100 Irish Baby Names

Learn the meaning and origins of popular and unique Irish baby names

Irish baby names are popular throughout the world, and it isn't that surprising. While the entire island of Ireland may only have a population of around 6.4 million (according to the 2011 census), up to 70 million people believe they are of Irish descent. While most people in Ireland speak English, there are some areas where Gaelic is the primary language. Many of the Irish names below originate from Gaelic or Celtic names, places, and words. 

Ireland is enchanting and full of culture, history, and ancient legends. It is well-known for its lush, green landscape and traditional symbols, such as the shamrock and the Celtic cross. And, for a small country, Ireland and its people have had a big influence on the world making contributions to art, science, literature, and much more.

So, whether you want to honor your heritage, or you love the charm, beauty, and mystery of the Emerald Isle, take a look at these 100 Irish names to consider for your new little one.

Popular Irish baby names
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin

Popular Irish Baby Names for Girls

Here are some of the most popular and unique Irish baby names for girls along with their meanings, origins, and other interesting information.

Aisling

  • Origin: Irish
  • Pronunciation: ASH-ling or ASH-lin
  • Meaning: Dream or vision
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aislinn, Aislin, Aesling, Ashlyn, Aislyn, Aisleyne, Ashlyn, Ashlynn, Ashley, Ashe, Ash, Ashley
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish actress, writer, and comedian Aisling Bea, Irish actress Aisling Franciosi
  • Peak Popularity: Aisling is a unique name in the United States. However, it is popular in Ireland where it's been in the top 100 for many years.

Fun Fact: Aisling O’Connor is one of the main characters in the book, Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy.

Alana 

  • Origin: Irish, German, Hawaiian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Beauty, serenity, offering, or little rock
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alanna, Alannah, Alaina, Alaine, Alayna, Alyn, Allyn, Elaine, Alani
  • Famous Namesakes: Dancer Alana Patience, surfer Alana Blanchard
  • Peak Popularity: Alana was the most popular in the United States when it reached 143 in 2007, and it was number 200 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The star of the TLC reality show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" Honey Boo Boo's full name is Alana Thompson.

Aoife

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Pronunciation: EE-fa
  • Meaning: Beauty or radiance
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aoibhe, Aioffe, Aoif, Aife, Aeife, Eefa, Efah, Eva, Ava
  • Famous Namesakes: Olympic Irish bobsledder Aoife Hoey, singer Aoife O’Donovan
  • Peak Popularity: Aoife is not common in the U.S. and is not in the top 1,000. However, it's trendy in Ireland showing up at number 17 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Aoife was a great warrior princess and heroine in Irish mythology.

Arlene

  • Origin: Irish, Celtic
  • Meaning: Devotion, pledge, or promise
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Arleen, Arline, Arleyne, Arleine, Arlen, Arlena, Arlyn 
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Arlene Dahl, animator Arlene Klasky
  • Peak Popularity: Arlene has been a top 1,000 name for over 100 years. Its best year was 1934 when it reached a rank of 53. It has declined in recent years falling out of the top 1,000 in 2006.

Fun Fact: Arlene is a female cat who appears in the Garfield comics created by Jim Davis.

Brenda

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Nordic, Scottish, English
  • Meaning: Torch, flame, or glowing sword
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Brienda, Brendah, Brenna, Brennan, Bren, Brynn
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Brenda Blethyn, singer Brenda Lee
  • Peak Popularity: Brenda became a top 1,000 name in 1925 and shot up the charts. It was a top 100 name by 1939 and remained in the top 100 until 1978. It has seen a downward trend over the last 20 years and was on the verge of dropping off the top 1,000 list as of 2017.

Fun Fact: Brenda Walsh is one of the main characters in the ’90s hit teen TV drama "Beverly Hills, 90210."

Brianna

  • Origin: Irish, Celtic, English
  • Meaning: From the high hill, noble and strong
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Briana, Breanna, Bryanna, Bryanne, Breanne, Brianne, Breena, Brielle, Brea, Bree
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Brianna Hildebrand, actress Brianna Reed
  • Peak Popularity: Brianna hit the top 1,000 in 1976 and the top 100 in 1988. It was most popular in 1999 with a rank of 14, and it was 132 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Brianna Keilar is a journalist who anchors the cable news program CNN Right Now.

Bridget

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Of high status, strong, powerful, and virtuous
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bridgett, Bridgette, Brigit, Brigid, Brighid
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Bridget Fonda, gymnast Bridget Sloan
  • Peak Popularity: Bridget has been a top 1,000 name for over a century. It was number 531 in 1900 and number 718 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Bridget Jones is the subject of Helen Fielding’s comedy novel Bridget Jones’s Diary and other funny books and movies based on the character. 

Caitlin

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, French, Greek
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Caitlyn, Kaitlin, Kaitlyn, Catelyn, Katelyn, Cailin, Cait, Cate, Kate
  • Famous Namesakes: Musician Caitlin Crosby, actress Caitlin Thompson
  • Peak Popularity: Caitlin was a top 100 name in the U.S. from 1985 until 2002. Its highest rank was 44 in 1988.

Fun Fact: Caitlin Sanchez is one of the voice actors behind Dora, the young, adventurous lead character on Nickelodeon’s animated children series "Dora the Explorer."

Caoimhe

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, Celtic
  • Pronunciation: KEE-va or KWEE-va
  • Meaning: Charming, dear, and beautiful 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Keeva, Kivah, Keevah, Keva, Kiva
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish human rights activist Caoimhe Butterfly
  • Peak Popularity: Caoimhe is not common in the United States, but it is popular in Ireland where it was number 17 in 2019.

Fun Fact: Caoimhe is a traditional Irish girl's name and the feminine form of Caoimhín or Kevin. 

Cara

  • Origin: Irish, Latin, Italian, Greece, and others
  • Meaning: Friend or beloved
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kara, Carra, Karra, Carah, Karah, Cari, Kari
  • Famous Namesakes: Novelist Cara Lockwood, actress Cara Seymour, model Cara Delevingne
  • Peak Popularity: Cara has been a consistent top 1,000 name in the U.S. since 1953. Its highest rank was 184 in 1985. But, its popularity has been declining, and it has ranked in the 800s since 2016.

Fun Fact: Irene Cara is an actress, singer, and songwriter best known for her role in the 1980 musical drama Fame and her award-winning song “Flashdance… What a Feeling.”

Casey

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, English
  • Meaning: Vigilant, watchful, and brave
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kacie, Kasey, Kaysee, Kaycey, Caysie, Kasie, Kaysie, Cassie
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Casey Burke, actress Casey Wilson
  • Peak Popularity: Casey appeared as a top 1,000 name for girls in 1967. It reached number 80 in 1986 but has been on a steady trend downward since, and was close to falling off the top 1,000 in 2018 when it ranked 916.

Fun Fact: Casey is the name of an Australian research station located just outside the Antarctic Circle in Antarctica.

Cassidy

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Clever or having curly hair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cassidie, Cassidi, Kassidy, Cassadee
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Cassidy Catanzaro, singer Cassadee Pope
  • Peak Popularity: Cassidy is a unisex name, but it is more common for girls. It peaked for boys in 1984 and girls in 1999.

Fun Fact: “Cassidy” is the name of a song by The Grateful Dead.

Colleen

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: A young girl or lass
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Coleen, Collene, Colene, Collyne, Coline
  • Famous Namesakes: Journalist Colleen McEdwards, actress Colleen Camp
  • Peak Popularity: Colleen was a popular name in the United States for over a hundred years. It reached a rank of 92 in 1965 but fell out of the top 1,000 in 2007 and is now less common.

Fun Fact: Colleen is from the word cailín which is Irish for a girl or young woman. It is not a common name in Ireland. Instead, it was common among Irish-Americans immigratns.

Deirdre

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Sorrowful, broken-hearted, fear
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Deirdra, Deirdrah, Deedra
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Deidre Hall, actress Deirdre Lovejoy
  • Peak Popularity: Deirdre was a top 1,000 name in the U.S. from 1944 until 1990. It was most popular in 1961 when it reached number 333.

Fun Fact: In Irish mythology, Deirdre is the tragic heroine of the ancient tale "Deirdre of the Sorrows."

Delaney

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, French, English
  • Meaning: Child of dark defiance
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Delainie, Delanie, Dalaney, Delane
  • Famous Namesakes: Ice hockey player Delaney Collins, singer Delaney Gibson
  • Peak Popularity: Delaney made it into the top 1,000 in 1991. It reached 169 in 2004 and was 248 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Delaney is a brand of hardware products, such as door handles and knobs, available at building supply locations and hardware stores throughout the United States.

Eileen

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, French, German, Latin
  • Meaning: Light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ilene, Aileen, Eilene, Ailene, Eilean, Evelyn, Evelina, Aveline, Helen, Ellen
  • Famous Namesakes: Astronaut Eileen Collins, actress Eileen Davidson
  • Peak Popularity: Eileen has been a top 1,000 name for well over 100 years. It was number 365 in 1900, in the top 200 from 1913 until 1969, and ranked 671 in 2018.

Fun Fact: “Come on Eileen” was a massive hit song for the Dexys Midnight Runners reaching number one in the United States in 1983.

Erin

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Celtic
  • Meaning: Peace or Ireland
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Erinn, Errin, Eryn, Eran, Erun, Eren, Erie
  • Famous Namesakes: Sportscaster Erin Andrews, legal clerk and environmental activist Erin Brockovich
  • Peak Popularity: Erin became popular in the U.S. in the 1950s. It was in the top 100 from 1971 until 2005, reaching number 18 in 1983. Recently, it has ranked in the 400s. In Ireland, Erin was in the top 100 from 2002 to 2017.

Fun Fact: "Erin go Bragh" is the English version of the Irish Gaelic expression "Éirinn go Brách" meaning Ireland forever. 

Finley

  • Origin: Irish, Scottish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Fair, hero, or holy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Finlay, Finnley, Finlea, Finleigh, Fynley, Phynley, Finnlea, Finn
  • Peak Popularity: Finley made it into the top 1,000 in 2005, and has exploded in popularity. It was number 163 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Finley is the name of one of Elvis Presley’s granddaughters.

Fiona

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, English
  • Meaning: Fair or vine
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fionna, Fionah, Fianna, Fiana, Finola,
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Fiona Apple, actress Fiona Fullerton
  • Peak Popularity: Fiona appeared as a top 1,000 name in 1990. It has had a steady rise in popularity reaching a high of 180 in 2017.

Fun Fact: Fiona, voiced by Cameron Diaz, is a princess and main character in the animated film "Shrek" and its sequels. 

Gráinne

  • Origin: Irish, possibly Gaelic
  • Pronunciation: GRON-ya
  • Meaning: Love; possibly grain or crop
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Granya, Graunya, Grawnya, Gronya, Grainia, Grace
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish singer-songwriter Grainne Duffy, Irish swimmer Gráinne Murphy
  • Peak Popularity: Gráinne is a rare name in the United States, and it has not appeared on the top 1,000 list in the last 120 years. In Ireland, it was in the top 100 from 2002 to 2008.

Fun Fact: "The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne" is a famous romantic legend from Irish mythology. 

Kathleen

  • Origin: Irish, Old French, Greek
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cathleen, Kathline, Kathlene, Kathy, Kathie, Kathi, Katie
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Kathleen Turner, producer Kathleen Kennedy
  • Peak Popularity: Kathleen has been extremely popular for well over 100 years. It was number 170 in 1900 and a top 200 name until the year 2000. It broke the top 10 in 1949 when it ranked number 9. It saw a decline in the early 2000s and reached a new low of 892 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The “K” in best-selling author J.K. Rowling’s name stands for Kathleen. It was her grandmother’s name. 

Keira

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Greek
  • Meaning: Dark hair or little dark one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cera, Ciara, Ciarra, Cairah, Keera, Ceara, Kiara, Kira, Kyra
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Keira Knightley
  • Peak Popularity: Keira made it into the top 1,000 in the year 2000. It reached 110 in 2006 and ranked 365 in 2018.

Fun Fact: High above the city of Wollongong in Australia, Mt. Keira lookout in Mt. Keira Summit Park provides beautiful views of the city and the coastline.

Kelly

  • Origin: Irish, Scottish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Bright-headed or intelligent
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kelli, Kelley, Kellie, Kellee, Kelleigh
  • Famous Namesakes: Television host Kelly Ripa, actress Kelly Preston
  • Peak Popularity: Kelly was a top 100 name from 1958 until the year 2000. Its highest rank was 10 in 1977. It fell into the 600s in 2018.

Fun Fact: Kelly Clarkson is a successful singer and songwriter who became a sensation after winning the first "American Idol" competition in 2002.

Kelsey

  • Origin: Irish, Old English, Norse
  • Meaning: Ship victory or fierce island
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kelsie, Kelsi, Kelsy, Kelcie, Kelcy, Kelsee, Kelci, Kellsey, Kelsay
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Kelsey Chow, comedian Kelsey Cook
  • Peak Popularity: Kelsey made it as a top 1,000 name for girls in 1977. It was a top 100 name from 1987 to 2001 and continues to be popular.

Fun Fact: Diamonds were mined from the Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine in Colorado from 1996 until 2001.

Kennedy

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Helmet-headed, fierce
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kenedy, Kennedi, Kennedie, Kennidy, Kennedee, Kennadi, Kennady
  • Famous Namesakes: Former MTV VJ Lisa Kennedy Montgomery
  • Peak Popularity: Kennedy is a name for both genders, although it’s used more often for girls. A top 100 name for girls since 2011, it reached a peak rank of 58 in 2017.

Fun Fact: The Kennedy family is one of the most prominent political families in U.S. history.

Kerry 

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: The people of Cair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kerri, Keri, Kerrie, Kerrey, Kery, Keree, Kerie
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Kerry Washington, actress Kerry Ellis
  • Peak Popularity: Kerry was on the top 1,000 list for girls from 1943 until 1997. It reached its highest rank of 145 in 1971. It is no longer as common.

Fun Fact: County Kerry in southwest Ireland is home to mountains, lakes, coastlines, and Killarney National Park.

Maeve

  • Origin: Irish, Celtic, Greek, Latin
  • Pronunciation: MAYV
  • Meaning: Intoxicating
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maive, Maev, Meave, Maebh, Maiv
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish novelist Maeve Binchy, actress Maeve Kinkead
  • Peak Popularity: A traditional Irish name, Maeve has been a top 1,000 name in the U.S. since 1997. It has seen a steady rise in popularity over the last 20 years and reached 334 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Maeve Ryan was a central character in "Ryan’s Hope," an American soap opera about an Irish-American family living in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan that ran from 1975 to 1989.

Maureen

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Bitter, of the sea, or wished-for
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maurine, Moreen, Máirin, Maura, Moira, Máire, Mo
  • Famous Namesakes: American-Irish actress Maureen O’Sullivan, singer Maureen McGovern
  • Peak Popularity: Maureen has been common in the United States for over a century. It was a top 200 name from 1933 through 1971. After that, use of the name has dwindled, and it is seen much less today.

Fun Fact: Actress Maureen McCormick played Marsha, the pretty and popular oldest Brady daughter, on the hit 1970s TV Show "The Brady Bunch."

Molly

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Bitter, of the sea, or wished-for
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mollie, Molli, Mallie, Molley, Mahley, Maille
  • Famous Namesakes: Comedian and actress Molly Shannon, actress Molly Ringwald
  • Peak Popularity: Molly is a traditional name that has been around for centuries. It was number 407 in 1900 and has mostly been in the top 100 from 1987 to 2013. In 2018, it was 158. Molly is also popular in Ireland where it has been in the top 100 since 2002. In 2019, it reached a new high of 18.

Fun Fact: The legend of Molly Pitcher is based on real women who brought pitchers of water to soldiers during the revolutionary war. When the men fell, they picked up their weapons and fought in their place.

Mona

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, Italian Greek, and others
  • Meaning: Noble or aristocratic
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Monah, Monna, Monca, Monya, Monica
  • Famous Namesakes: Television host and former Miss Universe Mona Grudt, actress Mona Marshall
  • Peak Popularity: Mona is a classic name. It was number 399 in 1900 and on the top 1,000 list until 1986.

Fun Fact: Leonardo da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa" is one of the most famous paintings in the world.

Muriel

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Celtic, Latin
  • Meaning: Of the bright sea
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Murial, Mureal, Muireal, Muriol, Merial, Muirgheal, Meryl
  • Famous Namesakes: Designer Muriel Brandolini, actress Muriel Evans
  • Peak Popularity: Muriel is an old name. It was number 200 in 1900 and consistently ranked as a top 1,000 name until 1965. It is now uncommon.

Fun Fact: Muriel Heslop is the main character in "Muriel’s Wedding," a 1994 Australian comedy about friendship and adventure.

Niamh

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Pronunciation: NEEV
  • Meaning: Radiant and bright
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Niambh, Niam, Neve, Neave, Nieve
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish rugby player Niamh Briggs, Irish author Niamh O’Connor
  • Peak Popularity: Niamh is not a well-known name in the United States, but a familiar one in Ireland. It ranked 54 in Ireland in 2019 and peaked at 8 in 2002.

Fun Fact: Niamh of the golden hair is a mythological Irish goddess from Tír na nÓg, the Celtic Otherworld and the land of eternal youth and beauty.

Nora

  • Origin: Irish, German, Italian, Spanish, English, and others
  • Meaning: Honor
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Norah, Norra, Norreh, Noreen, Norene, Norine, Honora
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Nora Roberts, actress Nora Dunn
  • Peak Popularity: Nora is a classic name that has been popular in the U.S. for over a century. It was number 83 in 1900 and had a high at number 28 in 2017.

Fun Fact: Renowned chef Nora Pouillon opened Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C., the first certified organic restaurant in the United States.

Órla

  • Origin: Irish, Celtic, Danish
  • Meaning: Golden princess
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Orlah, Orrla, Orlagh, Orlaith
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish actress Orla Brady, Irish singer Órla Fallon
  • Peak Popularity: Orla is a rare name in the U.S. that does not appear on the top 1,000 list for the last 120 years. However, it is well-known in Ireland.

Fun Fact: Órlaith was the sister of the 10th-century ancient Irish King Brian Bórumha mac Cennétig or Brian Boru.

Quinn

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Wisdom, intelligence, or counsel; descendent of Conn
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Quin, Quynn, Qwinn, Quinne, Qwinne, Quiyn
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Quinn Shephard
  • Peak Popularity: Quinn is a gender-neutral name that is more commonly given to girls. It hit the top 1,000 list of girl names in the U.S. in 1979 and has been in the top 100 since 2015.

Fun Fact: Tarquin “Quinn” Blackwood is a character in The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. The series begins with the 1976 classic novel Interview with the Vampire.

Reagan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Little ruler, the king's child
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rheagan, Regan, Ragan, Raegan, Raygan, Reghan, Raghan, Reaghan, Raeghan, Reganne, Reaganne, Rheagan
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Reagan Gomez-Preston, actress Reagan Dale Neis
  • Peak Popularity: Reagan is very popular for girls. It reached a high at number 97 in the U.S. 2016.

Fun Fact: Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States of America.

Riley

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Courageous, valiant, or from the rye field
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rylie, Reilly, Reilley, Rylee, Rilee, Rileigh, Ryleigh, Ryley
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Riley Keough, singer Riley Biederer
  • Peak Popularity: Riley is a unisex name. It has been a top 1,000 name for boys in the U.S. for over 100 years and made it into the top 100 for boys for one year in 2002. Riley has been a top 100 name for girls since 2002 and reached its high at number 22 in 2016.

Fun Fact: Disney Pixar’s film "Inside Out" takes place inside the head of Riley Andersen.

Róisín

  • Origin: Irish
  • Pronunciation: ROW-sheen or ROSH-sheen
  • Meaning: Little rose
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Roisin, Rose, Rosie, Rosaleen, Rosheen
  • Famous Namesakes: Athlete Roisin McGettigan, comedian Roisin Conaty
  • Peak Popularity: Roisin is an unusual name in the United States. But, it's popular in Ireland and was in the top 100 in 2017.

Fun Fact: The LÉ Róisín P51 is an Irish Navy military ship and offshore patrol vessel.

Shannon

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Wise, or old river
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sionainn, Shannen, Shannan, Shannun, Shannin, Shanon, Shannyn, Siannon
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Shannon Woodward, author Shannon Hale
  • Peak Popularity: Shannon was a top 100 name for girls from 1968 to 1998. It reached its highest rank of 17 in 1976. After a decline, it is no longer in the top 1,000.

Fun Fact: The River Shannon is Ireland’s longest river.

Shauna

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, English
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Shawna, Seana, Shanna, Shona
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Shauna Cross, producer Shauna Robertson
  • Peak Popularity: Shauna was popular from 1949 through 1999, but has not made the top 1,000 list since the year 2000.

Fun Fact: As part of the U.S. Olympic team, Shauna Rohbock and her teammate Valerie Fleming won the silver medal in the two-woman bobsled event at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino.

Shay

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Admired, respected, or stately; hawk
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Shai, Shea, Shae, Shaye, Shey, Shayla
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Shay Mitchell, actress and singer Shay Astar
  • Peak Popularity: Shay is not very common. It reached its highest position for girls in 1971 with a rank of 893. It is far more popular in Ireland where it is often in the top 100.

Fun Fact: In ancient Egypt, Shai (Shay) was the god of fate and destiny.

Sheila

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Latin
  • Meaning: Heavenly
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sheilah, Sheela, Sheala, Shelagh, Sheelagh, Síle
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer and percussionist Sheila E., actress Sheila Kelley
  • Peak Popularity: Sheila was a top 100 name in the U.S. from 1945 to 1973 reaching number 50 in 1963 and 1965. It began to fall out of favor in the 1990s and dropped out of the top 1,000 in 2008.

Fun Fact: Sheila Scott was a record-setting long distance female pilot, and the first British aviator to fly solo around the world.

Sheridan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Seeker or searcher; wild
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sirideán, Sheradan, Sheridyn, Sherydan, Sherrie, Sherry
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Sheridan Smith, actress Sheridan Pierce
  • Peak Popularity: Sheridan made the top 1,000 list five times between 1996 and 2002. Its best year was 2001 when it reached 777.

Fun Fact: Mount Sheridan rises to an elevation of 10,313 feet above Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Sinéad

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic; Hebrew
  • Pronunciation: Shin-AID
  • Meaning: God's gracious gift; God forgives
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sinead, Shinade, Shinaid, Jean, Jeanette
  • Famous Namesakes: Scottish ice dancer Sinead Kerr, singer Sinead Harnett
  • Peak Popularity: Sinéad is a rare name in the United States, but it is more common in Ireland.

Fun Fact: Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor rose to stardom in the 1990s with the song “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Siobhan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish
  • Pronunciation: Shiv-AWN
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Shevon, Shevonne, Shavonne, Chevon, Chevonne
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Siobhan Fallon Hogan, actress Siobhan Finneran
  • Peak Popularity: Siobhan made the top 1,000 list in the U.S. from 1979 to 1988. It was most popular in 1979 with a rank of 628.

Fun Fact: Siobhan Fahey was an original member of the British music group Bananarama known for their hit songs “Cruel Summer,” “I Heard a Rumour,” and “Venus.”

Sláine

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Health
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Slaine, Slain, Slayne, Slaene
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish actress Slaine Kelly
  • Peak Popularity: Slaine is a unique name and not in the top 1,000.

Fun Fact: Sláine was the daughter of Brian Bórumha mac Cennétig or Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland in the 10th century.

Sloane

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Celtic
  • Meaning: A warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sloan, Slone, Slonne, Sloanne
  • Famous Namesakes: Tennis player Sloane Stephens, actress Sloane Avery
  • Peak Popularity: Sloane is a top 1,000 name for girls since 2009, and its popularity is growing each year, with a new high at 181 in 2018.

Sloane Peterson is the girlfriend of Ferris Bueller who gets lured out of school for an adventure in the 1986 film "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off."

Tara

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, English, Indian (from Sanskrit), Persian
  • Meaning: A high place or from the hill; a star
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tarra, Tarah, Tarin, Taryn
  • Famous Namesakes: Olympic figure skater Tara Lipinski, actress Tara Reid
  • Peak Popularity: Tara is a popular name in the United States. It was a top 100 name from 1970 to 1991 reaching number 35 in 1977. It has seen a decline over the last decade and fell out of the top 1,000 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Tara is the plantation and home of Scarlett O’Hara in the novel and movie "Gone With the Wind."

Teagan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: A poet
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tegan, Teaghan, Teegan, Teigen, Teagen, Teague
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Teagan Presley, actress and bodybuilder Teagan Clive
  • Peak Popularity: Teagan showed up in the top 1,000 in 1999. It has shot up in popularity over the last 20 years making it to a high at number 150 in 2016.

Fun Fact: Teagan comes from Tadhg (pronounced "Tayg") meaning poet. Tadhg or Tadg is an ancient name of many Gaelic Irish kings from centuries ago.

Úna

  • Origin: Irish, Celtic, Gaelic, Scottish, English, Scandinavian, Latin
  • Meaning: One, only; lamb
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Una, Oona, Ona, Oonagh
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Una Merkel, Irish singer Una Healy
  • Peak Popularity: Una is an old name. It was number 397 in 1900 and a top 1,000 name in the U.S. before 1942 when it fell off the list.

Fun Fact: Una is a character in English poet Edmund Spenser’s epic masterpiece, The Faerie Queene.

Popular Irish Baby Names for Boys

Here are some popular and unique Irish baby names for boys along with their meanings, origins, and other interesting information.

Aidan

  • Origin: Irish, Scottish, Gaelic, Celtic
  • Meaning: Fiery
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aiden, Aedan, Aden, Ayden, Adyn, Aydan
  • Famous Namesakes: American-Irish actor Aidan Quinn, actor Irish actor Aidan Gillen
  • Peak Popularity: Aidan is gender-neutral, but it’s given much more often to boys. It peaked in the U.S. at number 39 for boys in 2003. It is a top 100 name in Ireland.

Fun Fact: St. Aidan’s Cathedral is the central church for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferns in Ireland.

Alan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, Old German, French, English
  • Meaning: Little rock
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Allan, Ailin, Alen, Allen, Alon, Alin, Alun, Al
  • Famous Namesakes: Composer Alan Menken, astronaut Alan Shepard
  • Peak Popularity: Alan is a centuries-old name. It was number 430 in the U.S. in1900 and a top 100 name from 1938 to 1972. In recent years it remains in the top 200, ranking 172 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Actor Alan Rickman brought many incredible characters to life including Alexander Dane in "Galaxy Quest," Hans Gruber in "Die Hard," and Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" film series. 

Barry

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: A sharp spear; fair-headed 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Báire, Baire, Barrie, Barie, Baire, Bairre
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Barry Manilow, singer Barry White
  • Peak Popularity: Barry was a top 100 name from 1941 through 1970 reaching a high rank of 61 in 1962. It began to drop its position in the 1990s and eventually fell off the top 1,000 list in 2005.

Fun Fact: The comic book character Barry Allen is an incredibly fast superhero better known as The Flash.

Braden

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, English
  • Meaning: Salmon; broad valley or hillside; descendant of Bradán
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bradán, Brayden, Braydan, Braeden, Braydon, Breydon, Braidon, Brady
  • Famous Namesakes: Hockey player Braden Holtby, producer Braden Barty
  • Peak Popularity: Braden gained popularity in the United States in the 1970s and slowly rose through the ranks. Its best year was 2005 when it reached 133.

Fun Fact: Braden is the name of a small town in Tennessee and a river in Florida.

Brendan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Welsh
  • Meaning: Prince or king
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Brenden, Brendon, Breandán, Brandon, Brennan, Brennen
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Brendan Fraser, Irish singer Brendan Murray
  • Peak Popularity: Brendan first appeared in the top 1,000 in 1936. It was most popular in 1999 with a rank of 96. It has dropped to the 500s in recent years, ranking 564 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Brendan Hansen is a champion U.S. swimmer who held world records in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke categories. He also won six Olympic medals, two of which were gold for men’s team 4 X 100-meter relay. 

Brian

  • Origin: Irish, Celtic, English
  • Meaning: High, noble, strong
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bryan, Brien, Brion, Bryen, Bryon, Briant, Bryant
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Brian Austin Green, journalist Brian Williams
  • Peak Popularity: Brian is a common name for boys. It was in the top 100 from 1947 to 2010 and spent 13 years in the top 10. As of 2018, it ranked in the 200s.

Fun Fact: Brian Boru was a strong military leader and the last great High King of Ireland who ruled from 1002 to 1014.

Brody

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, Jewish
  • Meaning: Second son; a ditch
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Brodie, Brodhie, Brodee, Brodey, Brady, Braide
  • Famous Namesakes: Comedian Brody Stephens, reality television personality Brody Jenner
  • Peak Popularity: Brody has been a top 1,000 name since 1976 and was in the top 100 from 2008 to 2015.

Fun Fact: The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University focuses on primary care to prepare its graduates for a career in family medicine.

Caden

  • Origin: Irish, Scottish, Gaelic, Celtic, Arabic, English, and others
  • Meaning: Battle or warrior; companion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cadan, Kaden, Cayden, Kayden, Caeden, Kaeden, Cadin, Kadin, Cathan, Callan, Cailean 
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Caden Conrique, Football player Caden Sterns
  • Peak Popularity: Caden made the top 1,000 in 1992 and was in the top 100 from 2005 to 2010. More recently, it has ranked in the 200s and was number 237 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Caden is a commune or small town in the region of Brittany in the northwest part of France.

Cody

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, English
  • Meaning: Helpful or cushion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Codey, Codie, Codee, Coty, Kody, Kodie, Kodi, Koty
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Cody Simpson, actor Cody Walker
  • Peak Popularity: Cody has been in the top 1,000 since 1951. It was most popular in 1991 when it ranked 24 until 1994.

Fun Fact: Cody Lake is one of the 888 lakes, reservoirs, and ponds that lie within Eldorado National Forest in California.

Colin

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, French, English
  • Meaning: Young, victorious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Collin, Cullen Cuilén, Cailean
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Colin Firth, Irish actor Colin Farrell
  • Peak Popularity: In the U.S., Colin held the rank of 874 in 1904 and was a top 200 name from 1982 to 2016.

Fun Fact: Colin Powell was the U.S. Secretary of State who served from 2001 to 2005 as part of President George W. Bush's administration.

Conan

  • Origin: Irish, Celtic, English
  • Meaning: High, wise; Little wolf
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Konan, Conen, Konen, Coenan
  • Famous Namesakes: Host Conan O’Brien, writer Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Peak Popularity: Conan is an unusual name and has not made the top 1,000 list in the last 120 years.

Fun Fact: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known as the creator of the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Conor

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: One who loves wolves
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Connor, Conner, Konnor, Konner, Konor
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish singer Conor Deasy, race car driver Conor Daly
  • Peak Popularity: Conor has been in the top 1,000 since 1977, with a U.S. high at 308 in 2017, when it ranked fourth in Ireland. The variant Connor is more popular in the U.S. and was at number 57 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Conor McGregor is an Irish former professional fighter and mixed martial artist who has won two Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) titles.

Cormac

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Son of raven; charioteer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cormack, Cormick Kormac, Kormack, Mac
  • Famous Namesakes: Writer Cormac McCarthy, Father Cormac Antram
  • Peak Popularity: Cormac is a unique name in the United States, but it is usually in the top 100 in Ireland.

Fun Fact: Cormac McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men was made into a movie that won many awards including an Oscar for Best Picture.

Cory

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, English
  • Meaning: From the round hill; ravine
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Corie, Corey, Cori, Kori, Korey, Korie
  • Famous Namesakes: Politician Cory Booker, actor Cory Monteith
  • Peak Popularity: Cory hit the top 1,000 in the U.S. in the 1950s and quickly rose through the ranks. It made the top 100 in 1975 and reached number 59 in 1988. It started to see a decline in the 2000s and had dropped to 904 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Cory Matthews is a fictional character from the 1990s sitcom "Boy Meets World" who returns to TV almost 20 years later as the father a young girl in "Girl Meets World."

Craig

  • Origin: Irish, Scottish, Welsh
  • Meaning: Rock or near the rocks
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Craeg, Craige, Kraig, Kraeg, Crayg, Cregg, Kregg
  • Famous Namesakes: Television Host Craig Ferguson, Comedian and television host Craig Kilborn
  • Peak Popularity: Craig has been on the top 1,000 list for over a century. It was number 902 in 1900 but held a position in the top 100 from 1947 to 1989. It fell out of the top 1,000 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Craig T. Nelson is the voice of Mr. Incredible, a powerful superhero and part of a family of "supers” in the Disney animated films "The Incredibles" and "Incredibles 2." 

Darren

  • Origin: Irish, English, Welsh
  • Meaning: Great; oak tree
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Darrin, Darryn, Darin, Daren, Daryn, Darien, Dáire, Darragh
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Darren Criss, former football player Darren McFadden
  • Peak Popularity: Darren appeared on the top 1,000 list in 1952. It was most popular in the 1960s reaching number 52 in 1965.

Fun Fact: Darren Clarke is a professional golf player from Northern Ireland who won a major championship at the 2011 Open.

Declán

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Prayerful; full of goodness
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Declan, Declen, Declain, Deaglán
  • Famous Namesakes: Former President of the High Court and Attorney General of Ireland Declan Costello, Irish writer Declan Hughes
  • Peak Popularity: Declan has been in the top 1,000 since 1998. It has risen quickly and reached number 101 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Declan Patrick McManus is the birth name of British singer and songwriter Elvis Costello.

Dermot

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Celtic
  • Meaning: Free of envy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Dermott, Dermut, Dermod, Dairmit, Darmait, Dairmut, Diarmait
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Dermot Mulroney, host Dermot O’Leary
  • Peak Popularity: Dermot is not common in the U.S. and has not been listed as a top 1,000 name in the last 120 years.

Fun Fact: Dermot Macmurrough also known as Diarmait MacMurchada was the Irish King of Leinster from 1126 until his death in 1171.

Desmond

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Celtic, English
  • Meaning: From South Munster
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Desmund, Desmun, Desmon, Dezmond
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Desmond Harrington, former football player Desmond Howard
  • Peak Popularity: Desmond first appeared on the top 1000 list in the U.S. in 1904, but was not a consistent top 1,000 name until 1959. Its highest rank was 264 in 1992.

Fun Fact: Deasmhumhain (pronounced Desmond) was the name of the ancient Irish kingdom that occupied the area now known as South Munster.

Devon

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Celtic
  • Meaning: Poet or defender
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Devyn, Devan, Deven, Devin
  • Famous Namesakes: Professional Wrestler Devon Storm ("Crowbar"), Olympic cross-country skier Devon Kershaw
  • Peak Popularity: Devon is a unisex name, but it is given to boys much more often. Its best year for boys was 1994 when it reached number 117.

Fun Fact: Devon (also known as Devonshire) is the name of a county in the southwest part of England. 

Dillon

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Welsh, French
  • Meaning: Unknown; possibly descendant of the blind one, born from the sea, or like a lion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Dylan, Dillan, Dillun, Dillyn, Dillen, Delion
  • Famous Namesakes: Former baseball pitcher Dillon Gee, actor Dillon Casey
  • Peak Popularity: Dillon made the top 1,000 list in 1979. It held its highest rank of 73 in 1992 and in recent years ranked in the 500s, inching closer to 600 as of 2018.

Fun Fact: Dillon is a city in South Carolina and home to South of the Border, a rest stop and tourist attraction on Interstate 95 just south of the North Carolina border.

Donovan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Dark warrior or princeling
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Donavan, Donavon, Donovon, Donovin, Donovyn, Don
  • Famous Namesakes: Former football player Donovan McNabb, actor Donovan Patton
  • Peak Popularity: Donovan has been in the top 1,000 for over a hundred years. Its most popular year was 2003 at 176.

Fun Fact: Singer-songwriter Donovan is well-known for his hit singles “Sunshine Superman” and “Mellow Yellow.”

Elroy

  • Origin: Irish, English, French
  • Meaning: The king or a young person with red hair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elroye, Kilroy, Ilroy, Leroy, Gilroy, Elry, Roy
  • Famous Namesakes: Football player Elroy Hirsch, television writer Elroy Schwartz
  • Peak Popularity: Elroy was most popular during the first half of the 20th century. Its best year was 1922 with a rank of 438. It dropped off the top 1,000 list in 1970 and is now uncommon.

Fun Fact: Elroy Jetson is the fictional son of George and Jane on the futuristic animated cartoon series, "The Jetsons," that ran in the 1960s and 1980s.

Eóghan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish
  • Pronunciation: OH-in
  • Meaning: Born into nobility; born into youth
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eógan, Owen, Owain, Eoghain, Eian, Eion, Ian, Ewan, Euan
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish singer and soccer player Eoghan Quigg, Irish former rugby player Eoghan Hickey
  • Peak Popularity: Eoghan is rare in the United States, but it’s common in Ireland where it was in the top 100 from 2002 to 2018.

Fun Fact: Eoghan was one of the sons of High King Niall of the Nine Hostages and an Irish ruler whose territory was called Tír Eoghain or Tyrone meaning the “Land of Eoghan.”

Evan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Welsh
  • Meaning: God is gracious; youth or young warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Evyn, Evin, Evane
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Evan Peters, baseball player Evan Longoria
  • Peak Popularity: Evan has been a top 100 name for boys since 1983 reaching number 35 in 2009.

Fun Fact: Evan Hansen is the main character in the Broadway show “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Fergus

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish
  • Meaning: Strong or manly; virility
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Feargus, Fergal, Fearghus, Fearghas, Ferguson, Ferris, Fergie
  • Famous Namesakes: St. Fergus, Fergus the Great
  • Peak Popularity: Fergus is not a common name in the U.S. and does not appear in the top 1,000.

Fun Fact: King Fergus and Queen Elinor are the parents of Princess Merida and her three triplet brothers in the animated movie "Brave."

Finn

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, English, Old Norse
  • Meaning: Fair or having light skin and hair; small blond soldier; wanderer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Finley, Finian, Finbar, Finnegan, Finneas, Phineas, Fionn
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Finn Wolfhard, actor Finn Jones
  • Peak Popularity: Finn made it into the top 1,000 in the year 2000 and was number 166 in 2018. It is also a popular name in Ireland where it held the number 23 spot in 2017.

Fun Fact: Huckleberry "Huck" Finn is a fictional character in Mark Twain’s classic stories, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Flynn

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Descendant of Flann (reddish or ruddy complexion)
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Flinn, Flyn, Flyne, Flann, Floinn
  • Famous Namesakes: Basketball player Flynn Robinson, actor Flynn Morrison
  • Peak Popularity: Flynn has been a top 1,000 name in the U.S. since 2011 and was number 778 in 2018. 

Fun Fact: Flynn Rider is the charming thief who teams up with Rapunzel in the animated Disney film "Tangled."

Garrett

  • Origin: Irish, English, Old French, Germanic
  • Meaning: Rules by the spear; brave or strong
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Garett, Garret, Garratt, Garritt, Garitt
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Garrett Clayton, Olympic bobsledder Garrett Hines
  • Peak Popularity: Garrett has been in the top 1,000 for over a century. It was number 419 in 1900 and number 328 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Garrett Fort is best known for his work as a screenwriter on such horror films as "Dracula" and "Frankenstein."

Glenn

  • Origin: Irish, Scottish, Gaelic, Celtic
  • Meaning: From the small valley
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Glen, Gleann, Glynn, Glinn
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Glenn Frey, musician Glenn Miller
  • Peak Popularity: Glenn is a traditional name for boys. It was popular in the U.S. in 1900 with a rank of 118. It was a top 200 name until 1978. After that, it slowly faded in use and dropped out of the top 1,000 in 2009.

Fun Fact: Named to honor the life of astronaut John H. Glenn, the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio works on research and development for NASA missions. 

Grady

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Noble
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gradie, Gradey, Graydie, Graidy, Gradáigh, Graden
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Grady Sutton, musician Grady Tate
  • Peak Popularity: Grady has been popular in the U.S. for over 100 years. It was number 224 in 1900 and number 412 in 2018.

Fun Fact: Grady-White is an American company that has been designing and building boats since 1959.

Keegan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Son or descendant of Egan or "Aodhagán" (fire or fiery)
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kegan, Keigan, Keagan, Keegen, Keeghan
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Keegan-Michael Key, actor Keegan Allen
  • Peak Popularity: Keegan hit the top 1,000 list for boy names in 1979 and peaked in 2007 at 222.

Fun Fact: Keegan is an English translation and modification of the Irish clan name Mac Aodhagáin.

Keelan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Slender one or small
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Keylan, Kielan, Kelan, Kealan, Keelin, Kellan
  • Famous Namesakes: Football player Keelan Cole, pro skateboarder Keelan Dadd
  • Peak Popularity: Keelan is a traditional last name that is now given as a first name. It is unique in both the U.S. and in Ireland and does not show up on the top 1,000 list of names during the previous 120 years.

Fun Fact: The family name of Keelan originates from the county of Devon in England.

Kieran

  • Origin: Scottish, Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Having dark hair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kieren, Kieron, Kiren, Keiran, Kierin, Kyran
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Kieran Culkin, singer Kieran Ackerman
  • Peak Popularity: Kieran has grown in popularity since 1992. Its most successful year was 2011 with a rank of 474.

Fun Fact: In Indian culture, the similar name of Kiran means ray of light in Sanskrit.

Kevin

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Celtic, Latin
  • Meaning: Gentle, kind, or handsome; of noble birth
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kevan, Kevyn, Caoimhín, Cavan, Kefin
  • Famous Namesakes: Comedian Kevin Hart, actor Kevin Costner, singer Kevin Jonas
  • Peak Popularity: Kevin is a leading name for boys. It was in the top 100 from 1949 to 2016, and its highest rank was 11 in 1963. In Ireland, it has been in the top 100 from 2002 to 2018.

Fun Fact: Kevin McCallister is the young boy left behind by his family who fights off burglars in the 1990 Christmastime comedy "Home Alone."

Killian

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Pronunciation: KIL-ee-an
  • Meaning: Little church or bright-headed
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Killien, Cillian, Cillion, Killion, Kilian, Kylian, Killeen
  • Famous Namesakes: Ski jumper Killian Peier, Irish singer Killian Donnelly
  • Peak Popularity: Killian made the top 1,000 in 1995 and it had a high at 247 in 2017.

Fun Fact: George Killian’s Irish Red is an amber-colored, full-bodied lager beer that originates from Ireland and is brewed by Coors Brewing Company in Golden, Colorado.

Lennon

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Descendant of black bird, dear one, child of love, or a small cloak or cape
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lennan, Lennin, Lennen, Lenin, Lenon, Leannán
  • Famous Namesakes: Model Lennon Gallagher
  • Peak Popularity: Lennon is another last name that is now also given as a first name. It has been a top 1,000 name for boys and girls since 2013 and continues to gain in popularity.

Fun Fact: John Lennon is one of the co-founders of the English rock band The Beatles.

Liam

  • Origin: Irish, Germanic
  • Meaning: The strong protector; guardian
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lyam, Leeam, Uilliam, William, Will, Bill
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Liam Neeson, actor Liam Hemsworth
  • Peak Popularity: Liam is very trendy. In the U.S., it made the top 10 in 2012 reaching number 1 in 2017 and 2018. It is also a popular name in Ireland where it was number 15 in 2017.

Fun Fact: Singer-songwriter Liam Payne gained popularity as a member of the boy band, One Direction.

Neil 

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Cloud; passionate or champion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Niall, Neill, Neal, Neale, Neel, Kneil, Nigel
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Neil Patrick Harris, singer-songwriter Neil Young
  • Peak Popularity: Neil is a traditional name that has been around for a very long time, with steady popularity in the top 200 in the U.S. from 1928 to 1983. It ranked in the 600s as of 2018.

Fun Fact: American astronaut Neil Armstrong made history as the first man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Nolan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Descendant of the famous or noble one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nolen, Nolin, Nolun, Nolyn
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Nolan Gould, baseball player Nolan Arenado
  • Peak Popularity: Nolan has been in the top 1,000 for over 100 years. In 1900, it was number 623. It began to see an increase in popularity in the 1980s and broke into the top 100 in 2011. In 2018, it was number 64.

Fun Fact: Nolan Ryan is a former professional baseball player, record-setting pitcher, and a two-time National League MVP who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

Orrin

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Green or otter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Orin, Oran, Oren, Odran, Odhran, Orahn, Aran, Ahran
  • Famous Namesakes: Former U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch
  • Peak Popularity: Orrin is an old name, but it isn’t common. It was number 836 in 1900 and 938 in 1961. It has not returned to the top 1,000 since then.

Fun Fact: Orrin Bach is a recurring character played by Glenn Fleshler on the Showtime drama series "Billions."

Pádraig

  • Origin: Irish and Gaelic, from Latin
  • Pronunciation: PAW-drig or PAWD-rick
  • Meaning: Of noble birth or the patrician class
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Patrick, Phádraig, Pádraic, Pádric, Pádraigh, Pátraic, Patrik, Paddy, Patty
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish pro golfer Pádraig Harrington, actor Liam Pádraig Aiken
  • Peak Popularity: Pádraig is an unusual name in the United States. The English translation, Patrick, is much more common.

Fun Fact: St. Pádraig, also known as St. Patrick, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is given credit for bringing Christianity to the country.

Rónán

  • Origin: Irish, Celtic
  • Meaning: Little seal
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ronan, Ronin, Ronen, Ronon, Roanan, Roenan, Rownin, Rownan
  • Famous Namesakes: Journalist Ronan Farrow, Irish composer Ronan Hardiman
  • Peak Popularity: Ronan made the top 1,000 in 2001 and was number 294 in 2018. In Ireland, Ronan has been in the top 100 from 2002 to 2019. 

Fun Fact: “Ronan” is a song by Taylor Swift inspired by a mom’s blog detailing her young son’s battle with cancer.

Rory

  • Origin: Irish, Scottish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Red-haired ruler, chief, or king
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rori, Rorie, Rorrey, Rorey, Roree, Rorry, Rorri, Ruari, Ruairi
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Rory O’Malley, singer-songwriter Rory Lee Feek
  • Peak Popularity: Rory has been in the top 1,000 since 1947. It was most common in 1959 when it ranked 280. In 2018, it ranked 368 in the U.S. for boys and 565 for girls. In Ireland, it was in the top 100 in Ireland from 2002 to 2019.

Fun Fact: Rory McIlroy is a professional golf player from Northern Ireland and four-time major championship winner who spent over 100 weeks as the number one ranked golfer in the world.

Rowan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish, English
  • Meaning: Little red one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rowen, Rowann, Rowanne, Rowin, Rowyn, Rowynn, Roan, Roane, Rohan, Ruadh
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Rowan Atkinson
  • Peak Popularity: Rowan is a gender-neutral name that is trending up for both sexes. It hit the top 1,000 chart in the U.S. for boys in 1999 and girls in 2003. In 2018, it ranked 129 for boys and 211 for girls.

Fun Fact: Rowan is a type of ash tree that produces reddish-orange berries. It grows in cooler regions of the northern hemisphere.

Ryan

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: Little ruler; illustrious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rian, Ryen, Rion, Ryon, Rhyan, Rhyon, Riain
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Ryan Gosling, television and radio personality Ryan Seacrest
  • Peak Popularity: Ryan is an extremely popular name for boys. It reached number 11 in 1986, 1990, and 1991. It is also popular in Ireland and has been in the the top 100 from 2002 to 2019.

Fun Fact: "Ryan’s Hope" was an American Soap Opera that appeared on television from 1975 to 1989.

Shawn

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: God is gracious; God is merciful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Sean, Shawne, Shaun, Seanne, Shaunne
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Shawn Wayans, singer Shawn Mendes
  • Peak Popularity: Shawn was a top 100 name for boys from 1964 to 1995. Its best year was 1973 when it reached a rank of 27.

Fun Fact: Shawn Carter is the real name of the rapper and business entrepreneur more commonly known as Jay-Z.

Séamus

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, Scottish
  • Pronunciation: SHAY-mus
  • Meaning: The one that comes after; supplanter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Seumas, Seamas, Sehmus, Sheamus, Shamus, Shaymus
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish soccer player Séamus Coleman, actor Seamus Dever
  • Peak Popularity: Seamus has been a top 1,000 name in the United States since 1995. It was most popular in 2003 with a rank of 733.

Fun Fact: Seamus Finnigan is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and one of Harry Potter’s fellow Gryffindor housemates in the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling.

Shane

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Graced by God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Shayne, Shaine, Shaene, Seaghán
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Shane West, actor Shane Harper
  • Peak Popularity: Shane has been in the top 1,000 since 1953 and was in the top 100 from 1969 to 1995. In 2017, it was number 359 in the U.S. In Ireland, it was in the top 100 from 2002 to 2018.

Fun Fact: Shane McMahon is a sports entertainer and professional wrestler who is also an executive and part-owner of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Troy

  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic, French, Greek
  • Meaning: Foot soldier
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Troye, Troi
  • Famous Namesakes: Former football player Troy Aikman, singer Troy Gentry
  • Peak Popularity: Troy has been a top 1,000 name for well over a century. It was number 244 in 1900, in the top 100 from 1961 to 1979, and number 363 in 2018.

Fun Fact: The legendary ancient city of Troy was the site of the Trojan War in Homer’s epic poem "Iliad."

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Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Central Statistics Office, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Census 2011 Ireland and Northern Ireland. June 2014.

  2. Global Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Heritage.

  3. Óglaigh na hÉireann Irish Defence Forces. LÉ RÓISÍN P51

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