Irish names have been making the trans-Atlantic crossing for centuries, beginning with easily assimilated ones like Patrick and Kathleen, Kevin and Brian and Ryan. But recently, thanks to a few high-profile celebs in both the entertainment and literary worlds, we’ve been introduced to some intriguingly authentic Irish names we hadn’t met up with before. Here, to commemorate St. Paddy’s Day, are some of the best.
When Aidan Quinn hit it big in Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985, most Americans didn’t know if his name was pronounced EYE-den or ADE-en. That soon changed—by 1995, his name had entered the popularity list, and eight years later it was in the Top 100, accelerated by heartthrob Aidan Shaw on Sex and the City . This spelling of the Irish sun god and saint’s name Aodh (pronounced EE) was overtaken by the Americanized Aiden, which is now a Top 10 name.