Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for A Name No One Can Pronounce

...or, A is for Aisling.

Every single one of you who read that as "aiZ-ling," I want you to do me a solid and slap yourself across the face. Now you know how I've felt for the past nearly 30 years.

Aisling, an extremely Irish name, is pronounced ASH-ling.

I'll say that again because hardly anyone can comprehend it the first time.


Not aiz-ling or ice-ling or ize-ling or ace-ling, not Ashley, AND FOR FECK'S SAKE before you go calling someone "ass-ling", stop and ask yourself what parent would actually name their child ass-ling. Seriously. EVERY TIME YOU CALL ME ASSLING, GOD MURDERS 100 PUPPIES.

I am aware that Irish phonetics are bizarre. All of our names are ridiculous. Like my sister's--Siobhán, which is pronounced "sha-vaun" (and for the love of God not sha-VAHN like all her American friends call her). Or one of my fav girl's names--Siaorse, which is pronounced "seer-sha." Or my fav boy's name--Eoin, which is the same as "owen."

I was going to use Granuaile as an example, but I don't even know how to spell the pronunciation. However, Granuaile fecking ruled and her name also fecking rules.

We get a lot of foreign clients with weird names. But there is this magical thing called Google, where you can search how to pronounce a name.

Ok fine I'll try with Granuaile. It's more or less pronounced "grawn-ya-wale." Wrap your head round that one. The Brits couldn't so they re-named her Grace O'Malley.


  1. Absolutely LOVE this post. You're name is beautiful. I've also been victim of horrendous mispronunciations of my name. Well, my last name. It's sad how many people just don't know how to read, being that my name is pronounced EXACTLY as it's written.

    Lovindeer. Sounds like 'Loving', minus the 'g', and 'deer' like Bambi.

    I've gotten Lavender, Loh-VAN-der, LAH-vin-deer, LOVING-der and a whole mess of other disgusting attempts. I've had to fight the urge of punching people in the eyelid for sounding so stupid. I've just come to the conclusion that people are just too lazy to try and do my name justice.

    Great post! I share your frustration!

  2. LOL! Irish and Welsh two lovely languages that must have been born in the back of the throat. :) It's the same with Tibetan. How something is spell doesn't mean that's how it's pronounced!

  3. Lol... loved this. Great first post! I have to admit I was guilty of referring to you as Aiz-ling for like the first two years I knew you. Ash-ling is a lovely name and it deserves to be pronounced correctly. Ass-ling … smh.

    I went to school with a girl called Shavon back in 1st grade, but she was African-American so I’m pretty sure her name was Shavon, not Siobhan. Though tbh I never saw her spell it, so… maybe? Also can someone please speak the name of actress Saoirse Ronan before I embarrass myself? Kthx.

    1. SEER-sha.
      prettiest name ever

    2. Seer-sha?!? Wow... I would not have guessed that in a thousand years. :D

  4. So I read the first sentence and was ready to raise my hand and jump up and down. But I remembered it as ash-lynn. Oops. Now I know properly again! (well, it HAS been a year and a half since I looked you up)

    I shall never feel sorry for myself for having a German-spelling name again! Ok maybe just now and then...

  5. i will not slap myself against the face okay
    you know why
    because it's my birthday and i am the cutest thing alive ok
    but yes, i did pronounce it as aiz-ling.
    ...yeah. i just won't say names at all. thank God that despite going to an Irish school (yes, the word 'Ireland' is actually in my school's name. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland...funny thing about that i'm not in Ireland BUT oh man, oh man, like most of the staff is Irish, but like...not extreme names like that. i think the most Irish name i've heard so far is Seamus. thank fuck.)

    -Sam Lupin

  6. Our language can have some real tongue twisters.

  7. I saw the Name Eoin in a comic book once. No, I didn't know how to say it until know. Though I do get close on Siobahn, as she was an character on Edge Of Night many years ago.

  8. This post cracked me up. I know I'm one of those freaks that would have bastardize your name. Not now though. LOL!

  9. People mutilate my name all the time. But, it's my last name. It's misleading when it's read, just like your name.

    Happy A-Zing!! (What are we? Crazy?)

    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

  10. YES!!! I'm glad someone is brave enough to have a theme called "I am going to complain now". Can't wait to guffaw more at your posts throughout April! Cheers, marci (www.fuzzyundertones.com) :D

  11. Okay...I think I have the pronunciation down now. Ash, not ass or anything remotely similar! L.O.L. I think you're going to have fun in the A-Z! Shells–Tales–Sails


    lol assling

    At least you have a pronounceable last name. In our fam most of us got the double-whammy of the Irish first names and an unbelievably eastern european last name

  13. Best name wrong prnunciation in Chris' High School classes

    Chris "La-Sha" (La Sha) ?

    Stundent NO! It's "La Dash Ah"

  14. We don't have a very large Irish population over here so I'm fucked if I actually knew how to pronounce your name! At least now i can say it right.

    Ass-ling. About as advanced as 'Cat-pee' -.-;


We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.