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Traditional Irish Names

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Some Irish names have a long history to them and go back centuries. These classic Irish names for both boys and girls are not only warm and beautiful but they also have an air of mystery about them. You may have heard of Irish names that are popular in America, such as Aidan, but have you heard the girl's name Gráinne or the boy's name Calbhach? Check out our collection of the best traditional Irish names!

Irish baby girlIrish names are popular now more than ever as parents look for names that are uncommon and very unique. Traditional Irish names certainly fall into that category, especially if one or both parents have Irish heritage.

Traditional Irish names (as well as modern Irish names) are Gaelic in origin. Gaelic, an Irish language, is quite different from English and the pronounciations are not always easy to determine if you don't have background or experience in the language. Many Irish names have been Anglicized, meaning it has been altered in spelling or pronunciation when borrowed into English usage. This will make the names easier to pronounce.

A good example of an Anglicized name is Aiden. It was #16 on the Social Security Administration's popularity list for 2008 and is the Anglicized form of the old Irish name Áedán. It is so popular that it has several Anglicized versions -- Aidan, Aden, Ayden. So while this name is amazingly popular in the United States, it has a long, legitimate Irish history behind it. Another Gaelic version of the name is Aodhán, which was the name of many saints as well as several characters from Celtic mythology.

For the following names, we have provided not only the pronuciation of the traditional Gaelic names but, when available, the Anglicized version of that name in brackets. Have fun -- and get inspired -- with these wonderful classic Irish names.

Traditional Irish girl names

Afric (afrik): A name from the 11th century
Aibreann (av ran): This name means "month of April" [April]
Aine (awn ya): This means "radiance, joy" [Ann, Anne]
Briana (bree an ah): This means "hill"
Caitlín (kate lyn): Meaning "pure" [Katherine]
Dubheasa (duv eesa): This name means "dark beauty"
Gráinne (graw nya): This name means either "grain" or "inspiring terror [Grace]
Isolde (ee sold): This might refer to the Celtic goddess Adsulata
Maebh (may vuh): Meaning "bringer of great joy" [Maeve]
Muadnait (mwa naht): This name means "noble one" [Monica]
Niamh (neev): Meaning "radiance, brillance" [Neve]
Rionach (ria nock): This royal name means "regal" [Riona]
Róisín (ro sheen): This means "little rose" [Rosaleen]
Saoirse (seer sha): This  name means "freedom"
Zaira (zay ra): This means "radiance" [Sarah]

Get more girl Irish baby names here!

Traditional Irish Boy Names


Abbán (ob ban): This name means "little abbot"
Bardán (bar dawn): Meaning "bard, poet"
Calbhach (col vakh): This name means "bald" [Charles]
Dáire (daw reh): This means "fertile, fruitful" [Dudley]
Feidhlim (feh lim): This name has an uncertain meaning [Felix]
Lachtna (lacht na): This means "milk white" [Lucius]
Lughaidh (loo ee): This name means "light, brightness" [Louis]
Marcán (mar kawn): Meaning "steed"
Murchú (mur choo): This means "hound of the sea" [Murphy]
Ruaidhrí (ru a ree): This name means "red king" [Roderick]
Sé (shay): Meaning "hawk-like, noble"
Séadhna (shay un na): This means "traveller" [Sidney]
Tadhg (tyg): Meaning "poet" [Tad, Thaddeus]
Tomaltach (tum al tach): Uncertain meaning [Thomas]
Uaithne (wan yeh): This name means "greenish" [Anthony]

Get more Irish boy names here!

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