Guide to Irish name pronunciation

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StarsAreFixed
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This seems to be a big problem judging by the other thread here. So here are the various spelling incarnations if there are a few, gender, phonetic pronunciation, the name in English if applicable and meaning if known. Most of these are too old to have English equivalents. Yes, I have too much time on my hands.

Caoimhe (F) Kwee-vah. (Kee-vah in UK..??) Anglicised as Keeva
Siobhán (F) Shuv-awn .Have seen this as Chivonne! English version is Joan
Niamh (F) Neev. Have seen it as Neev and Neeve anglicised
Aoife (F) Ee-fah
Gráinne (F) Grawn-yah
Caoilfhionn (F) Keel-in. Anglicised as...Keelin
Sinéad (F) Shin-ade. English version is Jean
Mairéad (F) Murr-ade. English version is Margaret
Ciara (F) Keer-ah. Anglicised as Keira.
Bronagh/Bróna (F) Bro-nah. Sorrowful one
Síun (F) Shoon
Saoirse (F) Seer-sha. Freedom
Sorcha (F) Soar-uh-kah
Sadbh/Sadhbh/Saive (F) Rhymes with I've
Radha (F) rye-ah
Máire (F) moy-rah. English version is Mary
Caitríona (F) Cah-treen-ah. English version is Catherine. Pure
Cáit (F) Cawt-chh. English version is Kate. Pure
Cáitlín (F) Cawt-chh-leen. English version is Caitlin. Pure
Maeve (F) Rhymes with wave.
Róisín (F) Roe-sheen. English version is Rosaleen. Little rose
Aoibheann (F) ee-veen.
Aoibhe (F) ee-vah.
Aisling (F) ash-ling. Anglicised as Ashling. Prophetic dream
Muireann (F) Mwir-in. Of the sea
Béibhinn (F) bay-vin. English version is Eleanor
Ailbhe (F) al-vah Anglicised as Alva
Deirdre (F) Deer-drah
Cara/Caragh (F) car-ah. Friend
Áine (F) awn-yah. English version is Anne
Síle (F) sheel-ah. Sheila/Shelagh
Iseult (F) ee-zult. Isolde
Blathnaid (F) bloh-nid (does not rhyme with blow, it's almost an 'aw' sound) Flower
Ailish (F) a (long a sound)-lish.
Eilis/Eilish (F) eye-lish
Eithne (F) eth-nah
Alanna/Alannah (F) alann-ah Dear one, darling
Síofra (F) shee-uf-rah
Réaltín (F) ray-ul-teen. Little star
Nóinín (F) no-neen. Daisy
Emer/Eimear (F) ee-murr
Chlodagh (F) cloe-dah
Orlaith/Orlagh/Orla (F) ore-lah
Éadoin (F) a (long a)- deen. Anglicised as Aideen
Naoise (M or F) nee-shah
Tegan (M or F) tee-gun


Séan (M) shawn. Anglicised as Shaun and Shawn. English version is John
Séamus (M) shay-muss. English version is James
Ciarán (M) keer-awn. Anglicised as Kieran
Dónal (M) doe-null
Finn (M) fin
Fionn (M) Fyunn
Caoimhín (M) kwee-veen
Cian (M) kee-un
Eoin/Eoghan (M) ow-en. Anglicised as Owen
Daragh/Daire (M) dar-ah
Oisín (M) ush-een
Niall (M) nile. English version is Neil
Cathal (M) caw-hull
Diarmuid (M) deer-mid
Tadgh (M) tye-ug, one syllable
Fergal/Ferghal (M) furr-gull
Cillian (M) kill-ee-un
Rian (M) ree-un
Odhrán (M) owe-rawn
Ruadhán (M) roo-awn
Padraic (M) poy-ric
Padraig (M) paw-drig
Peadar (M) pad-urr. English version is Peter

Disclaimer: Some of these names have various other spellings, some with fadas (these are accents that elongate the sound), some not. But these would be the standardised spellings. Pronunciations differ with accents, but this is the standard pronunciation based on what the Irish language sounds like from its spelling. Anglicisations are around aplenty in the UK, these are the most common ones that I have heard of.
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TheSownRose
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You need Eadoin on there.


Good work, though.
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alittlehelp
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Niamh gets me every time.
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The Polymath
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
This seems to be a big problem judging by the other thread here. So here are the various spelling incarnations if there are a few, gender, phonetic pronunciation, the name in English if applicable and meaning if known. Most of these are too old to have English equivalents. Yes, I have too much time on my hands.

Caoimhe (F) Kwee-vah. (Kee-vah in UK..??) Anglicised as Keeva
Siobhán (F) Shuv-awn .Have seen this as Chivonne! English version is Joan
Niamh (F) Neev. Have seen it as Neev and Neeve anglicised
Aoife (F) Ee-fah
Gráinne (F) Grawn-yah
Caoilfhionn (F) Keel-in. Anglicised as...Keelin
Sinéad (F) Shin-ade. English version is Jean
Mairéad (F) Murr-ade. English version is Margaret
Ciara (F) Keer-ah. Anglicised as Keira.
Bronagh/Bróna (F) Bro-nah. Sorrowful one
Síun (F) Shoon
Saoirse (F) Seer-sha. Freedom
Sorcha (F) Soar-uh-kah
Sadbh/Sadhbh/Saive (F) Rhymes with I've
Radha (F) rye-ah
Máire (F) moy-rah. English version is Mary
Caitríona (F) Cah-treen-ah. English version is Catherine. Pure
Cáit (F) Cawt-chh. English version is Kate. Pure
Cáitlín (F) Cawt-chh-leen. English version is Caitlin. Pure
Maeve (F) Rhymes with wave.
Róisín (F) Roe-sheen. English version is Rosaleen. Little rose
Aoibheann (F) ee-veen.
Aoibhe (F) ee-vah.
Aisling (F) ash-ling. Anglicised as Ashling. Prophetic dream
Muireann (F) Mwir-in. Of the sea
Béibhinn (F) bay-vin. English version is Eleanor
Ailbhe (F) al-vah Anglicised as Alva
Deirdre (F) Deer-drah
Cara/Caragh (F) car-ah. Friend
Áine (F) awn-yah. English version is Anne
Síle (F) sheel-ah. Sheila/Shelagh
Iseult (F) ee-zult. Isolde
Blathnaid (F) bloh-nid (does not rhyme with blow, it's almost an 'aw' sound) Flower
Ailish (F) a (long a sound)-lish.
Eilis/Eilish (F) eye-lish
Eithne (F) eth-nah
Alanna/Alannah (F) alann-ah Dear one, darling
Síofra (F) shee-uf-rah
Réaltín (F) ray-ul-teen. Little star
Nóinín (F) no-neen. Daisy
Emer/Eimear (F) ee-murr
Chlodagh (F) cloe-dah
Orlaith/Orlagh/Orla (F) ore-lah
Naoise (M or F) nee-shah
Tegan (M or F) tee-gun


Séan (M) shawn. Anglicised as Shaun and Shawn. English version is John
Séamus (M) shay-muss. English version is James
Ciarán (M) keer-awn. Anglicised as Kieran
Dónal (M) doe-null
Finn (M) fin
Fionn (M) Fyunn
Caoimhín (M) kwee-veen
Cian (M) kee-un
Eoin/Eoghan (M) ow-en. Anglicised as Owen
Daragh/Daire (M) dar-ah
Oisín (M) ush-een
Niall (M) nile. English version is Neil
Cathal (M) caw-hull
Diarmuid (M) deer-mid
Tadgh (M) tye-ug, one syllable
Fergal/Ferghal (M) furr-gull
Cillian (M) kill-ee-un
Rian (M) ree-un
Odhrán (M) owe-rawn
Ruadhán (M) roo-awn
Padraic (M) poy-ric
Padraig (M) paw-drig
good job there, you sure do have a lot of time
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StarsAreFixed
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(Original post by alittlehelp)
Niamh gets me every time.

Ha you are lucky it's not Sorcha you're facing instead..
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insignificant
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I'm gonna call my daughter Máire as my middle name is Mary, and just about every female relative of mine is called Mary in Ireland , and my grandmas were called Mary Alice and Margaret Mary
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StarsAreFixed
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Máire is really really rare these days. It has an association with people over 50, doubt it will ever be fashionable again. I like it though Haha yes, that's because so many people's mams were born during the 50's, the Marian celebration years. It was weird when I was in primary if your mam wasn't called Mary..
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Nightstar-27
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
This seems to be a big problem judging by the other thread here. So here are the various spelling incarnations if there are a few, gender, phonetic pronunciation, the name in English if applicable and meaning if known. Most of these are too old to have English equivalents. Yes, I have too much time on my hands.

Caoimhe (F) Kwee-vah. (Kee-vah in UK..??) Anglicised as Keeva
Siobhán (F) Shuv-awn .Have seen this as Chivonne! English version is Joan
Niamh (F) Neev. Have seen it as Neev and Neeve anglicised
Aoife (F) Ee-fah
Gráinne (F) Grawn-yah
Caoilfhionn (F) Keel-in. Anglicised as...Keelin
Sinéad (F) Shin-ade. English version is Jean
Mairéad (F) Murr-ade. English version is Margaret
Ciara (F) Keer-ah. Anglicised as Keira.
Bronagh/Bróna (F) Bro-nah. Sorrowful one
Síun (F) Shoon
Saoirse (F) Seer-sha. Freedom
Sorcha (F) Soar-uh-kah
Sadbh/Sadhbh/Saive (F) Rhymes with I've
Radha (F) rye-ah
Máire (F) moy-rah. English version is Mary
Caitríona (F) Cah-treen-ah. English version is Catherine. Pure
Cáit (F) Cawt-chh. English version is Kate. Pure
Cáitlín (F) Cawt-chh-leen. English version is Caitlin. Pure
Maeve (F) Rhymes with wave.
Róisín (F) Roe-sheen. English version is Rosaleen. Little rose
Aoibheann (F) ee-veen.
Aoibhe (F) ee-vah.
Aisling (F) ash-ling. Anglicised as Ashling. Prophetic dream
Muireann (F) Mwir-in. Of the sea
Béibhinn (F) bay-vin. English version is Eleanor
Ailbhe (F) al-vah Anglicised as Alva
Deirdre (F) Deer-drah
Cara/Caragh (F) car-ah. Friend
Áine (F) awn-yah. English version is Anne
Síle (F) sheel-ah. Sheila/Shelagh
Iseult (F) ee-zult. Isolde
Blathnaid (F) bloh-nid (does not rhyme with blow, it's almost an 'aw' sound) Flower
Ailish (F) a (long a sound)-lish.
Eilis/Eilish (F) eye-lish
Eithne (F) eth-nah
Alanna/Alannah (F) alann-ah Dear one, darling
Síofra (F) shee-uf-rah
Réaltín (F) ray-ul-teen. Little star
Nóinín (F) no-neen. Daisy
Emer/Eimear (F) ee-murr
Chlodagh (F) cloe-dah
Orlaith/Orlagh/Orla (F) ore-lah
Naoise (M or F) nee-shah
Tegan (M or F) tee-gun


Séan (M) shawn. Anglicised as Shaun and Shawn. English version is John
Séamus (M) shay-muss. English version is James
Ciarán (M) keer-awn. Anglicised as Kieran
Dónal (M) doe-null
Finn (M) fin
Fionn (M) Fyunn
Caoimhín (M) kwee-veen
Cian (M) kee-un
Eoin/Eoghan (M) ow-en. Anglicised as Owen
Daragh/Daire (M) dar-ah
Oisín (M) ush-een
Niall (M) nile. English version is Neil
Cathal (M) caw-hull
Diarmuid (M) deer-mid
Tadgh (M) tye-ug, one syllable
Fergal/Ferghal (M) furr-gull
Cillian (M) kill-ee-un
Rian (M) ree-un
Odhrán (M) owe-rawn
Ruadhán (M) roo-awn
Padraic (M) poy-ric
Padraig (M) paw-drig
You forgot the fuda in Cíara.
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Mr Dangermouse
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I know a Sorcha and her name is pronounced Sore-Sha
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StarsAreFixed
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(Original post by Nightstar-27)
You forgot the fuda in Cíara.
There is no fada in Ciara. 'ia' makes an ee sound already, so it is not needed.
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insignificant
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
Máire is really really rare these days. It has an association with people over 50, doubt it will ever be fashionable again. I like it though Haha yes, that's because so many people's mams were born during the 50's, the Marian celebration years. It was weird when I was in primary if your mam wasn't called Mary..
I like really old fashioned names, I think they've got a certain class to them
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StarsAreFixed
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(Original post by Mr Dangermouse)
I know a Sorcha and her name is pronounced Sore-Sha

That is personal preference, I've heard of that before. Some of these names have different pronunciations, but these are the original Irish language ones.
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Niassuh
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Good job
Some people prefer Raw-sheen instead of Roe-sheen (for Róisín).
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ms607
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had a little game with myself by saying what I thought it was pronounced as before reading the phonetic version - got most of them right but I was completely off on some
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StarsAreFixed
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(Original post by Niassuh)
Good job
Some people prefer Raw-sheen instead of Roe-sheen (for Róisín).

I think that may just be accent? There are a few Irish dialects that would favour Raw-sheen anyway.
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jimcatinnes
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
This seems to be a big problem judging by the other thread here. So here are the various spelling incarnations if there are a few, gender, phonetic pronunciation, the name in English if applicable and meaning if known. Most of these are too old to have English equivalents. Yes, I have too much time on my hands.

Caoimhe (F) Kwee-vah. (Kee-vah in UK..??) Anglicised as Keeva
Siobhán (F) Shuv-awn .Have seen this as Chivonne! English version is Joan
Niamh (F) Neev. Have seen it as Neev and Neeve anglicised
Aoife (F) Ee-fah
Gráinne (F) Grawn-yah
Caoilfhionn (F) Keel-in. Anglicised as...Keelin
Sinéad (F) Shin-ade. English version is Jean
Mairéad (F) Murr-ade. English version is Margaret
Ciara (F) Keer-ah. Anglicised as Keira.
Bronagh/Bróna (F) Bro-nah. Sorrowful one
Síun (F) Shoon
Saoirse (F) Seer-sha. Freedom
Sorcha (F) Soar-uh-kah
Sadbh/Sadhbh/Saive (F) Rhymes with I've
Radha (F) rye-ah
Máire (F) moy-rah. English version is Mary
Caitríona (F) Cah-treen-ah. English version is Catherine. Pure
Cáit (F) Cawt-chh. English version is Kate. Pure
Cáitlín (F) Cawt-chh-leen. English version is Caitlin. Pure
Maeve (F) Rhymes with wave.
Róisín (F) Roe-sheen. English version is Rosaleen. Little rose
Aoibheann (F) ee-veen.
Aoibhe (F) ee-vah.
Aisling (F) ash-ling. Anglicised as Ashling. Prophetic dream
Muireann (F) Mwir-in. Of the sea
Béibhinn (F) bay-vin. English version is Eleanor
Ailbhe (F) al-vah Anglicised as Alva
Deirdre (F) Deer-drah
Cara/Caragh (F) car-ah. Friend
Áine (F) awn-yah. English version is Anne
Síle (F) sheel-ah. Sheila/Shelagh
Iseult (F) ee-zult. Isolde
Blathnaid (F) bloh-nid (does not rhyme with blow, it's almost an 'aw' sound) Flower
Ailish (F) a (long a sound)-lish.
Eilis/Eilish (F) eye-lish
Eithne (F) eth-nah
Alanna/Alannah (F) alann-ah Dear one, darling
Síofra (F) shee-uf-rah
Réaltín (F) ray-ul-teen. Little star
Nóinín (F) no-neen. Daisy
Emer/Eimear (F) ee-murr
Chlodagh (F) cloe-dah
Orlaith/Orlagh/Orla (F) ore-lah
Naoise (M or F) nee-shah
Tegan (M or F) tee-gun


Séan (M) shawn. Anglicised as Shaun and Shawn. English version is John
Séamus (M) shay-muss. English version is James
Ciarán (M) keer-awn. Anglicised as Kieran
Dónal (M) doe-null
Finn (M) fin
Fionn (M) Fyunn
Caoimhín (M) kwee-veen
Cian (M) kee-un
Eoin/Eoghan (M) ow-en. Anglicised as Owen
Daragh/Daire (M) dar-ah
Oisín (M) ush-een
Niall (M) nile. English version is Neil
Cathal (M) caw-hull
Diarmuid (M) deer-mid
Tadgh (M) tye-ug, one syllable
Fergal/Ferghal (M) furr-gull
Cillian (M) kill-ee-un
Rian (M) ree-un
Odhrán (M) owe-rawn
Ruadhán (M) roo-awn
Padraic (M) poy-ric
Padraig (M) paw-drig
Oh dear I've let all my mums side of the family down couldn't pronounce many of them
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StarsAreFixed
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(Original post by ms607)
had a little game with myself by saying what I thought it was pronounced as before reading the phonetic version - got most of them right but I was completely off on some
Ah some of them appear to break their own rules, sometimes it depends on what letters come after the vowels, changes the whole sound. Would be tough to get them all without knowing the language.
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Dusty12
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As someone who has to explain 'Aoife' every day, I wish I could pos rep you more than once for this.
People need to learn!! ....
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ms607
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
Ah some of them appear to break their own rules, sometimes it depends on what letters come after the vowels, changes the whole sound. Would be tough to get them all without knowing the language.
Yeah, I sorta used my intuition (and experience of knowing people with some of the names) and some were slightly different to what you put down for them, most likely due to the accent.

I actually always sorta wanted to learn Irish, but my school never offered it
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Nightstar-27
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(Original post by StarsAreFixed)
There is no fada in Ciara. 'ia' makes an ee sound already, so it is not needed.
I believe you to be wrong. My name is Cíara and I'm Irish. Grammatically í in Irish sounds like ee in English.
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