Sunday, September 7, 2008

So, what's the name?

Because we've received quite a few questions about the name Inen, I thought I'd give the rundown.

First, it's pronounced "eye-nen" – rhymes with whinin' when he's feeling grumpy; rhymes with dinin' when he's eating; rhymes with shinin' when he's happy.

Inen is a name that popped into my head when we were trying to come up with names. I didn't know where I'd heard it. ("Maybe a movie or something? I'm pretty sure it's Irish," I said. "We'll put that on hold," says my wife.) Having not agreed on any names for quite a while thereafter, I decided to go online and translate some words into Gaelic. (You know, like when people name their kid "Faith" or "Blue Polar Kraken of the Lord" and then translate it into another language so it sounds cool.) The first word I put into the English to Irish translator was the word "beloved". There are two words for this in Gaelic: one means "sweetheart" and one is just straight up "beloved" – like "one who is loved." The latter, just-plain-loved, is ionúin, which is roughly pronounced i–noon or yih-noon (with the "i" as in "miss"), as far as I can gather. But when I saw that word, I thought to myself, "Hey! There's Inen!"

So we're saying that Inen is derived from the Gaelic word for beloved, but Anglicized so that it's easier to pronounce and spell.

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