Siân
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Sian is actually spelt "Siân"-- that is, using an A with a 'roof' over it (I can't remember the proper name for that, sorry). This is because that particular A, in Welsh, makes the vowel long; the pronunciation isn't 'SHAN', but more at 'SHAHN' (though in an American accent of course, this would pretty much just sound the same as Sean). [noted -ed]
-- Anonymous User  3/21/2005
The name Sian in Welsh can mean "princess of light". The wee hat above the a is called a circumflex.
-- Sianus  7/5/2005
The circumflex is known as a 'to bach' in Welsh, this translates as 'little roof'. This lengthens the vowel sound to 'ar'. I think it would be better phonetically written as 'Sharn'.

In France people often think you're saying that your name is John as there pronunciation of John is similar to Siân. And a lot of people think it's an Irish boys name rather than a Welsh girls name.
-- sixtyfoothigh  7/18/2005
Sian happens to be my name. I don't spell it with 'a roof'. I find it's quite often mis-read as Sean, which is rather annoying but I like my name. It's unique, I'm the only Sian in my school of 1500 pupils!
-- Jellz  7/23/2005
Sian is a character in Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Avalon" series. She is the daughter of Ganeda, and mother of Dierna and Becca.
-- Alane  10/14/2005
I love my name but unfortunately not very many people can say it properly. And now living in Belguim makes matters worse, I am often called Sean, or Jean, which is French for John. It's an icebreaker though when starting up a conversation with someone new.
-- sian  12/15/2005
Famous Bearer: supermodel Sian Abbott. Appearing on runways and magazine covers frequently, Sian has built quite a resume over her relatively short career.
-- Pheadirean  7/21/2006
I'm called Sian (with the circumflex above the a), and love the name. I'm also Welsh, and it gives me a real sense of my heritage and identity. I've only ever had one problem with its pronunciation, and that was due to the similarity by Sean and Sian when said with an American accent!
-- sianmarie  8/16/2006
There is a girl I know who pronounces her name like SYE-ANN.
-- Anonymous User  12/4/2006
I hate when people pronounce it See-ann Sigh-ann! My mom's guide to teaching Americans to pronounce my name when I was little was always "It sounds like 'sha na na' not like 'fawn'"

It took a fair amount of explaining since "Shawna" was a very popular name when I was a kid.
-- Siani  1/8/2007
This is my middle name. I don't use the ^ above the 'a' when I write my name, however. I think it looks a bit over-the-top.
-- Mada Weird  2/6/2007
My daughter's name is Sian and being from South Wales we always believed the name to be "Jane". We named our daughter Sian Jeanette. A further clarification of the name would be appreciated.
-- RAY YOUNG  6/26/2007
Something to bear in mind if you are thinking of calling your daughter Siân - they will have to put up with people mispronouncing it all the time (unless they live in Wales that is!). I'm forever having my name pronounced Sye-Anne or See-Anne, or worse still Sean (Shawn).

But I agree with what someone else has written on here - it's nice to have a name that is still fairly unusual and it is often a conversation starter (albeit, if only to correct people on their pronunciation of it or to tell them no, it's not Irish or French!).
-- sian jenkins  7/2/2007
Sian was also the name of a character in a Welsh legend - Sian Tywyn. She was said to have had healing powers, most notably of these was her power to improve peoples' sight.
-- evansfs  7/11/2007
I read through all of this and I still don't know how to pronounce it. I thought it was just like "Sean". Now I'm confused?
-- StinkweedMcGilicutty  8/15/2007
A famous bearer is Welsh actress Siân Phillips.
-- Eirene  8/24/2007
I know a Sian and she goes only by Sia (say-ah) or Sasha exept in formal occasions.
-- Anonymous User  10/25/2007
Pronounced SHAAN - it's one syllable. Also, the ^ circumflex is essential in Wales, or you end up with SHAN.
-- Sforzando  11/15/2007
This was the name of an old friend of mine, pronounced like SHARN. I think it's a very pretty name, but be warned that your child will spend years at school having her name bungled by teachers- SHAWN/SEAN and SY-AN seem to be favourites.
-- acertainromance  2/17/2008
This is my middle name and I always hated it, thinking it was plain and boring but I thought it was spelled Sian. When I looked in my baby-book I realised it had a circumflex above the A and suddenly I loved my name! It seems so much more exotic.
-- i-heart-me  3/15/2008
Siân Jenkins-Lawson, visual effects
Siân Evans, costume and wardrobe
Siân Williams, producer and editor
Siân Heder, actress
and many more.
-- Emilie007  10/3/2008
As this is my middle name, I could be biased and say that it is a rather nice name. And for that reason, I will. It is a beautiful name, but being CymryCymraeg [A Welsh Welshwoman to you non-Cymros!] I have never had it confused with Sean, Shawn, but I have had it confused with Sion, [with a circumflex, naturally for the elongated vowel], but this is largely due to my illegible handwriting than anything else.

I feel that my middle name is fairly cool, de to the fact that most of my friends were given the typical 80's fashion names, when my 'rents went traditional instead, so in some respects, it is a unique name. My friend was given the name Sian[with circumflex]-Elin. A beautiful, simple name.

I also have a Thai friend who spells her name SIAN [no circumflex], but pronounces it CYAN [as in the colour] I feel this is perfectly adequate, but many people forget she's half Thai, and accuse her of saying her name wrong!

This name is brilliant, and I am a very proud bearer. Thanks Mam and Dad!
-- Dwynwen777  3/22/2009
I'm from North Wales and was always led to believe that it meant Jane.
-- Smo  12/13/2010
I'm a Siân myself, and I have come to love the name, but do be prepared for it to be continually butchered (at least if you live in the US). Throughout my life I have learned that when the teacher stops and gets a desperate look on their face, just raise your hand.

My favorite mis-reading is Stan. I get it fairly often here in the states.
-- Siani  6/9/2011
I was born in England by English parents but came to the USA when I was 12 my entire life my name has been mis-pronounced for over 50 years. Had I grown up in England I'm sure it would have been different. I hated my name for years because no one has ever said it right. I named my children short simple names because of this so that they would never have their name pronounced incorrectly.
-- Sianmt  5/12/2013
My name is Sian also but my circumflex is above the I, maybe my name is just another variation but it is also pronounced sharn with the same inflexion as it is when spelled witht the circumflex above the A.
-- SianArthur  6/11/2013
I'm British and my mum's name is pronounced an odd way (sea-anne). It all comes down to when her mum saw somebody pronounce Sian Phillips' name that way on the TV and thought it was some unique, fashionable name. Grandmas can be strange like that.
-- lhuekleleo  6/24/2013
I had a friend whose family was of Welsh descent, and this was her middle name as well as her mother's first name. (Neither of them spelled it with the accent, though.) Anyway, they pronounced it like 'Shan', rhyming with 'van'.

But there was a teacher at a school of mine who was Welsh-American, and she was also named Siân; however, she would tell everyone to pronounce it like 'Sean'.
-- KatieFisCosetteF  8/17/2013
You pronounce it like Sharn but don't over do the r. Also use the circumflex (â) (this isn't compulsory but I'd use it in wales unless you want to be called sighanne) also if you're thinking of naming your child sián they will have to put up with telling everyone the spelling and pronunciation most of their life. Most shops are completely oblivious to the name siân unless you're in Wales so they won't have it on a keyring or anything of the sort unless you get it personally made. On the other hand I find having a name like this is quite unusual and different. it's rather exciting to be called Sian it also means "the princess of light" in welsh -Sian.
-- SianAlexandraXxx  11/20/2013
HI all, my name sianne, its spelt different to the welsh way and people really get confused with is and I get called allsorts, it's not recognized anywhere. I sometimes get called si-anne or sean. Its spelt different as my mother didn't like the original way of spelling Sian. When I was younger I really wanted to change my name to a more common name, but now I have learnt to like it.
I agree I have to tell people how to say my name and how it is spelled which I feel rather rude, I was very upset as a child when everyone else had pens or key rings with their name on and I couldn't find anything. But I like the idea that it means princess of the light.
-- Anonymous User  6/18/2014
This name Siân is amazing but the problem is that not a lot of people know how to spell it or say it. I get called Sain or Sean in class, but after a few years of it you get used to it. Most people say if their name is Siân that they can't find their name on key rings. I was so happy when I went to Wales thinking that I would find my name, and I did! So if you can't find your name, you will.
-- sianfyfe01  12/8/2014
I personally hate the name Sian. It is my name, and it means princess of light. It is very short and snappy. In Welsh it means Jane, in Wales it is nearly the same, you just spell it with a hat on the a. And I think that's about it. X Sian X.
-- Sianwiliams  12/25/2014
My name is Siân and I'm just starting secondary school. Because my name is so uncommon, when teachers first see the name they pronounce it Sean or see-ann. To be honest, I'm thinking of just telling people I've never met before to just call me Jane!
-- Anonymous User  11/30/2015
Most people that are named with this name have it pronounced sharn/see-anne/shawn/c-en but if that wasn't hard enough, my mother has it pronounced see-arn and it kills me!
-- Sianwishes  12/11/2015
My name is Sian I'm actually Irish but I don't pronounce it like it should be pronounced. When I was born my mother saw the name in a newspaper. When she read it her automatic pronunciation of the name was (see-Ann). I've had trouble correcting people all my life, I've been called all sorts of names but I do like the fact that it is unique.
-- Anonymous User  1/8/2016
I've looked through quite a few of the previous comments about this name and there is only one other who has the same pronunciation as me. I'm from Australia and my name is pronounced See-arn ('arn' like 'barn'). Almost no one can pronounce it properly on the first go, but I admit I love it because it is so unique, and I have never met another Sian.
-- banana  1/9/2016
I'm loving this thread! My name is Siân, my Mum is from Cardiff and we live in Canada. She's always told me Siân means Jane "God's gracious gift". With her Welsh accent she pronounces it "Sh-ahn", which rhymes with barn or "B-ahn". So in my Canadian accent I always clarify it by saying Siân "sharn" rhymes with barn. It's a great ice breaker and I'm always sure when someone doesn't know me on the phone. Nice to meet you, Ladies!
-- macdonaldsian  3/5/2016
Hi, I am a Siân living in Canada too!
My mom is Welsh, and I do officially have the hat above the A, but I haven't always used it. I suppose it has felt pretentious to me at times, but now reading this thread I think that is silly of me to look at it that way and I will write my circumflex with pride! ;)
I was travelling in Europe when I was younger and met a Welsh boy who admonished me for pronouncing my own name wrong - this was actually my first realization that Sean and Siân were pronounced differently. Without a British accent, it felt strange to pronounce Siân the way it "should" be pronounced. I was saying it like Shawn, and saying it like Shahn or Sharn (light on the R) felt like I was "putting on" a British accent. I don't worry about it too much and I don't mind people saying my name wrong or having to explain/correct them. I actually find it a fun talking point/ice breaker :) My name bothered me when I was little because it was so different, but now I love it :)
-- Sianee  4/8/2016
I would guess if you are an American naming your child that in America, Sian with no punctuation mark above the A it would be pronounced (Sigh an) the rule is when 2 vowels go out walking the first one does the talking!
-- bebey  4/25/2016
My name is Siân-Elin. My name always gets confused with Shawn or Siôn, especially when that certain person is English. I live in Wales so it's not really a problem that much but it still gets annoying. I love my name and everything but it gets on my nerves because when I was in high school, if a new teacher would call me Shawn, everyone would laugh and my name would change for a day. I do like my name though and I just hope there's more mature people in college, haha!
-- sianelin1999  6/28/2016
Basically what is confusing for people is that people from the UK and people from the US have very different accents. Now, while the consonants in both varieties of English are more or less consistent, the vowels are actually really quite different in many cases:

A little FYI: a way to make the "sh" sound in Welsh is "si" and to make the "sh" in Irish, it's "se" so:

Siân = si+â+n = sh-ah-n
Seán = se+á+n = sh-aw-n

A UK "Siân" sounds almost the same as a US "Seán".
A UK "Seán" sounds to like a US "shorn" (go light on the /r/)
A US "Seán" sounds like a UK "shan" (think of the "shan" in the word "shan't")
If a UK person tells a US person that "Siân" rhymes with "man", it's gonna make it sound funny.
A US person says "man" like "May-Ann" to UK ears, so the name would come out sounding like "Shay-Ann".

Conclusion - it's all a bit confusing.

But - I may have a work-around... everyone has seen "Frozen" right? If US speakers try to say "Siân" with the same vowel as "Princess Anna" then you're probably pretty close.

Think of the way some US speakers say "pecan", like "pecahhhn" instead of "pecayan".

Hope that helps :)
-- jamzoo  8/15/2016
My grandaughter is called Sián and she is called all sorts of names. Being Irish born a lot of people seem to call her Sean. She loves her name as do I.
-- Aine1  11/5/2016

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