Beautiful on paper, even prettier when said correctly but next-to-impossible to pronounce, these 27 baby names are famous for confusing the heck out of people, especially teachers who attempt to say them out loud during role calls!

If you’re after a unique name that is sure to be a conversation starter, then these names fit the mould. Many are Irish, Spanish or French baby names and, once you know their correct pronunciation, they sound beautiful.

Tell us, do you have a name that people cannot seem to pronounce?? What about your kids?

Beautiful but hard to pronounce baby names

confusing to say baby names
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Aisling – “ASH-LING”

Aye-ling? Ass-ling? No no no. It’s ASH-LING. Like ASHLEY, but LING. This pretty name means “dream” or “vision” with Gaelic roots.

Anais – AH-NAH-EES

Most people assume this lovely name is Anna-Is. But no, Anna-is not! It’s Ah-Nah-Ees. Much prettier!

Aoife – EEE-FA

Aoife means “beautiful” and English-speaking peeps would most likely think this would be pronounced A-OAF-FEE. But of course, it’s not. It’s EEE-FA.

Ailbhe  – AL-VA

Another Irish beauty, Ailbhe means “noble, bright” and, although it has a bunch of random letters in there, it’s actually pronounced Alva.

Bodhi – BOO-DEE

Not Bod-Hi.

Bjorn – BE-YORN

Sure, there’s a J in it, but there’s no J in sight when saying this Swedish name.

Cian – KEE-AN

Another Irish moniker, this one confuses people to no end. I would have gone with SYE-AN, like Ryan with a C sound.

Eithne – EN-YA

Et-nee? Another stunning Irish name that is sure to trick us all. It’s actually pronounced EN-YA and means “little fire”.

Isla – EYE-LA

This is a pretty popular name here in Australia but you’d be surprised how many people still pronounce it IS-LA. The S is silent. It’s EYE-LA. Much prettier, right?

Joaquin – WAH-KEEN

Like Walking folks. Not JO-QUIN.

Josue – ZHO- SWEE

This one actually has a few pronunciations, none of which are Joe-Sue, which is what I would have said!  In Spanish, it’s ho-SWAY; in French, it’s zho-SWEE. Sorry, Joe-Sue.

Louis – LOU-EE

Is it Louie or Lewis? In most instances, it’s the former, as it’s a French name and the “s” is silent.

Margaux – MAR-GOH

Marg-Ax? No, uncultured swine. It’s Mar-go. The classic name is the French version of Margaret and means “precious little gem”.

Maeve – MAY-VEH

I always thought you pronounced Maeve like Mave, as in Wave. But nope, it’s so much cuter as May-Veh, like Wavey.

Mireille – MEER-RAY

This kind of looks like the French version of Murial. But. Nope. You’re terrible Mireille. It’s actually pronounced MEER-RAY (What??) and it means “to admire” in French.

Niamh – NEE-EV

This one looks simple enough. NEE-AHM, Silent H, right? But, no, it’s actually NEE-EV. Go figure!

​Oisín – UH-SHEEN

Not Ocean. It’s UH-SHEEN, folks!

Roisin – RO-SHEEN

The name means “little rose” and is quite popular in Ireland. Sure, it kind of looks like “raisin” but the correct pronunciation makes it sound so much lovelier!

Sinead – SHIN-AID

This name messes me up every single time. How Sinead is pronounced SHIN-AID is beyond me. I would have gone with SIN-EE-ADD.

Saorise – SER-SHA

How this name is pronounced SER-SHA is beyond me. But hey, you learn something new every day!

Siobhan – SHI-VAWN

Sio-ban? No no no. It’s Shi-vawn. Like Chevonne. Who would have thought??

Schuyler – SKY-LER

Amy Schumer? Is this your last name in first name form? No, no it’s not. This Dutch name is actually pronounced SKYLER.

Thiago – TEE-AH-GO

I assumed this unique name was pronounced The-Iago, kind of like a mash between Theo and Iago, but, no, ladies and gents. The “Th” is actually a “Tee” sound. Because English is weird.

Xiomara – SEE-OH-MAR-UH

This is a lovely Spanish option but there’s no X sound at all! It’s actually pronounced SEE-OH-MAR-UH. Like Siomara.

Yael – YA-EL

It looks like Yale, right? But it’s not! It’s YA-EL, y’all!

Zosia – ZAH-SHAH

Oh, this one is a tripper! You’d assume Zosia would be ZO-SEE-AH. But, assuming would make an ass out of you and me because it’s actually ZAH-SHAH.

Zooey – ZO-EEE

There are a few ways to spell the name Zoe including Zoie and Zoey. But Zooey is also an alternative with the same pronunciation. I know, it looks like it should be said Zooo-y, but it’s not.

So there you go – 27 hard to pronounce baby names, if you’re looking for something fresh, fun and unique for your little one!

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Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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