9 Irish first names that are always mispronounced in America
Life & Style

9 Irish first names that are always mispronounced in America

LAST month, we wrote a piece on Irish *surnames* that Americans always mispronounce. Well there's nothing like a cheeky little follow-up is there? So here's some of the most commonly mispronounced Irish *first names* for you yanks to finally get right!

SIOBHAN

Very common Gaelic name in Ireland, the UK and in the US.

How others say it: "See-o-ban"

How it should be said: "Shiv-awn"

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OISIN

We've got one here in the office, and he'd kill us if we didn't include this one.

How others say it: "Oi-zin" or "Waz-an"

How it should be said: "Ush-een"

CIARA

Another common one. The Anglicised/Americanised versions of the name will give you a big clue.

How others say it: "Kee-ar-ah"

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How it should be said: "Keera"

NIAMH

Really doesn't look right to a non-Irish person, but trust us, this is correct.

How others say it: "Ni-Am-H"

How it should be said: "Knee-uv"

SAOIRSE

Here's actress Saoirse Ronan showing Stephen Colbert how it's done.

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How others say it: "Say-oar-see"

How it should be said: "Ser-shah"

SINEAD

This one might be easier given a certain Ms O'Connor's fame, but in case anyone out there is still getting it wrong:

How others say it: "Sign-aid"

How it should be said: "Shin-aid"

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CAOIMHE

Gaelic for "gentle", though the pronunciation isn't as it's translation suggests.

How others say it: "Cam-he"

How it should be said: "Kweeva"

CATHAL

I know what it looks like. But you're wrong.

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How others say it: "Cattle"

How it should be said: "Cah-hull"

TADGH

Despite the fact there's no letter 'I', that's the sound we want here, like 'eye'.

How others say it: "Tad-guh"

How it should be said: "T-eye-g" (like the first three letters of 'tiger')

 

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Hope that clears a few things up.