Unique baby names that show off your Irish ancestry
Looking for a unique Irish baby name can be difficult if you live outside of Ireland but still want a unique baby boy name or unique baby boy name that will pay tribute to your Irish roots. While the use of Irish surnames and last names as first names in the US is becoming more common, these unique baby names with Irish roots, some of which are common in Ireland, will certainly stand out from the crowd outside of the Emerald Isle.
Do you have a unique Irish name that you love? Let us know about it in the comments section, below.
Read more: 100 Irish first names and their meanings
Unique Irish baby names for girls
As the Gaelic form of the name Sarah or Sally, this name means “brightness” or “radiant.” As with many of the names on this list (if not all of them), it’s an extremely common name in Ireland but in 2014, only six infants were given the name in the US.
This name means lamb, from the Gaelic word uan. Sometimes the name is translated as “unity,” from “una,” the Latin word for “one.” Many people in the US spell it as Oonagh or Oona to try and simplify the spelling for non-Irish speakers. In 2014, it came right down in 2,750th place on the list of baby names used in the US.
A variation of the name Finnguala, which means ‘fair shoulder’ or ‘white shoulder,’ from “fionn” meaning white and “guala” meaning shoulder. This is becoming less and less common in the US, with only six babies being named Fionnuala in 2014.
Caoimhe (kwee-va or kee-va)
From the Gaelic word "caomh," this name means gentle, beautiful or precious. While seeing a spike over the last decade, only 16 babies were named Caoimhe in 2014, yet the named consistently comes in the top 200 list in Ireland.
This name means "dream" or "vision" from the Gaelic word ‘aislinge’ and refers to an “aisling,” which is a poetic genre of Irish language poetry from the late 17th century. It only started being used as a first name in the 20th century. The poetic genre has been personified in Ireland as a beautiful woman in peril.
You may sometimes see its spelled “Ashling,” again to try and make pronunciation easier for others. While high in the rankings in Massachusetts compared to elsewhere in the US, it still only comes in 824th place there, whereas it was the 56th most popular names in Ireland in recent years.
Unique Irish baby names for boys
This name is trending up in the US but was still only ranked as the no. 4,400 name for baby boys. Fintan is an old Irish saint’s name!
Fionn (finn, fee-in or fyon)
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.” Known for being brave, handsome, wise and generous.
Only 23 baby boys were given this name in the US in 2014.
This name 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.”
Again, this one was popular in Massachusetts coming in at no. 521 instead of the national average of no. 1,717.
The only name on this list that was originally a surname, Conley stems from O′Conghaile or Ó Conghalaigh. This name was at its most common in the US in the 1880s but despite a severe drop-off has been slowly trending upwards again, especially in Texas.
You might see this also spelled as Owen or Eoghan. This name means “young.”
A popular name in New York and California, it had an upsurge in the 2000s but has plateaued since then, only ranking at No. 2,422 in 2014.
What’s your favorite unique Irish baby name? Let us know in the comments section, below.
H/T: Hanford Sentinel