Names for your Irish American Baby

In Ireland, the name Aoife is fairly common, but in the USA, people would probably look at the name blankly and ask you how to pronounce it 8 times. So, if you are an Irish American, or a citizen of another country who has Irish ancestry, you might want a name with Irish flavor, but are not concerned with authenticity. These names are not necessarily used in Ireland, but are easy to pronounce, and have Irish roots. Since many of these names are new creations, we have not specified a gender for each. Many are unisex. For example, Cassidy is used for both girls and boys in the USA.

name pronunciation meaning other forms notes
Aengus ANG us 'one choice' or 'true vigor'-a Celtic god name Aonghas -
Aideen AY deen angl. of Éadaoin Etain sometimes thought of as fem. of Aidan
Aileen AY leen; EYE leen hazelnut (from French Aveline) Eileen, Eibhilín sometimes used as a form of Helen
Ailish AY leesh form of Alice Ailis -
Alana uh LAIN a, uh LON uh, uh LAN uh fem. of Alan (see also) Alanna, Alaina, Alayna see also Alannah
Alannah uh LON a my child Alana, (see also) the phonetic sp. of 'a leanbh', an Irish term of endearment
Allina uh LEEN a, uh LEEN modern fems. of Alan (see also) Alina, Allene see also Alana
Annora uh NOR a honor (from Latin) Onóra, Nora (see also) from the Latin Honora
Anya AWN ya radiance, splendour Áine, Ania Celtic goddess name
Ashling ASH ling dream; vision Aisling, Aislinn see also Ashlyn
Ashlyn ASH lyn dream; vision Aisling, Aislinn USA form of Aisling, based on Ashley & Lynn
Becan BEK in little Beccán -
Bedelia beh DEEL ya high; noble? Bedilia form of Brigid, Bridget
Benvy BEN vee woman from Meath Bean Mhí -
Braden BRAY din salmon Ó Bradáin, Braydan (There are many spellings in the USA) This Irish surname is on the rise as a first name in the USA.
Brady BRAY dee spirited Bradaigh In the USA, this is sometimes used as a nickname for Braden.
Bran BRAN raven - -
Brandon BRAn din prince- name of a mountain in Ireland Breanainn this name can also be an English surname
Bree BREE high; noble Brígh, Brie an old saint's name, also used as a nn for Briana etc.
Brendan BREN din prince Breanainn Brendan is one of Ireland’s patron saints
Brian BRY in high; noble Bryan; Brion -
Briana bree ON a, Bree AN a mod. fem. of Brian Brianna, Brianne this name is extremely popular in the USA
Brianna/Brianne bree ON a; bree AN a etc. modern fem. Form of Brian Briana; Bryana -
Bridget, Brigid BRIJ it high; noble? Bríd, Bríghde Bridget is actually the Swedish spelling, but it is often mistaken for the Irish. One of the patron saints of Ireland
Casey, Kasey KAY see vigilant in war Ó Cathasaigh This Irish surname is hugely pooular in the USA for both girls and boys. There are many different spellings (Kaycee, Kasi etc.)
Cashel, Cashlin, Caislin CASH ul, CASh lin, CASH leen - castle or 'little castle' Caiseal, Caislín from an Irish place name
Cass CAS curly haired Cas -
Cassan CAS an curly haired Cassán -
Catrina cat REE na form of Catherine Caitríona -
Cavan CAV in hollow or grassy hill- a county in Ireland Cabhan The name of a county in Ireland.
Cliona KLEE uh na This is a nice Gaelic name that is easy to pronounce. Clíodhna Clio is a cute nickname used by Maeve Binchy in one of her books
Clodagh KLO da name of a river in Co. Waterford Cloideach -
Cody KO dee son of Otto Mac Óda Extremely popular in the USA, this Irish surname is sometimes used as a nickname for Dakota (a Native American tribe).
Cole KOL fellow hostage Comhghall This can also be an independent name for Nicholas.
Colla COL la great chief Coll -
Colleen kol LEEN Irish word for ‘girl’ Coleen; Cailín Colleen is not used in Ireland. It was coined in the 1920s in the USA for a movie actress.
Conall CON il strong as a wolf Conal, Connell -
Conlan CON lin strong as a wolf Ó Conailláin -
Conna KUN na; CON na wolf cub Cana -
Connery CON ner ee warrior lord? Ó Conaire probably most associated with the Scottish actor Sean Connery
Conor CON er lover of hounds Connor, Conchobhar In Ireland, Conor is the spelling of the first name. Connor is a surname spelling. However, in the USA, Connor is moe poplar as a 1st name.
Conry CON ree wolf king Conrí -
Corey KOR ee Son of Godfrey Corry; Corr -
Dallan DAL in blind Dallán an Irish saint's name
Dana DAN na Celtic goddess name Danu; Ana Pronounced like Danna, (not DAY na), this is a modern form of an ancient Celtic goddessname.
Dara/Darragh DAR a ’oak tree’ or ‘fruitful one’ Dáire; Dary -
Darina dah REE na fruitful Dáirine -
Davin; Devin DA vin, DEH vin stag, ox, deer Daimhín, Damhán -
Declan DEK lin Perhaps full of goodness? Deaglán -
Deirdre DEER dreh; DAIR dreh she who chatters Deidre; Deirdriu Deirdre is a prominent figure in Irish legend. Her story has been made famous by the Irish authors WB Yeats and JM Synge.
Dermot DER mit envy-free Diarmaid Made more popular in the USA by actor Dermot Mulroney.
Dervla DERV uh la daughter of a poet Deirbhile Made more popular by the Irish writer Dervla Murphy. She was named after Eamon DeValera (Irish PM)
Desmond DEZ mund man from South Munster Deasún -
Dolan DOE lin - Ó Dúbhláin, Ó Dobhailen -
Donal DOE nul, DUH nul world-mighty Dónal; Domhnaill -
Donavan DON I vin, DUN I vin dark brown (hair) Ó Donnabháin -
Donegal DUN nee gal fort of the stranger Dún na nGall this is the name of a county in NW Ireland.
Donegan DUN I gin brown Ó Donnagáin -
Dougal DOO gul dark stranger (ie Viking) Dubhghall -
Doyle DOY ul, DOIL dark stranger (ie Viking) Ó Dubhghaill Doyle is the surname form of Dougal.
Dwayne, Duane DWAIN dark daired person Dubhán This name is also found in the USA as DeWayne. Duane is sometimes pronounced DWAHN.
Eamon AY mun wealthy guardian Eamonn, Éamann The Irish form of Edmund.
Eavan ee VAN brightness; radience Aoibheann -
Egan EE gin little fire Aodhagán -
Eileen eye LEEN hazlenut Éibhlín the Irish form of Evelyn
Eilis(h) AY lesh Oath of God Eilis, sometimes confused with Ailis(h) An Irish form of Elizabeth
Einin AY neen little bird Einín -
Eire EH ra Ireland Éire The Irish name for Ireland is occasionally found in the USA. I think it's a nice alternative to the overused Erin.
Eireen eye REEN little Ireland? Éirín probably a respelling of the Greek Irene, this name could also be a compound of Éire (Ireland) and the -een ending.
Eirne EHR nya Celtic goddess name Éirne this is the name of a river in Ireland. It would also make a nice alternative to the overused Erin.
Elsha EL sha dream, vision Aisling, Aislinn an anglicization of the name Aislinn
Emer EE mur, AY mur, EV er ? Emir, Éimhear this is an ancient legendary name.
Emmett EM mit belonging to Emma - This English surname is often used in Ireland to commemorate the Irish patriot Robert Emmett.
Enya EN ya kernal? Gorse? Eithne The Irish singer Enya's first name is really Eithne, the Irish form of the name.
Erin EH rin Ireland Éire The poetic name from Ireland is not used in the Republic, but it is found in Northern Ireland and in other English speaking nations.
Eveny EV uh nee ? Aibhne -
Ever, Eaver EE vur, AY vur Irishman Éimhear -
Evin EV in prompt/radiant Éimhín/Aoibheann Evin is used as an anglicization of both Irish names listed.
Evlin/Evaleen EV lin/EV uh leen beauty, radience Éibhlean Coming from an old Irish name (Éibhlean), sometimes these forms are used to anglicize Éibhilín (Eileen).
Fallon FAL lin leader Ó Fallamháin This Irish surname was made popular by the American tv show Dynasty.
Fania FAN ya ring Fainne A circle was worn to designate Irish speakers during the Gaelic revival . This name was popular then, as a political/cultural statement.
Farrell FAIR ul, FAHR ul valorous Fearghal -
Fenore fe NORE white ghost; spirit Fionnúir -
Fergal FER gul valorous Fearghal -
Fergus FER gus manly Fearghus -
Fina FEE na vine Fíona This is not related to the common name Fiona
Finbar FIN bar white, fair-headed Fionnbharr -
Fineen fin EEN wine-birth Fínín -
Finian FIN yin white, fair Finnén -
Finn FIN white, fair Fionn -
Finola fin OH la white-shouldered Fionnghuala -
Fintan FIN tin white, fair Fionntán -
Fiona fee OH na white Fionnait Fiona was coined by the Scottish author James MacPherson in the 1700s. It is a feminine form of Fionn ("white") based on the Latinate feminine ending -a (as in Johann/Johanna). The 'true' Irish feminine form of Fionn is Fionnait.
Flann FLAN blood-red Flann -
Flannan FLAN nin blood-red Flannán -
Flannery FLAN ner ee red eyebrows Ó Flannabhra Made popular in the USA by writer Flannery O'Connor
Flynn FLIN blood-red Ó Floinn -
Galway GAHL way Gallimh's place Gallimh a city in Ireland, made popular by poet Galway Kinnell.
Garvin GAR vin rough Garbhán -
Grania GRAW nya grain?/inspires terror? Gráinne -
Ina EE na holy Aghna Anglicization of the Irish form of Agnes
Irial EER ee ul ? - -
Ita EE ta thirst Íde an Irish saint's name
Jarlath JAR lath western kingdom? Iarfhlaith -
Juverna joo VER na, yoo VERna Ireland - A Latin name for Ireland
Katelyn KATE lin ? Traditionally associated with 'pure' Caitlín American pronunciation of an irish form of Catherine.
Kathleen kath LEEN ? Traditionally associated with 'pure' Caitlín the anglicization of an Irish form of Catherine
Kaylin KAY lin slender and fair-haired Caoilfhionn? Probably a modern coinage based on the names Kay and Lynn, but could also be an American alteration of Caoilfhionn.
Kean KEEN, KEE un ancient, enduring Cian -
Keavy/Keeva KEE vee/KEE va beloved; beautiful; graceful Caoimhe -
Keegan KEE gin little fire Mac Aodhagáin -
Keelin KEE lin slender and fair-haired Caoilfhionn -
Keely KEE lee ? - Probably a modern form of Kiely, Keelin
Kellan KEL lin slender lad Caolán -
Kelly KEL lee bright-headed? Ceallach -
Kennedy KEN nid ee ugly-headed Ó Cinnéde This presidential Irish surname is becoming very poplular in the USA.
Kermit KER mit envy-free? Mac Diarmaid -
Kerry KEH ree dark; black Ciarraí A county in Ireland
Kevin KEV in beautiful birth Caoimhín -
Kiely KYE lee, KYE ul ee slender Ó Cadhla -
Kieran KEER in dark; black Ciarán -
Killian KIL lee an strife? Church? Cillén -
Kira, Kiera KEE ra, KEE uh ra dark, black Ciar, Ciara -
Kyla KYE la slender and fair-haired? Cadhla probably a modern feminine form of the Scottish name Kyle. It could also be a modernization of the Irish mans name Cadhla.
Kyne KINE wild goose Cadhan -
Lassarina las ar EE na flame-wine Lasarfhíona -
Leesha LEE sha ? Laoise Irish place name
Liadan LEE uh din grey-eyed lady Líadan -
Liam LEE um helmet of resolution Uilliam A short form of the Irish from of William.
Lila, Leela LEE la oath of God Líle An Irish nickname for Elizabeth
Lochlainn/Lachlan LACH lin, LOCK lin viking Lochlainn Lachlan is the usual Scottish spelling.
Loman LO min bare Lomán -
Lonan LO nin blackbird Lonán -
Lorcan LOR kin cruel, fierce Lorccán -
Maelisa mail EE sa follower of Jesus Mael Íosa -
Maeve MAVE she who intoxicaes Meadhbh -
Mairead mar ADE pearl Mairéad Irish form of Margaret
Malachy MAL uh kee follower of St. Sechnall Maoileachlainn -
Mannix MAN nix little monk Mainchín -
Mara MAHR a fullness; complete Máire Anglicization of the Irish form of Mary
Maura MAW ra fullness; complete Máire Anglicization of the Irish form of Mary
Maureen maw REEN little Mary Máirín -
Milo/Myles MY lo/MY uls various Maeleachlainn, Maolra, Maolrunaí Milo is an Irish form of Myles, a name often used to anglicize the 3 Irish nameslisted.
Moira MOY ra fullness; complete Máire Anglicization of the Irish form of Mary
Molly MAHL ee fullness; complete Mallaidh A short form of Máire
Mona MOE na noble, good Muadhnait -
Moreen mor EEN great; tall Móirín sometimes interchanged with Maureen
Moya MOY a fullness; complete Máire Anglicization of the Irish form of Mary
Muriel MYUR ee ul sea-bright Muirgheal -
Murphy MUR fee hound of the sea Ó Murchú This name has been made popular in the USA by the eponymous character on tv's Murphy Brown
Murren/Moren MUR in sea-fair Muireann -
Murry MUR ee seaman; lord Muirioch -
Myrna/Morna MUR na high-spirited; festive Muirne -
Neesha NEE sha ? Naoise -
Neeve NEEV brightness; radiance Niamh -
Neil NEEL cloud? Hostage? Niall -
Neila NEE la cloud? Hostage? Modern feminine form of Niall
Nessa NES a ? Neasa -
Nessan NES sin ? Neasán -
Nevan Nev in saint Naomhán -
Nolan NO lin shout Ó Nualláin -
Nora NO ra honor Onóra Irish short form of the Latin name Honora
Noreen no REEN honor Nóirín Pet form of Nora
Nuala NOO uh la white shouldered Fionnghuala Short form of Fionnuala, used on its own
Oliver OLL I ver olive tree - This is not actually an Irish name, but widely used in Ireland in honor of Oliver Plunkett, Ireland's last saint.
Onora uh NO ra honor Onóra Irish short form of the Latin name Honora
Oran OR in grey-brown Odhran -
Orinthia or IN thee a ? - name invented by the Irish playwright GB Shaw for his play, The Apple Cart.
Orla OR la shining, golden Orlaith -
Oscar OSS kir deer-lover Osgar -
Ossian OSS ee in, AWSH in deer Oisín -
Owen OWE in various Eoghan, Eoin Actually a Welsh name, but used to anglicize the names Eoghan ("Yew-born") and Eoin, and Irish form of John.
Patricia pa TRISH a nobleman Pádraigín Feminine form of Patrick
Patrick PAT rick nobleman Pádraig Actually coming form Latin, Patrick is Ireland's #1 patron saint.
Phelim FEH lim, FEE lim ? Felim ?
Pierce/Pearse PEERS rock Piaras Irish form of Peter
Quinlan KWIN lin beautiful shape Caoinleán -
Quinn QWIN sense, intelligence Ó Cuinn -
Regan/Reagan REE gin/RAY gin king? Impulsive; furious? Ó Ríagáin -
Riley/Reilly RYE lee/RYE uh lee valiant? Ó Raghallaigh -
Riona REE uh na queenly Ríonach -
Ronan ROE nin little seal Rónán -
Rory RO ree red king Ruadhrí -
Rosaleen ROZE uh leen little rose Róisín Originally from a Norse word for 'horse' this anglicization of Róisín has stayed popular because of its connection to the flower of the same name.
Rosheen ROE sheen little rose Róisín same as Rosaleen, only a more phonetic form.
Ross RAWS headland Ros -
Rowan/Rohan ROE in red haired Ruadhán, Ruan -
Ryan RYE in little king Ríain -
Saoirse SEER sha freedom Saoirse -
Saorla SAYR la noble queen Saorla -
Saraid SAHR id excellent; best Saraid -
Seamus SHEH mus, SHAY mus supplanter Séamus, Séamas -
Sean SHAWN God is gracious Seán -
Shane SHAIN God is gracious Seán -
Shannon SHAN nin Form of a Celtic goddess name Siannan The name of a River in Ireland. Also Ireland's international airport.
Shayla SHAY la grey-eyed, blind Síle -
Shea/Shay SHAY hawk-like Ó Séaghdha -
Sheefra SHEE fra sprite; changeling; precocious child Síofra -
Sheena SHEE na God is gracious Síne -
Sheeva, Seeva SHEE va peace Síomha -
Sheila SHEE la grey-eyed, blind Síle -
Sheridan SHEH ri dun ? Sirideán -
Siobhan shih VAWN God is gracious Siobhán This name has numerous forms in the USA: ShaVaughn, Chavonne etc. The most acceptable anglicization is Shivaun.
Slany SLAY nee health Sláine -
Sorcha SUR a kha radiant; light Sorcha -
Sorley SORE lee summer-wanderer Somhairle -
Tallulah/Talulla ta LOO la lady of abundance Tuillelath -
Tara TAH ra, TARE a high, eminent Teamhair -
Teague TYG poet; philosopher Tadhg -
Tiernan TEER nin lord, chief Tighearnán -
Tierney TEER nee lord, chief Tighearnach -
Tressa/Treasa TREH sa, TRA sa strength Treasa -
Triona TREE uh na short form of Caitríona Tríona -
Turlough TUR lukh, TUR lo instigator; abettor Toirdhealbhach -
Tyrone tur OWN Eoghan's land Tír Eoghan The name of a county in Ireland
Una OO na lamb? Úna This name is also found as Oona and Oonagh
Vanessa va NES a ? - Vanessa was created by the Irish writer Jonathan Swift out of the name Esther Vanhomrigh.

thanks to Karen Nicholas for the background art.