Name Pronunciations

Here’s a thread that you can post on if you don’t know how to pronounce a name! You can post asking how to pronounce a name, or answering a pronunciation question, if you know it.

Eilonwy? Is it (EE-lon-wee)? I feel like that isn’t right.

I’d guess eye-lon-wee but let’s see what others think!

[name_m]How[/name_m] does everyone pronounce [name_f]Selah[/name_f]? Seh-luh, [name_m]Say[/name_m]-luh, See-luh??

I’m guessing EYE-lon-wee, and I say “[name_m]Say[/name_m]-luh”!

[name_m]How[/name_m] does everyone pronounce names ending in -ara (as in [name_f]Cara[/name_f], [name_f]Tara[/name_f], etc.)? [name_f]Do[/name_f] you use the “ah” or “air” sound?

I use the ‘ah’ sound, rhyming with car - I’m in the UK btw if that influences anything


Pronunciation varies so much with accent. I’m trying to transcribe how these names would be pronounced in my native accent but Americans might read them very differently.

eye-[name_m]LON[/name_m]-wee is how I have heard Eilonwy pronounced (in the Disney film The [name_m]Black[/name_m] Cauldron) but I don’t know if that’s technically correct in Welsh.

[name_f]Selah[/name_f] - I would say [name_m]SAY[/name_m]-luh.

  • ara names - All would be pronounced with the “ar” sound (as in “car”) where I live. I say [name_f]Cara[/name_f] just like “car” with an extra syllable.

Mabli - [name_f]MAB[/name_f]-lee (though again, I don’t know if that’s correct in Welsh).

[name_m]How[/name_m] would you pronounce [name_f]Vera[/name_f]?

I won’t answer the first two, as I am not familiar with the names.

The first syllables in [name_f]Cara[/name_f] and [name_f]Tara[/name_f] rhyme with car, bar, star, etc. The second syllable is ‘uh’ as in luck

Mabli I would pronounce [name_f]MAB[/name_f] like tab, and LI as in the ending of lovely. I am from south wales, and learnt welsh in school, so am familiar with the language. This is consistent with welsh pronunciation, though I am not a native speaker.

[name_f]Vera[/name_f] I would pronounce [name_f]VER[/name_f] like to veer, rhyming with steer, [name_m]RA[/name_m] like ‘ruh’ in rut. This is my grandmothers name, though she goes by her middle.

In my area [name_f]Cara[/name_f] would be Cyara or rhyme with car.
[name_f]Tara[/name_f] would be [name_m]Tah[/name_m]-ruh.

I also pronounce the -ara names with the “air” sound more often than not.
[name_f]Vera[/name_f] is [name_m]VEER[/name_m]-uh for me.
[name_u]Rhian[/name_u] is a name I’ve never seen before, so I would have to say [name_f]REE[/name_f]-un as well.
[name_f]Avril[/name_f] would probably be A (as in cat)-vrill like [name_f]Avril[/name_f] Lavigne.

[name_m]How[/name_m] would you pronounce [name_f]Anna[/name_f]? Would it rhyme with [name_f]Hannah[/name_f] or [name_f]Donna[/name_f]? I say [name_f]ANNE[/name_f]-uh (rhyming with [name_f]Hannah[/name_f]).

[name_u]Rhian[/name_u] - if in wales, I would pronounced the RH as it is supposed to be pronounced in welsh. Not sure how to describe it, but examples are given at 5.35 of the link below. Otherwise, I would just pronounce it like an R. RHI like [name_f]Rhiannon[/name_f], or like reed. The AN I would pronounce like [name_f]Ann[/name_f] with the true welsh pronunciation, or Uhn, rhyming with bun, in the english pronunciation.
[name_f]Avril[/name_f] I would pronounce with a short A, like in cAt, with vril rhyming with frill.
[name_f]Anna[/name_f] I rhyme with [name_f]Hannah[/name_f]. Same goes for longer names ending in [name_f]Anna[/name_f], like [name_f]Lilianna[/name_f], [name_f]Arianna[/name_f], etc. [name_f]Ana[/name_f] I would pronounce like the character from Frozen, with the first A sounding more like the sound in arm or art. This is how I would pronounce names ending with [name_f]Ana[/name_f], like [name_f]Liliana[/name_f] or [name_f]Ariana[/name_f]

I have no idea if some of these are correct, it’s just how I instinctively say them :slight_smile:

Eilonwy: eye-lon-wee
[name_f]Selah[/name_f]: see-luh
[name_f]Cara[/name_f]/[name_f]Tara[/name_f]: the ‘ah’ sound
Mabli: I always want to say ‘may-blee’ but I know it’s supposed to be ‘mab-lee’
[name_u]Rhian[/name_u]: like [name_u]Ryan[/name_u], but ‘ree-un’ makes sense too
[name_f]Avril[/name_f]: ‘av-rill’
[name_f]Anna[/name_f]: rhyming with [name_f]Hannah[/name_f]

[name_f]Philippa[/name_f]? [name_f]Do[/name_f] you say it more like ‘[name_m]Philip[/name_m]-uh’ or ‘phil-IP-uh’?

I forgot to comment on Mabli - I also want to say MAY-blee!
Phillipa - I haven’t heard that name in a while, but I say Phillip-uh.

How do you say Ciaran/Kieran? I want to say key-AIR-un, but I don’t know if that’s correct.

I’d probably say uh-MEEL.

[name_m]How[/name_m] would you say [name_f]Helena[/name_f]? I’ve always wanted to say [name_f]Helen[/name_f]-uh, but I’ve also heard ha-LEEN-uh.

Where I’m from, we would say [name_f]Tara[/name_f] and [name_f]Cara[/name_f] with the a sound as in cat, not car or care. [name_f]Anna[/name_f] the same way, although I’ve heard some people say [name_f]Anne[/name_f]-ah.

To answer all questions…

I’d pronounce Eilonwy like eye-[name_m]LON[/name_m]-wee.

I love [name_f]Selah[/name_f] and pronounce it like sailor, so [name_m]SAY[/name_m]-luh.

All names ending in -ara are “are-uh” for me, no “air”. I’m sure the “air” is American and I am British.

Mabli I pronounce like [name_f]MAE[/name_f]-blee.

[name_f]Vera[/name_f] I pronounce like [name_m]VEER[/name_m]-ah.

[name_u]Rhian[/name_u] I pronounce like [name_f]REE[/name_f]-ann and [name_f]Avril[/name_f] just like Lavigne, [name_m]AH[/name_m]-vrill.

[name_f]Anna[/name_f] also like [name_f]ANNE[/name_f]-uh to rhyme with [name_f]Hannah[/name_f]. [name_f]Ana[/name_f] would be AR for me (same goes for names ending in [name_f]Anna[/name_f] and [name_f]Ana[/name_f]).

[name_f]Philippa[/name_f] is like FILL-ih-puh, so more so like [name_m]Philip[/name_m]-uh. Otherwise it sounds like flipper.

[name_m]Ciaran[/name_m]/[name_u]Kieran[/name_u] is pronounced [name_m]KEER[/name_m]-uhn. That’s the correct pronunciation.

[name_m]Emil[/name_m] I would pronounce like EH-meel.

[name_f]Helena[/name_f] has multiple pronunciations but I would gravitate towards heh-[name_m]LAY[/name_m]-nuh, which I prefer.

Ditto “ara” names with an a like “cat!” And [name_f]Anna[/name_f]/[name_f]Hannah[/name_f] the same-- though [name_f]Hanna[/name_f] (no ending H), I’d say HAHN-na. [name_f]Helena[/name_f] to me is (h)eh-[name_m]LAY[/name_m]-na, the H barely given any attention at all. Mabli (I love!) I also say [name_f]MAB[/name_f] (like tab)- lee.

Now that I think about it, the way that I say the -ara names do sound like the “a” in cat sometimes! I guess I’ve always thought of it as an “air” sound, but I adore that accent where it sounds like the short a. You can hear that in my response to the Nameberry Accent Challenge on SoundCloud.