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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2000 (January-June) » help with childs name « Previous Next »

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Courtney
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2000 - 01:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

My sons name is spelled A-i-l-a-n and I would like to know the pronunciation of it. A friend seems to feel my husband and I are prononcing it wrong.
We need to see whom is correct by a third party knowledgeable in the Irish language.

Thanks in advance for your help

Courtney

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Dennis King (donncha.ndip.eskimo.net - 207.54.13.247)
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2000 - 03:34 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Scottish Gaelic "Ailean" is pronounced roughly like English "Alan, Allen".

Irish "Ailéan" is pronounced roughly Alayne, with the first "A" like the vowel in "cat".

I'm constantly amazed that parents bestow names and only later begin to wonder what the heck they've done. My favorite was an attorney colleague a few years ago who named his daughter Cameron, and was shocked and not exactly grateful when I explained that it means "crooked nose" (< cam + srón) But now you've done it, and you can pronounce it however you see fit, and if it doesn't suit him when he gets older, stand back and let him do what he wants. After all, the hugely popular name Caitlin comes out of American mouths as Katelyn, while the original Irish Cáitlín is pronounced roughly Cotch-leen, and is the source of the anglicized Kathleen.

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Seosamh (1cust152.tnt11.nyc3.da.uu.net - 63.23.134.152)
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2000 - 03:35 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Daltai's forum wasn't up when Ailan born, apparently. A friend of mine works for a fabric manufacturer. They had a pattern that was similar to a tartan, so they made up a Scottish name -- Brae something or other. Fifteen years later they got a call from some one in Tennessee or thereabouts whose her daughter was getting curious what her name meant.

If the name sounds good, no harm done. Except maybe to puzzle philogogists and exasperate language purists. But, yes, people should do some research first.

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Courtney
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2000 - 05:07 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

To Mr King and the others who have responded to my
discussion board. Thank you for your help but for your information I was right in the pronunciation of my sons name not in the wrong. I did do research and agree the you should check first before you name your children. You gave me nothing but positive feedback that we were correct in the pronunciation. What in this discussion board drew you to the conclusion that we were in the wrong? And why did you jump to the conclusion that the parents were wrong and not the the friend that thinks he knows everything (and does not!!!)and will not accept that he is wrong. So I thought I would provide him with positve feedback that we were right. I thought I could receive some information not judgements when I entered this discussion board!!! You didn't even receive the information of HOW I was prononcing his name but I still have this feedback that says WE were wrong. Anyway thank you for your information, not the judgement, it will be used for the good to show afriend we were right!!! Thanks

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Máire Ní Ógáin (netcache2.mot.com - 129.188.33.222)
Posted on Friday, February 04, 2000 - 06:17 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I don't think they had jumped to any conclusions. I think they provided thoughtful, accurate and interesting information without judgement and I don't see where they concluded that anyone was in the wrong.

Ná bac léi, a dhaoine uaisle, nó chuir mise spéis i scéalta Brae agus Cameron cibé ar bith!

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Seosamh (1cust209.tnt6.nyc3.da.uu.net - 63.11.190.209)
Posted on Friday, February 04, 2000 - 12:48 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Sorry, Courtney, that I seemed judgemental. My posting was directed to Dennis and I tried to separate those remarks from the question of 'Ailan'. Not very well.

There were reasons to be doubtful about 'Ailan'. For example, it doesn't conform to (Modern) Irish spelling rules. But I've learned that there can be more to the scéal (story). I wouldn't be surprised, for example, to learn that this is an Old Irish spelling and that the name used to be popular in medieval times (I haven't met many Irishmen with the name Alan/Ailan/Ailéan -- Alan Titley is one-- and can't think of any Irish-Americans with it either).

Both Dennis King and I posted messages recently during a debate about Irish names elsewhere on the Net that appalled me for the rigidity and intolerance of some views expressed. Both of us argued for a tolerant and flexibile approach.

Best regards, Seosamh

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