Posts Tagged With: Niamh

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


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.

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

Santa Special

Santa Train, via flickr

I’ve spent all weekend handing out presents to excitable small children, and what has to be the biggest pack of Brownies I’ve ever come across in my life. This all adds up to the need for an extra special post to give me a chance to share with you as many names as my poor mind can remember.

That said, this post does comes with the warning that, whilst I know their rough ages due for present-selecting purposes, I can only hazard a guess at the spellings of their names. This is by no means a complete list, rather, a collection of the ones I remembered, and for the sake of simplicity, yes there were many multiples of many of these names, but I’ve forgone this since I can’t give exact numbers on how frequent each names was used, but, the ones I saw time and time again?

  • Alfie
  • Ben
  • Hayden
  • Henry
  • Lucy
  • Isabella
  • Joshua
  • Ruby

Before unleashing the lists on you, it is worth noting that the children could’ve easily been introducing themselves by their nickname, not their fullname.


Alfie James Olly
Eloise Nina Polly
Evie Meggie Ruby
Isabella Maggie Susanna


Ace Cameron George Lucy
Aiden Casper Hannah Maisie
Alfie Charlie Harry Nancy
Amy Che Henry Niamh
Archie Chelsea Holly Phoebe
Baxter Debbie Isabella Sally
Bea Ebony Isla Sally
Bella Eddy Jack Sean
Ben Edward Jenny Stanley
Billy Effie Liam Teddy
Bobby Evan Lila Thisbe
Callum Evie Lola William


Abby Esther Jason Oliver
Abigail Ethan Joel Olivia
Alfie Eve Jordan Olly
Alice Ewan Joshua Oscar
Amelia Faith Kian Owen
Ben Felix Lenny Penny
Bess Fergus Leon Poppy
Betty Gabby Lily Poppy
Bruno Gabriella Lola Ralphie
Cameron George Lolly Riley (m)
Cleo Hamish Lucy Rosie
Coco Hannah Luke Samuel
Daniel Imogen Maggie Summer
Darcy Isabella Martha Summer
Eleanor Isla Molly Tammy
Elise Jack Niamh Tommy
Emily James Nora William


Alex Freddie Joshua Reuben
Archie Georgia Kai Sam
Ben Geraldine Kiefer Scarlett
Cameron Greta Leo Sophie
Charlie Hannah Lexie Stacy
Charlotte Harriet Libby Summer
Chloe Hayden Lily Teddy
Connor Isabella Lucy Theo
Delphine Jessica Margaret Thomas
Eliza Jessie Molly Verity
Elliott Jimmy Noah Victoria
Elliott Jimmy Owen Wendy
Emily Joe Perry Willa
Erin Jools Petra William
George Joseph Rebecca Zeke


Bea Jack Molly
Becky Jake Sarah
Ben Jessica Stanley
Erin Matthew Thomas
Felicia Noah William


Charlotte Joel Charlotte
Emily Joshua Quinn
Emmy Matthew Rowan
Frank Melody Winnie
Hattie Niall Zach
James Noor  
Categories: Real Babies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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