How Do You Pronounce 'Siobhan'?

It is a proper female name. I first heard it as the name of the lead female singer of Bananarama. And it might be British (to-date I have heard of no American women with that name).

It’s not in any dictionary I have at least. And I have wondered for the longest time how you pronounce it. Does anyone know? BTW, does anyone know if there is a translation or equivalent of this name? Knowing that would help alot too.




It’s Irish (Gaelic). “Shuh-VAWN”.


It’s Irish and it’s pronounced " Shu vawhn " Here’s another one you may have never heard: Niamh. I bet you’d never be able to pronounce that one without being told how! …it’s " Neeve " :slight_smile:

I find that difficult to beliamh.


Diarmuid = “derm’d” (you really don’t need to use your lips as much as you might first think).

All right, who’se been watching “Ballykissangel”??

Based on the few Irish language guides I have (been trying to teach myself), it seems to me that it would be pronounced much like Usram suggested, only I think the first syllable would have a short i: ‘shi-Vawn’. Contrary to the OP, I have encountered a few American women with the name. I think it is perhaps one of the most beautiful female names.

I would imagine our very own ruadh will be along soon with a summary of Irish pronunciation.

peritrochoid has it exactly right. Actress Siobhan Redmond is the only famous Siobhan I can think of offhand, and the BBC have always pronounced her name Shi-von. Same for my next-door-neighbour as a child, and a couple of others I’ve met IRL.

Another little titbit: Siobhan is, IIRC, the Gaelic name for Joan.

There is a ton of information on other Irish names on this page, if you are further interested.

There’s also Siobhan McCarthey, who starred in the original London production of “Mamma Mia.”

I have seen the spelling of the name “Americanized” to Shavaugh.

Shuh-vawn, pronounced the same way as Vince Vaughn.

Neeve is close enough, it’s actually more like Neeav, but you would have to be used to the Irish accent to understand the inflection that the amh makes in Niamh.

I went to high school with a girl with that first name. She pronounced it “Sheh-vahn.”

Wow ! I’ve found an Irish thread before ruadh :slight_smile:

As already noted by several members it’s ‘shi-Vawn’ as opposed to ‘sha-Vawn’

Slender ‘bh’ is pronounced as a ‘v’ in Irish.

A riend of mine is called Siobhan; she’s happy to be called Chev (like chevrolet); it took me a while to figure what her name really was!
And, in fact, she sometimes gets birthday cards, etc. made out to Chev.

Meurglys, there actually is a anglisied version of spelling Siobhan that is written as Chevonne, albeit fairly uncommon.

(If you google ‘Chevonne’ I’m sure you’ll find a few people with that spelling)

Siobhán Fahy, that Bananarama woman has an Irish surname, too.
a friend of mine has the same surname and it seemed to cause awful trouble in America, when she lived there. So Siobhán Fahy must have had a high old time with her name!!

I know a woman who is called Shivaun, which would be an Anglicised phonetic spelling of Siobhán.