Category: Celtic baby names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Like most people, I love Celtic names, which makes it a lot of fun to check out the Irish and Scottish birth announcements in their local newspapers every so often, with their mix of revived Irish Gaelic names and familiar English appellations, and often surprising—to us—first and middle combos. All the babes listed below made their debuts in 2014, and they include such beauts as Libby Letitia and Bobby-Charles Jack.
Pronunciation of Irish names can be a minefield for non-Gaelic speakers, as words/names are not pronounced phonetically and there are many variations in dialect. If you need pronunciation help, you can get audio assistance at this site: http://www.babynamesofireland.com/.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
I must admit that I’m addicted to birth announcements. Not just to our own babyberries’—which are, of course, the best–but to any others I can lay my eyes on. I love the British choices that Elea posts regularly on BritishBabyNames.com, and also try to follow, among others, those in the Irish and Scottish newspapers.
Here are some entries that I’ve come across there recently, along with some particularly tasty sibling names that have been included–making a nice mix of authentic Gaelic names and cool modern choices.
Manx is one of the six Celtic languages that hail from the British isles. It is the native language of the Isle of Man, an island uniquely situated between the coasts of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. From its highest point, Snaefell, you can even see all four countries on a clear day.
Over the centuries it has passed from and between Welsh, Viking, English and Scottish rule, though now has its own democratic parliament. The Manx language — a close relative of Irish and Scot Gaelic — was spoken up until the 1970s, when its last native speaker died. However, it is now beginning to see some signs of revival.
When it comes to Celtic baby names, it’s easy enough to research the history of Irish and Scottish names, and also to check out the most popular names of the year. But what names are parents in those countries using for their kids right now? How many of the names have brogues and burrs and how many would as easily be found on announcements in the US and UK.? Are there any fabulous first/middle combos that we’d be surprised to see on our local birth cerificates?
I’ve been scouring some Irish and Scottish newspaper birth announcements and picked out some of the most striking discoveries—including some of the most noteworthy sibsets. All these babies were born during the last couple of months.
For most people outside of the UK, “British Names” are typified by the old Victorian legacy of Empire and afternoon tea, or the ethereal mystery of ancient Celtic folklore. The stereotype often favours rarefied aristocratic favourites such as Percival and Araminta, or tongue-twisting indigenous Gaelic choices like Aonghus or Caoimhe.
If you look at the most popular names that are actually used in Britain today you will see a much more varied picture. Like other Western countries there is a large influence from film and television, a popular cult of celebrity, and a growing awareness of global fashions (yes, we have many Neveahs and Jaydens, too). And yet, even in our modernised naming practices, British trends still manage to make a subtle nod to history in a style that feels quite unique.