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User comments for Rhian
I found on the Internet that it's pronounced REE-awn.
This is my name and I've always pronounced it Ree-Ann though it annoys me how when people look at the spelling many pronounce it Ryan and almost everybody I know assumes it's just short for Rhiannon.
My niece is called Rhian and I always say it like RHI-ANN but my sister in law says it's pronounced RHI-IN, sounds like rain when you say it like that. I like it RHI-ANN the longer way.
A Welsh-speaker's two cents : Pronounced RHEE - ann, with the RH rolled (flicking against the roof of the mouth).
I am Welsh and I, like everyone else in the United Kingdom, pronounce it ree-un, although in really Welsh-speaking communities Sforzando is right, but generally in British English at least, we pronounce it ree-un. And I've never really liked this name; it reminds me of the French word rien, which means "nothing". :\
A highly confusing name even in Wales, thanks to several similar spellings probably not meaning the same thing.
'Rhiain' is the name that means 'maiden' and is spelled as per the Welsh noun, not as 'Rhian'. 'Rhian' is a diminutive of the name 'Rhiannon', the meaning of which is highly confused (hypothesised to either trace back to a Latin root or derived from the word 'rhiain' - this site uses the latter theory).
Rhian(non) is the name you'll find in a baby names book (with fanciful meanings), but you'll usually only find 'Rhiain' in a Welsh dictionary as a working noun rather than a name. Occasionally, there will be Welsh books that explain all this, but generic baby names books usually just muddle things up.
As 'rhiain' is a working noun, bear its usage in mind: examples include 'rhiain y dwr' ('maiden of the water') which is the Welsh name of the pond skater (an insect). Also, depending on where in Wales you are, the female toilets can be called either 'merched' or 'rhiain'.
For anyone thinking of naming their child this, bear all this in mind - it's a pretty enough name, but causes confusion even in Wales.
First-language Welsh speakers (especially in North Wales) will pronounce the name 'Rhiain' as 'rhee-eyen' -- roll the 'rh' sound, and the second half is (sort of) 'eye' with an 'n' on the end. Most people, even in Wales, do not use that pronunciation - even many second-language Welsh speakers don't (even if they roll the 'rh').
The name 'Rhian' is usually pronounced 'Rhee-un' (rolled 'rh') in Welsh, or 'Rhee-un'/'Rhee-an' without the rolled 'rh' otherwise. These pronunciations get passed on to the 'Rhiain' name most of the time. Like I said, this name causes confusion even in Wales.
-- Anonymous User
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