Category: Irish boys’ names
Sssssssssh, have you heard the secret?
Among the attractive sh names for boys are the following:
The new most popular Irish baby names were just announced, with the Top 10 dominated by — non-Irish names.
The new Top 10 for girls contains not a single Irish choice:
Many people—berries included –sometimes complain that it’s harder to find names for a boy than a girl, that we’re running low on male names that are usable but not overused (outside of or as far down the Top 1000 as possible), interesting, distinctive, appealing, and authentic—names that would fit into our old Fitting In/Standing Out category. But don’t give up the ship—there are still any number of names that belong in that golden triangle, and here we offer eight of the best underused boys’ names.
1. Auberon/Oberon—This pair of boys’ names is actually a twofer, because though they sound the same, they have somewhat different visual images: the Au-beginning lends a certain softness that the starker O-starter doesn’t have. Auberon might be a variant of Aubrey—the grandfather of writer Auberon Waugh’s (son of Evelyn), for example, was called Aubrey. Oberon is the Shakespearean spelling, used for the King of the Fairies in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, based on a thirteenth century French fairy character. Both versions have a strong but creative feel, and could go by the attractive nickname Bron.
2. Benno –Here’s one lively o-ending boy’s name that’s been overlooked, despite the familiarity of its ben beginning. A German name meaning ‘bear’ and also a novel variant of Benjamin, it came to attention in the U.S. via the father and son duo of Benno Schmidt Sr and Jr. Senior was the venture capitalist who invented the term venture capitalist and Junior was the President of Yale University. Benno is also a saint’s name, belonging to the twelfth century Saint Benno of Meissen, the patron of fishermen, weavers, and the city of Munich.
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 current popularity lists are full of Irish baby names that are also surname names—Ryan, Riley, Brody, Brady, Brennan, Connor, Keegan, and Quinn, to name just a few—and have been for quite some time. For the most part, they have been two- and occasionally one-syllable names; we’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.
Branigan—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
Cullinan—not as familiar as some of the others but has a long and distinguished Irish history—and, for a bit of trivia, the Cullinan diamond was the largest rough diamond ever found (3,000+ carats) when discovered in 1905.