St. Patrick's Day is the perfect time to take a look at all the adorable Irish and Celtic baby names out there. I come from a huge family with Irish heritage on both sides, so by now all the popular Irish American names have been taken.
So when it comes time to name my own kids someday, I'll have to think beyond the Patricks and Erins to something a little less common. So celebrate Lá Fhéile Pádraig (St. Patrick's Day) with these names that come from the Irish language.
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This little girl's name, pronounced "Shiv-awn," is a popular name in Ireland and means "God is gracious." Some English versions include Chevonne and Shavon.
Here's a hint for pronouncing Irish names — in Irish, the letter "C" is always a "hard C" ... it never sounds like an "S." So this boy's name is pronounced "Key-in," and it means "ancient" and "enduring." English versions include Kean, Keane, and Kane.
The letters "m" and "h" combine to sound like "vee," and this pretty girl's name is pronounced "Nee-iv" or "Neev." It means "radiance, luster and brightness," making it a sweet choice for your little ray of sunshine.
Conor, pronounced "Con-r," is a popular Irish name that means "desire." The variation Connor is number 51 on the top 100 boy's names, making it a popular choice for little lads.
Pronounced "Sear-sha," this unique girl's name means "freedom" and "liberty," and is fairly new — it's only been used as a name since around the 1920s, after Ireland became an independent nation. Thank actress Saoirse Ronan for bringing this name more into the public eye.
This boy's name, pronounced "Nye-al," means "champion" or, from the Irish word néal, it can also mean "a cloud." A couple American variations include Neil and Neal, both pronounced "Neel."
Don't let the glut of vowels intimidate you. This girl's name — pronounced "Ee-fa" — was the name of several heroines from ancient Irish mythology and is a very popular name in Ireland right now. Some easier-to-pronounce variations include Eva and Ava.
Finn has traditionally been a boy's name, but it's been gaining popularity lately among both baby boys and baby girls. The name comes from the most popular hero of Irish mythology, Finn MacCool (or Fionn mac Cumhaill if you want to go hardcore Irish) and means "fair" or "white."
This pretty and unique girl's name is pronounced "Kee-va," and means "gentle, beautiful and precious." Some English spelling variations include Keeva and Keva.
Oisin, pronounced "Osh-een," is the name of the mythological son of Finn MacCool and the goddess Sive and means "little deer." This boy's name has become very popular in Ireland.
Also spelled Maeve, this girl's name is pronounced "May-v." It means "the cause of great joy," but this name also has pretty kick-ass origins, too: Medb, the Old Irish form of Maebh, was the name of the warrior queen of Connacht in the popular Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology.
Pronounced "Aid-an" or "Aid-on," this boy's name comes from the Old Irish word áed, meaning "fire." The traditional Irish spelling variation of this popular name is Aodhan, while the typical American variation is Aiden.
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