Are you looking for Gaelic baby name inspiration? Here we have a list of Ireland’s most popular boy’s names of Irish origin and their meanings. The names are pulled from from the Central Statistics Office.
Conor is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Conchobhar, a compound name composed of “conn” (wisdom, counsel or strength), “con” (hound or dog), and “cobhair” (aid). It is usually translated as “lover of hounds.” It can also mean “high desire,” as derived from the Irish word “coachuhhar.” Conchobhar MacNessa was the king of Ulster - according to the legend, he was born on the same day as Christ.
Sean is the Irish cognate of the name John, and means “God is gracious.”
3. Oisin (pronounced o-sheen or uh-sheen)
This name means “little deer.” In Irish mythology, Oisin was a poet-hero, remembered for his love for Niamh of the Golden Hair, with whom he lived in Tir-na-nOg, the land of eternal youth. He was the son of legendary warrior Fionn MacCool and the goddess Sive. His mother was turned into a deer by the Dark Druid, and she raised him in the forest for seven years; when his father found him while hunting, he recognized the boy as his own son and gave him the name “little deer.”
Patrick is the Anglicized form of the Irish name Padraig, from the latin Patricius which means “nobly born.” The patron saint of Ireland.
5. Cian (pronounced kee-an)
Liam means strong-willed warrior and protector. It is the short form of the Irish name Uilliam, which comes from the Frankish Willahelm. It is also the Irish cognate of the name William.
7. Darragh (pronounced: dara)
Some translate Darragh into “fruitful” or “fertile,” and some translate the name into “dark oak” or “oak tree.” According to the Irish legend, Daire Mac Fiachna owned the Brown Bull of Cooley, and his refusal to sell it to Queen Maebh was part of the cause for the fight between Ulster and Connacht.
8. Cillian (pronounced: kill-ee-an)
The popular name Cillian has several known meanings, including “war,” “strife,” and “bright-headed.” The word cille also means “associated with the church,” so the name is often associated with the word “church” or “monastery.” There are several Saint Cillians in Irish history, including one in 650 AD who was sent to Bavaria to convert the natives, and was martyred for his trouble.
9. Fionn (pronounced: finn, fee-in or fyonn)
Fionn is a Gaelic name meaning “fair-headed,” “white” or “clear.” Other translations include “small blonde soldier” and “handsome.” Fionn MacCool was a central character in Irish folklore and mythology - he was the leader of the warrior band “The Fianna.” He wasn’t known to be incredibly strong, but he was known for being brave, handsome, wise and generous. He acquired his wisdom by touching the “salmon of knowledge” and then sucking his thumb.
Finn is the Anglicized version of Fionn (9). Meaning fair, blonde, or “small blonde soldier.”
* Originally published October 2014.