Twice each year, the US-based baby name hub Nameberry releases the top 100 boys names and top 100 girls names that have received the most interest from their nearly 40 million users. They have just released the lists for 2016 thus far, and we were surprised to see a drop in the popularity of Irish baby names from the previous lists they released in December of last year.
Declan (anglicized version of Deaglán, the saint’s name) ranks as the fourth most popular boy’s name, maintaining its spot from 2015 as a newcomer favorite. It’s beat only by the names Ezra, Asher and Atticus, which rank first, second and third, respectively.
Liam (a shortened form of Uilliam, the Irish form of William, a Germanic name made of two words meaning “desire” and “protection) ranks 16th, up one from last year. It’s surprising, though, that the name hasn’t received more attention since it was ranked the sexiest in the world.
Oscar (Anglicization of Osgar, meaning “deer lover;” made famous by Oscar Wilde and Oscar, son of Ossian in Irish myth) has leapt up to 20 from 28.
Finn (Anglicized version of Fionn, meaning fair, blonde, or “small blonde soldier”) comes in 42nd, down 20 places from 2015.
Callum (the Gaelic form of the Latin “columba,” which means “dove”) is halfway down the list at 52, down 10 places since 2015.
Nolan (Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Nualláin from “nuall,” which means “nobleman”) has made a comeback at 55th, after disappearing from the most popular names in 2015.
Ronan (meaning “little seal”) is 57th, down from 39th. Connor (Usually translated as “lover of hounds," though the Irish version typically only has one “n”) ranks immediately after, at 58th, making a big jump from its 2015 ranking at 80.
Beckett (which calls to mind the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett) ranks 60th, down from 33rd last year.
Owen (Usually a Welsh name, though it can also be an Anglicization of the Irish names Eoin (form of John) and Eoghan, meaning “born of the yew”) ranks 62nd, down from 32nd in 2015.
Gone entirely from the 100 most popular boys names are: Logan (From the Irish surname O’Loughan), Emmett (a classic Irish name given out of respect for the Irish patriot Robert Emmet) and Rowan (from the Gaelic for “little redhead”).
There are no Irish names among the top 10 for girls, which show Olivia, Amelia and Charlotte in the lead.
The first Irish girl’s name for 2016 is Nora, a shortened version of Honora (a traditional Irish name from the Latin for “honor”). It ranks 24th, up from 37.
Maeve (Anglicization of Meabh, the warrior queen of Connacht from Irish legend) ranks at 32, advancing a bit in popularity since December, when it ranked 38th.
The highest ranking Irish girl’s name from 2015, Quinn (Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Cuinn, meaning “descendant of Conn,” which in turn means “leader” or “chief”) which ranked 28th, is nowhere to be seen among the new top 100.
Also gone is the unisex name Rowan (from the Gaelic for “little redhead”), which rounded out the list last year at 100.
What are your favorite Irish names? Are there any you feel are due for a comeback? Let us know in the comment section.