My name is Kevin O’Leary, Kevin rhymes with seven and O’Leary rhymes with cheery. Well, so I thought. Throughout my childhood, people always called me O’ Larry. Just like Larry the Cable Guy, Larry King or Larry Hagemann. I used to be amazed at how retarded or just plain lazy others were that they couldn’t take the courtesy to try to get my name right. Hey, hey we are the O-LEE-REES!
Well, based on new information that has just come to my attention through the indispensible tool of the internet, I learn almost a half-century later I was wrong. I now humbly take this opportunity to apologize to everyone for those icy glares and my condescending pronunication instruction I have given you all when I thought you were mispronouncing my name.
In the Cork and Kerry areas of Ireland where the name originated, the name is pronounced as O-LEY-REE or something similar to that. Our name ryhmes with scary, hairy or fairy. This corresponds with the Munster dialect which is most likely spoken by O’Leary’s in the great Emerald Isle. Based on that, it is completely understandable that young immigrant schoolboys did not want to set themselves up for taunts by their classmates. Since I am all grown up now and can kick anybody’s butt, I think I’ll be cool and start introducing myself pronouncing my name to rhyme with cherry.
My first name being of Celtic origin also comes from Ireland. It would be Caoimhín Ó Laoghaire. Thankfully, I never had to spell that out. The anglicized version is Kevin O’Leary. I have learned my first name is pronounced as KEE-VHEEN in the Gaelic language. I do not not like sound one bit, by golly. I’ll go American on this one.
I live in Japan now. Japan is a backwards country that cannot afford extravagant consonants like Ls or Vs, both of which I need to say my name in Japanese. I am known as ケブン オレーリー here. Pronounced as KAY-BUN O-RAY-REE. I never would have imagined that through Japanese my name was closer to its original form than I had in America.
Meanwhile, my sister claims to have discovered we might be black. Well, fer land sakes. That’s cool by me. I wonder what a black Mr. Bean would look like.
Now that I have finished my educational research into Ireland and watched back to back episodes of Mrs Brown’s Boys, I’m up and ready to go and bone up on my Eboneics.