Celtic Names

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. S

ome baby names that might be considered Celtic include popular modern choices such as Brett and Imogen, Arthur and Cordelia. The classic boy name Allen is rooted in the Celtic language, as is the mythic Tristan.

Unique Celtic names include Fenella, Avalon, and Trista for girls, Melor, Penn, and Auryn for boys.

Browse all of our Celtic baby names here, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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  1. Arthur
    • 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 stylish parents, inspired perhaps by the new generation of royals. Arthur has led the list of possible names for the young British princes, chosen as a middle name for Prince Louis, son of William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales.
  2. Imogen
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "maiden"
    • Description:

      Imogen has long been fashionable in England and is gaining favor in the US among stylish parents. Pronounced the British way — the initial i is short as in Kim, as is the final E as in Ken — Imogen is as pretty and classy as it is distinctive.
  3. Cordelia
    • Origin:

      Latin; Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "heart; daughter of the sea"
    • Description:

      Cordelia is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name for girls that many parents are seeking for their daughters today. The name of King Lear's one sympathetic daughter, Cordelia has both style and substance along with its Shakespearean pedigree.
  4. Tristan
    • 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.
  5. Cedric
    • 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.
  6. Sabrina
    • Origin:

      Celtic, 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.
  7. Gavin
    • 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.
  8. Avalon
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "island of apples"
    • Description:

      Avalon, an island paradise of Celtic myth and Arthurian legend--it was where King Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds-- and also the colorful capital of the California island of Catalina-- makes a heavenly first name. Actress Rena Sofer and British musician Julian Cope used it for their daughters.
  9. Nara
    • Origin:

      Japanese place name or Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "happy"
    • Description:

      Soft, simple, and far more unusual than Tara or Farrah. As a Japanese place name, it's been used occasionally as a surname and is beginning to be used as a first. Nara is also the name of a Hindu (male) God and the name means "man" in Hindi.
  10. Kane
    • 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."
  11. Conan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little wolf"
    • Description:

      The fierce image of the Barbarian made a complete turnaround thanks to amiable talk show host O'Brien, making Conan one of the newly desirable Irish choices, a perfect alternative to Conor/Connor.
  12. Roy
    • Origin:

      French or Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "king or 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?
  13. Auryn
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "gold"
    • Description:

      An unusual name for a child with golden hair. Auron is a Welsh female name with the same meaning.
  14. Penn
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "enclosure"
    • Description:

      This simple, elegant name offers something for many kinds of parents, from writers and history buffs to photographers to Pennsylvania dwellers. Most famous bearers are comedian Penn Jillette and Gossip Girl hottie Penn Badgley, both of whom were given this distinctive name at birth. Long obscure, Penn seems destined for greater usage.
  15. Allen
    • Origin:

      English and Scottish
    • 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.
  16. Art
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Arthur
    • Meaning:

      "noble one; bear man"
    • Description:

      Though short and brisk, no nickname name could have a more creative image. Comic actor Chris O'Dowd named his son Art, as in his native Ireland it's used as a name on its own, separate from Arthur., coming from an ancient word for ""a bear,"" and used in the sense of ""outstanding warrior"" or ""champion."" A pagan High King of Ireland, Art’s rule was so honest that two angels hovered over him in battle.
  17. Brett
    • 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.
  18. Brittany
    • 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.
  19. Branwen
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "blessed raven"
    • Description:

      This is an attractive Celtic mythological name, popular in Wales and a cousin of the better known Bronwyn. In Welsh mythology, Branwen was turned into a bird.
  20. Brenda
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "blade of a sword"
    • Description:

      First the heroine of Sir Walter Scott's 1822 novel The Pirate, then a glamorous 1940s debutante, then the troubled twin on Beverly Hills 90210, and now fading in favor of more modern Brenna, Briana, and Bryn. Much more likely to be worn by a mother or grandmother these days. The song "Brenda's Got a Baby" was late rap megastar Tupac's debut single.