Are Irish Gaelic names too out-there?

Hey Berries!
I’m finding myself in a little bit of a predicament. You see, my family is Irish through and through, and we often have Gaelic names to honor our ancestors. For example, my name is Ceilidh. It means celebration. I’ve always loved my name, and have never minded having the correct someone on the spelling or pronunciation.
My whole life I’ve loved Gaelic names, some of my favorites being [name_f]Caoimhe[/name_f], Saorise, [name_f]Aoife[/name_f] and [name_f]Ciara[/name_f]. I’ve always said that if I had a daughter, I would give her an Irish name, like mine.
Now what I’m wondering if I might be making a bad choice. [name_m]Even[/name_m] if I find Gaelic names beautiful, she might end up hating them.
So, I’ve decided to go to the experts, you name veterans. What do you think? Am I helping her embrace her heritage a celebrate her individuality, or am I condemning her to a life of frustration?
Thanks for much for your wisdom and guidance,
Ceilidh xx

I personally would use the Gaelic name in the middle in case your daughter doesn’t like it. She could always choose to go by it when she gets older, but she won’t have to constantly correct her teachers. That’s why we decided to use [name_f]Xochitl[/name_f] as our daughter’s middle name instead of her first name. I knew no one around here would be able to say or spell [name_f]Xochitl[/name_f].

I think it’s fine. I am British though so they are the norm for me. [name_f]Caoimhe[/name_f], [name_f]Saoirse[/name_f], [name_f]Aoife[/name_f] and [name_f]Ciara[/name_f] are some of my favourites (along with [name_f]Niamh[/name_f])! [name_f]Saoirse[/name_f] is my all-time favourite Irish name. I think people over-worry too much about stuff like this. Although the spellings are hard to catch on to those unfamiliar with, they’re genuine names with familiar pronunciations so I think your daughter will be fine with a name such as [name_f]Caoimhe[/name_f] or [name_f]Aoife[/name_f]. Your daughter could end up hating a name you give her if it isn’t Irish, because she may feel left out. You can never predict it.

I say go for it. [name_m]How[/name_m] did you feel growing up with a name like Ceilidh? Did it bother you? Maybe answer that to see if it would bother your daughter, taking into account names are so much more diverse now and I don’t bet, for a second, that [name_f]Ciara[/name_f] (for example) would stand out and have a lot of trouble when parents are much more daring now. I also don’t think you will condemn your child to a life of frustration.

I think if it’s a family tradition it’s fine, but I would try to stick with one that is fairly well known and not overly obscure. I’d also probably give her a more common easy to pronounce/spell middle name in case constantly correcting people becomes frustrating for her. Then she has the option to go by her middle instead.

I would say it’s fine - I’m from [name_f]Canada[/name_f] (albeit, the most populated area in [name_f]Canada[/name_f]) and we have [name_f]Aoife[/name_f] and [name_f]Orla[/name_f] on our list, and are thinking of [name_f]Caoimhe[/name_f] and Ceilidh. I also love [name_f]Eilidh[/name_f] but it’s very close to my own name in pronunciation. While [name_f]Orla[/name_f] is uncomplicated (I just prefer this spelling to [name_f]Orlaith[/name_f]), the others are definitely going to present a challenge when it comes to pronunciation.

I think it depends on how prepared you are to correct people and how ok you think you might be with it. I personally dislike correcting my name constantly, because it becomes redundant after a while, and that is a factor for me in deciding whether or not I’d actually use a name.

I say go for it! It honours your heritage, has special meaning, and I think society is becoming more open to less common names. She could always go by her middle name or a nickname if she doesn’t like it.

I think it’d be totally fine to do it! It’s a great way to connect your child to their relatives past and present.
Plus, I think it helps that you’ve also got one. If you make the conscious effort not to let it seem like a chore to spell and pronounce and highlight all the great things about the name at the same time (history, heritage, meaning), I think your kids will be less likely to think it a chore.

I think those you mentioned are fairly well known, but she may face some spelling and pronunciation problems. If the name it’s more obscure, you can always consider how much it would affect her lives. I’d say that you don’t need to push the irish name to the middle just in case she hates it. For all that you know right now, she could end up hating the other name you could choose as a first name. I think names like Saoirse and Ciara may be safe bets, since there is famous people with those names, and eventually, i think they would not be trouble.

I grew up in [name_f]Nova[/name_f] [name_f]Scotia[/name_f], so I know how to say and spell Ceilidh easily. :slight_smile: I have encountered several Siobhans and a couple of Aislings (though the pronunciations are all over the place for [name_f]Aisling[/name_f]) but only one [name_f]Caoimhe[/name_f], one [name_f]Aine[/name_f] (this spelling), and one [name_f]Niamh[/name_f]. For whatever reason, despite NS’s strong Scottish (and, to a lesser degree, Irish) roots, the Gaelic names have not all caught on in a big way.

There are some really gorgeous Gaelic names, and after much consideration I’ve decided that (unless I for some reason moved to [name_f]Ireland[/name_f] and was raising my children there and people would know how to say these names) if I wanted to use one of the tricky-to-spell ones ([name_f]Caoimhe[/name_f] and [name_f]Niamh[/name_f] are my favourites), I would use an alternate spelling ([name_u]Keeva[/name_u], [name_f]Neve[/name_f]) if I was using it as a first name but I’d keep the traditional spelling if it was going to be a middle name. I know that living where I do, [name_f]Caoimhe[/name_f] would look like total gibberish to almost everyone, and I’d hate to subject a child to a life of apologizing to people for their not understanding her name. I know that is not the goal at all (you have to be proud! everyone has to learn it! it’ll be an educational experience wherever you go!) but it’s been a big part of my experience with an unusually-spelled name that is much easier for people to understand than [name_f]Caoimhe[/name_f].