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Top Irish Names for Boys

Irish names for boys have achieved international popularity, ranking high on popularity lists in the US and Ireland itself, as well as in many other Anglophone and European countries. Liam, an Irish diminutive of William, is the brightest star among Irish boy names, ranking Number one in the US and among the top boys’ names in France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, and Norway as well as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Along with top name Liam, other Irish boy names in the US Top 200 include Aiden, Ryan, Connor, Brayden, Declan, Brody, Rowan, and Finn.

Baby boy names popular in Ireland include Sean — now falling in popularity in the US — Oisin, Cillian, and Tadhg.

Classic Irish names Kevin and Patrick also still rank high on the US popularity list and remain perennial favorites in Ireland.

Browse our full menu of Irish boy names here. 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.

You also might want to survey our complete list of f Irish names for girls.

LiamHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish short form of William
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    Liam originated as a nickname for Uilliam, the Irish variation of William. William is an English name from Germanic roots that was brought to Ireland when the British fled England following the Norman Conquest. The Irish began using English names, including William, which led to the development of Uilliam and its short form, Liam.

AidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aidan, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little and fiery"
  • Description:

    Aiden is a variation of Aidan, the anglicized version of the Irish Aodhán. Aidan/Aodhán was originally a pet form of the Irish name Aodh (pronounced 'ee'), who was the old Celtic god of the sun and fire. St. Aidan was a famous seventh century Irish saint, noted for his kindness and generosity and for spreading Christianity.

RyanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little king"
  • Description:

    Ryan’s use as a given name was inspired by the surname Ryan, a variation of the Irish O’Riain meaning "son of Rían." Rían is composed of the Irish-Gaelic elements , meaning "king" and an, a diminutive suffix. Ryan is considered a unisex name in the US, where variant spellings Ryann and Ryanne are also valid for girls.

NolanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "champion"
  • Description:

    Nolan is one of the rising Irish surname names, in the spirit of Conan and Ronan, partially inspired by pitcher Nolan Ryan-- who was named Lynn at birth, after his father. Nolan is a cheerful, friendly traditional Irish surname with the appropriate meaning of "champion," and one of the new attractive boy names starting with N.

ConnorHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "lover of hounds"
  • Description:

    Connor, the appealing name of an early semi-legendary king of Ulster in Irish mythology, sits firmly in the Top 100 and taken together with its alternate spellings would rank even higher. In its native Ireland the Conor version is one of the highest charting boys’ name.

CarsonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the marsh-dwellers"
  • Description:

    Carson is one of the most long-running popular androgynous baby names, with a dash of the Wild West via the legendary Missouri frontiersman Kit Carson. Dating back to when it was the name of Nancy Drew's Dad, Carson is still steadily in the Top 100 baby names.

    Current Carsons include TV personalities Carson Daly and Carson Kressley, and Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer. Carson Wells was the bounty hunter character played by Woody Harrelson in No Country for Old Men, and Carson is the name chosen by actress Kathryn Erbe for her son.

DeclanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, meaning unknown, possible "man of prayer"
  • Meaning:

    "man of prayer"
  • Description:

    Declan is the Anglicized form of the Irish name Deaglán. St. Declan was one of the first missionaries to bring Christianity to Ireland, preceding St. Patrick. Originally from Wales, he founded the monastery of Ardmore in Ireland.

BraydenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Irish surname Braden
  • Meaning:

    "salmon"
  • Description:

    Brayden is the top spelling of one of the epidemically popular rhyming cousins of Aiden, hitting the Top 100 in 2005.. It has dipped a bit recently, but is still widely used. Other popular spellings include Braden, Braeden, Braydon, Braiden, Braedon and Bradyn. Take your pick.

RowanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rowan tree; little redhead"
  • Description:

    Rowan – a strong surname and nature name (it's a tree with red berries) – is deservedly growing in popularity. Some scholars identify Rowan as originally a girls’ name, related to Rowena and Rhonwen, while others say Rowan's always been used for both genders. Sharon Stone chose the Roan spelling, which also relates to the reddish color, for her son, while Brooke Shields used Rowan for her daughter. Yet another increasingly popular spelling is Rowen.

AydenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aidan
  • Meaning:

    "little and fiery"
  • Description:

    Aidan in all its many splendored varieties, particularly Aiden, had a spectacular rise up the list, and the phonetic Ayden came along for the ride. It is also used in Turkey.

KevinHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "handsome"
  • Description:

    Kevin was derived from the name Caoimhín, which originated from the Irish elements coém, meaning “handsome,” and gein, “birth.” The feminine name Caiomhe, anglicized as Keeva, comes from the same origins. Kevin was first popularized by the seventh century Saint Kevin, who founded a scholastic monastery near Dublin and was rewarded by being made one of that city's patron saints.

FinnHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair or white"
  • Description:

    Finn is a name with enormous energy and charm, that of the greatest hero of Irish mythology, Finn MacCool (aka Fionn mac Cuumhaill), an intrepid warrior with mystical supernatural powers, noted as well for his wisdom and generosity.

AlanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "handsome, cheerful"
  • Description:

    In its three most popular spellings -- Alan along with Allen and Allan -- this midcentury favorite has tended to skew older. It was a Top 100 name from 1938 to 1971, peaking at Number 40 in 1951. Alan has had leading roles on recent TV, in shows like Two and a Half Men, 24 and Boston Legal.

OscarHeart

  • Origin:

    English or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
  • Description:

    Oscar has Irish and Norse roots—Norse Oscar comes from the Old English Osgar, a variation of the Old Norse name Ásgeirr. The Irish form was derived from the Gaelic elements os, meaning “deer,” and car, “loving.” In Irish legend, Oscar was one of the mightiest warriors of his generation, the son of Ossian and the grandson of Finn Mac Cumhaill (MacCool).

BryanHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Brian, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "strong, virtuous, and honorable"
  • Description:

    An alternate spelling of Brian, Bryan's one of the most enduring of Irish imports. Bryan is now slightly more popular than the original, with associations to Bryan Cranston, Bryan Ferry and Bryan Brown.

RileyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "courageous"
  • Description:

    Riley -- one of the most popular unisex names -- is rising faster now for girls than boys. Still, there are lots of athletes and other notable real-life namesakes for a boy named Riley, as well as fictional ones in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight: Eclipse.

AidanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little and fiery"
  • Description:

    Aidan was originally a pet form of the Irish name Aodh (pronounced 'ee'), the name of the old Celtic god of the sun and fire. The name was borne by numerous early Irish saints, one of whom was noted for his kindness and generosity. Aidan has many variations, among them, Aiden, Aden, Adan, Aedan, and Ayden.

RonanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little seal"
  • Description:

    Ronan is the compelling legendary name of twelve Irish and Scottish saints that is now drawing some deserved attention; this cousin of the ascending Roman and Rowan was chosen by actor Daniel Day-Lewis and his writer-director wife Rebecca Miller in 1998, and more recently by actress Catherine Bell.

BrianHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "strong, virtuous, and honorable"
  • Description:

    The origins of the name Brian are not entirely clear, but it is suspected that it evolved from an Old Celtic word related to nobility. In Ireland the name is associated with Brian Boru, the most famous of all Irish warrior-kings, credited with driving the Vikings out of Ireland. Bryan is a common alternative spelling.

DallasHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "skilled"
  • Description:

    Relaxed, laid-back cowboy name with broad appeal, although none of the western place-names packs the same style power they did a few years ago.

ColinHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "pup"
  • Description:

    Thanks to its dashing Anglo-Irish image--due partly to Colins Firth and Farrell-- and its c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin and its cousin Collin have enjoyed a long run of popularity, reaching as high as Number 84 in 2004.

FinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired hero"
  • Description:

    Finley is a Scottish royal name (it belonged to Macbeth's father) riding the wave of Finn names. Chris O'Donnell used it for one of his sons, and Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn did a gender switch when they named their daughter Finley.

BradyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "broad meadow or large-chested"
  • Description:

    The Irish name given to Miranda Hobbes's son on the dearly departed Sex and the City is a friendly and energetic choice. You well might want to make your son part of the Brady bunch.

RoryHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "red king"
  • Description:

    This spirited Gaelic classic, which became popular in Ireland via the illustrious twelfth century king Rory O'Connor, makes a highly energetic choice, now used for either sex. Rory's gender split is still trending boyward; it's one of the coolest boys' names starting with R.

SeanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish variation of John
  • Description:

    Sean, after a long reign as one of the top Irish boys' names in the US, has now slipped as parents look to fresher Irish choices such as Liam and Aidan. In Ireland, Sean is still highly popular, but variation Senan, an Anglicized spelling of diminutive Seanan, is also stylish in Ireland. While Sean is the Irish form of John, Seanan and Senan may be thought of either as Sean diminutives or relatives of the Latin word "senator".

KillianHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "church"
  • Description:

    Killian – aka Cillian – is a spirited yet resonant Gaelic name that was borne by several Irish saints and could make a distinctive replacement for the dated Kelly. Possible downsides: an unsavory first syllable and a connection to the trendy brew.

GarrettHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish variation of Gerard
  • Meaning:

    "spear strength"
  • Description:

    Garrett, also spelled with one 't', is an Irish-inflected name that was in the Top 100 in the nineties, but has now slipped in popularity.

DevinHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "poet"
  • Description:

    Devilishly handsome, Devin arrived as Kevin was moving out. Not to be confused (though it often is) with the English place-name Devon. While both Devin and Devon are flagging somewhat for boys, the names have dropped out of the Top 1000 for girls, making it more a masculine and less a unisex name these days.

GradyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "noble, illustrious"
  • Description:

    Following in the footsteps of popular brother Brady, Grady is another lively, ebullient Irish surname name. The O'Gradys (originally O Gradaugh) were an ancient clan that produced an impressive number of bishops.

    Perhaps the most remarkable O'Grady descendant is Muhammad Ali, whose mother's maiden name was Grady.

SullivanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish surname
  • Meaning:

    "black-eyed one"
  • Description:

    Sullivan is a jaunty Celtic three-syllable name, with a real twinkle in its eye. It was immortalized in the 1930s classic film Sullivan's Travels and was chosen for one of Patrick Dempsey's twin boys. Nickname Sully is equally jaunty.

FinneganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair"
  • Description:

    If you like the Finn names and love James Joyce, Finnegan is extremely winning. Will & Grace 's Eric McCormack chose the Finnigan spelling for his son. And of course Finnegan gains you access to the great short form Finn.

TroyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "descendant of foot soldier"
  • Description:

    Troy shot to popularity as a first name in tandem with that of 1960s heartthrob Troy (born Merle) Donahue; its image has now, thanks in part to the Brad Pitt-starring epic, Troy, receded back to conjuring up the ancient site of the Trojan wars.

QuinnHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "descendant of Conn, chief leader, intelligence"
  • Description:

    Quinn is an engaging Celtic surname that is on the rise for both genders. Quinn has started leaning decidedly toward the feminine thanks to a female cheerleader character on the television show Glee. It retains some testosterone from "The Mighty Quinn," the name of a movie, a band, and a Bob Dylan song.

KianHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, variation of Cian
  • Description:

    A friendly Irish name chosen for one of her twin boys by Geena Davis.

ShawnHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Sean
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Shawn is a phonetic spelling of Sean that may be past its peak – it was a Top 30 name in the early 1970s – but is still very popular: 800 baby boys were named Shawn in the US in the most recent year counted vs 1300 given the original Sean spelling.

CollinHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Colin and Collins
  • Description:

    Thanks to its dashing British image and c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin/Collin has enjoyed a long run of popularity.

KeeganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of Egan"
  • Description:

    Keegan is one of a clan of spirited Irish surnames starting with K and ending with 'n'--this one with the cheery double 'e' in the middle-- that are appealing to an increasing number of parents. It derives from Mac Aodhagáin, meaning "son (or descendant) of Aodhagán," a diminutive of the Irish name Aodh--pronounced Aye.

MackHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of"
  • Description:

    Mack, when "formalized" with the final k, makes an engagingly amiable choice, a far more

ShaneHeart

  • Origin:

    Anglicized variation of Sean
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Shane ambled into the picture via the 1953 movie, adding a cowboy twist to its Irish essence. Shane is even more popular in Ireland than in the USA or the UK. Singer Siobhan O'Connor and actor Kevin Sorbo have sons named Shane.

KieranHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Long popular in Ireland and England, Kieran, the name of Ireland's first-born saint and twenty-five other saints, has been building its U.S. fan base thanks to its strong and attractive sound, and its fashionable Irish brogue. While Ciaran is the more authentic Irish spelling, Kieran is more popular this side of the Atlantic.

CaseyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "brave in battle"
  • Description:

    Casey is a name with a big wide grin, Irish, friendly, and open, and associated with several American folk heroes--Casey Jones, the engine driver of the Cannonball Express who gave his life to save his passengers, and the legendary Casey at the Bat.

CoreyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "from the hollow"
  • Description:

    Former teen idol name, now middle-aged. This name has been on a steady decline since the early-1990s.

FlynnHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the red-haired one"
  • Description:

    Flynn, a charming Irish surname, is still used only quietly, despite its easygoing, casual cowboy charm, unlike Finn which is a star of this genre. Flynn was the choice of Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr for their baby boy, and is also the middle name -- used as his first -- of a son of Miranda's fellow supermodel Elle Macpherson, of Gary Oldman's son Gulliver and Marley Shelton's daughter West.

DillonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "loyal"
  • Description:

    Different origin from the Welsh Dylan, but increasingly used as a variant spelling to honor Bob Dylan or Dylan Thomas. Still, the Dylan spelling is found 20 times as often as Dillon.

CullenHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "holly tree"
  • Description:

    Cullen is an appealing Irish surname name that upped its cool factor considerably when it became the Twilight family name of Edward et al. It's considerably less popular than it was at its peak in 2010, but is still widely used.

KellanHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Kellen
  • Meaning:

    "swamp; slender"
  • Description:

    Kellan Lutz is the attractive young actor who plays Emmett Cullen in the Twilight series.

LennonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "lover"
  • Description:

    A growing number of high-profile (and other) parents are choosing to honor their musical idols, such as Hendrix, Presley, Jagger, and now Lennon. Lennon first came to notice when Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit used it for their son in 1999, and singer-musician Adam Pascal followed their lead in two years later. Thanks in part to female singer and actress Lennon Stella, it's now more popular for girls than for boys.

BrendanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "prince"
  • Description:

    According to Irish legend, Saint Brendan the Voyager was the first European to touch American soil, and his name has been established here for decades, peaking in the late 1990s. It first appeared on the US charts in 1941, especially popular, not surprisingly, for Irish-American boys. It is sometimes confused with the English surname name Brandon.

DarrenHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little great one"
  • Description:

    Darren and wife Sharon shop for fifties memorabilia on eBay. The Connecticut place-name Darien might offer an update.

BellamyHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Irish from French
  • Meaning:

    "fine friend"
  • Description:

    Bellamy is a surname name with an admirable meaning and upbeat rhythm, similar to jovial choices like Rafferty, Barnaby and Willoughby.
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