The “G” is pronounced as in “guitar”. “Goi” is a diphthong in Spanish and it’s pronounced as “boy”. “coe” is not a diphthong (the vowels can be separated) and it’s pronounced similar to “Coen” but without the in-built /ou/ diphthong. “chea” is pronounced with a hard “ch” as in “chair” and it is where the stress falls (on the “e”). It’s a Basque surname but it had already changed by the time my great-grandfather, or great-great grandfather had arrived in Cuba from the Canary Islands. I hope this helps. :-)

Where does your Gigi come from?

London-based, Cuban writer. Author of “Cuban, Immigrant, and Londoner”, to be published by Austin Macauley. Has written for The Guardian and Prospect.

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