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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Given names in Ireland consist of a mixture of names from many different languages. There is a good proportion of English-language names such as Amy, Emily, Jack, or Hugh, some of which have Irish equivalents. Many English names, of course, originated in different languages such as French. In addition, many parents choose to give their children names from different languages and cultures, especially as Ireland has become increasingly multicultural in recent years. Until recently, names such as Kevin and Dermot, although not Irish (their Irish equivalents are Caoimhín and Diarmuid), were particularly common among Irish people, to the extent that in countries with large numbers of Irish immigrants, such as the USA and the UK, they sometimes served as an indicator that a person was of Irish descent. But the increasing use of ethnically derived names in these countries means that such names have now become common among their general populations and are no longer seen as particularly "Irish". Irish names such as Seamus and Fiona are common in the Gaelic-speaking areas of the west coast of Scotland due to immigration from Ireland and the similarity to Irish of the language used in the Highlands.

Until relatively recently the number of regularly used names in the Irish language was relatively small. Father Patrick Woulfe wrote in 1923 that the number of all names then in use in Ireland (in Irish and English) was not more than 80 or 100. At that time the only Irish-language name commonly in use among women was Bríghid. Since then the popularity of Irish-language names has soared. In the 1970s, names such as Ciara, Emer and Niamh were commonly given to girls, while names such as Eoin and Seán increased in popularity for boys. In the 1980s and 1990s, parents searching for unusual names resulted in many previously obscure Irish-language names being given a new lease of life. Among these were Sadhbh and Saoirse for girls, and Daire for boys.

However, the actual stock of Gaelic personal names is vast, estimated to be at least several thousand. A good example is the recently published "Leabhar Mor Genealach" (The Great Book of Irish Genealogies, written and compiled by Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh); it consists of five volumes. Of these, volume four entirely consists of an index of personal names.

Contents

A list of Irish given names

Male

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A

  • Ailín (IPA: /ˈæ.l̺in̺/) Alan, Allen
  • Aindreas (IPA: /ˈæn̺.d̺ɾʲæʃ/) Andrew
  • Amhlaoibh (IPA: /ˈaw.l̺iv/) from Norse Ólafr
  • Antóin (IPA: /ˈæn̺.t̺on̺/) Anthony
  • Aodh (IPA: /id̺/) "fire", Gaelicized Hugh
  • Aodhán (IPA: /ˈe.d̺an̺/) "fire"
  • Aonghus (IPA: /ˈen̺.ɡəs/) oinos "one" + gustus "choice"

B

  • Barry (IPA: /ˈbɛ.ɹi/) "Marksman"
  • Bartlae (IPA: /ˈbaɾt̺.l̺i/) Gaelicized Bartley, originally Gaelic Parthalán
  • Breandán Brendán (IPA: /ˈbɾʲæn̺.d̺an̺/) "a prince"
  • Brían / Brian (IPA: /ˈbɾi.ən̺/, IPA: /ˈbɹai.ɪn/)
  • Breifne/Breffní (IPA: /ˈbɾʲɛf.ni/)

C

  • Caolán (IPA: /ˈke.l̺an̺/) "slender"
  • Caoimhghín / Caoimhín (IPA: /ˈki.vin̺/) "beautiful child"
  • Cathal (IPA: /ˈkæ.həl̺/) "strong in battle"
  • Cian (IPA: /ˈci.ən̺/) "enduring, ancient"
  • Ciarán (IPA: /ˈci.ɾan̺/) "dark, black"
  • Cillian (IPA: /ˈkɪ.li.ən/) "a church, a cell"
  • Colm (IPA: /ˈkɔ.l̺ᵊm/) "a dove"
  • Conchúr/Conchubhar Conor Connor (IPA: /ˈkɔn̺.xuɾ/, IPA: /ˈkɔn̺.xə.wəɾ/) "lover of hounds/wolves"
  • Cormac (IPA: /ˈkɔɾ.mæk/) "son of the raven"
  • Críostóir (IPA: /ˈcɾʲis.t̺oɾ/) Christopher

D

  • Dáire (IPA: /ˈd̺a.ɾʲɪ/) "earnest, fertile and Brave"
  • Dáithí (IPA: /ˈd̺a.hi/) David, "swift, nimble"
  • Daragh (IPA: /ˈd̺æ.ɾa/) "Oak"
  • Darragh (IPA: /ˈd̺æ.ɾə/) "flame, fire"
  • Diarmaid Diarmuid (IPA: /ˈʤiɾ.mɪʤ/)
  • Deaglán Declan (IPA: /ˈʤæɡ.l̺an̺/)
  • Deasún (IPA: /ˈʤæ.sun̺/)
  • Donncha Donagh Donnchadh (IPA: /ˈd̺ɔn.xə/, IPA: /ˈd̺ɔn̺.xu/) "dun, brown, or lord"
  • Dónall Donal (IPA: /ˈd̺o.n̺æl̺/) Donald, "world-mighty"

E

  • Eadbhard (IPA: /ˈɛd̺.waɾd̺/) Edward
  • Éanna (IPA: /ˈe.n̺ə/) Enda
  • Eamonn Éamon (IPA: /ˈe.mɔn̺/) Edmond, "rich protector"
  • Eoghan Eoin (IPA: /ˈo.wɪn̺/) "born of the yew"
  • Éoin (IPA: /ˈo.ɪn̺/) John
  • Deila (IPA: /ˈd̺ɛ.l̺ə/)

F

  • Feargal (IPA: /ˈfæɾ.ɡəl̺/) "valorous"
  • Fearghas Fergus (IPA: /ˈfæɾ.ɣəs/) "man-strength"
  • Fiach "raven"
  • Fiachna (IPA: /ˈfi.əx.n̺ə/)
  • Fiachra (IPA: /ˈfi.əx.ɾə/) "battle-king", "hunter"
  • Féilim (IPA: /ˈfe.l̺ɪm/) "guardian"
  • Finian (IPA: /ˈfɪ.ni.ɪn/)
  • Fionn (IPA: /fɪn̺/) "fair, light-hued"
  • Fionnán (IPA: /ˈfɪ.n̺an̺/) "fair, bright white"
  • Fionnbár Finbarr (IPA: /ˈfɪn̺.baɾ/) "fair-haired"
  • Fionntán Fintan (IPA: /ˈfɪn̺.t̺an̺/) "white fire"
  • Flannan "red as blood"

G

  • Gabhán (IPA: /ˈɡa.wan̺/) Gavin
  • Gearóid (IPA: /ˈɡʲæ.ɾod̺/) Garrett, Gareth (Lord of the spear or spear wielder)
  • Grellan (IPA: /ˈɡɹɛ.lən/)
  • Guaire (IPA: /ˈɡʷæ.ɾʲɪ/) Gary

I

  • Iarfhlaith/Iarlaith/Iarla/Jarlath (IPA: /ˈiɾ.l̺i/) "Prince of the West"

J

  • Jeaic (IPA: /ˈʤek/) Jake, Jacob

L

  • Liam (IPA: /ˈʎi.əm/) William via Uilliam
  • Lochlan (IPA: /ˈl̺ɔx.l̺ən̺/)
  • Loughlin (IPA: /ˈlɑk.lɪn/)
  • Lorcán

M

  • Maitiú ({matt-chew), Matthew
  • Mícheál (IPA: /ˈmi.çal̺/) Michael
  • Malachy (IPA: /ˈmæ.lə.kai/)
  • Muiris (IPA: /ˈmɔ.ɾɪʃ/) Maurice, Morris
  • Marc (IPA: /maɾk/) Mark, Marcus

N

  • Naoise (IPA: /ˈn̺i.ʃɪ/) from Ángus
  • Nessan Nessun (IPA: /ˈnɛ.sən/)
  • Nevan (IPA: /ˈnɛ.vən/) "little saint"
  • Niall Neil Neill (IPA: /ˈɲi.əl̺/) "passionate", "vehement"

O

  • Oisín (IPA: /ə.ˈʃin̺/) "a young deer"
  • Oscar Osgur (IPA: /ˈɔs.ɡʊɾ/) "Deer friend"
  • Owen (IPA: /ˈo.wɪn/)

P

  • Pádraig/Padraic/Páraic (IPA: /ˈpad̺.ɾɪc/) Patrick (plus derivates Páid(í) (IPA: /ˈpa.d̺i/))
  • Patrick (IPA: /ˈpæ.tɹɪk/) "a patrician" (plus derivatives Pat, Paddy, Paudie)
  • Peadar (IPA: /ˈpæ.d̺əɾ/) Peter
  • Piaras (IPA: /ˈpi.ɾə̆s/) Pearse, Pierce, Percy; borrowing of French Piers
  • Proinsias (IPA: /ˈpɾɪn̺.ʃəs/) Francis
  • Pól (IPA: /pol̺/) Paul

R

  • Rónan (IPA: /ˈɾo.n̺ən̺/) "little seal"
  • Ruairí Rory (IPA: /ˈɾu.ɪ.ɾi/) "great king, red king"
  • Ruarc (IPA: /ɾuəɾk/)
  • Ruán (IPA: /ˈɾu.an̺/) "red"
  • Ryan (Ríán, IPA: /ˈɾi.an̺/) "little king"

S

  • Séamus Séamas (IPA: /ˈʃe.məs/) borrowing of James/Jacobus
  • Seán (IPA: /ʃan̺/) John, Shawn; from Norman French Jean
  • Séin (IPA: /ʃen̺/) Shane
  • Seóirse (IPA: /ˈʃoɾ.ʃɪ/) George (not to be confused with the female name, Saoirse)
  • Seosamh (IPA: /ˈʃo.su/, IPA: /ˈʃo.sav/) Joseph

T

  • Tadhg (IPA: /t̺eɡ/) "a poet" Timothy
  • Tiarnán (IPA: /ʧiɾ.ˈn̺an̺/) "a lord"
  • Toirealach (IPA: /ˈt̺ɔ.ɾʲæ.l̺əx/) "instigator, abettor"
  • Tomás (IPA: /ˈt̺ɔ.mas/) Thomas
  • Turlough (IPA: /ˈt̺ɔɾ.l̺ɔx/)

U

  • Uinsin (IPA: /ˈɪɲ.ʃɪn̺/): Vincent "owner"
  • Ultan (IPA: /ˈul̺.t̺ən̺/) "an Ulsterman"

Female

A

  • Abhalach (IPA: /ˈæ.va.lax/)
  • Ada (IPA: /ˈei.də/)
  • Aengus
  • Afraic
  • Aibhilín (IPA: /ˈei.vɪ.lin/)
  • Aidhne (IPA: /ˈai.nə/)
  • Aidchearc
  • Aífe
  • Aifric (IPA: IPA: /ˈæ.fɹɪk/) Other spelling: Aithbhreac. An old name, popular in medieval times, with a famous example being 15th century poetess Aithbhreac Inghean Corcadail.
  • Aighlinn
  • Aighneach
  • Ailbhé, Ailbhe (IPA: /ˈæl.və/, native IPA: /ˈæl̺.ve/)
  • Ailbhine
  • Ailinn
  • Áine (IPA: /ˈɒ.ɲɪ/) ( AWN-YA)("radiance, splendour, brilliance")
  • Aisling, Aislinn (IPA: /ˈæʃ.lɪɲ/, IPA: /ˈæʃ.l̺in/) "a vision, a dream"
  • Aithbhric
  • Aileen (IPA: /ˈei.lin/) from the German Avelina (see Eileen, Eibhlín)
  • Ailín (IPA: /ˈei.lin/, IPA: /ˈæ.lin/)
  • Alsún (IPA: /ˈæl̺.sun/)Irish form of Alison
  • Annan
  • Anghan
  • Anslas
  • Aobh, Aoibh (IPA: /ˈiv/) Eve
  • Aoibhe (IPA: /ˈi.vɪ/) Eva
  • Aoibheann ({{IPA|/ˈi.væn/}) "fair form"
  • Aoibhlinn (IPA: /ˈiv.l̺ɪɲ/) Evelyn
  • Aoife (IPA: /ˈi.fɪ/) "life"
  • Aoileann Ailleann (IPA: /ˈi.ʎæɲ/) Ellen
  • Athchosán
  • Athracht
  • Auice

B

  • Badhbh
  • Bairdlinn
  • Banbha
  • Barrdhubh
  • Bé Bhinn
  • Bé Bhóinne
  • Bé Bhoirche
  • Bé Chobha
  • Bé Chrotha
  • Bé Chuille
  • Bé Dhrona
  • Bé Gubha
  • Béabháil
  • Béaenad
  • Beagnat
  • Beatóid
  • Blthnaid Blathnat Blathnaid(IPA: /ˈbl̺ah.n̺ɪt̺/) dim. of Bláth, "blossom"
  • Bláithín (IPA: /ˈbl̺ɒ.hin̺/) dim. of Bláth, "blossom"
  • Blínne
  • Boan
  • Branac
  • Brenna
  • Brigh
  • Bríd (IPA: /ˈbɾid̺/) from Brighid, pagan fire goddess, from brigh "strength"
  • Briege (IPA: /ˈbɾi.ɟɪ/) Anglicized spelling of Bríd
  • Broicseach
  • Bruitbhualaigh
  • Buing

C

  • Cacht
  • Caimín
  • Caine
  • Cainear/Caineadh/Connath
  • Cainnear
  • Caireach
  • Cairlín (IPA: /ˈkæɾ.l̺in̺/)
  • Caitríona Catriona (IPA: /kæ.ˈt̺ɾʲi.n̺ə/)
  • Caitlín (IPA: /ˈkæʧ.l̺in̺/) Katherine, Kathleen
  • Caitlin (IPA: /ˈkeit.lɪn/) Kathleen. Intelligent, Pure
  • Cait (IPA: /kaʧ/) Kate
  • Caitríona
  • Camhóg
  • Caoimhe (IPA: /ˈki.vɪ/) "beautiful girl, gentleness, loveliness and delicateness"
  • Caoilfhionn (IPA: /ˈkʷi.l̺ɪn̺/) "slender, fair lady"
  • Cat
  • Catatt
  • Cearalín (IPA: /cæ.ɾə.ˈl̺in̺/) Carolyn
  • Cearb
  • Cearbnat
  • Cearc/Creach/Searc
  • Ceasair "shower of hailstones"
  • Ciar
  • Ciara (IPA: /ˈki.ɾə/) "dark, black"
  • Cinge/Cingiu
  • Ciochba
  • Ciúin (IPA: /ˈcu.ɪɲ/)
  • Cliona Cliodhna (IPA: /ˈkl̺i.n̺ə/, IPA: /ˈkl̺i.ə.n̺ə/)
  • Clár (IPA: /ˈkl̺aɾ/) "programme, board, lid"
  • Clodagh (IPA: /ˈkl̺ɔ.d̺a/) name of river in Tipperary
  • Clothra
  • Cnucha
  • Cobhar/Combar/Comhar
  • Cochmas
  • Coimhgheall
  • Coincheann
  • Chícheach
  • Coip
  • Coirseach
  • Colaim
  • Colla
  • Coman
  • Comaín
  • Craobh (Crave)
  • Creibhrill
  • Criadha/Crón
  • Cróine
  • Cróinseach
  • Criadha
  • Críosa (IPA: /ˈcɾʲi.sə/) fem. form of Christian
  • Cruimne
  • Cruithne/Loinchead/Onchaine
  • Cruithneach
  • Cuimín
  • Cumaín
  • Curach

D

Deirdre, a name taken from Irish mythology, has gained popularity even among people who don't identify as Irish. Drawing: Deirdre's Lament drawing by J.H. Bacon, c.1905.
  • Damhnait (IPA: /ˈd̺aw.n̺æt̺/) "fawn", "little deer"
  • Daol
  • Dar Chárthainn
  • Dar Cháirtheann
  • Darcy
  • Dar Earcha/Mo-Ninne
  • Dar Fraoch
  • Darchaoin/Uirne
  • Dealbhnat
  • Dear Draighin
  • Dear Inill
  • Dear Dearbhinnill
  • Dear Lir
  • Dear Mill
  • Dearnise
  • Dear Uise
  • Dearbháil
  • Dearbhla (Dervla) "True poet"
  • Dearchú
  • Dearmhór
  • Deirbhre/Deirbhinn
  • Deirbhile, Dearbhaile (IPA: /ˈʤɛ.ɾʲ(ə̆.)væ.l̺ə/)
  • Dearbháil (IPA: /ˈʤæɾ.val̺/) daughter of Fál (legendary name of Ireland)
  • Deirdre, Daoirdre (IPA: /ˈʤɛɾ.d̺ɾɪ/, IPA: /ˈd̺iɾ.d̺ɾɪ/)
  • Deirear
  • Deithchean/Deithghean
  • Díne
  • Doireann (IPA: /ˈd̺ɔ.ɾʲən̺/)
  • Donann
  • Donncha
  • Donellan
  • Dorngilla
  • Dovada
  • Drón
  • Druighean
  • Dúine

E

  • -een (IPA: /-in/) Diminutive feminine suffix as in Caitlín/Cathleen (little Catherine) or Máirín/Maureen (little Mary)
  • Éabha (Aoife)
  • Éachtach/Éadaín/Eichtdhe/Etan
  • Éadaoín (IPA: /ˈe.ə.d̺in̺/)
  • Eadhamhair
  • Ealán
  • Ealga (IPA: /ˈæl̺.ɡə/) "noble island" origniates from an old Irish word meaning Ireland
  • Earc/Earca
  • Earnmhas
  • Eas
  • Easu
  • Éibhear
  • Éimhear
  • Éile
  • Eileag
  • Eilís (IPA: /ˈɛ.l̺iʃ/) meaning Elizabeth
  • Éire
  • Eavan (Aoibhinn) (IPA: /ˈi.vɪɲ/) "beautiful sheen, fair radiance"
  • Eibhln Eileen (IPA: /ˈɛ.vl̺in̺/) from the German Avelina
  • [[]] Eilis Éilís Ailis (IPA: /ˈɛ.l̺ɪʃ/, IPA: /ˈe.l̺iʃ/, IPA: /ˈæ.l̺ɪʃ/) from Norman-French Aliz, which is a borrowing of Adalheid "nobility"
  • Eimear Eimhear Emer (IPA: /ˈɛ.maɾ/, IPA: /ˈɛ.vaɾ/) name of the beloved of Cúchulainn
  • Eithne (IPA: /ˈɛh.ɲɪ/) "little fire"

F

  • Fiona (IPA: /fi.ˈo.nə/) "a vine", "fair/pale"
  • Fionnuala Fionnghuala Fionula (IPA: /fi.ˈn̺u.ə.l̺ə/, IPA: /fi.ˈn̺ʷu.ə.l̺ə/) "fair-shouldered"

G

  • Gobnait (IPA: /ˈɡɔb.næt̺/) blacksmith (<Old Irish goba) anglicised Deborah or Abigail.
  • Gráinne (IPA: /ˈɡɾa.ɲɪ/) grain (<Irish grán) anglicised Grace.
  • Glenna (IPA: /ˈɡlɪ.nə/) female version of Glen meanig small secluded valley
  • Garvan (IPA: /ˈɡaɾ.vən̺/) Little rough one Anglized version of Garbhán
  • Gearóidín (IPA: /ˈɡjæ.ɾo.ʤin̺/) Gearaldine

I

  • Íde (IPA: /ˈi.ʤɪ/) Ida

K

  • Kelsey (IPA: /ˈkɛl.si/) Ceol's island, beautiful island; from the ship's island, shipping harbor.
  • Keeley (IPA: /ˈki.li/, IPA: /ki.ˈli/) beautiful and graceful.

Kilgarry (Kil - Garry) Faith follower, or follower of the church

L

  • Liadán (IPA: /ˈʎi.ə.d̺an̺/) "grey lady"
  • Laoise Laoiseach Labhaoise (IPA: /ˈl̺i.ʃɪ/) Lisa

M

  • Máire Maura (IPA: /ˈma.ɾʲɪ/) Mary
  • Máirín Maureen (IPA: /ˈma.ɾin̺/) dim. of Mary
  • Mairead (IPA: /ma.ˈɾæd̺/) "pearl"
  • Maeve Maedhbh Medbh (IPA: /ˈmev/) "intoxicating"
  • Muireann (IPA: /ˈmʷɪ.ɾʲən̺/) "sea-white, sea-fair"
  • Muirín (IPA: /ˈmʷɪ.ɾin̺/) "born of the sea"
  • Mychaela (IPA: /ˈma.ka.la/?)

N

  • Neasa (IPA: /ˈɲæ.sə/)
  • Niamh, Niamhe (IPA: /niv/) "brightness", "radiance", "lustre", "brightness"
  • Nodlag (IPA: /ˈn̺ɔ.l̺əɡ/) Connemara form of "Nollaig" below
  • Nóra
  • Nóirín Noreen (IPA: /ˈn̺o.ɾin̺/) honor (<Honora).
  • Nollaig (IPA: /ˈn̺ɔ.l̺ɪc/) Noelle "Christmas"
  • Nuala (IPA: /ˈn̺u.l̺ə/) "fair-shouldered", short form of Fionnghuala

O

  • Orfhlaith Orla (IPA: /ˈɔɾ.l̺i/) "golden princess"
  • O'loughlin "Chosen warrior"

P

  • Póla (IPA: /ˈpo.l̺ə/) Paula
  • Peigí (IPA: /ˈpɛ.ɡi/) Peggy
  • Perry (IPA: /ˈpɛ.ɹi/) Perry

R

  • Ríonach Rioghnach (IPA: /ˈɾi.n̺əx/) "queenly"
  • Róis (IPA: /ˈɾoʃ/)
  • Róisín (IPA: /ˈɾo.ʃin̺/) "rose"
  • Rós-Mháire (IPA: /ˈɾɔʃ.wai.ɾɪ/) Rosemarie

S

  • Sadhbh Saibh (IPA: /saiv/) "wise"
  • Saoire (IPA: /ˈsi.ɾɪ/) "free"
  • Saoirse (IPA: /ˈsiɾ.ʃɪ/) "freedom"
  • Saorlaith/Searlaith (IPA: /ˈsiɾ.l̺i/) Irish For Charlotte
  • Searlaoin Irish for Charlene
  • Seoirsín (IPA: /ˈʃoɾ.ʃin̺/) Georgina
  • Seacailín (IPA: /ˈʃæ.kæ.l̺in̺/) Jacqueline
  • Searan (IPA: /ˈʃa.ɾən̺/) Sharon, "bitterness"
  • Seoighe (IPA: /ˈʃo.ɣʲɪ/) Joyce
  • Seona (IPA: /ˈʃo.n̺ə/)
  • Síle Sheila (IPA: /ˈʃi.lɪ/) Cecilia
  • Sinéad (IPA: /ˈʃɪ.n̺ed̺/shin-AYD) Jane, Janet
  • Siobhán (IPA: /ˈʃɪ.van̺/) Jean, Joan, "God is Gracious"
  • Siún (IPA: /ʃun̺/)
  • Sheena (IPA: /ˈʃi.nə/), Joan, "God is Gracious"
  • Sorcha/Soracha (IPA: /ˈsɔɾ.xə/) "bright, radiant"

T

  • Tara (IPA: /ˈt̺æ.ɾə/)
  • Treasa/Toireasa (IPA: /ˈʧɾʲæ.sə/) Theresa
  • Tríona (IPA: /ˈʧɾi.n̺ə/) short form of Catríona

U

Sources

Index of Personal Names, Vol. IV, "Leabhar Mor Genealach", Dubhaltach MacFhirbhisigh; ed. Nollaig O Muraile, De Burca, 2003.


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