Category: cool Irish names
Irish baby names are in the news this week, with the release of the official statistics on the top names of 2010. Leading the list: Sophie and Jack, holding onto their Number 1 crowns from last year. But there are lots of other changes and surprises in the statistics.
The first surprise, especially if you don’t live in Ireland, is how few of the top Irish baby names are actually Irish. Four of the top ten boys’ names — Sean, Conor, Ryan, and Dylan (Welsh, actually, with Dillon the Irish cognate) — are Irish; only one of the girls’ names — Aoife at Number 10 — is a native choice.
The top ten Irish baby names are:
The cover baby of our published-today book Cool Irish Names is an adorable redhead, appropriate for a volume that includes lots of Irish names that mean red hair (there are lists of those that mean blond and dark hair, too, but that’s another post).
Red-haired names have a special significance for me, being a coppery redhead myself. My mom had bright red hair, as does my middle child, Joe. And daughter Rory‘s name is one of the red-haired choices, appropriate since she has my coppery hair.
Here, from our new book Cool Irish Names, is a list of names for your own little redhead. For Irish-American babies, accents and Gaelic spellings are optional:
RUAIRÍ , RORY
Our latest book, Cool Irish Names for Babies, will be hitting the bookstores in a few weeks and we’ll be offering you a few hors d’oeuvres (that doesn’t sound very Irish) before then. The book contains lots of undiscovered Irish baby names drawn from myth, legend and history, cool celebrity and popularity stuff, and a history of Irish names in America. And for Celtic-pronunciation-phobic American parents, we give the pronunciation of every problematic name–every time it’s mentioned.
To bring it up-to-the-moment and not just rely on national popularity lists, we scoured the birth announcements in newspapers to find out what Irish baby names real parents in Dublin and elsewhere are actually using today. Here are some that are in the book, and others added just this week. With pronunciations, but, unfortunately, not the accents.
CLODAGH (KLO-da)–very popular
NIAMH (neev)–very popular
SADHBH (sive–rhymes with five)
SORCHA (SOR-ka or SOR-ra)
AILBHE (ALL-bay) unisex