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 Post subject: Guess the Pronunciation
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:14 am 
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I have an Irish surname.
Very few can read it...there have been some wonderful attempts.

Here is your task - please Anglicise my name.
No cheating by doing internet searches, just use your knowledge of Irish pronunciation.
Also, intermediate and advanced learners, and flame-coloured lupines who write pronunciation guides should give the beginners a chance.
Let's see if we can do better than the British Empire's failed census attempts over the years.

Beware- there may be a trap in there somewhere.

Surname: Sei-Macfhearchair

Mukade

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:17 am 
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I think I can do the second bit, to me it looks like it should be pronounced the same way as a Scottish surname (which is also hard to pronounce unless you know it) with Mc tagged on the front. I think I know the Sei bit as well.

But I'm not learning Irish so I won't try and submit my suggestions openly. I'll let everyone else try it then I'll see if I was right.

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:26 am 
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OK, remember that pronounciation is my worst area, but I'd guess shay-mac-AR-her

"ar" to rhyme with "jar".

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:05 am 
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"Flame-colored lupines" :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 3:09 pm 
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lol

I have an Anglicized surname, but originally as Mac Ghille Mhoire.

Remember the rule, please, no searching on the 'net.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:46 pm 
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Cork wrote:
lol

I have an Anglicized surname, but originally as Mac Ghille Mhoire.

Remember the rule, please, no searching on the 'net.


There seem to be two ways that names were anglicised - those that were an approximation from the sound, and those that were taken from the spelling.

I would guess that yours is the latter - it looks like Gilmour.

Mukade

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:04 pm 
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mukade wrote:
Cork wrote:
lol

I have an Anglicized surname, but originally as Mac Ghille Mhoire.

Remember the rule, please, no searching on the 'net.


There seem to be two ways that names were anglicised - those that were an approximation from the sound, and those that were taken from the spelling.

I would guess that yours is the latter - it looks like Gilmour.

Mukade


Yes, it seems that Gilmore could be more of an approximation, whereas my own surname could be an Anglicization.

(However, it also seems there could be numerous other spellings to that same, family name.)

And yes, my surname represents "follower" of Virgin Mary, or, Mary's son.


Last edited by Cork on Thu May 14, 2009 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:35 pm 
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One problem with surnames is, often two or more surnames sounded enough alike to English ears that they got themselves Anglicized to the same form, even though they represent entirely different families. We often get people at IGTF who say "I looked up my surname, and some sites spell it this way and some spell it that way...which is correct?" Unfortunately, the only way to know is to do geneological research, because the two surnames come from different parts of the country, and are completely unrelated, other than that someone thought they sounded somewhat alike.

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 12:34 pm 
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avanutria wrote:
OK, remember that pronounciation is my worst area, but I'd guess shay-mac-AR-her

"ar" to rhyme with "jar".

I'd go with that at first blush. Can't guess at how it would be Anglicised. BTW, am I wrong in suspecting there's an element of "Farquhar" in there?

Cork wrote:
...Mac Ghille Mhoire.

I'm guessing McGilivray.

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:25 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
...
Cork wrote:
...Mac Ghille Mhoire.

I'm guessing McGilivray.


Actually, I once saw a list of names which somehow all came from the original name, and I don't think that's one of them, but I'm never always sure.


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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:40 pm 
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Kilmer?

MacGuyver?

Gulliver?

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 2:18 pm 
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I have to say that I'm confused by the "sei" in front of the surname. Native Irish (i.e., Gaelic) surnames always begin with "mac" or "ó" in the masculine form ("nic" or "ní" in the feminine, "maiden name" form). Gaelicized Norman surnames take the "mac" form if they begin with "Fitz"...otherwise, they usually start with "de" (as in "de Burca" or "de Butleir").

Forgetting the "sei" for a moment, I'd guess that the name is Anglicized to "MacArthur."

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 2:20 pm 
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If it's any help for the second one, if it's from Munster (which I'm guessing from the netnick "Cork"), the Irish form would be pronounced "Mock YIL-eh VUR-eh."

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
I have to say that I'm confused by the "sei" in front of the surname.

Same here. Then it occurred to me that maybe it's an adoption of the practice of hyphenating names as in other traditions. A modern thing, perhaps?

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 2:43 pm 
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I'm guessing O'Sullivan or Hickenlooper.

Don't let Redwolf's pronunciation guide fool you. We all know that Irish spelling is completely random.

:lol:

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