Finally got my girls name but how to spell it?!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2014
Finally got my girls name but how to spell it?!
Thu, 02-27-2014 - 4:54pm

So I've finally got my baby girls name which I love, the name is of Irish origin although I'm not Irish and I live in England, so my dilemma is do I spell it the traditional way of Niamh or do I spell it an alternative way such as Neave or Neive? I like tradition but My main concern is the possible correcting people who arnt sure how to pronouce it & less hassle for the child also e.g when learning to spell the name as the traditional way isn't spelt as it sounds.

Thanks in advance xx

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2005

I love it!  

You're right that Niamh will probably be a hassle, but I'm of the opinion that keeping the traditional spelling is completely worth it.  It takes away from the classicness (I'm not quite sure that's word...) of the name when you go messing with the spelling.  Hopefully you're daughter will be proud to have an unique name with the traditional spelling.  

Hope this helps. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2008
Niamh is one of my faves. It was ranked the 72nd most popular name for babies in England in 2013, so the name has pretty good exposure there and you should be (reasonably) safe with the traditional spelling. In America, Niamh is VERY obscure. I was talking to another mom about a year ago in a grocery store and asked her 18 month old son's name "Niamh" (she pronounced it like Liam), she replied. "It was something I saw in a name book in the hospital right after I had him. It is supposedly a girl's name (then she made a face like "Isn't that the craziest thing?!)." It's a good thing I can stay calm in emergency situations, haha... It is a pain to always have to spell your name out for people, and have your name be misspelled-although that can happen with any name, it is probably true that you and little Niamh will encounter it more often than little Olivia and her parents :) Good luck deciding!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-08-1999
Thu, 03-06-2014 - 11:27am

Yikes!  It would have been so hard for me to not be all "well, actually..." in that case...but some bears are better not poked.

But I think you're right...Niamh would require less explaining in the UK than it would here in the US.