50 Gaelic Baby Names

Learn the meaning and origins of popular Gaelic baby names

Baby on changing table

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If you’ve ever been a bit confused about the difference between Irish, Scottish, Gaelic, and Celtic, you’re not alone. If you were to look at a tree diagram, you’d see Celtic at the top with two families underneath: Brythonig and Goidelic.

The latter is where you'll find a trio of three primary languages: Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx.

While both Scottish and Irish Gaelic languages technically come from the same lineage, each has their own dialect and vocabulary.

Below we’ve rounded up 50 Gaelic boys and girls names that come from both.

Popular Gaelic Baby Names for Girls 

See below for popular and unique Gaelic baby names for girls along with their meanings, origins, and other interesting information.

Ailsa

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Elf victory
  • Famous Namesakes: Scottish economist Ailsa McKay
  • Peak Popularity: The name Ailsa isn’t very popular in the United States, but quite common in Scotland. There isn’t enough information to determine when the name reached peak popularity, and only six baby girls given the name in the U.S. in 2019. 

Fun Fact: Ailsa Craig is the name of an island located at the western edge of Scotland.

Aisling

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Fantasy, dream
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aislin, Aislinn, Ashling
  • Famous Namesakes: United States actress Aisling Sistrunk; Irish-English actress Aisling Loftus
  • Peak Popularity: This name hasn't been very popular in the United States. Only 34 baby girls named Aisling in the U.S. in 2019. 

Blair

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: dweller on the plain
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Blaire, Blare, Blayr, Blayre
  • Famous Namesakes: Australian Olympic swimmer Blair Catherine Evans; Miss Alaska USA 2007 Blair Chenoweth
  • Peak Popularity: This name was quite popular in the U.S. from the mid '70s to mid '90s. Blair reached peak popularity in 1988.

Bevin

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Fair Lady, White Lady, Lady with a sweet song
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bébhinn, Bébhionn, Bébinn, Béibhinn, Vivian, Vivi, Vivyan
  • Famous Namesakes: United States Actress Bevin Prince, Character on TV’s “One Tree Hill,” Bevin Mirskey
  • Peak Popularity: This name, like many others on this list, isn’t popular in the United States. There isn’t enough information to determine when this name achieved peak popularity. There were exactly 5 baby girls who received the name Bevin in 2019.

Catriona

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Pure and chaste
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Caitria, Caitríona, Catrina, Caitrìona
  • Famous Namesakes: Canadian Olympic speed skater Catriona LeMay Doan; English actress Catriona MacColl
  • Peak Popularity: This name hasn't been popular stateside. Only 21 babies received the name in 2019.

Fun Fact: This name is a variation on Katherine.

Casey

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Brave in battle
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kacey, Kacie, Kaycee, Kasey
  • Famous Namesakes: United States criminologist and legal analyst Dr. Casey Jordan; Australian pop singer ("Australian Idol") Casey Donovan 
  • Peak Popularity: This name began surging in popularity in the early ‘70s, peaked in 1987, and has been a common name in the U.S. since then.

Deirdre

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Broken-hearted
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Deidra, Deidre, Deitra
  • Famous Namesakes: United States actresses Deirdre Lovejoy and Deirdre O'Connell; United States cyclist Deirdre "Dede" Demet Barry
  • Peak Popularity: The name rose in popularity during the '40s, peaked in 1961, and then waned. Only 17 girls received the name in the U.S. in 2019. 

Donella

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Ruler of the world
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Donalda, Donaldina, Donelle, Donna
  • Famous Namesakes: United States environmental scientist Donella Meadows
  • Peak Popularity: This name is quite rare in the United States. Fewer than five baby girls were given the name in 2019.

Duana

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Song
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ana
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. screenwriter Duana Taha
  • Peak Popularity: Duana isn’t very popular in the United States. In 2019, fewer than five girls were given the name.

Edna

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Delicate
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aithne, Eithne, Ena, Enya, Ethna, Ethne, Etna
  • Famous Namesakes: United States novelist Edna Ferber, United States poet Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Peak Popularity: The name Edna was given heavily from 1880 to 1980, but hasn’t seen much use since the early 1980s. Edna reached peak popularity in the United States in 1918 and only 79 girls were given the name in 2019. 

Emer

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Quick, swift
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eimhir, Eimear, Éimhear
  • Famous Namesakes: British actress Emer Gwynne Morganna Kenny
  • Peak Popularity: This name is quite rare. Fewer than five U.S. babies were named Emer in 2019. 

Enya

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Little seed or kernal
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aithne, Edna, Eithne, Ena, Ethna, Ethne, Etna
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish singer-songwriter Enya
  • Peak Popularity: Enya hasn't been a very popular name in the United States. In 2019, about 25 girls were so named.

 Fergie

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Vigorous
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ferguson, Fergus
  • Famous Namesakes: United States pop singer Stacy Ann Ferguson (Fergie) Duhamel; Duchess of York Sarah Margaret Ferguson (Fergie).
  • Peak Popularity: Fergie hasn't been a very popular name in the United States. In 2019, about 25 girls were so named.

Ireland

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Homage to Ireland
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eireann, Erin, Ériu, Erin
  • Peak Popularity: This name picked up traction in the United States in the 1990s and continued rising in popularity through 2010. In 2019, about 200 baby girls were given the name.

Killian

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Little church
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cillian, Cillín, Kilian, Kylian, Lian
  • Peak Popularity: Though it's risen a bit in popularity in the last couple decades, Killian hasn't been super common in the U.S. In 2019, only 16 girls were given the name. 

Keely

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Beautiful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Keeley, Keeleigh
  • Famous Namesakes: United States TV journalist Keely Shaye Smith
  • Peak Popularity: Keely saw a small rise in popularity in the U.S. in the early '70s, but has otherwise been relatively uncommon.

 Kennedy

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Helmeted leader
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kennedi, Kennedee, Kennedey, Kennedie
  • Famous Namesakes: United States fashion journalist Kennedy Fraser
  • Peak Popularity: Kennedy started to become more common as a girls name in the '90s and continued a slow rise through the 2010s.

Kevina

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Lively, beloved
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations:
  • Peak Popularity: The name isn’t popular in the United States. Fewer than five baby girls were given the name in 2019.

Fun Fact: As you might have guessed, this name is the feminine version of Kevin.

Maeve

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Intoxicating woman
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maedhbh, Maebh, Madb, Medb
  • Famous Namesakes: British diplomat Maeve Geraldine Fort; United States actress Maeve Anne Quinlan
  • Peak Popularity: The name didn’t begin to rise in popularity in the United States until the mid '90s. It reached peak popularity in the U.S. in 2012. 

Maille

  • Origin: Gailic, Irish, French
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Molly, Mailleigh, Malley, Mally, O'Mally
  • Peak Popularity: There isn’t enough information to determine when the name Maille reached peak popularity in the United States. Fewer than baby girls were given the name in 2019. 

Fun Fact: Maille is the name of a three-century-old French company known for its specialty mustards.

Myrna

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Merry
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Morna, Murna, Muirne
  • Famous Namesakes: United States actress Myrna Adele Loy; Miss USA 1953 Myrna Hansen
  • Peak Popularity: The name Myrna was commonly used in the U.S. from the late 1800s through the 1970s. 1898-1975. Since then, it hasn't been used much. It peaked in 1938 when 1800 girls were so named; in 2019 only 19 girls received the name.

Nora

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Honor, light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nóra, Norah, Lenora, Lenore, Nell, Nelle, Norah, Leanora, Ella, Ellen, Noor, Noortje, Leonora, Lora
  • Famous Namesakes: Indian Actress and Dancer Nora Fatehi; United States film director and producer Nora Ephron 
  • Peak Popularity: Nora has been a relatively common name in the United States since the late 1800s. It reached peak popularity in the U.S. in 2012, and in 2019 about 6000 babies were given the name.  

Riley

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: From a rye meadow 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie
  • Famous Namesakes: United States actress Riley Elizabeth Weston; United States Gymnast Riley Shannon McCusker
  • Peak Popularity: As a girl’s name, Riley didn't see much use before the late 1980s. It did start gaining traction in the U.S. in the '90s, however, and has continuously risen in popularity since then.

Oona

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Lamb
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Una, Ola, Oonagh
  • Famous Namesakes: Oona Castilla Chaplin, a Spanish actress and granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin
  • Peak Popularity: This name hasn't been very popular in the United States. In 2019, abot 70 babies were given the name.

Fun Fact: Oona Castilla Chaplin, granddaughter of famous comic actor Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), starred in Game of Thrones as Talisa of Volantis.

Quinn

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Wise and reasonable 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Quin
  • Famous Namesakes: United States actress Quinn Shephard
  • Peak Popularity: This name was popular in the U.S. in the ‘90s and ‘00s. It reached peak popularity in 2012.

Popular Gaelic Baby Names for Boys 

Below are 25 popular and unique Gaelic baby names for boys along with their meanings, origins, and other interesting information.

Aidan 

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Little fire
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aden, Aiden, Aydan, Ayden Aodhán, Edan, Aodhán, Edan
  • Famous Namesakes: United States actor Aidan Daley Mitchell; Irish Actor Aidan Aidan Gillen
  • Peak Popularity: Aidan was a relatively rare name in the U.S. until the late 1980s. Since then, it's become increasingly popular, reaching a peak in 2003 when over 10,000 babies were so named. 

Alastair 

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Defender 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alistaire, Allister, Alasdair
  • Famous Namesakes: Alistair Cooke, British-born American writer 
  • Peak Popularity: Alastair has remained a relatively uncommon name in the United States. In 2019, only 62 boys were given this name. 

Fun Fact: This name is a variation of the Greek name Alexander.

Angus 

  • Origin: Gealic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Strength
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gus, Aonghas, Aonghus, Aengus, Aonghus
  • Famous Namesakes: Angus Alan Douglas, the 15th Duke of Hamilton and 12th Duke of Brando
  • Peak Popularity: This name has been uncommon, but was used a bit more prior to the '50s. At its peak in 1926, about 90 people were given the name. 

Brody

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Broad eye
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Brodie
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. reality TV star Brody Jenner, Australian singer-songwriter Brody Dalle
  • Peak Popularity: Brody experienced a rapid spike in popularity from the late '90s to the 2010s peaking at around 6000 names in a given year. In 2019, about 2000 boys were given the name.

Fun Fact: Brody is also the name of a Scottish castle located in Moray, Scotland. It was built in 1567 and has been well-preserved.

Cian

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Ancient
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kian, Kean, Keane, Cianán, Keenan
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish footballer Cian Thomas Bolger; Irish rugby union player Cian Healy
  • Peak Popularity: Cian isn't very popular in the United States. Only 127 baby boys were given the name in 2019.

Colm

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Dove
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Calum, Colin, Callum, Coleman
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish actor Colm Wilkinson; United States actor Colm Feore; Irish singer of band Celtic Thunder Colm Keegan
  • Peak Popularity: The name has been used in Ireland for quite some time, but isn't very popular stateside. In 2019, there were a total of 15 boys who received the name in the U.S.

Corey 

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: God’s peace, chosen one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cory, Kory, Kori
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. Actor Corey Feldman; Canadian actor Corey Haim
  • Peak Popularity: Corey peaked in popularity during 1989 when 8,011 people received this name in the United States.

Fun Fact: The name Corey is derived from the gaelic word, Coire, which translates to "in a Caidron” or “in a hollow.”

Cormac

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Son of the raven
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cormag
  • Famous Namesakes: United States novelist and playwright Cormac McCarthy 
  • Peak Popularity: This ancient Irish name has never been very popular in the United States. About 140 baby boys were given the name in the U.S. in 2019. 

Craig

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Rock
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. actor Craig Robinson; Scottish television personality Craig Ferguson, 
  • Peak Popularity: Craig was a particularly popular name in the 1950s through '80s.

Desmond

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: of the world  
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Desmonde, Des
  • Famous Namesakes: Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu
  • Peak Popularity: Desmond has seen a small and steady popularity since the 1960s. In 2019, about 850 boys were given the name.

Fun Fact: Desmond is also the name of a Southern Irish city.

Duncan 

  • Origin: Galeic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Dark warrior
  • Famous Namesakes: Duncan Hines, a U.S. entrepreneur who invented the eponymous line of sweets
  • Peak Popularity: Duncan experienced a small peak in popularity in the 1990s. In 1997, 644 boys were given the name.

Fun Fact: Duncan is technically the Anglicized variation of the Gaelic name "Donnchadh.” Also, there is a town in Texas called “Duncanville.”

Finley

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Hero
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Finly, Fin, Finn
  • Peak Popularity: Finley experienced a very small peak in popularity in the '00s and '10s. In 2019, about 1200 boys were given the name.

Glenn    

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Valley
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gleann, Glen, Glenna   
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. trombonist Glenn Miller, Candian classical pianist Glenn Gould, 
  • Peak Popularity: The name Glenn had been popular in the U.S. for over a century. It peaked in 1962 and remained in the top one thousand until the late 2000s.

Fun Fact: The name Glenn is derived from the Gaelic word “gleann,” which means valley.

Kade

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: From the wetlands
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cade, Caden, Caid, Caide, Kaden, Kayd, Khade
  • Peak Popularity: Kade has slowly risen in popularity since the late 1980s. In 2019, over 800 boys were given the name.

Keenan

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Ancient one, old soul
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Keenen, Kenan
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. actor Keenan Thompson; U.S. actor and comedian Keenan-Ivory Wayans
  • Peak Popularity: The name Keenan saw a peak in polarity in the United States in the '90s and '00s. In 2019, about 225 boys were given the name.

Lennon

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Cloak, little cape
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lenin, Lenn, Lenny, Len, Lennen
  • Famous Namesakes: Beatles singer John Lennon (surname), Canadian singer Lennon Stella of country duo Lennon & Maisy.
  • Peak Popularity: Lennon hasn't been a popular name in the United States, but it’s seen a very small peak in the 2010s and 2020s. In 2019, about 340 boys were given the name Lennon.

Fun Fact: Lennon is the Anglicized variation of the Gaelic term "Lonáin.” This word stems from the diminutive of "lon," which means blackbird.

Malcolm

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Follower or Devotee of St. Columba
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Máel Coluim
  • Famous Namesakes: NFL football player Malcolm Floyd; United States Activist Malcolm X
  • Peak Popularity: The name Malcolm has been relatively popular in the United States, first gaining traction in the early 1910s. The name reached peak popularity in the U.S. in 1992, when about 1,500 boys were given the name. 

Neil    

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Passionate, champion, cloud 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Niall, Neill, Neal   
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. actor Neil Patrick Harris; U.S. Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond; U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong
  • Peak Popularity: Neil was particularly popular from the 1940s through the 1980s. It reached its peak in 1954 when around 2,000 boys were given this name.

Owen 

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Of noble descent
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eógan, Eógan, Eoghan, Eoghan, Euan, Ewan, Ewen
  • Famous Namesakes: United States Actor Owen Cunningham Wilson, United States football players Owen Gerald Daniels and Owen Marecic
  • Peak Popularity: The name has been used consistently in the U.S. since the late 1800s. Owen dramatically increased in popularity around the late 1980s through early ‘90s and reached peak popularity as recently as 2012 when over 8,500 boys were so named. 

Ronin

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Joyful song
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ron, Ro
  • Peak Popularity: Ronin has experienced a very small peak in popularity since the '10s. In 2019, about 640 boys were given the name.

Rooney

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Red-haired
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Roon, Roone, Rune
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. Actress Rooney Mara
  • Peak Popularity: This name has not been popular in the United States. Only 21 baby boys were given the name in 2019.

Rory

  • Origin: Gaelic, Scottish, Irish    
  • Meaning: Red-haired king
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Raure, Aurora
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. actor Rory Culkin; U.S. filmmaker and daughter of JFK, Rory Kennedy   
  • Peak Popularity: Rory has seen small and steady popularity since the 1950s. In 2019, about 900 boys were given the name.

Ryan

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: royal, a king’s descendant
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ryean, Ryanne, Rian, Ry, Ryen
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. Olympian swimmer Ryan Lochte; U.S. television host Ryan Seacrest; U.S. Actor Ryan Reynolds
  • Peak Popularity: Ryan has been an exceptionally popular name over the last century in the United States. It saw a peak in the mid-80s when around 30,000 boys were given the name. It's since dropped in popularity. In 2019, 6,087 boys were given the name.

Sean 

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish 
  • Meaning: Gracious god
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Seán, Shane, Shaun, Shawn, Shayne
  • Famous Namesakes: United States actor Sean Patrick Flanery; United States Rapper Sean John Combs (Diddy)
  • Peak Popularity: This name is quite common in the U.S. It began rising in the early '50s and reached its peak popularity in 1990 when over 12,000 individuals were so named.  

Seamus

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Replacement, bonus
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: James, Jamie, Shay, Shea
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish poet Seamus Heaney; U.S. actor Seamus Dever
  • Peak Popularity: Seamus started peaking slightly in the late '90s and has remained steady since then. In 2019, about 200 boys were given the name.

Fun Fact: This name is a variation on the Hebrew name, James.

Sullivan

  • Origin: Gaelic, Ireland
  • Meaning: Eyes like a hawk, dark eyed
  • Peak Popularity: Sullivan has experienced a very small peak in popularity since the '10s. In 2019, 776 boys were given the name.
  • Fun Fact: This name is commonly seen as a surname. Actress Susan Sullivan and TV host Ed Sullivan are two examples.

Tyrone

  • Origin: Gaelic, Irish
  • Meaning: Of the earth
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tyron
  • Famous Namesakes: U.S. actor Tyrone Power
  • Peak Popularity: Tyrone was particularly popular in the United States from the 1940s through the 1990s with a peak of 2531 names in 1970. It's since dwindled in popularity; in 2019 only 159 boys were given the name.
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