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Irvine is a place-name, sometimes used as a surname. Two such places are perhaps more significant to readers of AWE than other, smaller places of the same name. Their pronunciation is different, which can lead to difficulty for speakers. Different families of Irvines follow either one of these as their own pronunciation of their surname.

  • The oldest of all is the "Royal and Ancient Burgh" with a Royal Charter from 1372 (since 1966 developed as a 'new town') of Irvine, in Ayrshire, in Scotland. The local pronunciation has always been like that of 'curving', with the vowel of 'bird' in the first syllable, which is stressed, and the second syllable like 'in' (IPA: /'ɜːr vɪn/).
  • One of the campuses of the University of California is at the town of Irvine (CA). This is pronounced with a stress pattern more like that of 'grapevine': /'ɜːr vaɪn/. The city is home to a number of university campuses.