569 words, 2 minutes to read

To all the Siobhan’s out there, I stand in solidarity with you. We were blessed with name and also ‘cursed’. It’s quite nice to say, but that depends on people saying it right.

Siobhan – (shi-VAWN)

Let’s face it. You know you’re on to a winner when they make a Wikihow article about you:

pronounce Siobhan Wikihow
Screenshot from WikiHow. Thanks guys ?

Complete with pictures and everything. How can we possibly get it wrong, haha?

There’s a disclaimer at the top of the website that says to “appropriately avoid offending individuals with this name”

Screenshot from Wikihow

Now, I’m not offended. I’d spend half my life being offended at people getting my name wrong, if that were the case. I’m hugely offended when I receive sales calls and they say “Is that Sobeen?”, but that’s a different story.

Life’s too short to stress over the Christmas cards with all those amalgamations, the endless phone calls where they phonetically say Si-oh-ba-han. The tellings I get from Irish people for not spelling my name with a fada over the ‘a’ <- I DIDN’T CHOOSE that spelling… yes, I know it’s wrong.

Dear Irish people

Sadly I’m not blessed with being Irish, just the name. You’re absolutely right It should be spelled ‘Sıobhán’. Again, I didn’t choose it. My dad did.
My dad has no concept of Irish spellings and no relations there. In truth, he picked Siobhan because he was a fan of Siobhan, from Bananarama.

Related image
Keren, Sara and Siobhan from Bananarama

So really you need to blame Siobhan Fahey. Thanks.

Nicknames that have made the list

There’s been many throughout the years, that have stuck with me, thanks to my co-workers. In my early twenties I largely worked in customer facing roles and had the pleasure of being called:

  1. Stoneham – A customer once called me this. Why? I’ll never know. My friend Joe has NEVER let me forget it 
  2. Sher-blorne – Inventive! A firm favourite amongst many. Specifically for the additional letters. This was a co-worker in Matalan when I was 18 years old. She shouted “Sherblorne to reception, please”. Of course, I didn’t go.
  3. Si-oh-ba-han – As mentioned above, a classic. 
  4. Shee-bon – I still get called this now, from elderly relatives, depending on what mood they are in.
  5. Cyberman. I’m being serious. Man, that was a crazy phone call with a customer. It resulted in some of my friends nicknaming me Cyberman forever x x

Spellings are a different story. 80% of people I know add an extra ‘h’ or ‘b’ and those are the better ones. I am more surprised when people say it right. I remember being shocked when going for a job interview years ago and my boss at the time, Dan, got the pronunciation and spellings spot on. 

See, it’s bad when I remember small things like that, but it doesn’t happen all that much. 

Thank you, parents

I’d like thank my mum for not fighting for the name Alison. ‘Alison’ was second choice and would have been too easy to spell. I’d like to thank Bananarama for the music. My co-workers who have hung up their phones just to listen to my phone calls to have a laugh. You’ve always been there for me. My excitement when Sugababes first got popular and Siobhan was lead singer and how it was short-lived when she left and really took off.

siobhan donaghy in the sugababes

In all honestly, I do like my name 🙂 sometimes. It’s not a common name and it does sound nice. It’s awkward to spell and remember and it took me ages to pluck up the courage to have it on my social media accounts, for that reason.

Oh well. It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it. That’s what gets results


PS. Shout out to Saoirse Ronan. One of my favourite actresses who has it WAY worse than me