Category: Irish baby names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Like most people, I love Celtic names, which makes it a lot of fun to check out the Irish and Scottish birth announcements in their local newspapers every so often, with their mix of revived Irish Gaelic names and familiar English appellations, and often surprising—to us—first and middle combos. All the babes listed below made their debuts in 2014, and they include such beauts as Libby Letitia and Bobby–Charles Jack.
Pronunciation of Irish names can be a minefield for non-Gaelic speakers, as words/names are not pronounced phonetically and there are many variations in dialect. If you need pronunciation help, you can get audio assistance at this site: http://www.babynamesofireland.com/.
What names are quintessentially ‘British’?
I see this question a lot but it’s a hard one to pin down. Do we mean solely British in origin, or only British in use? When Prince George was born our media heralded it as a “quintessentially British” name — and why not? We’ve had numerous kings bear the name, and it’s even the name of the patron saint of England. But George was originally a Greek name, brought late into our Royalty by German Hanovarians. Ask many Americans and the first George they think of is Washington or Bush.
For me, the quintessentially British names are those which are very familiar to us as a nation, that have been or are currently popular, but are little used in America, Canada, Australia and other English-speaking countries. Names such as Nicola – our darling of the 70s – Darcy, Imogen, Poppy, Freya, Alfie, Jenson, Gareth, Alistair and Finlay.
By Jane Ní Chaoimh
There are many Irish place names that could happily be used as baby names — in the US or elsewhere–of which this list is just a sampling. I have chosen names which are easily pronounced outside of Ireland and which have a positive meaning or origin. I’ve purposely omitted some well-known options (Kerry, for example, which probably suggests politics – à la US Secretary of State John Kerry – more than the Emerald Isle, at the moment!). Several of these could also fit into the nature name category (river names and so on).