name as gaeilge

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  • #36579

    I was thinking about using the Irish version of my name on all my official documents (I live in Ireland), the problem is I’m not sure if I should make both my first and surname Irish or just my surname. I am thinking people who know me by my first name now, will find it weird if I am called by a different name.


    If you change your surname there won’t be any problem at all. Everybody who knows you calls you by your first name, so they won’t even notice that your last name has changed.

    If I were you, I’d leave my first name the way it is now and go ahead and change my last name.


    I would like to also change my surname to the original Gaeilge form. I have a unique first name, so I wouldn’t change that. If one had a more common name, then I don’t know… that’d be a toss up for me. For example if it were Patrick or Michael, etc. Honestly though, I think I might want to change that as well to the original. I just can’t with my own name! Maybe have friends call you by the name they know you by, then with new people introduce yourself with your first name as Gaeilge? Up to you in the end!


    two of my daughters started to use the Irish form of their surname years ago. They both have non-Irish Christian names, so left them alone.

    they just applied for their next driving licence using their “irish” surname, and also for their next passport.
    No problem, even when processing USA Green Cards.
    (I suppose … born and living in Ireland at the time, it was easier than if living abroad.

    Then, by the time they were applying for jobs etc, all their documentation was in the Irish form.

    (I mostly use the English version of my name, but not with my Irish-speaking friends)

    beir bua – eadaoin


    Shane (I assume) and Seán – That is not a big difference. In Ulster Irish, at least.
    So, no matter how you spell it, your friends still can call you /s´æ:n/.

    And I’d recommend the original Irish spelling. 😉


    Actually, that is my Familyname! I understand the confusion, to be sure! Shanahan is the English, but on Facebook and as often as I am able I use Ó Seanacháin, like my username on these forums. My first name is not a christian or common name anywho. If it did have an actual culture, it’d be French!

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