How others say it: “KAY-Hill”
How it should be said: “CAH-Hill”
Cahill has to be one of the most contentious Irish surnames of all time. Footballers such as Tim and Gary have put the name in the spotlight in recent years and English commentators have rarely, if ever, pronounced it correctly – much to the chagrin of Irish fans.
How others say it: “Kin-SELL-A”
How it should be said: “KIN-Sel-La”
The Anglicised pronunciation of Kinsella makes it sound more like an occupation than a surname. To be fair it’s not just our friends across the Irish Sea who mess this one up – the Australians and New Zealanders are some of the worst offenders.
How others say it: “More-ANNE”
How it should be said: “MORE-An”
This one makes even less sense, but at some point English people began to rhyme Moran with Bhutan – and it stuck.
How others say it: “DOCK-Er-Tee”
How it should be said: “DOH-Her-Tee”
We’re assuming the English pronunciation “dock” is something to do with an attempt at pronouncing the “G” in “Dougherty” – but it’s still inexcusable.
How others say it: “GALL-Ag-Ger”
How it should be said: “GALL-Ah-Her”
Just because there’s a “G” there it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Then again in English, “dough”, “through” and “cough” all make different sounds so they’re clearly confused.
How others say it: “Oh-Ma-HOE-Nee”
How it should be said: “Oh-MAH-Ha-Nee”
In fairness, Irish people can’t even decide upon how to pronounce this one. Cork natives tend to turn it into three syllables (Oh-Maaaaahny) and so we can’t really complain.
How others say it: “COFF-Lan”/”COCK-Lan”/”COG-Lan”
How it should be said: “CAWL-An”/”COR-Lan”
Our English cousins can be forgiven for this one because literally no one can agree on how to say this either side of the Irish Sea. Only die hard Cork Coughlans pronounce the first syllable like “saw” – but it’s their name so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
How others say it: “Oh-DEE”
How it should be said: “Oh-DAY”
We’re not denying that there is actually a name “O’Dee”, but that is not a Clare name – as any proud O’Dea will emphatically tell you their surname is.
How others say it: “Cos-TELL-Oh”
How it should be said: “COS-Tell-Oh”
See “Kinsella”. It’s not on, lads.
How others say it: “Oh-Shaun-Nessy”
How it should be said: “Oh-Shock-Nessy”
We’re actually blaming the Americans for this one. They’ve already created the monstrosity “Shaun” and now they want to insert it into our surnames.
How others say it: “MARR”
How it should be said: “MAH-Her”
Andrew Marr wants his surname back. This one is pretty inexcusable as it’s actually spelt how it sounds for once.
How they say it: “KEE-Oh”
How it should be said: “KYOH”
Last but not least… just when they finally get the “GH” right, they go and muck up the “KE”.