan (#55) – kay-lin OR kee-lin

means slender

Ciaran (#74) – keer-awn

means black.

English form is Kieran.

Cillian (#62) – kill-ee-an

means church

Dáithí (#91) – dah-hee

means swift

sometimes used as the Irish form of David.

Darragh (#37) – dare-ah OR dar-rah.

means oak tree

can also be spelled Dara or Daragh.

Eoghan (#87) – o-in

possibly means born from the yew tree, but may have derived from Eugene, which means well born.

English form is Owen.

Eoin (#34) – o-in

Gaelic form of John.

Fionn (#80) – finn

means fair, white.

English form is Finn.

Niall (#95) – nie-al

Original Gaelic form of Neil, which possibly means champion or cloud.

Odhrán (#40) – o-rawn

means little pale green one.

English form is Orrin.

Oisín (#23) – osh-een

means little deer.

Pádraig (#100) – paw-drig

Irish form of the name Patrick

means nobleman

Ruairí (#66) – rawr-ree

variant of Ruaidhrí

means red king

English variant is Rory.

Shea (#33) – shay

variant of Séaghdha

means admirable or hawk-like.

Advertisements
Categories: Name Pronunciation | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Straining Bookshelfs

The Thief Lord cover, from amazon.com

One of the best places to root around for names inspirations is books. The fictional world is where anything goes really – I once read a book named Storm’s Child where the main characters were called Rail (male) and Moa (female). Whilst I never got into Garth Nix’s main successes, I did love his book Shade’s Children – where the main characters were called Drum (male), Gold-Eye (male), Ninde (female) and Ella. Eoin Colfer once wrote a book called Supernaturalist, with characters Cosmo, Stefan and Mona. I digress, I read too much as a mid-teen and now my bookshelfs strain under the weight of all the books I own.

Since both Abby and Elea have both covered names of fictional characters this week in their own ways, I’m instead going to bring you inspiration from the names of the author’s which I read back when every waking moment of my life curled up with a book, along with the name of one of my favourite titles by them and some names from said title:

Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher DeadJackson)

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is his full name, and I’m in awe of the mix of styles he’s been bestowed. I’ve met two young Zeph’s recently – one was a Zephyr and twin of Asher, whilst the other was a Zephaniah.TV’s Julia Bradbury welcomed a son named Zephyr earlier on this year in August.

The name Benjamin is of Hebrew origins and means son of the south/right hand, whilst Zephaniah is also of Hebrew origins and means Yahweh has hidden. For the sake of completion, Zephyr means west wind, whilst Asher means happy or blessed.

And a quick breakdown of each name’s popularity in 2010 in England&Wales:

Benjamin Zephaniah Zephyr Asher
Rank 22 1407 3332 364
Births 3005 17 5 112

Blue Balliett (Chasing VermeerPetra and Calder)

Balliett purposefully chose unusually names, believing that’s exactly what would appeal to her readers. When I initially read Chasing Vermeer about 3 years ago I didn’t like the name Petra all that much, but she’s grown on me. She’s the female form of Peter, which means rock, although the character was named with reference to the ancient city of Petra and as part of family naming tradition.

Now, for some hard data from the 2010 data for England&Wales. Blue doesn’t rank for girls (the author is female), but does for the boys:

Blue Calder Petra
Rank 1801 n/a 1472
Births 12 n/a 20

Cornelia Funke (The Thief LordProsper, Boniface ‘Bo’, Scipio, Esther and Ida)

I adore the name Prosper, and it’s from this book that my love for him was first sparked. I acknowledge that Funke’s other work, the Inkheart trilogy, is better known, but this one has a special place in my heart.

As for the name of the author, first we must note that the author is German, and then note the name is the female form of the Latin name Cornelius. The name comes from the Latin element cornu, which means horn. 4 girls were named Cornelia in 2010 in England&Wales, putting it at #4688. On the flip side, 6 lads were named Cornelius last year, and thus at a ranking of #2941. And for the names of her characters I mentioned above? (The ranking for Bo is the male ranking)

Prosper Boniface Scipio
Rank n/a n/a n/a
Birth n/a n/a n/a
Esther Ida Bo
Rank 156 878 1483
Birth 334 40 16

Cressida Cowell (How To Speak DragoneseHiccup, Fishlegs and Camicazi)

I know that I’m probably too old for Cowell’s books these days, but I am still eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Hiccup franchise next month (the film adaption of the first book dissolved me into tears-the only film to ever do so). I love the name Cressida, and she’s the medieval form of another name I love: Chryseis and also means gold. In Greek legend, Chryseis was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. Since Hiccup and friends don’t rank, but Cressida does at #4688, with 4 births – same as Cornelia.

Enid Blyton (The Mystery of the Burnt CottageFrederick ‘Fatty’, Margaret ‘Daisy’, Lawrence ‘Larry’, Philip ‘Pip’ and Elizabeth ‘Bets’)

Enid is almost synonymous nowadays with the author, and the name comes from Welsh and means either soul or life. As an author, she chose rather classic names, all of which are not as popular nowadays as they were back when the books were first published, the one mentioned above came out in 1943:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
Rank 2104 95 355
Births 12 688 117
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
Rank 296 505 49
Births 152 80 1356

Compare the rankings of 2010 with that of 1934 when  all six names were in the Top 100:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
1934 68 24 72
2010 2104 95 355
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
1934 56 1 14
2010 296 505 49

Malorie Blackman (Noughts & CrossesPersephone ‘Sephy, Jasmine and Meggie)

The Noughts&Crosses trilogy was the one which first introduced me to the name Persephone, although I wasn’t sure of the pronunciation until I watched the television show Firefly. My copy of the first book is also signed by the author, Malorie Blackman, which I won, rather than stood in a line for.

The name Malorie is a variant spelling of Mallory, a name that comes from Norman French and means unfortunate. Rather makes me think of the CBBC show Trapped, where the contestants are known as unfortunates. Persephone’s meaning is not established, although she has been linked to Greek words which means murder or to destroy, whilst Meggie is a short form of Margaret and Jasmine is a lovely botanical name. They rank, as such:

Malorie Mallory Persephone
Rank n/a 4688 3156
Births n/a 4 7
Jasmine Meggie
Rank 41 5707
Births 1466 3

Tamora Pierce (The Magic In The WeavingSandrilene ‘Sandry’, Trisana ‘Tris’, Daja, Briar (male) and Lark)

I actually took this book out of my local library by mistake more than anything, but found myself reading it anyway. Whilst a little difficult to follow to begin with, I loved it enough to read all it’s sequels. This is the first real occasion I came across the name Briar, since I was never really shown Sleeping Beauty as a child, and I actually like it. The character himself chose the name, wanting something botanical, yet masculine. I think he achieved that, since I’ve often misread the name as Bear.

As for the name of the author, Tamora, she’s a variant spelling of the name Tamara, which is a variant of the name Tamar, which means palm tree in Hebrew. Predictably, none of the names have really made an impact in the popularity data for England&Wales (the data for Briar is the female one, since there is no male ranking):

Tamora Tamara Sandry Lark
Rank n/a 458 n/a 5707
Births n/a 90 n/a 3
Trisana Daja Briar
Rank n/a n/a 5707
Births n/a n/a 3

Tom Becker (DarksideCarnegie, Vendetta and Marianne)

I listed him because of his surname, rather than his first name. Becket is a nouveau name getting some attention right now, and I think I like Becker a tad more. He’s a German surname and variant of another surname, Becke, which means baker. The Carnegie Award is given out annually to a single children’s book which has impressed, and named after Andrew Carnegie.

Out of all the names, only Marianne ranks in the England&Wales data – at #946 with 36 uses.

Categories: Book Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.