Two unusual Irish names made it on the list of the rarest baby names used by US parents... do you know someone with this name?

The world's largest baby name website, Nameberry, has shared the list of unique names used by less than 25 US-based parents in 2021.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, CEO Pamela Redmond said, "It's difficult for parents to settle on a name because a name says so much about your personal and family identity. 

'A name signals your feelings about your family, your cultural heritage, your style, your desire to fit in or stand out in society. 

'And a name is a one-time decision that lasts for your child's entire life  - at least unless they decide to change it!"

Two Irish names - Lorcan and Rafferty - make an appearance on the list of the rarest names:


According to Nameberry, only 13 baby boys were given this name by US parents in 2021. 

The name Lorcan has deep historical roots in Irish culture and is closely associated with Irish history and mythology. It is derived from the old Irish name "Lorcán," which is believed to have originated from the word "lorc," meaning "fierce" or "cruel." This name was often bestowed upon individuals who displayed great strength, bravery, or ferocity in battle, reflecting the martial traditions of ancient Ireland.

In Irish history and mythology, several notable figures bore the name Lorcan. One of the most famous Lorcans was Lorcan Ua Tuathail, who later became Saint Laurence O'Toole, the Archbishop of Dublin in the 12th century. He played a crucial role in mediating conflicts between the Irish and the Norman invaders and is revered as a symbol of peace and reconciliation in Irish history. The name Lorcan continues to be a popular choice in modern Ireland, honoring both its historical significance and its cultural heritage.


Nameberry says that only 18 baby boys were given this name in 2021 by US parents.

The name Rafferty is a traditional Irish surname with a rich history and a unique meaning. It is derived from the Irish Gaelic name "Ó Rabhartaigh," which means "son of Rabhartach." Rabhartach itself is believed to have been a personal name of Gaelic origin, and the addition of the prefix "Ó" signified "descendant of" or "son of" in Irish surnames. This practice of using patronymic or clan-based surnames was common in Irish culture for centuries.

Rafferty is associated with Irish history and the Gaelic clans that inhabited the island. Many Irish surnames, including Rafferty, have their roots in the Gaelic dynasties and tribal affiliations that were prevalent in ancient Ireland. These names often denoted a person's ancestry and connection to a specific clan or region. Over time, as Ireland underwent various historical and cultural changes, the use of surnames like Rafferty became more standardized, and they continue to be an important part of Irish identity today.

Other names to make the top ten list include Hester, Romilly, Bee, Grover, and Ottilie.

*Originally published in Nov 2022, updated in September 2023.