Irish: Kavanagh

RabidFox

Member
American English
I don't know if this is allowed here, but I really just need a true-to-Irish pronunciation of this surname. I have tried googling for it, but have found nothing. The best I could figure is Kaw-vaw-naw or Kaw-vaw-nah. Thanks.
 
  • Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I don't know if this is allowed here, but I really just need a true-to-Irish pronunciation of this surname. I have tried googling for it, but have found nothing. The best I could figure is Kaw-vaw-naw or Kaw-vaw-nah. Thanks.
    Of course it is allowed!
    As for the question, I can't help you (even if my surname is Murphy!)
     

    sarcie

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    I would pronounce this "ka-va-na", fading slightly at the end (schwa?), "ka-va-n' "

    Depends on where you go in Ireland though - I suspect they have a different pronunciation up North (something closer to the "kaw" sound you mentioned)
     

    Tommo

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    I would pronounce this "ka-va-na", fading slightly at the end (schwa?), "ka-va-n' "

    Depends on where you go in Ireland though - I suspect they have a different pronunciation up North (something closer to the "kaw" sound you mentioned)
    Hi Rabid, Alex and sarcie.:)

    I agree with you sarcie up to a point.

    "ka-va-na", fading continually from beginning to end. "ka-vih-n' ", with no stress on any of the vowel sounds and the northern pronunciation as you describe it.
     

    Spectre scolaire

    Senior Member
    Maltese and Russian
    Tommo said:
    I suspect they have a different pronunciation up North (something closer to the "kaw" sound you mentioned)
    I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the Irish spelling of this name: Caomhánach. Etymologically it refers to "somebody with a pleasing appearance” - probably the reason why this surname happens to be a rather common one in Ireland.:D

    There are several spellings of it - Cavanagh and Kavanagh seem to be the most frequently used.

    As for the exact pronunciation, I wouldn’t go into the nitty gritty of Irish phonetics (which is unpleasantly intricate). And I always had the impression, during my years in Ireland, that names somehow escape those general rules you think you know. (Which is not quite an unknown phenomenon in English either, to be quite honest...)
    :)
     
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