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Gender: F Pronunciation: neev Meaning of Niamh: "bright" Origin of Niamh: Irish Gaelic

Niamh is an ancient Irish name that was originally a term for a goddess; rich in legendary associations. In Irish myth, one who bore it was Niamh of the Golden Hair, daughter of the sea god, who falls in love with Finn's son Oisin/Ossian and takes him to the Land of Promise, where they stayed for three hundred years.

Niamh is currently Number 21 in Northern Ireland, 30 in Ireland, 39 in Scotland and 81 in England and Wales. Niamh Cusack is part of the acting family that also includes Sinead (wife of Jeremy Irons), Sorcha and Padraig. Americans have recently become better acquainted with Niamh -- its correct pronunciation as well as its difficulties -- via the heroine of Christina Baker Kline's bestselling novel Orphan Train.

Here, the phonetic Neve would undoubtedly prove simpler, if less intriguing. Neve is the name of actress Neve Campbell, for whom it has family connections, and the daughter of Conan O'Brien. But if you're worried about pronunciation, just keep in mind Saoirse Ronan and Sinead O'Connor--it never stood in their way.

Famous People Named Niamh

Niamh Cusack, Irish actress
Niamh Kavanagh, Irish singer
Niamh McGrady, Northern Irish actress best known for her roles on crime drama The Fall and medical drama Holby City
Niamh O'Brien, Irish dancer, wife of Riverdance costar Michael Flatley
Niamh Wilson, Canadian actress

Pop Culture References for the name Niamh

Niamh, heroine of Christina Baker Kline's novel "Orphan Train"
Niamh of the Golden Hair, princess of Tir na nOg, a fanatical island to the west of Ireland where nobody ever grows old

Niam, Neve