Category: cool Irish names

For many decades, baby namers have had a mad romance with Irish family names. From Ryan to Riley to Rowan, Connor to Quinn, the US popularity rolls have been populated with cheery Irish surnames. Below are 12 of the many that embody that infectious Celtic charm—some of them new to the scene, others on their way up, and a few from the past that deserve a fresh look. By Linda Rosenkrantz

Though most of these names read boy, let’s not forget the female examples of Cassidy and Casey and Delaney and Murphy Brown, Tierney Sutton and Rooney Mara—that have gone to the other side!

Read More

Irish Baby Names: What’s Hot Now

Irish baby names are in the news this week, with the release of the official statistics on the top names of 2010. Leading the list: Sophie and Jack, holding onto their Number 1 crowns from last year. But there are lots of other changes and surprises in the statistics.

The first surprise, especially if you don’t live in Ireland, is how few of the top Irish baby names are actually Irish. Four of the top ten boys’ names — Sean, Conor, Ryan, and Dylan (Welsh, actually, with Dillon the Irish cognate) — are Irish; only one of the girls’ names — Aoife at Number 10 — is a native choice.

The top ten Irish baby names are:

Read More

The cover baby of our published-today book Cool Irish Names is an adorable redhead, appropriate for a volume that includes lots of Irish names that mean red hair (there are lists of those that mean blond and dark hair, too, but that’s another post).

Red-haired names have a special significance for me, being a coppery redhead myself.  My mom had bright red hair, as does my middle child, Joe.  And daughter Rory‘s name is one of the red-haired choices, appropriate since she has my coppery hair.

Here, from our new book Cool Irish Names, is a list of names for your own little redhead.  For Irish-American babies, accents and Gaelic spellings are optional:




FLANNAIT (Fla-nitch)


SCARLETT (Crimson or Ruby could work in the same way, though they don’t sound very Irish)








LOCHLAN – Though this name does not strictly mean red-haired, it’s a nod to the “land of the lochs,” homeland of the Vikings who brought fair and red hair to Ireland.










Read More

Irish Baby Names: Hot Off The Press

Our latest book, Cool Irish Names for Babies, will be hitting the bookstores in a few weeks and we’ll be offering you a few hors d’oeuvres (that doesn’t sound very Irish) before then. The book contains lots of undiscovered Irish baby names drawn from myth, legend and history, cool celebrity and popularity stuff, and a history of Irish names in America. And for Celtic-pronunciation-phobic American parents, we give the pronunciation of every problematic name–every time it’s mentioned.

To bring it up-to-the-moment and not just rely on national popularity lists, we scoured the birth announcements in newspapers to find out what Irish baby names real parents in Dublin and elsewhere are actually using today. Here are some that are in the book, and others added just this week. With pronunciations, but, unfortunately, not the accents.



Read More