Aoife


Origin: Gaelic
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Beautiful"
Pronunciation: EE-fa
Other forms: Eva, Eve, Aífe

This lovely Irish name comes from the Gaelic aoibh which means "beautiful", and is currently #11 in Ireland. In the Ulster Cycle she is the sister (or sometimes just the enemy) of Scáthach, and the daughter of Ardgeimme. Cú Chulainn, heroic son of the God Lugh and Deichtine, has come to train under Scáthach in Alba. While he is there, Aoife comes to battle her sister, who fears for Cú Chulainn's safety. So Scáthach, well aware of just how powerful Aoife is, gives him a sleeping potion which is supposed to last twenty-four hours, but because he is so strong, only lasts one. When he awakes, he fights Aoife in single combat, and, knowing that her most cherished items in the world are her horses and chariot, calls out that they are falling off of the cliff. When she turns to look, he grabs her. Aoife begs for her life, and Cú Chulainn agrees, but only if she no longer fights with Scáthach, and bears him a son.

Cú Chulainn leaves behind a pregnant Aoife when he returns to Ireland. She gives birth to Connla, and Cú Chulainn requests that at the age of seven he be sent to Ireland. He gives Aoife a golden ring to give to Connla, and says that he must not identify himself to anyone. When he finally does go to meet his father, his power in battle scares them, and since he will not say his name, Cú Chulainn kills him, his only son, whom he recognizes by the ring he wears.

Comments

  1. What a beautiful names but I doubt anyone in this country would be able to pronounce it correctly.

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  2. While I do believe she would always have to pronounce her name for others, I do think it is one of the easier Irish names, and I do think people would eventually catch on.

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