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St Patrick’s Day Names Celebrate All Things Irish

March 17, 2020 Emma Waterhouse
irish baby names

Happy St Patrick’s Day! Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!

In honor of the occasion, today we’re celebrating Irish baby names of all shapes and sizes — from the most popular Irish picks in the US today, to the next generation of name trends from the Emerald Isle.

Top Irish Baby Names

With Liam currently reigning as the #1 boy name in the US, it’s safe to say that the appeal of cool Irish baby names is no longer limited to families with Irish heritage.

Joining Liam in the current US Top 100 are Aiden, Ryan, Connor, Nolan and Brayden for boys, and Riley, Nora, Kennedy and Quinn for girls — all of which can claim a strong Irish connection.

The most popular Irish names in the US right now include sleek surname-style choices for girls, like Finley and Sloane, as well as fashionable n-ending names for boys, like Declan and Rowan.

Here are all of the Irish baby names that make the current US Top 200:

Aiden
Brayden
Brianna
Connor
Declan
Finley
Finn
Kennedy
Kevin
Liam
Nolan
Nora
Quinn
Reagan
Riley
Rowan
Ryan
Sloane
Teagan

Cool Irish Surname Names

When it comes to Irish baby names in the US, one of the hottest current trends is surnames as first names — especially for girls.

But cool Irish surname names don’t stop at Riley and Reagan! There’s something irresistible about the jaunty rhythm that so many of these stylish new choices share: think Callahan and Connelly, Finnegan and Flannery.

Several of these stylish Irish surnames have been brought into the spotlight by celebrity bearers, like Kiernan (Shipka), Macaulay (Culkin) and Rooney (Mara). Others have great nickname potential, like Delaney, Rafferty and Sullivan.

Here are some of the coolest Irish surname names for babies right now:

Callahan
Connelly
Delaney
Dempsey
Fallon
Finnegan
Flannery
Gallagher
Hennessy
Kiernan
Macaulay
Madigan
Murphy
Quinlan
Rafferty
Rooney
Shea
Sheridan
Sullivan
Tierney

Unique Irish Names for Girls

Unique Irish baby names for girls include a whole host of gorgeous Gaelic options which are well-used in Ireland itself, but yet to make their mark in the US.

But with sweet Saoirse now in the US Top 1000 (thanks, Saoirse Ronan!) — and fellow Gaelic girl names Aoife and Niamh in the Top 200 in England & Wales — it seems that parents are increasingly willing to embrace authentic Irish spellings. After all, with unique baby names of all kinds on the rise every year, Caoimhe feels no more complicated than Caelie or Calliope.

Of course, many of these choices can be Anglicized if you so choose — like Neve for Niamh, or Orla for Orlaith. We’ve given the English pronunciations in brackets.

Here are twenty of the best Irish girl names below the US Top 1000:

Aine (ON-ya)
Aisling (ASH-ling)
Aoife (EE-fa)
Bebhinn (BEV-een)
Bronagh (BRO-na)
Caoimhe (KEE-va or KWEE-va)
Clodagh (CLO-da)
Eilis (EYE-lish)
Eithne (EN-ya)
Fiadh (FEE-ah)
Fionnuala (fi-NOO-la)
Laoise (LEE-sha)
Mairead (ma-RAYD)
Niamh (NEEV)
Orlaith (OR-la)
Roisin (ro-SHEEN)
Sadhbh (SIVE)
Siofra (SHEE-fra)
Sorcha (SOR-ka)
Una (OO-na)

Unique Irish Names for Boys

Gaelic names for boys have remained popular in their native country: Tadhg, Darragh, Oisín, Fionn, Cillian and Rían join English picks like Jack, James and Harry in Ireland’s Top 20.

And several of these rare Irish boy names are starting to catch on in the US, too. Cillian and Niall both reached their highest popularity ranking ever in the last year on record (2018) — no doubt thanks to the success of their best known celebrity bearers, actor Cillian Murphy and singer Niall Horan.

Here are twenty of the coolest Irish boy names below the US Top 1000:

Cian (KEE-an)
Cillian (KILL-ee-an)
Conall
Cormac
Daithi (da-HEE)
Darragh (DA-ra)
Donnacha (DON-a-ka)
Eamon (AY-mon)
Finnbar
Fergus
Keir (KEER)
Lorcan
Niall (NILE)
Odhran (O-ran)
Oisin (o-SHEEN)
Ruadh (ROO-a)
Ruairi (ROR-ee)
Seamus (SHAY-mus)
Senan
Tadhg (TIGE)

Which are your favorite Irish baby names from the lists above? What would you name a St Paddy’s Day baby — boy and girl? Let us know!

About the author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse — better known as @katinka around these parts — joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from where to find a cool vintage boy name to why some names become popular memes. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active Forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at emma@nameberry.com.

View all of Emma Waterhouse's articles

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