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Top Celtic Names

Celtic names connect to a range of modern cultures, from Irish to Scottish to Welsh, Cornish and Breton. There is much crossover between Celtic names and Gaelic names; the Celts were an ancient tribe that roamed throughout northern Europe, including the modern British Isles and northern France. Some baby names that might be considered Celtic include popular modern choices such as Brett and Imogen, Arthur and Cordelia. The classic boys' name Allen is rooted in the Celtic language, as is the mythic Tristan.

Our collection of Celtic baby names includes the following choices. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.
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GavinHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "white hawk"
  • Description:

    Gavin, a name with Scottish roots, has stepped into the spotlight, replacing the dated Kevin, thanks in part to pop-rock sensation Gavin DeGraw and Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale.

ArthurHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    " bear"
  • Description:

    Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among names for the new royal prince.

TristanHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "noise or sorrowful"
  • Description:

    Tristan -- known through medieval legend and Wagnerian opera -- has a slightly wistful, touching air. This, combined with the name's popular "an" ending, makes Tristan very appealing to parents seeking a more original alternative to Christian.

KaneHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "warrior"
  • Description:

    A name of multiple identities: a somewhat soap-operatic single-syllable surname, a homonym for the biblical bad boy Cain, and, when found in Japan and Hawaii, it transforms into the two syllable KA-neh. Kane also has multiple meanings: in Welsh, it's "beautiful"; in Japanese, "golden"; and in Hawaiian, "man of the Eastern sky."

SabrinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic mythology name; Latin name for the River Severn
  • Description:

    Sabrina, the bewitchingly radiant name of a legendary Celtic goddess, is best known as the heroine of the eponymous film, originally played by Audrey Hepburn, and later as a teenage TV witch; it would make a distinctive alternative to the ultrapopular Samantha. Similar names you might also want to consider include Sabina and Serena.
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AllenHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "handsome, cheerful"
  • Description:

    Allen is the spelling of this name -- other common spellings are Alan and Allan -- most associated with the surname; it might also be the most appropriate if you're trying to steer clear of Al as a nickname, as this can easily offer you Len or Lenny as options.

RoyHeart

  • Origin:

    French "king,"; Celtic "red-haired"
  • Meaning:

    "red-haired"
  • Description:

    We've seen Ray regain his cool, but could this country/cowboy name epitomized by Roy Rogers (born Leonard Slye), Acuff, and Clark, do the same?

    Roy came into use in the late nineteenth century, probably influenced by the main character of Sir Walter Scott's novel Rob Roy, in which the historical character Robert M'ac Gregor is nicknamed Roy for his red hair.

    There have been lots of notable non-country namesakes, including baseball's Roy Campanella, humorist Roy Blunt, Jr., Walt's brother and partner Roy Disney, singer Roy Orbison and pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. Roy Hobbs was the protagonist of the Malamud novel The Natural, played in the film by Robert Redford.

BrettHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "from Brittany"
  • Description:

    Football great Brett Favre single-handedly kept this name in the limelight, though it continues to sink in popularity.

BrittanyHeart

  • Origin:

    English name of the French region Bretagne, meaning 'from Briton'
  • Description:

    Brittany first arrived on the US popularity list in 1971, and rapidly zoomed up the charts, in the Top 100 a decade later. By 1986 it had entered the Top 10, becoming the third most popular girls’ name in the country by 1989. After such immense popularity, there has been a steep decline, but it remains a name evocative of one of the most beautiful and culturally interesting areas of France -- and much preferable to the contracted Britney. Brittany evolved as a modern coinage from the ancient French duchy Bretagne. Celtic Bretons emigrated from France to become the Bretons of English; later the name Britain came to signify the country.

CedricHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "bounty"
  • Description:

    Cedric was invented by Sir Walter Scott for the noble character of the hero's father in Ivanhoe, presumed to be an altered form of the Saxon name Cerdic. The name was later also given to Little Lord Fauntleroy, the long-haired, velvet-suited, and lace-collared boy hero of the Frances Hodgson Burnett book, who became an unwitting symbol of the pampered mama's boy.
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