Research into the United States Social Security Administration has already shown the big baby name trends for 2023, and two Irish boy's names remain in the top ten list, while other trends are much more novel.
The Baby Center's research of the baby names registered so far for US social security shows interesting trends such as nature names, vintage names, short names, meaningful names, and names that used to be just nicknames.
However, the lists of the top ten boys' and girls' names illustrate a different story. Liam and Aiden won a spot in the top ten boy's names in the United States for 2023, but no Irish names made it on the girls' top name list.
The Baby Center report states "Noah edged out Liam to take over as the #1 name, and there are four new names in the top ten Leo, Mateo, Ethan, and Aiden. William, Henry, Benjamin, and Theodore fell out of the top 10 entirely – though there's still time this year for a comeback."
The introduction of the name Liam to Ireland can be traced back to the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century. The Normans, originally of Viking and Frankish descent, had settled in Normandy, France, and later expanded their influence to England. With the Norman conquest of England in 1066, their culture and language influenced the British Isles, including Ireland.
Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, Norman settlers brought their language and naming conventions, including the name William, which eventually morphed into the Irish form Uilliam. Over time, Uilliam evolved further into Liam, reflecting the distinct pronunciation patterns of the Irish language.
Liam has become an incredibly popular name in Ireland and beyond. In recent years, it has consistently ranked among the top choices for baby boys' names in numerous English-speaking countries. In 2020, Liam held the top spot for boys' names in the United States, highlighting its widespread appeal and recognition.
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Aiden derives from the ancient Gaelic name "Áedán" or "Aodhán." This Celtic name is composed of two distinct elements: "áed" meaning "fire" or "fiery," and "án" signifying "little" or "child." Therefore, Aiden can be interpreted to mean "little fiery one" or "fiery child."
The name Aiden finds its roots in the rich cultural heritage of ancient Ireland. It was prevalent during the early medieval period and can be traced back to the legendary tales of Irish mythology. In Irish folklore, Aiden is often associated with strong and heroic figures, portraying characteristics such as bravery, determination, and passion.
The name gained prominence during the spread of Christianity in Ireland when many traditional Gaelic names underwent adaptation to Christianized forms. As a result, Áedán became Anglicized to Aiden, allowing it to retain its Irish charm while becoming more accessible to English-speaking communities.
*Originally published in June 2023. Updated in September 2023.