'I told them they wrong': Parents upset after learning the truth about their son's name

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"If people are going to use our language and culture they could at least have the decency to learn how to say it". (Getty Images)
"If people are going to use our language and culture they could at least have the decency to learn how to say it". (Getty Images)

When it comes to baby names, people often make mistakes around pronunciation, but would you expect that from the parents? I don't think so.

But this British couple did as shared by Irish Redditor, u/throwRAcousinkiddo (RA), who took to the subreddit forum Am I the Asshole? to explain a rather uncomfortable Christmas mishap. 

According to RA, she had no idea that her British cousin Liam, the son of Irish expats, had been mispronouncing his own son's Irish name.

Read: 'Mommy, put down your phone!': Are you a distracted parent?

Meeting up with Liam, his wife and their son this past Christmas, RA unwittingly let the cat out of the bag. 

"For the sake of this post let's say they named him 'Oisin', which is an Irish name that is meant to be pronounced like 'oh sheen'...I had met Liam before when we were kids and teens (just a few times), but since Oisin was born we had only texted, so I had never heard Liam pronounce Oisin's name. We went to the park, we met up with them, and I said, 'this must be Oisin'. Liam asked why I said it like that," she explained. 

Realising the mistake, RA said she had "tried to move past it" but the curious couple kept poking about Irish names, which RA says are never pronounced the way they're spelt. 

'I'm not the one mispronouncing it'

Continuing, she explained: 

"Liam's wife asked about my son's name (also very Irish), and I told her. Liam joked that with all I know about Irish names, it was shocking that I'd mispronounced his son's name so badly. I said something like 'I'm not the one mispronouncing it'. They asked what I meant by that and I said it's an Irish name, it's pronounced 'oh sheen' and 'oi sin' is probably just a result of the Irish language tricking people. Liam said it's how his parents pronounce it, and I said, 'your parents with English accents?'". 

RA says the visit then ended after just 10 minutes, and later that day, she received a number of phone calls from upset family members asking her to apologise to Liam and his wife and tell them that she was wrong about the name.

Also read: The most memorable baby names of 2020

'Why can't they just call their son what they choose?' 

But RA didn't think she should apologise and neither did most of the forum

According to one respondent, learning the correct pronunciation was the least the couple could do. 

"If people are going to use our language and culture they could at least have the decency to learn how to say it." 

A smaller number of members felt that the pronunciation of any name is entirely up to the parents. 

"When parents pick a pronunciation for their child's name, it's courteous to just roll with it, even when it's different from [what's] typical...And even though you are correct, why can't they just call their son what they choose?" 

Let us know if you think this woman was wrong for pointing out this error.


Share your stories and questions with us via email at Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Compiled for Parent24 by Athenkosi Mndende. Sources:

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