15 of the hardest-to-pronounce baby names

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK 

There are names in rather common usage that we come against and simply cannot pronounce, not for love nor money.

Celtic culture has a lot to answer for - these stunning but impossible-to-decipher baby names beguile and bewitch Australians, who stumble and fumble over them on a regular basis.

Once we become accustomed however, it's all good. And making the extra effort to pronounce a person's name correctly is a mark of respect.

Here are 15 of the hardest-to-pronounce baby names you might come across in your child's schooling life.

BOYS

Cian

​KEE-an is often mistakenly pronounced SEE-an.

​Dashiell

Is it DA-shee-ell? No it's da-SHEEL, though most are called Dash for short so you could always give that a go.

Joaquin

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​JO-a-kwin it is not. It's hwa-KEEN.

Tadgh

​No idea how to pronounce this tricky name? It's TAYG.

GIRLS

Ailbhe

​It's pronunced AL-va.

Áine​

Some people shy away from this traditional spelling in favour of Anya. The truth is that Anya is often mispronounced too. Both should be AWN-yeh.

Aoife

It's ​EE-fe, but some go for Eva to get an approximation of this pretty name.

​Caoimhe

​This gorgeous name is much-feted among the Irish elite and is pronounced KEE-va.

Helena

According to Behind the Name, these are all the correct pronunciations of Helena, which is probably why no-one knows how to pronounce it.

HEH-leh-na (German, Czech), heh-LEH-na (German), heh-LEH-nah (Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish), kheh-LEH-na (Polish), HEH-leh-nah (Finnish), HEHL-ə-nə (English), hə-LEEN-ə (English)

Linnea

It's tempting to pronounce it LIN-nea but it's ​lin-NEH-ah .

Niamh

​It's NEEV, not NEE-a-m.

​Oisín

​This lovely moniker should be pronounced o-SHEEN.

​Roisín

​Like Oisín, add an R to the beginning and you have ro-SHEEN.

​Saoirse

​This gorgeous name stumps many an Australian who encounters it. It's pronounced SEER-sha.

Siobhan

​While this name is quite common in Australia, it still manages to confuse. It's shi-VAWN.