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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2000 (July-December) » Surname pronunciation « Previous Next »

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Anactoria (omega.wtbrct.adelphia.net - 24.48.12.3)
Posted on Saturday, November 25, 2000 - 03:10 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I'm so in love with this site. I've read every single post in this forum, some more than once, and even taken several notes. It's so thrilling to see such communication in Irish, but at the same time it's a little depressing because it makes me realize how far I have to go in learning the language of my ancestors! :) So very far.

Anyway, I'm looking for help in the pronunication of my family surname in Old Irish:

Ó Ríoghbhardáin

Could anyone assist?

Thanks so much. The knowledge on this site just overwhelms me. I'm very thankful to have found it.

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Dennis (proxy1-external.sttln1.wa.home.com - 24.4.254.154)
Posted on Saturday, November 25, 2000 - 05:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

That's the old spelling of Ó Ríordáin (roughly OH REE-uhr-daw-in), desendant of Ríoghbhardán (= royal poet). Irish spelling has done away with most of the consonants that are no longer pronounced (as in "knight" in English), but some people do prefer the old cumbersome spellings in their family names. My favourite is Ó Sé (= O'Shay), which is Ó Séaghdha in the old spelling!

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Anactoria (omega.wtbrct.adelphia.net - 24.48.12.3)
Posted on Saturday, November 25, 2000 - 08:12 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thank you, Dennis!

Yes, we're Riordans now -- or more commonly in the States, Reardons. Recently we (my fiance' and I), made the decision to legally reclaim the 'Ó' before 'Riordan'. From what I've read, though I'm sure there are other reasons, Irish were denied food in English soupkitchens during the famine unless they dropped the 'Ó' before their name. That struck me as particularly harsh, considering the lack of that 'Ó' more or less -symbolically- severs one from one's ancestors. I'd be interested to hear if others here at Daltai have re-added the 'Ó' to their family names.

So, was Ó Séaghdha still pronounced O'Shay?

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