It’s a good thing that Saoirse Ronan is on every US network teaching them how to pronounce Irish names, as Aoife, Saoirse, Fionn and Cian again make the top ten baby name lists
Saoirse has been doing the talk show rounds across America during this years’ awards season, promoting her latest film ‘Brooklyn’, the cinematic adaptation of Colm Toibin’s book of the same name.
CBS talk show host Stephen Colbert was put through the paces when the Dublin tongued actress helped him to understand the pronunciation of some of the trickier Irish names such as Tadhg, Siobhan and Caoimhe.
Saoirse said that “I’ve had a lot of Sorsees, Suarez, Sarsee, Seershay.” Colbert joked that “You do look a bit like a Suarez, Senorita Suarez.”
His response to her “Caoimhe” was an astounded “You go to hell”.
Earlier this month on the Ellen Degeneres show she was also helping to educate the American public when she wore a sign carrying the words: “Hello, my name is Sur-Sha”. It even featured special pockets for champagne bottles and snacks.
“Everyone was saying, ‘how do you pronounce her name’,” said Degeneres, “It’s spelled S-A-O-I-R-S-E – which makes no sense.”
Her work is not in vain as just this week, according to Ireland’s Passport Office, the ‘hard-to-pronounce’ names Saorise, Aoife, Fionn and Cian are among the top ten baby names this year in Ireland.
It says it received more than 130,000 applications for infant passports last year. Of those 162 passports were printed for boys named Daniel and 134 for little Irish girls named Emily.
Some Irish names remain popular with Liam, Cillian, Fionn, Hannah and Saoirse still making the list.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was relieved to see his own name holding its own at number 11 on the list.
“The list of most popular names reflects the continued overall popularity of traditional Irish names, such as Aoife and Oisin, while also highlighting the vibrant multiculturalism of today’s Ireland with Zuzanna and Kacper, both Polish names, the highest new entries.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to remind Irish people to check the validity of their passports and those of their families and to consider renewing now, ahead of the summer rush.”
Last year almost 630,000 passports were issued. The holiday season of May and June is the busiest period.
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