100 Celtic Baby Names: Meanings & Origins

Do you want your baby to have a name that reflects Celtic heritage? These Celtic and Gaelic names come from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, and areas of northern Spain. Pronunciation and spelling can be tricky with Celtic names. While some have been fairly common, such as Erin, others are more exotic. Many Celtic names are also used for both boys and girls, such as Sean and Quinn.

The Celts were European tribes who occupied much of Europe north of the Alps in the Iron Age and settled in the British Isles in the fourth to second centuries B.C. Their Celtic languages, including Gaelic, survived the invasions of the Romans, Germanic tribes, and Anglo-Saxons longer in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. However, Celtic heritage might be celebrated by anyone with ancestors from much of Europe from the Danube to the Rhine and Douro Rivers. Learn the meaning behind the name as you consider what to name your child.

popular celtic baby names
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin 

Popular Celtic Baby Names for Girls

These names have Celtic roots or are the forms used in Celtic lands for names from other roots.

Aine

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Radiance
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Considered Irish equivalent of Anne
  • Famous Namesakes: Author and economics professor Aine Seitz McCarthy, actress Aine Ni Mhuiri
  • Peak Popularity: Aine ranked at number 32 in Ireland in 2003. It is uncommon in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Aine was originally found as the name of a faerie queen in Irish legend.

Aislinn

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Dream or vision
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aisling, Aisleyne, Aislin
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Aisling Bea, poet, and author Aislinn Hunter
  • Peak Popularity: Aisling ranked at 27 in Ireland in 2002. Both Aisling and Aislinn are rare in the U.S., with Aislinn barely cracking the top 1000 in 2015, 2016, and 2018

Fun Fact: Canadian political cartoonist Terry Mosher draws under the name Aislin, taken from the name of his daughter, Aislinn. He did the original artwork for the board game Trivial Pursuit.

Alys

  • Origin: Old French
  • Meaning: Noble and dependable person
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alis (Welsh), Ailis (Irish), Aileas (Scottish), Alyce, Alice, Alyssa, Aalis
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Alyssa Milano, author Alys Clare
  • Peak Popularity: Alys is sometimes seen in England and Wales, most recently ranking at 447 in 2016. It is uncommon in the U.S.

Fun Fact: "Alys" was a Welsh-language television drama series airing in 2011 and 2012 in which Alys moved to a small town in Wales with her 10-year-old son.

Avalon

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Apple
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Avallon, Avilion
  • Peak Popularity: Avalon is an uncommon first name, not ranking in any country.

Fun Fact: In Arthurian legend, Avalon is the name of the island upon which King Arthur is buried.

Boudicca

  • Origin: Ancient Celtic
  • Meaning: Victory
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Boadica, Boadicea, Boudica, Voadicia
  • Famous Namesakes: Boudicca, queen of the Britons
  • Peak Popularity: Boudicca is a rare name in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Boudicca led the Britons in revolt over the Romans, as recorded by Tacitus and Cassius Dio.

Brianna

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: One who is honorable and noble
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Breanna, Breana, Breanne, Briana, Brianne, Bryana, Bryanna, Bryanne
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Brianna Hildebrand, ice hockey player Brianna Decker, singer Brianna Perry (Lil' Brianna), video game developer Brianna Wu
  • Peak Popularity: Brianna was uncommon in the U.S. until the 1970s. It peaked in the top 20 from 1996 to 2006.

Fun Fact: Briana was used in "The Faerie Queen" by Edmund Spenser in 1590.

Brighid

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Exalted one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bridget, Brigid, Brigit, Biddy, Bridie, Ffraid (Welsh)
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Bridget Fonda, model Bridget Moynahan, Saint Brigid of Kildare (a patron saint of Ireland)
  • Peak Popularity: Brighid is an uncommon name in any country. The variant Bridget was most popular in the U.S. in the 1970s, topping at number 112 in 1973.

Fun Fact: The goddess Brighid is a protector of hearth and home in Celtic myth.

Bronwen

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Fair and blessed
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bronwyn (technically masculine due to-wyn ending), Branwen
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Bronwen Dickey, Olympic water polo player Bronwen Knox
  • Peak Popularity: Bronwen has not made the top list for any country.

Fun Fact: In "The Mabinogion," Bronwyn is the daughter of Llyr, the sea god. These Welsh stories were compiled in the 14th century.

Bryn

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Has come to mean protector, although originally the word meant "hill fort."
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Brina, Brynne, Brin (Welsh), Brynlee (English)
  • Famous Namesakes: Animation writer Brynne Chandler, television personality Brynne Edelsten
  • Peak Popularity: Bryn has rarely cracked the top 1000 in the U.S., but ranked 743 in 2011, while Brynlee has new popularity and ranked 210 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Bryn can be a unisex name. In England and Wales, it is used as a boy name and ranked at 300 in 2003.

Caitlin

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Purity
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cathleen (Irish), Kathleen (Irish), Kaitlin, Kaitlyn, Kaitlynn, Katelyn, Caetlin, Caitriona (Scottish), Catriona (Scottish), Catrina (Scottish), Catrin (Welsh), Cadi (Welsh), Catarina (Galician)
  • Famous Namesakes: Television personality and former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner, author Caitlin Matthews
  • Peak Popularity: Caitlin was most popular in the 1980s and 1990s, peaking at number 44 in 1988. It dropped out of the top 1000 in 2016.

Fun Fact: Caitlin is the Irish version of Catherine, which comes from ancient Greek.

Caoimhe

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Beauty and gentleness
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Keavy, Keeva, Kiva
  • Famous Namesakes: Television personality Caoimhe Guilfoyle, Irish peace activist Caoimhe Butterfly, actress Caoimhe Judd
  • Peak Popularity: Caoimhe is very popular in Ireland and North Ireland, usually ranking in the top 25.

Fun Fact: The versions Kiva and Keeva reflect the pronunciation for those perplexed by the Irish spelling.

Cerridwen

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Poetry, combined with woman or fair.
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ceridwen, Cerridwyn
  • Famous Namesakes: Mythic figure Ceridwen
  • Peak Popularity: Cerridwen is an uncommon name in every country.

Fun Fact: In Celtic myth, Cerridwen is the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge and inspiration. She was also the mother of Taliesen the bard, so her name is often associated with poetry.

Deidre

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Sorrow and longing, young girl
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Deirdre, Deidra, Deitra, Derdriu, Dede
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Deidre Hall, author and psychologist Deirdre Barrett, Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs
  • Peak Popularity: Deirdre and Deidre were most common in the U.S. in the 1960s, with Deirdre ranking as high as 333 in 1961. Both fell out of the top 1000 in the early 1990s.

Fun Fact: "Deirdre of the sorrows." was a tragic heroine of Irish legend. Her story was told in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology.

Doireann

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Brooding, sorrowful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Doirean, Doreen, Daireann, Doirend
  • Famous Namesakes: Wiccan liturgical writer Doreen Valiente, singer Doreen Taylor
  • Peak Popularity: Doireann is an uncommon name in every country. Doreen was most popular in the U.S. in the late 1950s but fell out of the top 1000 in 1980.

Fun Fact: The name Doireann appears several times in Irish legends. One such character poisoned hunter-warrior Fionn mac Cumhail.

Eithne

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Kernel, grain
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aithne, Edna, Ena, Enya, Etna
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Eithne Padraigin Ni Bhraonain (Enya), Author Edna Ferber, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Peak Popularity: Edna was in the top 20 girl names from 1889 to 1917. It fell out of the top 1000 in 1992.

Fun Fact: Eithne was the mother of Saint Columba, the patron saint of Derry.

Enid

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Soul or life
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Enaid
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Enid Blyton, sculptor Enid Yandell
  • Peak Popularity: Enid was most popular in the 1920s in the U.S. It fell out of the top 1000 in 1955

Fun Fact: In Arthurian legend, Enid is the wife of Geraint, one of the Knights of the Round Table.

Erin

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Child of Ireland
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eireann, Aryn, Eirinn, Eryn, Eriu, Eirwynn, Iorwyn
  • Famous Namesakes: Environmental activist Erin Brockovich, actress Erin Moran, television personality Erin Andrews
  • Peak Popularity: Erin was in the top 20 names for girls in the U.S. in the early 1980s.

Fun Fact: In Irish legend, Eriu was a goddess who gave her name to the land of Ireland.

Fiona

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: White or fair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fyona, Fionna, Fionha
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Fiona Apple
  • Peak Popularity: While Fiona has long been common in Scotland and Ireland, it was rare in the U.S. until 1990 and had its top rank in 2017 at 180.

Fun Fact: As a name, Fiona first appeared in poems by James Macpherson, who said his works were translations from ancient Gaelic works.

Fionnula

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: White of shoulder
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fionnaghuala, Nuala
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Fionnula Flanagan
  • Peak Popularity: Fionnula is not a common name in any country.

Fun Fact: In Irish mythology, Fionnula, or Fionnaghuala, is one of the daughters of Llyr who is turned into a swan for 900 years.

Glenys

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Of the valley (glen)
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Glynis, Glennis, Glynnis
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Glynnis O'Connor
  • Peak Popularity: Glynis has rarely broken into the top 1000 in the U.S., the last time being in the 1960s.

Fun Fact: Glenys is the female version of Glenn.

Grainne

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Grain
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Grania, Granya
  • Peak Popularity: Grainne has never reached the top 1000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: The name Grainne is traditionally associated with harvest legends and grain. In mythology, Grainne (pronounced Gran-ya) was the daughter of Cormac mac Airt.

Gwyneth

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: White, fair, blessed
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gweneth, Gwenneth, Gwynedd, Gwenyth, Gwenith
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, singer Gwen Stefani
  • Peak Popularity: In the U.S., Gwyneth only rarely breaks into the top 1000.

Fun Fact: Gwyneth Lewis was the first National Poet for Wales.

Gwendolyn

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: White ring
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gwendoline, Gwendolen, Gwen
  • Famous Namesakes: Journalist Gwendolyn Ifill, singer Gwendolyn Sanford
  • Peak Popularity: In the U.S., Gwendolyn was most popular in the 1950s when it ranked at 112. It recently ranked around 400.

Fun Fact: Gwendolen was a mythical queen of the Britons as recounted by Geoffrey on Monmouth in "History of the Kings of Britain" in 1138.

Igraine

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ygraine, Igrayne, Igerna, Eigyr
  • Famous Namesakes: Igraine in Arthurian legend
  • Peak Popularity: Isolde has never been in the top 1000 girl names in the U.S.

Fun Fact: In Arthurian legend, Ygraine is the mother of Arthur by King Uther Pendragon.

Iona

  • Origin: Scottish Gaelic
  • Meaning: Island
  • Famous Namesakes: Musician Iona Brown
  • Peak Popularity: Iona was most popular in the U.S. before 1947.

Fun Fact: Iona is an island off the coast of Scotland where Saint Columba founded Iona Abbey in 563. It became a renowned center of learning and production of illuminated manuscripts, including the "Book of Kells."

Isolde

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Fair and lovely
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Iseulde, Yseult
  • Famous Namesakes: Violinist Isolde Menges
  • Peak Popularity: Isolde has never been in the top 1,000 girl names in the U.S.

Fun Fact: In Arthurian legends, Isolde (Iseult) was the name of a queen of Ireland and her daughter, with the younger Isolde being betrothed to the King of Cornwall. But under the sway of a love potion, she and Tristan fall in love, with a tragic outcome.

Keely

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Slender
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Caoladhe, Keeley
  • Famous Namesakes: Journalist and television personality Keely Shaye Smith, Olympic skier Keely Kelleher
  • Peak Popularity: Keely placed at number 455 in 1997 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Keely is also a town in Northern Ireland.

Kiera

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Black
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ciara, Keira, Kirya, Kera, Kieran
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Keira Knightley, Saint Ciara
  • Peak Popularity: Keira rose sharply in the U.S. in the 2000s, with a peak at 109 in 2006. Ciara was most popular in the early 1990s when it ranked around 200.

Fun Fact: Saint Ciara established a monastery at Kilkeary in the 600s.

Kylie

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Strait
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kyleigh, Kiley, Kylee, Kilie
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Kylie Minogue, model Kylie Jenner
  • Peak Popularity: Kylie had a high point at 49 in 2004.

Fun Fact: Kylie was a rare name in the U.S. until the 1990s, when it became popular with the rise in prominence of the Kardashian and Jenner family on reality television.

Léan

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Torchbearer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Laine, Leine, Lainie, Helen
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress and singer Lainie Kazan
  • Peak Popularity: Léan does not make it into the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Léan is the Irish form of Helen, which has a Greek origin. The Welsh form is Elen or Elin, and the English use Ellen.

Liadain

  • Origin: Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning: Gray lady
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Liadan
  • Peak Popularity: Liadain does not make it into the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: In the ninth-century poem "The Meeting of Liadain and Curithir," Liadain is a doomed heroine.

Luighseach

  • Origin: Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning: Bringer of light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Luigsech, Luiseach, Lucy
  • Peak Popularity: This name is uncommon in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Pronounced "Lee-shock," this name is a feminine version of Lugh, who was a mythological Irish hero.

Maeve

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Entrancing or intoxicating
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Meabh, Meadhbh, Mave, Meave, Medb
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Maeve Binchy, actress Maeve Quinlan
  • Peak Popularity: Uncommon before the late 1990s, Maeve is climbing in popularity and had a new high at 334 in 2018.

Fun Fact: In Irish legend, Maeve, or Medb, is the queen of the faeries.

Moira

  • Origin: Irish, from Latin
  • Meaning: Star of the sea
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maire, Moire, Moyra, Maura, Morag (Scottish), Mair, Mairwen (Welsh), Mari
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Maeve Binchy, actress Maeve Quinlan
  • Peak Popularity: Moira only rarely breaks into the top 1000 names for girls for the U.S. Maura had some popularity in the 1960s, making it to the top 500.

Fun Fact: Moira and Maura are Irish forms of Mary.

Morgan

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Born of the sea
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Muirgen, Morgen, Muirin
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Morgan Fairchild, soccer player Morgan Brian
  • Peak Popularity: As a girl name, Morgan was in the top 20 from 1994 to 2003 in the U.S. It has steady popularity as a boy name, ranking around 500.

Fun Fact: In Arthurian legend, Morgan le Fay was a sorceress.

Maureen

  • Origin: Irish, from Latin
  • Meaning: Star of the sea
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mairenn, Mairin, Maurine, Murainn, Moirean
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Maureen Stapleton, author Maureen Jennings
  • Peak Popularity: Maureen was most popular in the U.S. in the 1950s when it was in the top 100. It fell out of the top 1000 in 1998.

Fun Fact: Maureen is a diminutive for Maura and Moira.

Niamh

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Beauty and brightness
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Neve, Nia
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Neve Campbell
  • Peak Popularity: Uncommon in the U.S, Niamh is a top 10 girl name in Ireland and is also popular in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Fun Fact: Niamh was the daughter of an Irish sea god.

Nimue

  • Origin: Possibly Greek
  • Meaning: Remembrance
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nimue, Nymue, Nimueh, Niniane, Ninniane, Ninianne, Niviene, Nyneve, Nineve
  • Peak Popularity: Nimue is uncommon in the U.S.

Fun Fact: In Arthurian legend, Nimue was the sorceress who stole Lancelot away as an infant.

Onora

  • Origin: Irish form of Late Roman name
  • Meaning: Honorable, regal
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Noirin, Nora, Norah, Noreen, Norene
  • Peak Popularity: Onora is uncommon in the U.S. But Nora and Norah are climbing steeply in popularity, with Nora at number 30 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Onore is a variation of the Latin name Honore.

Reagan

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Unknown meaning
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Reaghann, Regan
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Reagan Gomez-Preston
  • Peak Popularity: Reagan is climbing in popularity as a girl name in the U.S. over the past 20 years. It had a new high of 97 in 2016. Regan and Reagan are also used as a boy name, entering the top 1000 in 1996.

Fun Fact: Originally used as a surname rather than a first name, Regan was the name given to one of two princesses in Shakespeare's "King Lear."

Rhiannon

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Great queen
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rhianon, Riannon, Reannon, Riannon, Rhianna, Rigantona
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Rhiannon Fish, video game designer Rhianna Pratchett
  • Peak Popularity: Due to the Fleetwood Mac song "Rihannon," the name was popular in the U.S. from 1976 to 2006, usually ranking around 600.

Fun Fact: Rhiannon was a woman in the Welsh legend of the Mabinogion, the wife of Pwyll and mother of Pryderi.

Rhona

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Rough island
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rona
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Rhona Mitra, Olympic curler Rhona Martin
  • Peak Popularity: Rhona only made it into the top 1,000 girl names one year, in 1951.

Fun Fact: "Rhona" was a short-lived Scottish television series in 2000 that was the first British LGBT sitcom.

Roisin

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Little rose
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Roisinn, Rosheen
  • Famous Namesakes: Comedian Roisin Conaty
  • Peak Popularity: Roisin is a popular name in Ireland and has often been in the top 30 names for girls since 2002. It is a rare name in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Roisin is pronounced "roy-shin."

Rowena

  • Origin: Possibly Welsh
  • Meaning: Slender and fair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rowina
  • Famous Namesakes: Artist Rowena Morrill, actress Rowena Wallace
  • Peak Popularity: Rowena was most popular in the U.S. over a century ago. It has not been in the top 1,000 names since 1963.

Fun Facts: Rowena was one of the heroines in the story of "Ivanhoe," by Sir Walter Scott, published in 1819. It is also the name of a Harry Potter series character.

Saiorse

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Freedom, independence
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Saoirse Ronan
  • Peak Popularity: Saoirse is an uncommon name in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Saoirse became a popular name in the 1920s in Ireland following the Irish War of Independence.

Shannon

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Old, ancient
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Shana, Shanna, Shannen, Shanon, Shannah, Shannan, Shannyn
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Shannen Doherty
  • Peak Popularity: Shannon was most popular as a girl name in the 1970s and 1980s, reaching the top 20. It fell out of the top 1,000 in 2014.

Fun Fact: Shannon is a unisex name that also was popular for boys at the same time it was for girls.

Siobhan

  • Origin: Irish form of Norman French name
  • Meaning: The grace of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Chevonne, Shavonne, Shevaun, Shevon, Sine
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Siobhan Fahey, actress Siobhan Finneran
  • Peak Popularity: Siobhan was in the top 750 names in the U.S. during the 1980s.

Fun Fact: Siobhan is pronounced "shi-vahn." It is the Irish form for Jeanne.

Teagan

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: From surname Tadhg, meaning poet
  • Famous Namesakes: Bodybuilder and writer Teagan Clive
  • Peak Popularity: Teagan entered the top 1,000 girl names in the U.S. in 1999 and reached a high at 150 in 2016.

Fun Fact: Teagan is a family surname that has been adapted to be a female given name in recent years.

Tegan

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Fair
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Tegan Moss
  • Peak Popularity: Tegan entered the top 1,000 girl names in the U.S. in 2010.

Fun Fact: Tegan is a unisex name in the U.S., but is commonly a female name in England and Wales.

Una

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Lamb
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Oona, Oonaugh, Unna
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Una Stubbs
  • Peak Popularity: Una was most popular in the U.S. a century ago when it ranked around 500. It dropped out of the top 100 in 1942.

Fun Fact: Una is pronounced "OO-na"

Popular Celtic Baby Names for Boys

These names come from Gaelic, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish roots or are those commonly used for Celtic equivalents for English names.

Aidan

  • Origin: Old Irish
  • Meaning: Small fire
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aeden, Aiden, Aodhan, Aydan, Ayden, Edan
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Aidan Quinn, singer Aidan James
  • Peak Popularity: Aidan was uncommon in the U.S. until the 1990s and rose to number 39 in 2003. It has been falling since then.

Fun Fact: The name Aidan comes from the Celtic sun god, Aed.

Angus

  • Origin: Old Irish, Scottish Gaelic
  • Meaning: One strength
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aonghas, Aonghus, Aengus, Gus, Mac Og, Innes
  • Famous Namesakes: Musician Angus Young, U.S. Senator Angus King, actor Angus T. Jones
  • Peak Popularity: Angus hasn't been in the top 1,000 in the U.S. since 1948. It is most popular in Scotland.

Fun Fact: In Celtic myth, Angus Og is a god of humor and wisdom. Angus was also a Pictish king around the eighth century.

Barry

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Fair hair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bairre, Barrie, Barry, Barra, Berry, Baz, Bazza, Barrfind
  • Famous Namesakes: Politician Barry Goldwater, baseball player Barry Bonds, musician Barry Manilow, filmmaker Baz Lurhmann
  • Peak Popularity: Barry was in the top 100 names for boys in the U.S. from 1941 to 1969, but fell out of the top 1,000 in 2005.

Fun Fact: The Barry Islands off of Wales are named for Saint Fionnbharr of Cork, a sixth-century bishop.

Bedwyr

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bedivere
  • Famous Namesakes: Legendary Sir Bedivere
  • Peak Popularity: Bedwyr is an uncommon name.

Fun Fact: Bedwyr (Sir Bedivere) was one of King Arthur's knights. The name may be derived from a proto-Celtic word that translates to "knower of the grave," indicating that Bedwyr was the only one who knew where King Arthur was actually buried.

Blaine

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Yellow
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Blaan
  • Famous Namesakes: Football player Blaine Gabbert, astronaut L. Blaine Hammond, U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer
  • Peak Popularity: Blaine has been consistently ranked around 500 in the U.S. for the past 100 years.

Fun Fact: Saint Blaan was a missionary to the Picts in northern and eastern Scotland the sixth century.

Braden

  • Origin: Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning: Salmon
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Braeden, Bradan, Brayden, Braydon
  • Famous Namesakes: Baseball player Braden Looper
  • Peak Popularity: Braden was most popular in the early 2000s, rising to 133 in 2005.

Fun Fact: The Gaelic name comes from a surname of Ó Bradáin. The name also derives from Saxon English meaning broad valley.

Brian

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: High noble
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bryan, Bryon, Bryant, Briant, Briand, Brion
  • Famous Namesakes: Former U.K. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, musician Brian Wilson, filmmaker Brian de Palma
  • Peak Popularity: Brian was in the top 10 boy names in the U.S. in the 1970s. It had dropped to 235 in 2018.

Fun Fact: In Irish mythology, tales are often told of the great king, Brian Boru, who fought off the invading Vikings.

Caedmon

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Wise warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cadmon
  • Famous Namesakes: Saint Caedmon
  • Peak Popularity: Caedmon is an uncommon name.

Fun Fact: Saint Caedmon was a seventh-century poet. His "Caedmon's Hymn" is one of the earliest examples of Old English poetry.

Caradoc

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Dearly loved
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Caradog, Cerdic, Cedric
  • Famous Namesakes: Saint Caradoc
  • Peak Popularity: Caradoc is an uncommon name. The variant Cedric was most popular in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s.

Fun Fact: In the Welsh myth cycles, Caradoc was a common name. The figure of Caradog Freichfras appears as the ancestor of the great kings of Gwent. He also turns up as one of King Arthur's knights of the round table.

Caden

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Spirit of battle
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Caiden, Cayden, Kaden, Kaeden, Kaiden, Kayden
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Cayden Boyd
  • Peak Popularity: Caden was uncommon in the U.S. until the 1990s and it reached the top 100 in 2005 through 2008.

Fun Fact: Caden became popular in the U.S. mostly for the sound of the name rather than historical ties. Before that usage, it was mostly seen as an Irish surname.

Coinneach

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Handsome one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kenneth, Cainneach, Cináed
  • Famous Namesakes: King Cináed of Scotland, actor Kenneth Branagh, author Kenneth Grahame
  • Peak Popularity: Coinneach is an uncommon name in every country. Kenneth was most popular in the 1950s when it was in the top 20 names, but it remained in the top 100 until 2002.

Fun Fact: Scottish king Coinneach (Kenneth) mac Alpin united the Scots and Picts in the ninth century.

Cormac

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Charioteer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cormag
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Cormac McCarthy
  • Peak Popularity: Cormac is an uncommon name in the U.S., but did break into the top 500 in 2001 and 2002.

Fun Fact: Cormac mac Airt was one of the legendary High Kings of Ireland.

Cuchulain

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Hound of Culann
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cuchulainn
  • Famous Namesakes: Mythical Cuchulain
  • Peak Popularity: Cuchulain is an uncommon name.

Fun Fact: In Irish legend, Cuchulain was known as the hound of Ulster. After he killed a fierce guard dog, he offered to stand in for it until a suitable replacement was found.

Desmond

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: South Munster
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Des, Dezi
  • Famous Namesakes: Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu, Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss, actor Desmond Llewelyn
  • Peak Popularity: Desmond has ranked around 400 since the 1970s.

Fun Fact: Desmond was derived from the Irish surname Deasmhumhain.

Domhnall

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Ruler of the world
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Domhnall, Domnall, Dom, Donal, Donnal, Don, Donald
  • Famous Namesakes: Scottish King Domnall, Irish High King Domhnall, actor Domhnall Gleeson
  • Peak Popularity: Domhnall is an uncommon name in modern times. The English variant Donald was in the top 10 names in the 1930s and remained in the top 100 until 1991.

Fun Fact: Domhnall mac Raghnaill was the 12th-century founder of the Scottish Clan Donald, the MacDonald line.

Douglas

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Dark water
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Douglass, Dubhghlas, Doug
  • Famous Namesakes: General Douglas MacArthur, author Douglas Adams
  • Peak Popularity: Douglas was most popular in the 1940s, reaching 23 in 1942. It remained in the top 100 until 1990.

Fun Fact: Douglas was a powerful Scottish clan name.

Duncan

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Dark-skinned warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Donnchadh, Donnchad, Donagh, Donnacha, Donncha
  • Famous Namesakes: Former U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, filmmaker Duncan Jones, singer and actor Duncan James
  • Peak Popularity: Duncan was most popular in the U.S. in the 1990s, reaching number 386.

Fun Fact: In William Shakespeare's "MacBeth," Duncan is the king of Scotland when the story takes place.

Dylan

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Great tide
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Dillan, Dillon, Dylen
  • Famous Namesakes: Poel Dylan Thomas, actor Dylan McDermott
  • Peak Popularity: Dylan was in the top 30 boy names in the U.S. from 1992 to 2017.

Fun Fact: Dylan was a Welsh sea god.

Eoghan

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Born from the yew tree
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eaghan, Egan, Eogan, Euan, Ewan, Ewen, Owen
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Ewan McGregor, architect Ewan Christian
  • Peak Popularity: Owen has been in the top 100 names for boys in the U.S. since 2002, reaching a high of 23 in 2016.

Fun Fact: In Irish legend, Eoghan was one of the sons of Niall of the Nine Hostages.

Farrell

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: One who is brave, courageous
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fergal, Fearghal
  • Famous Namesakes: Trade unionist Farrell Dobbs, Irish politician Fearghal McKinney
  • Peak Popularity: Farrell is an uncommon first name in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Fearghal Ó Gadhra was considered a king and was lord of Cooavin in the 1600s. He was unseated by the forces of Cromwell and his lands seized.

Fergus

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Strong, vigorous
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fearghas, Fearghus
  • Famous Namesakes: Historian Fergus Millar, aviation pioneer Fergus McMaster (founder of Qantas)
  • Peak Popularity: Fergus is an uncommon first name in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Fergus I is a mythological first king of Scotland, and the name is also borne by High Kings of Ireland. Sir Fergus was one of the Knights of Round Table.

Finn

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Fair, blond
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fionn, Fion, Fynn, Fionan, Finnbar, and Finnobar.
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Finn Jones, businessman Finn M. W. Caspersen
  • Peak Popularity: Finn entered the top 1000 names in 2000 and had climbed sharply to 166 in 2018.

Fun Fact: In Irish legend, Finn mac Cool was a great hunter/warrior whose hair turned prematurely white, leading to him being called Finn.

Gallagher

  • Origin: Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning: Eager helper
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gallchobhar, Gallachobhair
  • Famous Namesakes: Comedian Gallagher
  • Peak Popularity: Gallagher is an uncommon first name in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Gallagher is an Irish first name derived from a last name.

Gavin

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Little hawk
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gawain, Walganus, Gauvain
  • Famous Namesakes: California Governor Gavin Newsome, singer Gavin Rossdale
  • Peak Popularity: Gavin reached a record high of 30 in 2008.

Fun Fact: From Arthurian legend, Gawain was a strong warrior and defender of the poor. He battled the Green Knight in a tale the represents the conflict between old Paganism and "new" Christianity.

Gordon

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Spacious fort
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gordan, Gorden, Gordie
  • Famous Namesakes: Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ice hockey player Gordie Howe, chef Gordon Ramsey
  • Peak Popularity: Gordon was in the top 100 names for boys in the U.S. from 1911 to 1943.

Fun Fact: Gordon became a popular first name in the late 1800s to honor British General Charles George Gordon, who died in the battle of Khartoum in Sudan.

Graham

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Small hill
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Graeme, Gram, Grantham
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Graham Greene, racecar driver Graham Hill, actor Graham Chapman
  • Peak Popularity: Graham reached a new high of 176 in 2015.

Fun Fact: Graham Hill is the only racecar driver to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which he accomplished in the 1960s and 1970s by winning the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Monaco Grand Prix.

Ian

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Iain, Ionn, Evan, Ifan, Ioan, Iwan
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Ian Fleming, actor Ian McKellan
  • Peak Popularity: Ian has consistently ranked about 70 for boy names in the U.S. since the 1980s.

Fun Fact: Ian is the Scottish version of the name John. The Welsh names are similar, including Ioan and Ifan.

Lugh

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lugus, Lleu, Lugos, Llew
  • Famous Namesakes: Mythical Lleu Llaw Gyffes
  • Peak Popularity: Lugh is an uncommon name.

Fun Fact: Lugh was the Celtic god of craftsmanship and skills. He is honored in August, at Lughnasadh.

Keane

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Ancient
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kean, Keenan, Keenen, Cian
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Keenen Ivory Wayans, football player Keenan McCardell
  • Peak Popularity: Keane is uncommon in the U.S. Keenan is the most popular form, ranking as high as 353 in 1997.

Fun Fact: Keane and Keenan come from the same root, Cianan, as Kenneth.

Keith

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: One who dwells in the forest
  • Famous Namesakes: Musician Keith Richards, television commentator Keith Olbermann, Actor Keith Carradine
  • Peak Popularity: Keith was in the top 50 boy names in the U.S. from 1952 to 1978.

Fun Fact: Keith was originally a noble Scottish surname.

Kevin

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Gentle, handsome
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Caoimhin, Coemgein, Kevan, Kevyn, Cefin
  • Famous Namesakes: Basketball player Kevin Durant, actor Kevin Costner, musician Kevin Jonas
  • Peak Popularity: Kevin was in the top 20 names for boys in the U.S. from 1957 to 1979 but fell out of the top 100 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Saint Kevin (Caoimhin) is the patron saint of Dublin, Ireland. His feast day is June 3.

Kelvin

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: From near the river
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kelvan, Kelvyn, Kelwin
  • Famous Namesakes: Mixed martial artist Kelvin Gastelum, newspaper editor Kelvin MacKenzie
  • Peak Popularity: Kelvin ranked in the top 250 names in the 1960s.

Fun Fact: William Thomson, Lord Kelvin was a mathematical physicist whose work on finding absolute zero led to the Kelvin temperature scale, with zero at the bottom.

Laisren

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Flame
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Laisrian
  • Famous Namesakes: Saint Laisren
  • Peak Popularity: Laisren has never made it to the top 1,000 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Several medieval saints were named Laisren.

Lee

  • Origin: Old English
  • Meaning: Clearing, pasture
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Leigh
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Lee Marvin, writer Lee Martin
  • Peak Popularity: Lee was most popular as a boy name from the 1880s through 1955, when it fell out of the top 100.

Fun Fact: Lee has been most popular as a given name in the South.

Llyr

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: The sea
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lear
  • Famous Namesakes: Legendary King Lear of the Britons
  • Peak Popularity: Llyr is an uncommon name.

Fun Fact: In Celtic legend, King Llyr is the father of Bran the Blessed and Bronwen, and is known as a god of the sea.

Maddox

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Benevolent, compassionate
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Madoc, Madog
  • Famous Namesakes: Celebrity child Maddox Jolie-Pitt
  • Peak Popularity: Maddox was unused as a first name until 2003. It had a high at number 136 in 2017.

Fun Fact: In Welsh folklore, Madoc was a prince (son of Owain Gwynedd) who sailed to America in 1170.

Malcolm

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: One who serves St. Columba
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Malcom, Mael Coluim, Mal
  • Famous Namesakes: Scottish Kings, civil rights activist Malcolm X, actor Malcolm McDowell, businessman Malcolm Forbes
  • Peak Popularity: Malcolm was in the top 250 names for boys in the 1990s.

Fun Fact: King Malcolm III of Scotland became king after killing Macbeth, who had murdered his father. This is dramatized in Shakespeare's play "Macbeth."

Mervin

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Marrow famous
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mervyn, Merfyn, Merv
  • Famous Namesakes: Entertainer Merv Griffin, Medal of Honor recipient Mervyn S. Bennion, filmmaker Mervyn LeRoy
  • Peak Popularity: Mervin was most popular in the 1920s and 1930s in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Merfyn Frych was a ninth-century Welsh king.

Niall

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Champion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Neil, Neal, Nigel
  • Famous Namesakes: Historian Niall Ferguson, singer Niall Horan, actor Neil Patrick Harris
  • Peak Popularity: Niall is popular in England, but uncommon in the U.S. Neil was in the top 200 in the U.S. from the 1930s until 1992.

Fun Fact: Niall of the Nine Hostages was a High King of Ireland in the fifth century.

Owen

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Young fighter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Owain
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Owen Wilson, playwright Owen Davis
  • Peak Popularity: Owen is skyrocketing in popularity in the U.S since the late 1990s. It reached a new high of 25 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Owen Tudor was the Welsh ancestor of the Tudor kings of England.

Patrick

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Nobleman
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Padraic, Padraig, Paddy
  • Famous Namesakes: Basketball player Patrick Ewing, actor Patrick Stewart, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy
  • Peak Popularity: Patrick was in the top 50 boy names from 1948 to 1997.

Fun Fact: St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Until the 1600s, Patrick wasn't used as a given name, due to reverence for the saint. After that, it became very common.

Riordan

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Royal poet
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rearden, Rórdán
  • Famous Namesakes: Political scientist Riordan Roett
  • Peak Popularity: Riordan is an uncommon first name.

Fun Fact: Riordan is much more common as a last name, but may be used as a first name to honor a family name.

Ronald

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Advisor to the ruler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ranald, Raghnall (Scottish), Rheinallt (Welsh)
  • Famous Namesakes: Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, filmmaker Ron Howard
  • Peak Popularity: Ronald was in the top 20 names in the U.S. from 1932 to 1958.

Fun Fact: Although introduced to Scotland by invading Scandinavians, Ronald was a popular name in that region.

Rowan

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Red hair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ruadh, Rowanne
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean")
  • Peak Popularity: Rowan debuted as a boy's name in 1999 and rose quickly to number 129 in 2018. As a girl's name, it is at 211 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Rowan can be used as a unisex name.

Roy

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Red hair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ruadh, Royce
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Roy Rodgers, actor Roy Scheider, musician Roy Orbison
  • Peak Popularity: Roy was most popular in the first half of the 20th century when it ranked in the top 50. It had declined to 542 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The main character in Sir Walter Scott's "Rob Roy" is Robert Ruadh Mac Gregor.

Seamus

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Gaelic form of James
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Shamus, Sheamus, Séamas
  • Famous Namesakes: Physicist and inventor Seamus Blackley, actor Seamus Dever, Nobel Laureate poet Seamus Heaney
  • Peak Popularity: Seamus broke into the top 1,000 names in the U.S. in 1995 and reached a peak at 752 in 2007.

Fun Fact: Seamus Finnigan is a character in the Harry Potter series.

Sean

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: The grace of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Shawn, Shaun, Sian, Eoin, Shane
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Sean Connery, musician Sean Combs, wrestler Sean Waltman
  • Peak Popularity: Sean was in the top 50 names for boys from 1966 to 1998.

Fun Fact: Sean is the Irish name for John.

Tiernan

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: Little lord
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tiarnan, Tigernan, Tighearnan
  • Peak Popularity: Tiernan is uncommon in the U.S. but relatively common in Northern Ireland.

Fun Fact: Tiernan was a 12th-century king of Breifne in Ireland.

Trevor

  • Origin: Welsh and Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning: Big village (Welsh), industrious, prudent (Gaelic)
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Trefor, Trev
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Trevor "Busta Rhymes" Smith, comedian Trevor Noah, actor Trevor Howard
  • Peak Popularity: Trevor was in the top 100 names for boys from 1986 to 2003.

Fun Fact: The Trevor dynasty ruled for centuries in northeast Wales.

Wynn

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Fair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Wyn, Wynne
  • Famous Namesakes: Photographer Wynn Bullock
  • Peak Popularity: Wynn is an uncommon name.

Fun Fact: Wynn can be a unisex name.

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