Celtic Names for Girls
Meaning:"heart; daughter of the sea"
Description:Cordelia, the name of King Lear's one sympathetic daughter, has style and substance, and is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name that many parents are seeking today. If you're torn between Cordelia and the equally lovely Cora, you can always choose Cordelia for long and then call her Cora for short—or Delia, Lia, Del, or even the extremely different Cordie. Cordelia is a Nameberry favorite—Number 106 on the site—and it reentered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after a 60+ year absence.
Description:The story goes that Imogen originated as a Shakespearean printer's misspelling of the traditional Celtic name Innogen, used by him for a character in one of his last plays, Cymbeline. The Innogen of legend, who Shakespeare’s character was based on, was the wife of Brutus of Troy, the first king of Britain. Earlier versions of her name, including Ennoguent, Innoguend, and Innoguent, were found in Brittany from the 9th-11th centuries. They are probably derived from the Gaelic word inghean, meaning "daughter" or "maiden," and possibly have a connection to the Proto-Celtic word for "white," from which the suffixes -gwyn and -gwen evolved.
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.
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.
Origin:Japanese place name or Celtic
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.
Origin:Swedish or Cornish
Description:Pixie is a cute -- quite possibly too cute -- name that suddenly feels possible thanks to the craze for names that contain the letter x. Though its origin may be uncertain, a pixie is internationally recognized as a sprite or fairy: tiny, sometimes green, usually pointy-eared.
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.
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.
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.
Meaning:"gem of the sea"
Description:Ula is among the unusual U names that may have a range of origins and meanings, from the Celtic one given here to its possibilities as a short form of Eulalia or Ursula. Ulla is a Scandinavian name usually an abbreviation of Ursula or Ulrika.
Meaning:"noise or sorrowful"
Description:Though Tristan was the male figure in the romantic legend and his name has become trendy for boys, it's used now for girls, too: About 15 percent of the baby Tristans are female. And about three times as many girls are named Tristan as are named Isolde, Tristan's mythical female counterpart. There are also feminizations of Tristan, such as Tristana and Tristine, but these are much more rare than the original.
Description:More unusual than Fiona and more user-friendly than Fionnuala, the engaging Scottish Fenella, has been scarcely heard in this country.
Description:First century queen who led her Brittonic Iceni tribe in revolution against the Romans occupying England. Also found as Boudica, Boadicea (as in bodacious) and in Welsh as Buddug, the historic namesake was defeated and committed suicide, but is still celebrated in England as intelligent and brave. One ancient name that, while unheard these days, could be revived along with such choices as Atticus and Cassius.
Origin:Celtic, Short Form Of aoibheann
Description:One of many Irish names that, despite pronunciation challenge, are beginning to be taken into consideration here as authentic Celtic versions of familiar English names.
Origin:Celtic, goddess of fruitfulness
Description:This sprightly Irish mythology name would make an attention-grabbing choice.
Description:One of a number of single-syllable unisex B-names, Brett was first spotted as a female name in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, via the dashing and seductive Lady Brett Ashley, who was a captivating enough character to offer naming inspiration. It combines a pleasingly brisk, executive air with a measure of femininity.
Description:Diminutive of Imogen, rarely given as a standalone even in the UK, where Imogen is a Top 50 pick.
Origin:Feminine variation of Tristan
Meaning:"noise or sorrowful"
Description:This female form of Tristan was featured on the reality-television show The Bachelorette, and has been rocketing up the charts as a new millennium Trisha.
Meaning:"honest, utterly pure"
Description:A possible Born Again name -- Amen -- in the same class as the still-popular Nevaeh (that's Heaven spelled backwards) and Trinity.