Celtic Baby Names: Newbie news from Ireland and Scotland

When it comes to Celtic baby names, it’s easy enough to research the history of Irish and Scottish names, and also to check out the most popular names of the year.  But what names are parents in those countries using for their kids right now?  How many of the names have brogues and burrs and how many would as easily be found on announcements in the US and UK.?  Are there any fabulous first/middle combos that we’d be surprised to see on our local birth cerificates?

I’ve been scouring some Irish and Scottish newspaper birth announcements and picked out some of the most striking discoveries—including some of the most noteworthy sibsets.  All these babies were born during the last couple of months.

Irish Girls

Aisling Emma, sister of Caitlin and Sorcha

Aisling, sister of Cathal and Aoife

Aisling, sister of Eimear

Amber Catherine

Amelia May and Louisa Jane (twins)

Anouk Mary Rose

Aobhín Roisin, sister of Cillian


Caoimhe, sister of Darragh and Ruari

Daisy Avital

Dearbhla Mai, sister of Cormac and Daragh

Ella Daisy

EmmaJane Maya, sister of Neasa

Esther Camilla

Etain Mary Catherine


Federica Carole

Florence Grace (nn Florrie), sister of KatieMae

Georgina Rose

Harriet Belle

Hollie Rose

Holly Orla

Julia Siobhán

Lara Dorothea

Lola Catherine

Lucy Jacinta

Maurethe Bridget

Mya Mary

Nicole Saoirse

Phoebe Heather Olympia Eleanor


Irish Boys

Alfie Peter

Aodhán Nyhan

Beau Karl

Benedict Diarmuid Julian

Bobby James

Cillian Hugh Terence, brother of Ríain

Conor Liam

Donal Anthony


James Gerard Cyril

Killian and Cathel Óg—twins

Max Denis

Milo Patrick

Oliver Charles Colum

Pierce Nicholas John

Reginald Jude Patrick

Rion Joseph

Sebastian Arthur

Will Patrick

Scottish Girls

Anna Mairi Hope

AnyaMaria Ruby

Aria Rose

Astrid Georgia

Calli Grace

Daisy Jean

Eadie Ann

Edie Louise

Eilidh Suilven, sister of Struan

Elodie Mae

Evie Christina Annie

Florence Lily


Imogen Brooke

Isla Louise, Isla Mairi, Isla Rose

Isobel Marian Patricia

Josie Belle

Kensi Joan Noreen

Laila May


Maisie Ethna

Matilda Kate

May Heather

Millie Vivien



Nia Sarah

Niamh Estelle & Eleanor Louisetwins

Niamh Fiona

Nieve Sophia

Poppy Saffron

Scottish Boys

Angus Morrison

Blair Noah

Dexter Ray

Drew Anderson Shade

Euan James

Fraser Brian

Freddie Joseph Richard

Harris George Alistair


Hector John William

Innes James

Jacob Stanley

John Artemas Stevenson

Joseph Tiger


Lawson Dave

Mac David

Max Ryan

Murray Nairn

Seth Duran Christie, brother of Alfie

Struan David 

And now, as a little bonus, four babes born in Wales:

Angharad Elisabeth Frances

Anjali Cariad Bluebell

Ianto Meilyr Lewis

Lucas Anakin

Any of these particularly strike your fancy?

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17 Responses to “Celtic Baby Names: Newbie news from Ireland and Scotland”

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Katja Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 12:29 am

I’m pretty sure Elmear should be Eimear.

aunt_ning Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 6:44 am

I love the look of many of these names…I just wish I knew how to pronounce them

pam Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 6:50 am

Can any Irish speakers out there tell us the correct way to pronounce Etain? The usual web sources vary widely. I want to add the name to our database but would like to include the pronunciation.

Aunt Ning, pronunciation was a huge issue when we were doing our book Cool Irish Names. So many sources, audio and written, differed, and the Irish speaker our publisher hired also had some different ideas!

LilySong Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 7:50 am

Lucas Anakin!!! They must be HUGE StarWars fans. 🙂

Sassy Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 7:59 am

Lol, LilySong, I was just going to say the same thing 🙂
This is great to see. I’m 33 weeks in my pregnancy and we are hoping to use something to honour my father’s Scottish heritage. It’s interesting to see what is being used over there now. Our girl name is on the list but our boy name isn’t. I do love Struan though, just can’t get hubby on board.

Saracita00 Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 9:28 am

I admire this girl and boy name, and I wonder if they might have political motivation:
Nicole Saoirse
Pierce Nicholas John

I also wish I knew the name stories about this girl and boy:
Phoebe Heather Olympia Eleanor
John Artemas Stevenson

Favorite girl and boy names that strike me as pleasingly Irish:
Maurethe Bridget
Donal Anthony

And I just like:
Anya-Maria Ruby
Oliver Charles Colum

GrecianErn Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 10:19 am

My college-friend Sorcha is from Ireland and her name was pronounced “sore-hah” not the “sore-ca” in the description. She has a niece named Caoimhe (Kee-va) and her twin brother Pearse. And her sisters are Siobhán (Sha-von) and Bronaugh. She and her husband named their new son, Dallan… and few of us know how to pronounce it, and we feel weird asking.

And I’m Erin, the Irish word for the land of Ireland, and my sister is Shannon, a major river in Ireland among other things. Sorcha informed during our first few weeks at school, that while these are Irish names, few Irish give them to their children.

roseythelimited Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 11:26 am

Pam- according to there’s a French pron. of Etain that’s sounds like ee-tuhn or ay-tuhn (with the nasally soft “n” at the end)and an Irish pron. that sounds like Aiden.

googoogixie Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Lucas Anakin…AMAZING! Gotta love a Star Wars name 🙂

Strawberry Shortcake Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

@Pam, the correct pronunciation is Ee-tain, with the -tain rhyming with “rain”. Eh-tain is an accepted alternative pronunciation.

So many of these are beautiful! Niamh Fiona is stunning.

encore Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I love Aisling, Alfie, and Conor, and I’m surprised at how popular Daisy is.

Samantha-Bianca Says:

September 18th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

My sister loves Celtic baby names. I think she worries that she couldn’t get away with some of her favourites but I shall continues to encourage her. She loves Cillian and Dermot.

laurakatex Says:

September 19th, 2012 at 4:05 am

I’m Scottish and all the kids being born near where I live at the moment are –

Boys – Jayden, Jack,
Girls – Maci, Olivia, Mia, Ava, Eva

Not heard many names on the list which is sad because when these kids go to school they will be one of a few Jacks or Jaydens or M

laurakatex Says:

September 19th, 2012 at 4:06 am

I’m Scottish and all the kids being born near where I live at the moment are –

Boys – Jayden, Jack,
Girls – Maci, Olivia, Mia, Ava, Eva

Not heard many names on the list which is sad because when these kids go to school they will be one of a few Jacks or Jaydens or Mias.

NoahsARK Says:

September 21st, 2012 at 7:17 pm

@Saracita00 i remember reading the Irish birth announcement of Phoebe Heather Olympia Eleanor, she was born on 27th July og this year which therefore explains Olympia (born on day of Olympic opening ceremony)

Cupcake3690 Says:

December 27th, 2012 at 5:53 pm


I don’t think your statement about few Irish people giving their children Irish names is very true.

I’m Irish and I know a couple of Sorcha’s, a few Erin’s (One of which has a sister named Sorcha, a few Caoimhe’s, a couple of Siobhán’s and a couple of Bronagh’s (Even though the dialect may differ, the writing usually doesn’t so I’m pretty sure Bronaugh is an incorrect spelling on the parents part). As for Sorcha’s pronunciation, are you such there isn’t a guttural sound on the -hah-?

Also, if you look at the top 100 in Ireland, there are quite a few Irish names there. I also know a lot of people with Irish names in school and such.

Names from other cultures are popular too but quite a few people use Irish names as well.

chellemma1 Says:

July 4th, 2013 at 4:20 pm

It interests me to see that a lot of the boys names on this list seem very common and ordinary too me. I live in Scotland and it always surprises me how interesting people in other countries find Scottish names that I think of as very common.
Euan James, Innes James and Struan David would all be seen as popular (maybe over popular) names where I live. In fact I love the name Innes but wouldn’t use it because its too popular.
For the girls I’ve heard a lot of Islas, Eilidhs and Niamhs recently – also Morven is quite popular for people in their twenties but not heard much for babies anymore.
These are really cool lists – there are some very interesting names on there.

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