Celtic First Names
Emerald Isles, magical creatures, and lavender moors are all images that come to mind when we think of Celtic culture. Whether it’s the rocky and green hills of Ireland, Welsh dragons, heroes, or Scottish crags, Celtic lore and traditions are deeply rooted in magic, bravery, and tales of battle.
While we often think of the Celts as being from Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales, the Celtic people were initially spread well across Western Europe and even into parts of Western Asia and the Iberian Peninsula.
The Celts were divided into tribes, and within those tribes, individuals filled specific roles, including the clan leader, druids or priests, warriors, agriculture, and metal workers.
The Celts were also inspired deeply by nature and the seasons, and their religious beliefs mirrored the reverence they held for the natural world.
Today most Celtic names are popular in English-speaking countries where the Celts thrived. The original Celts in England were the Britons, the Gales who lived in Ireland, and the Gauls in France.
If you are one of the millions of people descended from the Celts, or you simply enjoy the sound of Gaelic languages. Use this list to find the meaning of your name or to choose the perfect Celtic baby name for your little one!
Popular Celtic Names and Meanings
Celtic names are quite popular in the United States, and for good reasons. Many are timeless, traditional, and have ties to our ancestral roots. But even for those who aren’t Celtic descendants, these adorable names have stood the test of time to become names we’re all familiar with and often found on the top of baby name charts!
Celtic Boy Names and Meanings
- Brian - A name linked to Ireland’s history and the Great Irish King Brian Boru, who ended the Viking rule in Ireland in the 10th century.
- Connor - Irish. Lover of hounds.
- Dylan - Welsh. Great tide or son of the sea.
- Graham. Scottish. Gravelly homestead.
- Owen - Welsh. Noble born or young fighter.
Celtic Girl Names and Meanings
- Brianna - One who is noble or honorable. The feminized form of Brianna.
- Caitlin - This pretty name means purity and has a variety of spellings: Kaitlin, Katelyn, Caetlin, Caitlyn, and more!
- Erin - This name means Child of Ireland. It is derived from the goddess Eire who gave her name to Ireland.
- Keira - Irish. Dark-haired.
- Sabrina - A Celtic name goddess from mythology.
Irish Celtic Names and Meanings
Irish names have a magical and fairytale-like quality to them. They seem to flow and have an air of mischief and tradition surrounding them. Many Irish names still used today stem back thousands of years to the Irish Gaelic language, while others were influenced by the Romans' introduction of Christianity to the isle.
Irish/Celtic Boy Names and Meanings
- Aodhan - Little fire.
- Cian - Incident. Pronounced “keen.” A derivative of Cianan.
- Ciaran - Little dark one.
- Eoghan - Born into nobility. Youth.
- Finnegan - Fair, white, or pale. Small blond soldier or wanderer. Finn is a common nickname for this adorable name.
- Kevin - Gentle, kind, or handsome.
- Niall - Cloud.
- Padraig - From the noble class, nobly born. The Irish form of Patrick is more commonly used in the U.S.
- Sean - God is gracious.
- Ronan - Little Seal
Irish/Celtic Girl Names and Meanings
- Aisling - This name is derived from the Irish Gaelic word for dream or vision.
- Aoife - Beauty. A common name in Irish legends and mythology.
- Beryan - An Irish princess famous for her ability to heal.
- Bridget - Of high status, powerful, virtuous.
- Caoimhe - This is a popular name for girls in Ireland; pronounced kee-va, this name means noble or dear.
- Ciara- Dark, not possessing a fair or pale complexion.
- Deidre - A famous character from Irish mythology who meets a tragic end by throwing herself in front of the king’s chariot rather than marrying the man who killed her lover.
- Fiona - Fair, white, or transparent. An alternative version is Fionn.
- Niamh - Pronounced NEEVE, this traditional Irish name, has deep roots. It means radiance and brilliance. Niamh was the lover of Oisin, a fierce warrior, and they eloped to Ulster. In one version, they are happily among the fairies for 300 hundred years; in another, her father comes with an army, and she meets a tragic end.
- Siobhan - God is gracious.
Scottish Celtic Names and Meanings
Scottish Celtic names tend to have a tougher, more guttural sound to them, but there are some unique and beautiful names to be found in the Scottish Gaelic language!
Scottish/Celtic Boy Names and Meanings
- Andrew - A name with Greek origins meaning brave man. St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.
- Calum - A derivative of Malcolm, it means dove. Another version of the name is Colm.
- Duncan - A name with Gaelic origins, it means dark warrior.
- Ewan - By the yew tree, born of the yew tree, or youth, also spelled Euan.
- Ian - A Scottish name with Hebrew origins meaning God is gracious.
Celtic/Scottish Girl Names and Meanings
- Ann - A Hebrew name meaning graceful.
- Elspeth - Scottish form of Elizabeth. God is my oath.
- Jean - A French name that was quite popular in Scotland for centuries meaning God is gracious.
- Isla - This Gaelic name means isle or island.
- Margaret - A greek name meaning pearl.
Unique & Uncommon Celtic Names and Meanings
Many of the names in this article have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years and are still popular today. However, many unique, beautiful, and uncommon Celtic names are rarely used or only used in small portions of the word. So, we thought we’d pay homage to some of these beautiful and one-of-a-kind names!
- Aodh - Scottish. Fire.
- Cormac - Irish. Destroying son.
- Eoin- Gaelic. Irish form of John. God is gracious.
- Lorcan- Gaelic. Little fierce one.
- Tadhg - Irish. Poet.
- Aine - Irish. Gracious merciful.
- Braith - Welsh. Freckled.
- Eiriol - Welsh. Snowy.
- Morag - The Scottish version of Srah. It means princess.
- Una - Irish. Famine or hunger.
L. Elizabeth Forry, Preschool Lead
About L. Elizabeth Forry
L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with 15 years of classroom experience.