Choosing a baby name can be one of the more difficult decisions new parents face. For some lucky people, the name is easily chosen. For others, finding the perfect name can be a long process and feel like an out-of-reach pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I looked at the current trends in Irish naming. Many of the names often used in Ireland today are the same as the popular names in the United States (like Jack, James, Ben, Ava, Emily and Chloe). However there are also some uniquely Irish names in the top 25 according to the Irish Central Statistics Office.
Here are some popular Irish/Gaelic names with some pronunciation help and meanings, as well as some Irish-inspired names and meanings. Erin Go Bragh and happy naming!
- Aoife (pronounced EE-fa) (beautiful, radiant)
- Caoimhe (pronounced KWEE-va) (beauty, grace)
- Ciara (pronounced KEE-ra) (dark hair and eyes)
- Niamh (pronounced NEEV) (luster, brightness)
- Saoirse (pronounced SEER-sha) (freedom, liberty)
- Alannah (darling child)
- Bridget (power, virtue)
- Maeve (great joy)
- Meara (sea)
- Orla (golden princess)
- Cian (pronounced KEE-in) (ancient, enduring)
- Cillian (pronounced Kil-EE-an) (church)
- Darragh (pronounced DAR–ah) (oak tree)
- Eoin (pronounced O–in) (God is good)
- Oisin (pronounced O-sheen) (little deer)
- Cormac (son of the charioteer)
- Eamon (guardian of riches)
- Fergus (strength)
- Padraig (nobly born)
- Sean (gracious gift)
– Sara Kuhn is a Parenting Program participant and volunteer.