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Top 10 Most Difficult Irish Names To Have Abroad

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Let’s face it Irish people are everywhere, from Portugal to Australia, and some of us do have difficult names to pronounce. Some names, like Siobhan in particular, can be hard to have abroad. So I will list some of the top 10 most difficult Irish names to have overseas and how to pronounce them correctly! 

You might consider some of these to be weird Irish names but trust me, they do exist and, in recent years, only increased. 

I was laughing when I saw the page Irish Around Oz’s comments on what are the hardest Irish names to have in Australia. 


So what are the most difficult Irish names to have abroad? 

10 Most difficult Irish names to have abroad

1. Siobhan – SHIVV-AWN

This has to be among the most difficult Irish names to have abroad. Although because of the many, many Siobhan’s that have travelled, it has helped with people knowing how to pronounce it.

 Siobhan is another Irish form of Joan, meaning “God is gracious.

So if you are wondering how to pronounce Siobhan, the easiest way is ‘Shivv-awn’, emphasising the AWN.

2. Tadhg – TYG(like Tiger without the ER)

No, this is not pronounced TADGA, haha—a tricky Irish name to have abroad.

  • Tadgh is pronounced ‘TYG’, like Tiger without the ER. 

3. Pádraig – PAW-Drig

Ah, where would we be without the could ole Pádraig? A difficult name to have abroad, for sure. It is one of the hardest to pronounce Irish first names. Do you know a Pádraig?

  • The easiest way to pronounce the Irish name Pádraig is PAW-Drig

3. Aoife – EEFA

I’ve heard people trying to pronounce this Irish name like AOOYOFFFE, haha. I travelled with Aoife around Thailand, and boy, was that a fun time. My name is Stephen meant that every single interaction became a bit of a laugh with anyone who knew we met.

  • So if you want to know how to pronounce Aoife, it is ‘EEFA’.

4. Saoirse – Seer-sha

Now I know many of you are probably saying that this shouldn’t be on the list because of the popularity of Saoirse Ronan. Well, you would be wrong. It is still among the most challenging Irish first names to have abroad. SAY ORSE is most definitely not the way to pronounce this Irish name.

  • The best way to pronounce Saoirse is Seer-sha.

5. Róisín – ROW-sheen

No, it is not Raisin or Roy Zen, haha. Yet again, another tricky Irish name to pronounce.

  • The easiest way to pronounce the Irish name Róisín is ROW-sheen.

6. Muireann – ‘MUR IN’ or ‘MWIR AN’ – Most difficult Irish name(in my opinion). 

This is a tricky Irish name, for sure! There was a few Muireann’s in my year in secondary school. And if you can pronounce this Irish name, you are one step closer to understanding all Irish names. 

So how do you pronounce Muireann? The easiest way is ‘MUR IN’ or ‘MWIR AN.’ 

7. Niamh – NEEV

No, it is not NIAM. Yet again, another tricky Irish name to pronounce. Niamh is an Irish name that you just have to know how it is pronounced, or there is no way to guess that it should sound like NEEV. 

8. Bláithnaid BLAW-NID

Like Niamh, this Irish name is a tongue twister, especially if you were to try and spell it! Heck, I don’t think I would manage to spell Bláithnaid. I was laughing when I saw this brilliant Starbucks photo of what the cashier thought Bláithnaid was pronounced. To be fair, he wasn’t far off the way it sounded.

  Bláithnaid spelt as Planet on a Starbucks coffee. One of the hardest Irish names to pronounce

So how on earth do you pronounce Bláithnaid? The easiest way is BLAW-NID, or Planet with a B(haha, just jokes).

9. Gráinne – ‘Grawn-yahh

No, this one is not Granny or Grain, haha. The easiest way to pronounce

Gráinne pronunciation ‘Grawn-yahh‘ 

10. Eamon ‘AY MUN’

I think the easiest way to pronounce this Irish name is to turn a little Jamaican and think of YEAAH MAN with an E at the start 😅

But to correctly pronounce Eamon without the Jamaican accent is ‘AY MUN.’

There are so many more difficult Irish names to have abroad

This is but a small selection of the many other Irish words. Some other classic weird Irish names include Eoin, Caoimhe, Síle, Fionnuala and Domnhall. What other difficult Irish words have you heard or that you have? 

Thanks for reading. 

Stephen(STEVE EN) 😂

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