Irish First Names
Do you have an Irish heritage that you are wanting to know more about? Below we have a list of commonly used boy and girl names, as well as gender-neutral ones as well. Many of the names are traditional Irish or English versions. Keep reading to learn more about the history and traditions of Irish names.
Origin of Irish First Names
In traditional Irish-speaking areas in Ireland, also known as “Gaeltacht,” you would see the first name used, then the father’s name, and then the paternal grandfather’s name. This was customary and used to distinguish between individuals who shared the same first name. It was more of a nickname used among neighbors.
Many traditionally Irish names are Gaelic in origin. Some that are English versions were anglicized and this gave us several variations of the same name. You might even see some given names written in their Latin form as well.
Irish Naming Practices
When choosing a name for your new baby, there was a particular pattern that was followed. Your first son was to be named after the child’s paternal grandfather, and the second son was to be named after their maternal grandfather. This carried on for as many children as were born to their parents. There is more about that here. There are also special suffixes used in place of the “Jr.” and “Sr.” that we are most familiar with. “Mor” or “big” and “Og” or “young” were used instead to distinguish between father and son.
Irish Boy Names
Brian - This Irish name means “strong.”
Cillian - In Irish, this name can mean “bright-headed” or “war strife.”
Colm - This Irish name means “dove.” It is pronounced like “Coll-um.”
Connor/Conor - This is a reduced form of the family name “O’Connor.” It is Irish for “desire.”
Cormac - In Irish, this boy’s name means “chariot driver.”
Daithi - This anglicized Irish name means “swiftness” or “nimbleness.”
Darragh - This is a northern Irish family name that means “black one of the oak tree.”
Eoghan - This name means “born of yew” in Irish.
Eoin - In Hebrew, this name means “God’s grace.” It is pronounced like “Owen.”
Finn - This is the Irish form of the name “Fionn” and it means “fair-haired.”
Kevin - This name is derived from “Caiomhin” which means “handsome” in Irish.
Kieran - This name is both Celtic and Gaelic for “dark-skinned.”
Liam - Not only does this name have Irish roots, but also Gaelic and Celtic as well. It means “unwavering protector.”
Lorcan - In Irish, this baby boy’s name means “little fierce one.”
Niall - This name means “champion” in Irish and Gaelic.
Odhran - This name is Irish for “pale green.”
Oisin - This name means “little deer” in Irish.
Patrick - This Scottish and Irish name is derived from the Gaelic name “Padraig.” It means “noble one” in Latin.
Ronan - This name is Celtic for “a pledge.”
Seamus - This name means “replacement” or “bonus” in Gaelic.
Sean - This boy’s name means “God’s gift” in Irish.
Shane - This was originally a Gaelic name that was anglicized to “McShane.” “Shane” is a short form of this name. It manes “God is gracious.”
Tadhg - This name is Scottish for “philosopher” and Irish for “poet.”
Irish Girl Names
- Aine - This is an Irish Gaelic name that means “brightness” or “radiance.” It is pronounced like “Anya.”
- Aisling - Pronounced “Ash-ling,” this name means
- Aoife - This name means “beautiful” in Irish and it is pronounced “ee-fa'.”
- Arlene - In Irish, this girl’s name means “pledge.”
- Caitlin - This is the Irish form of “Catherine.” It means “pure beauty” in Irish and “little darling” in Celtic.
- Caoimhe - This name means “gentle” and “precious” in Gaelic. It is pronounced, “kee-va.”
- Colleen - This name means “girl” in Irish and is also the feminine form of “Cole.”
- Dierdre - This Irish girl’s name means “sorrowful.”
- Grainne - This name of Irish and Gaelic origin means “love.”
- Liadan - This name means “grey lady” in Irish.
- Maeve - This name means “queen” in Gaelic and “joyous” in Irish. It is the English version of “Meabh” who was the warrior Queen of Connacht according to Irish legend.
- Moira - This name is Irish and Hebrew for “bitter.”
- Niamh - This Irish girl’s name means “bright” and is seen in Irish mythology as the “daughter of the sea god.” It is pronounced, “Neev.”
- Orla - This name is of Latin origin and it means “golden woman.”
- Roisin - Pronounced “Ro-sheen,” this name is the Irish version of “Rosaleen” and it means “little rose.”
- Saoirse - In Gaelic and Celtic, this name means “freedom.”
- Sheena - This name is Irish for “God’s gracious gift.”
- Sinead - This name means “gracious” in Irish.
- Siobhan - This name means “God is gracious” in Gaelic and “praised” in Hebrew.
- Teagan - This name is Irish for “attractive” and Welsh for “beautiful.”
- Una - This name means “unity” in Latin.
Irish Gender-Neutral Names
- Casey - This Irish name means “brave” and “vigilant.”
- Ciaran - This is a unisex name that means “dark-skinned” or “dark one” in Irish and Gaelic. It is also shared by many Irish saints.
- Killian - This name means “warrior” in Irish and Scottish, and “fierce” in Gaelic.
- Regan - This name is Irish and Scottish for “king’s heir.”
- Rory - This is the Scottish and Irish variation of Roderick and it means “red.” In Gaelic, “Rory” means “red king.”
- Rowan - This name means “tree with red berries” in Irish, Old English, and Scottish.
- Shea - This name is English and Irish for “fairy palace.”
- Tierney - In Celtic and Gaelic, this unisex name means “lord.”
Most Popular Irish Names on FamilyEducation: Aiden, Kailyn, Darby, Harper
Stefanie is an experienced parenting writer and has published works in other publications such as Motherly.