Celebrities on both sides of the Atlantic, those with and without Hibernian roots, have long been partial to Irish names for their babies. Here are some of the coolest:
AOIFE (EE-fa) – Ciarán Hinds
Popular name dating back to a fierce woman warrior in early myth, it as been anglicized as Eva and Ava.
BECKETT – Malcolm MacDowell, Melissa Etheridge, Conan O’Brian, Stella McCartney
An appealing last-name name rich in literary associations, both to the play and film based on the life of Saint Thomas à B. and to the Irish playwright-novelist Samuel B., it’s red hot in Hollywood.
BRODY – Gabrielle Reece & Lance Hamilton
This superstar athlete couple’s choice reflects the new trend towards using Irish surnames like Reagan/Regan and Riley for both sexes: this little Brody is a girl.
CASHEL (Kash-il) – Daniel Day-Lewis & Rebecca Miller
The Irish actor and his American wife chose an unusual Irish place name for their son; it’s also seen as Caisel.
CIARÁN (KEER-in) – Padraig Harrington
The golf star chose an authentic Irish name to match his own.
DARBY – Patrick Dempsey
Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People made this spirited, light-hearted name seem more Irish than it actually is.
DELANEY – Martina McBride
A solid surname that’s now used far more for girls than boys.
DONOVAN – Charisma Carpenter, Noel Gallagher
Another appealing surname, this one has long outgrown its “Mellow Yellow” associations.
FINN – Christy Turlington & Ed Burns, Jane Leeves, Andrea Catherwood
This is a name with enormous energy and charm, that of the greatest hero of Irish myth, Finn MacCool. Other related cool star-baby names: FLYNN (Elle Macpherson), and FINNIGAN (Eric McCormack of Will & Grace fame), not to mention Julia Roberts’ phabulous Phinnaeus.
FIONA – Jennie Garth
Although this name is a Scottish invention, it has an Irish feel and is commonly found among the Finolas and Fionnualas.
GULLIVER – Gary Oldman, Damian Lewis
This relatively rare Gaelic surname was known primarily through his literary Travels until actor Oldman transformed it into a lively baby-name option.
JAMES PADRAIG (PAW-drig) – Colin Farrell
Cool combination of classic New Testament name with one of the many authentic versions of the name of Ireland’s patron saint.
JUNO – Will Champion (Coldplay)
The success of the eponymous little-movie-that-could was sure to establish Juno, with its lively image and classic roots, as a potential baby name–and it’s already started on its way.
LENNON – Patsy Kensit & Liam Gallagher
Naming a child after your cultural or other hero gives him two cool advantages: a name with real meaning and a positive image to reach towards. Another rocker, Zakk Wylde, chose Hendrix as his son’s musical hero name.
LIAM – Calista Flockhart, Tori Spelling
Sprightly and richly textured classic that started as a short form of William.
MAEVE – Chris O’Donnell
An early Irish goddess and queen name, short but strong, now catching on across the pond. The O’Donnells named another of their five children Finley.
MALACHY (MAL-a-kee) – Cillian Murphy
An Irish version of a biblical name, with an expansive, almost boisterous image.
ROWAN – Brooke Shields
This friendly Irish surname was almost unheard of as a girl’s name before Brooke Shields made the gender switch; now it shows lots of potential as a likable, unisex choice.
SAOIRSE ROISIN (SEER-sha Roh-sheen) – Courtney Kennedy
Meaning “liberty,” Saoirse has been used since the 1920s as a statement of freedom.
SHEA – Kevin James
Common surname that projects spirit and substance; can also be seen as a short form of Seamus.
SULLIVAN – Patrick Dempsey
A jaunty Irish surname name with a real twinkle in its eye, used for the twin of Darby.
TALLULAH – Patrick Dempsey, Simon LeBon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Damon Dash, Demi Moore & Bruce Willis
The then Willises almost single-handedly launched the cool starbaby name concept when they chose SCOUT and RUMER as well as the more user-friendly Tallulah for their girls. This Anglicization of Tuilelaith is now being picked up on by other celeb parents.