How to Say His Name

How the heck are you supposed to pronounce Gwydion Suilebhan? Here's a bit of help.*

The first name is actually much easier than it looks. The invisible F is also silent, so you don't have to pronounce it. In addition, you only need to make the mouth shape of the D, which makes it just three consecutive vowel sounds after the introductory diphthong, rounded out nicely by the final N. (Though the N has to hang in your mouth for no fewer than thirteen seconds.) Sort of like the song of a kingfisher at dusk.

The last name's a bit trickier. Suilebhan rhymes with reflexive, if you happen to speak Amharic with a Dutch accent, and it's actually the Tagalog word for azure, which means that in order to pronounce it correctly, you really need to be daydreaming about a deep, cloudless sky while you say it. Swallow your tongue, click your teeth together twice before and after each consonant, and be sure to inhale, not exhale, during the seventh syllable. You'll be fine. **

* By "help," of course, we mean "complete misinformation."

** Assuming you ignore everything you've just read. Because his first name is really pronounced like "Gideon," as in "Gideon's Bible," though you have to insert a "w" sound after the G. (Think about Gwyneth or Guinevere.) And his last name actually sounds exactly like "Sullivan." (The "bh" makes a v sound, just like with Siobhan.) In other words: it really is easier than it looks!

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