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How to Pronounce Baby Names

Ever wonder how to pronounce a particular baby name? Me too--certain names are hard to sound out, at first glance. So I put together a cheat sheet of ten tricky names that you may encounter one day (if you haven't already)...

Aloysius
The "si" makes an sh-sound, and the stress is on the third syllable, so the pronunciation becomes al-o-ISH-us.

Bjork
The "j" in this Scandinavian name makes a "y" sound, and the whole thing rhymes with the word work: BYERK. (In Iceland, the "o" would have an umlaut; in Norwegian, it would have a slash.)

Dieter
Nope, it has nothing to do with dieting...in this German name, the "ie" makes an ee-sound, and the pronunciation is therefore DEET-er.

Etienne
This French version of Stephen is pronounced with a stress is on the second syllable: ay-TYEN. (That first E should actually be topped by an acute accent mark.)

Eoghan
This is an Anglicized (and probably more familiar) form of the Celtic name Ewan, and it's said YO-in.

Francesca
In Italian names, "c" followed by "e" or "i" is pronounced with a ch-sound: fran-CHESS-ka. Same thing goes for the male equivalent Francesco, and for other Italian words (like Ciao).

Guillaume
Here's another French name--this French version of William is pronounced gee-OM.

Llywelyn
The Welsh name Llywelyn is approximately pronounced lle-WEL-in, but to make that ll-sound, you curl the sides of your tongue upward and blow out. The sound is something of a hiss that falls in between an L and an H.

Niamh
This Irish name has just one syllable, and the "mh" makes a v-sound: NEEV. In many Irish names (and Irish words generally), the letter H isn't a letter so much as a symbol that changes the sounds of other consonants.

Stanislaw
This Polish name is said stah-NEE-swahf. The L, which should actually have a slash through it, is pronounced like a W.

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