9 Most Beautiful Irish Baby Names And Their Meanings

With a poetic history and ties to many cultures around the world, the Irish language is being observed more than ever by future parents on the hunt for the perfect baby name.

Irish Names: A Growing U.S. Trend

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With over 8 million Irish immigrants living on American soil, it is no wonder that Irish names are becoming progressively more popular.

For those who want to call upon their familial history for a baby name or just for those who find the origins pretty, Ireland has a wealth of options to share.

Irish Baby Names: Origins and Trends

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Names like Cillian and Finn are circulating the baby name charts, both having Irish origins.

So, what are other names that parents may warm to, and where in Irish history did they come from?

1. Niamh

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Pronounced neev or nee-iv, the name Niamh is a beloved favorite among the Irish.

Traditionally female, Niamh means ‘bright’ and is derived from the Old Irish name Niam, which meant ‘goddess.’

2. Carlin

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Androgynous-sounding and with references to the Americanized ‘Carly,’ the name Carlin means ‘little champion.’

It’s thought to have been derived from an Irish surname and has been increasing in popularity since the early 1900s.

3. Roisin

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Pronounced ro-sheen, this pretty name is reminiscent of the English classic ‘Rose.’ Unsurprisingly, the name means ‘little rose,’ which is a perfect representation of a new baby.

The name Roisin is of Irish Gaelic origins, and while it may be quite popular in Ireland, for the rest of the world, it still promises to be unique.

4. Cillian

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This male name may be rising in popularity, but its origins are humble. Meaning either ‘bright-headed’ or ‘little church,’ the name has long been blanketed in Irish heritage and is said to have derived from Saint Kilian, who was an Irish missionary.

4. Cillian

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Cillian only re-entered the United States baby name charts in 2020 and seems to be a favorite in years to come.

5. Saoirse

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Pronounced ser-sha, the name Saoirse was put on the map in America by actress Saoirse Ronan.

Saoirse’s career was taking off in the mid-2010s; coincidentally, at the same time, her name began to appear on the American baby name charts.

5. Saoirse

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The name doesn’t need publicity, though, as it is beautiful in its own right.

Meaning ‘freedom,’ it has been used in Ireland since the 1920s, whereupon it was derived from the Gaelic word during the Irish War of Independence.

6. Fionn

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A male name, Fionn, has various pronunciations, including finn, fee-on, and fyon.

Meaning ‘fair-headed’ or ‘handsome,’ it’s an excellent name for a little boy.

6. Fionn

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The name Fionn originated in Irish mythology, depicting a warrior of admirable skill and good morals.

The anglicized version of the name, Finn, has been rising steadily in the United States since the year 2000.

7. Meabh

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Pronounced as Maeve, this name has also received altered spellings around the world.

Meaning ‘intoxicating’ and with strong origins, it is no wonder that parents adore this name.

7. Meabh

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Meabh was the warrior queen of Connacht in Irish legend, lending undertones of strength and bravery to the name. While the original spelling is still popular in Ireland, the anglicized spelling (Maeve) has risen fast in popularity.

In 2022, it only missed out on the top 100 popular girl’s names in the United States.

8. Ronan

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Meaning ‘little seal,’ the male name Ronan was the name of several saints in Irish history.

Steadily popular in Ireland, the name is also gaining traction in the United States, with over 1300 babies receiving the name in 2019.

9. Eimear

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A name that evokes female spirit, the name Eimear is pronounced ee-mur.

It means ‘swift,’ and in Irish legend, Eimear was the wife of a warrior legend, possessing the six gifts of womanhood: beauty, a gentle voice, sweet words, wisdom, needlework, and chastity.

9. Eimear

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While the name jumps on and off the charts in Ireland, it has not yet made waves in America, making it one of the more unique options.

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This article was produced by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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