Posted by: Jack Henry | March 16, 2023

Editor’s Corner: A wee bit o’ the Irish

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, so today I thought I’d do an article on something Irish. My first thought was an article about different words the Irish use to talk to their beloved; but then I remembered that several of you asked for pronunciation guides for new or difficult to pronounce words. I looked for some of the words in the collection of Irish love language, but I didn’t find much help, so I moved on. I found something different to share with you instead! The following names and information are from an article “10 awesome Irish names you’re probably pronouncing wrong,” by Chantal Ford. Here you are:

Think your name is hard to pronounce properly? It’s about time you took Gaelic for a spin…

Traditional Irish names are notorious for appearing really difficult to pronounce, but, just like Ireland they’re beautiful, mysterious, and shrouded in mythology. Here are ten names to practice before you visit the Emerald Isle:

· Caoimhe

Pronounced: Key-va

Meaning: Gentle

· Niamh

Pronounced: Neev

Meaning: Radiant

· Seamus

Pronounced: Shay-muss

Meaning: Supplant (replace)

English version: James

· Sioban

Pronounced: Shiv-awn

Meaning: God is gracious

English version: Shevaun, Shavon, Chevonne

· Máirín

Pronounced: Maw-reen

Meaning: Star of the sea

English version: Maureen

· Tadgh

Pronounced: Tyge

Meaning: A poet

English version: Timothy

· Síle

Pronounced: Shee-la

Meaning: Musical

English version: Sheila

· Pádraig

Pronounced: Paw-drig or paw-rick

Meaning: Nobly born

English version: Patrick

· Aoife

Pronounced: Eee-fah

Meaning: Beauty, radiance

English version: Eva

· Eoghan

Pronounced: Ow-an

Meaning: Young fighter

English version: Owen

These names reminded me of a short (one-minute) Stephen Colbert conversation with Saoirse (Seer-sha) Ronan. She gives him a pronunciation lesson on some of the same names.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Kara Church | Technical Editor, Advisory | Technical Publications

Pronouns: she/her | Call via Teams |

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