Most popular Irish baby first names in the United States

Brandon, Megan, Kayla you've probably come across a newborn in the past decade with at least one of these names.

Megan: Though technically not a Celtic name (it’s a Welsh pet form of Margaret), it’s similar to the Irish surname O’Meegan, meaning “descendant of the brave warrior.”

Kaitlyn: American form of the Irish Caitlín (Irish version of Catherine).

Makayla: Another modern creation possibly stemming from the Irish man’s name “Cadhla,” meaning slender.

Kaylee: This name is a modern invention based on the names Kay and Lee, but it also sounds like “céilí,” the Irish word for a gathering.

Kylie: Usually considered an Australian Aboriginal name meaning “boomerang,” but like the name Kayla, it’s also a form of Kiley, an Anglicization of the Irish name Cadhla, meaning “slender.”

Riley: Riley is an English surname meaning “rye field” or an Anglicization of the Irish surname O’Reilly, or Ó Raghaillaigh, meaning from “descendant of Raghaillaigh,” an Irish chieftain.

Erin: A poetic name for Ireland. The name is not usually used in Ireland, but it’s recently gained in popularity in the North.

Claire: This is a French name meaning “clear,” but “Clare,” an alternate spelling, is a county in Ireland.

Molly: Irish pet form of Mary, or Mallaidh in Irish, that means “star of the sea.”

Kennedy: Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Cinnéide, meaning “helmet head.”

Kelly: Anglicization of the Irish surname “Ó Ceallaigh,” which possibly means “brave warrior.”

Cassidy: Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Casaide, which has an obscure meaning, but may translate to “clever” or “curly-headed.”

Ashlyn: Anglicization of the Irish name Aislinn (or Aisling), meaning “dream” or “vision.”

Kiara: Form of Ciara, pronounced “KEE a ra,” an Irish name meaning “dark.” Often pronounced “see-Ahr-a” in the U.S.

Reagan: Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Ríagáin, which comes from “sovereign” or “king.”

Delaney: Anglicization of the Irish surname “Ó Dubhshláine, meaning “descendant of the dark-haired man of the River Slaney.”

Alana: Feminine form of the name Alan, which means “handsome.” Also an Anglicization of "a leanbh," an Irish term of endearment meaning “O child.”

Mckenna: Anglicization of the Irish surname MacCionnaith, interpreted as both “ardent love” and “firesprung.”

Brenda: Feminine form of the Irish name Brendan, an Anglicization of the Irish saint Breandán/Breannain whose name means “prince.”

Shannon: Area and river in Ireland that possibly means “little wise one.”

Kara: Form of Cara, the Irish word for “friend.”

Kira: Another Anglicization of Ciara, an Irish name meaning “dark.”

Kathleen: Another Anglicization of the Irish Caitlín, a form of Catherine.

Bridget: From the Irish name Brighid, meaning “exalted one.” St. Brigid is a patron saint of Ireland.

Patricia: This is the feminine form of Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint’s name, which is Latin for “noble.”

Shayla: Modern Anglicization of the Irish name Síle, meaning “blind.” Also Anglicized as “Sheila.”

Tara: Anglicization of the old Irish name Teamhair, which means “eminence” or “distinction.” Also the name of the ancient hill in Co. Meath that was the center of pagan activity.

Brenna: Modern feminine form of the name Brennan, an Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Braonáin, that can mean “sorrow.”

Logan: From the Irish surname O’Loughan, often mistranslated to mean “duck,” which is actually from the Gaelic word “lacha.”

Fiona: An Irish name (spelled Fíona) pronounced as “Feena,” meaning “vine.”

Ryan: Feminine Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Ríain, meaning “descendant of the little king.”

Aileen: Anglicization of the Irish name Aibhilín/Eibhilín, an Irish form of Evelyn or Helen which can mean “bright light.”

* Originally published in 2013.