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Category: Irish baby names

Irish baby names

Kick up your heels, get out your shillelagh and prepare to dance a jig as we celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with twelve musical Irish names—some of which were introduced to us by musicians who, as a bonus, taught us the right way to pronounce them.

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Celebrity Names: The Mc’s and the Macs

mcmatthew

Most cultures have some word for names meaning ‘son of’—called patronymics– from the English son, the Danish sen , Armenian ian, and the Scottish and Irish, Mac and Mc. The latter two have made their way into first as well as surname use—as in Macauley Culkin, Mackenzie Phillips, McGeorge Bundy, and McCoy Tyner.These days, daughters as well as sons are given Celtic patronymics: Mackenzie (jump-started for girls by 80’s TV star Phillips, and used for her daughter by Harry Potter author J. K Rowling) now ranks at Number 71. Variant McKenzie is at 152, McKenna at 226, McKinley at 457, and the hybrid, non-Celtic McKayla at Number 701.Right now there are a number of Mc and Mac celebs on the scene, whose surnames could possibly be the next baby names. Well, maybe not McConaughey.

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irish14

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.

IRISH GIRLS

AIMEE VIOLET, sister of Alaoise

ANNA EVE

ARIA ADRIENNE, sister of Cosette

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Meanings of Names: Ever hear of Homophony?

posted by: Nook of Names View all posts by this author
homo

 By K. M. Sheard, of NookofNames

There’s an old method of naming first recorded in use in the Old Testament.

It’s called homophony, and basically is the principal of choosing a name because it sounds like something which the bestower wants to commemorate. Or, putting it another way, the choice of name was inspired by something, which, in most cases is entirely unrelated to the name.

It works in all languages; amongst the biblical Hebrews, for instance, there was a period when names which had become long-established were chosen because of their resemblance to a word or words which suggested themselves during pregnancy or labor.

This is partly why the meaning of so many biblical names have gotten so muddled. It’s common in the OT for the mother to make some explanation as to why she’s naming a newborn such-and-such, and this explanation was often interpreted in the past as being the meaning of the name, when, in many cases, it’s actually homophony going on.

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gaelic6

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.

Irish Girls

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