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    Irish Names

    All the Irish people I've ever met use anglicised names. I assume that these would be the names on birth certificates and passports. I know that my sample pool is very small but is there movement to change names back to their original or Irish spelling? (I just realised that spelling might be an issue if anglisisation happened before Irish was formalised).

    Anyway, the only Irish surname I can think of being used is Ó Briain is that just my small sample size or is it rather uncommon. Are first names much more commonly given in Irish than their English forms nowadays?

    #2
    1 O'Briain and variants is one of the 5 most common surnames in Ireland IIRC

    2 Fashion for Irish names comes and goes. Would be boosted if Saoirse* Ronan wins the Oscar, say

    3 Current political debate about whether and to what extent learning the language should be compulsory in schools

    4 About 2% of population speak conversational Irish beyond primary school

    * Freedom (from British Imperial yoke etc etc)

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      #3
      What DG says - also in the pre-independence period, there was a vogue for restoring surnames to the original as a political protest, but after 1921, it became viewed as synonymous with the republican ultras, and thereafter enthusiasm was confined solely to first names.

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        #4
        There was a huge Irish name thing in the 70s and 80s, which is why everyone from that time is called Sinéad, Conor, Colm etc.

        Now all kids are called Jack.

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          #5
          I dunno, these days I seem to encounter a lot of Niamhs and Áines and Deirdres and Eimers and Siobhans , whereas I never did 20 years ago. Fewer men, mind you. Colm, obviously, as on here, Cathal, Fergus, Pádraig (but Pádraig aside, those all seem easy for the English speaker to deal with, and Pádraig is too because we know what the equivalent anglicised version is)

          Mind you it could be because of what anton says and that the vast majority of these people are between 35 and 55, which is the kind of age group I tend to run into.

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            #6
            Team entering forthcoming supporters'' fundraising quiz- Liam Og agus an Beal Bocht (rough translation ''''Willy and the Poorboy"). Correction welcome.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Duncan Gardner View Post
              Team entering forthcoming supporters'' fundraising quiz- Liam Og agus an Beal Bocht (rough translation ''''Willy and the Poorboy"). Correction welcome.
              You'll need a couple of fadas Duncan, Liam Óg agus an Béal Bocht (fada literally means broad and broanden the sound of a vowel, A = ah, Á = aw, E = eh, É = ay, etc)

              Regarding Irish names, it's all incredibly fluid in Ireland these days. Surnames are still more commonly anglicised, so lots more O'Briens than Ó'Bríains but more of a trend in the past couple of decades for more traditional Irish given names, with the fada more commonly used now in the English language version of names. And there's a bit of a trend for people 'reclaiming' Irish surnames, with Murphy becoming O'Murchú and such like.
              These days you'll get the full range from traditional Irish, modern/contemporary/fashionable, British inspired and ethnically diverse, with many glorious mishmashes..... Oisín Hussein, Samir Carruthers, Pavel O'Brien, Seán Blaszczykowski, Sadhbh Van Velzen etc

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                #8
                Go raibh maith agat Sean

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                  #9
                  The NI team finished outside the medals in the quiz (hosted by London RoI supporters). However I did chat briefly to future supremo and guest of honor Stephen Kenny. He was non-commital about taking the Crusaders job at some future point

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                    #10
                    Duncan, an Béal Bocht means the poor mouth.

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                      #11
                      Indeed. I did say rough translation. Willy and the Poor Mouth doesn't have quite the same ring.

                      An animated version of the story was on BBC Alba recently

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                        #12
                        I don't know why, but I really struggle with pronouncing Irish names. It took me over 40 years to realise that Niamh isn't pronounced Nee-am. I'm still not sure about Caoimhin (as in Kelleher) but having realised the 'mh' has a 'v' sound then I'm guessing something close to Kevin?

                        On the other hand I saw a fella called Tadgh on the telly the other day and I literally have no idea how to pronounce it. Tath? Taadth? Tadge? Tag? It shouldn't be that hard, I can make a passable stab at most languages but too many consonants in unexpected combinations does seem to be a blind spot.

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                          #13
                          Caoimhin is Kevin, it's basically pronounced Keeveen

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                            #14
                            And Tadgh is Tyge, Irish for Timothy which was the most popular Irish male name in the late nineteenth century, hence taigs and Tim's.

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                              #15
                              TIE-g(uh)

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                                #16
                                Tadhg is essentially pronounced the same as the beginning of Tiger.

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                                  #17
                                  ON-ya (Anne)
                                  GRAWN-ya (Grace)
                                  Muh-RAID (Margaret)
                                  SHIN-aid (Jane)

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                                    #18
                                    Cheers all! Much appreciated.

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                                      #19
                                      Ah, I went to school with a Sinead so I knew that one - and Grainne had been handed to me by a commentator on an Irish car rally...

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                                        #20
                                        Peadar Tóibín names his new political party Aontú, which means Unity.

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                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by Third rate Leszno View Post
                                          I don't know why, but I really struggle with pronouncing Irish names. It took me over 40 years to realise that Niamh isn't pronounced Nee-am. I'm still not sure about Caoimhin (as in Kelleher) but having realised the 'mh' has a 'v' sound then I'm guessing something close to Kevin?

                                          On the other hand I saw a fella called Tadgh on the telly the other day and I literally have no idea how to pronounce it. Tath? Taadth? Tadge? Tag? It shouldn't be that hard, I can make a passable stab at most languages but too many consonants in unexpected combinations does seem to be a blind spot.
                                          You don’t know why? It’s because Irish pronunciation makes no sense.

                                          I was having a drink back home with my friend Mika, whose dad is Irish and who lived in Dublin for several years. It was agreed that learning Irish wouldn’t do us much good, but we’d very much like to learn how to pronounce Irish as we both fuck up pronouncing Irish names on the reg. despite my username being a suffixed version of my first name, and her brother being named Oisín.

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                                            #22
                                            I have a cousin Oisin and a cousin Ender. Oisin causes the most pronunciation problems.

                                            Anyway, as the people of France and Germany are well aware, Kevin is an American name.

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                                              #23
                                              I know it's only wikipedia but are you referring to Kevinism SW2? Or something else?

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                                                #24
                                                Basically,yes. And kevinisme, I suppose - there was a discussion about the name at the dinnertable at Fussbudget's mam & dad's and I pointed out that it's actually Irish, but I don't know if it has the class associations in France as I don't parly voo too bon but am quite keen on opening my trap.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Flynnie, I think that part of the issue for Irish-Americans and those that grew up with them is that the Americanised pronunciations of Irish names (very much a thing in the 60s and 70s among pelople whose kids were born here and no intention of returning) were themselves off. The diaspora to the US at that time was not known for its Gaelic.

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