Nameberry Picks for St. Paddy‘s Day: Irish Surname Names
The current popularity lists are full of Irish baby names that are also surname namesâ€”Ryan, Riley, Brody, Brady, Brennan, Connor, Keegan, and Quinn, to name just a fewâ€”and have been for quite some time.Â For the most part, they have been two- and occasionally one-syllable names; Â weâ€™d like to suggest that the next wave will consist of the bouncier, even friendlier and more genial names with three syllables, and here are some of the best candidates.
Most of this brand of Irish baby names seem more suited to boysâ€”but letâ€™s not forget what happened to Cassidy and Delaney in the 1990s, when they tinted decidedly pink.
Braniganâ€”a possible update for Brandon; the name means the descendant of the son of the raven, the latter being a nickname for the first chief of the clan. Spelled Brannigan, it was a 1975 John Wayne movie, and Zapp Brannigan is the antihero of the satirical animated sitcom Futurama
Callahan â€“means â€śbright-headedâ€ť; also spelled Callaghan, a name that harkens back to the ancient King of Munster
Connollyâ€”could make a livelier substitute for Connor, means â€śfierce as a houndâ€ť; also spelled Connelly, as in detection fiction writer Michael
Cullinanâ€”not as familiar as some of the others but has a long and distinguished Irish historyâ€”and, for a bit of trivia, the Cullinan diamond was the largest rough diamond ever found (3,000+ carats) when discovered in 1905.
Doneganâ€”a possible namesake for an ancestral Donald–for those who find Donovan too Mellow-Yellow sixties folksie
Finnigan â€“an energetic extensionÂ of Finn, used by Will & Grace star Eric McCormack for his son; also spelled Finnegan
Fitzwilliamâ€”the Christian name of the dashing Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice; Fitzpatrick is another possibility, and more authentically Irish
Flanagan– an elaboration of Flann, cousin of Flynn and Finn and one of the colorful red-headed names
Garrityâ€”an alternative to Garrett; this one could conceivably work for a girl, Ă la Amity, ClarityÂ and Charity.
Gulliverâ€”fairly obscure Gaelic surname knownÂ primarily through its literary Travels until actor Gary Oldman used it for his son, instantly transforming it into a lively first name option, one taken up a decade later by Damian Lewis
Halloranâ€”a non-Henry or Harold path to Hal.Â Halloran derives from a word meaning pirate, or stranger from overseas
Kennellyâ€”modernizes and energizes Kenneth, and also the more recent Kennedy.Â Can also be spelled Kenneally.
Lanigan means â€ślittle blackbirdâ€ť; also appealing areÂ Lonegan and Landrigan
MacCormacâ€”John McCormack was an illustrious opera singer; some other Mac (son of) options: MacDermot, MacDonnell
Morrisseyâ€”a possible namesake name for an ancestral Morris; associated with the single-named singer
Raffertyâ€”this raffishly upbeatÂ name means â€śrichâ€ť or â€śproperty wielderâ€ť in Gaelic and was used for their son by Sadie Frost and Jude Law
Sheridan â€“the surname of a famous British playwright and heroic Civil War general; possible downside is the dated nickname Sherry, as heard in the classic play and movie The Man Who Came to DinnerÂ
Sullivanâ€”used by Patrick Dempsey for one of his twin boys, means â€śdescendant of the black-eyed oneâ€ť and is the third most popular surname in Ireland.Â Itâ€™s been on the USÂ boysâ€™ popularity list since 2002, now at Number 652
For more Irish baby names, check out our lists of Irish Names for Boys and Irish Names for Girls.
Do you have any other favorites?Â How do you like this genre in general?
(image courtesy of vintageholidaycrafts.com)
AND A HAPPY ST. PADDY‘S DAY TO ALL!