Irish name pronunciation help

I have two new clients whom I will have to call very soon, and I don’t want to slaughter their names in the attempt.

One is named Eithne and the other Eimhear.

Is the first one pronounced “Enna” or “Enya” or … ?

“Ever” or “Eever” or some other way for the second?

Eithne can be either “ETH-na” or “ET-na”

Eimhear, I think, is “E-mer”, like Emer the wife of Cuchulain, but I’m not sure about this one. I’ll keep looking…

Nix on that last one. Cuchulain’s wife “Emer” was pronounced “Evair”, just found out.

Eimhear is apparently a variant spelling of Emer. My guess is they’re probably pronounced pretty similarly (Evair, or maybe your guess of eever), but IDNSIG (I do not speak Irish Gaelic)

Well, going by the irish women I’ve known with those names, the pronunciations were…

Make that…

EEE-murr (accent on first syllable)

Eithne pronounced like Etna? Hello? Haven’t you ever heard of the musician Eithne Ní Bhraonáin? Sure you have, she records under the name of Enya.

IANANGS, but I’m pretty sure Eimhear would be pronounced the same as the English word “ever” (if you rolled the r and aimed your consonants toward the upper front of the mouth).

Sheesh, you guys probably think Caitlín is pronounced “Kate Lynn.” :rolleyes:

For pronunciation I looked at the old standybys: baby name sites. Virtually all I checked claimed “ETH-na” or close to it, one claimed “ET-na”. Could’ve been a typo maybe, but I just calls em like I researches em…

Looking into it some more…

apparently “th” is pronounced “h” in Irish Gaelic, so “Eh-ne”, more or less Enya, (make the last e upside down) would be seem to be right. I’m thinking “ETH-na” or “ET-na” might be Anglicized versions. The site listing ET-na is an Irish baby name site and their pronunciations look mostly authentic. It lists Caitlin as “Coyt-leen”. Check it out at

Maybe I’ll pop off to the Irish pub down the street and ask the bartender. I was thinking of doing that anyway.

Sorry, make that

Well, you guys don’t really need my help. You’re all right :slight_smile: Strictly, the correct pronunciation of these names would be “enya” and “eever”. However, even in Ireland (at least in Anglophone Ireland) they are commonly pronounced as “ethna” and “eemer”.

I’ll note I’ve almost never come across the latter name with an h in it (it’s the h that gives the name the v sound) - most people seem to spell it as “Eimear” or “Emer”.

While we’re on the subject, how do you pronounce John Geoghan’s last name?

In Oz, Geoghan is pronounced GAY-gen (e is the upside-down phonetic one. Just about every vowel in Strine is pronounced that way).

Geoghan is pronounced go-gen in Ireland. Gay-gen is a more English slant on the name.

ALways thought it GAY-gen myself. Never heard go-gen.

I always have used GAY-gen aswell.

BTW do any of you guys live in the IFSC? The SDMB has been spotted through a window in there and if you do you have a doper as a neighbor* :wink:
*Not me :slight_smile:

definitely gay-gen.

Ooops Have to hold my hands up here. I misread and mixed up my Gogan (As in Larry) with my Geoghan.
I feel silly and hung over now :wally

That’ll teach you for going to Tomango’s on on Thursdays for all the “mickey money” slappers.

There is no doubt that I’m totally Guilty of going to Tomango’s in the past, I would touch the place with a barge poll now!