Category: Irish names for boys
By Sophie Kihm
So many Americans have Irish ancestry, yet relatively few have embraced authentic Irish names. I’m not talking about Caoimhe or Eithne necessarily, but using names with Irish origins can be a meaningful way to showcase your heritage. If you’re looking for a name that hits the sweet spot between unusual and familiar (and without a difficult pronunciation), one of these could be the perfect name for your little lad or lassie.
Nameberry has visitors from all over the world, which goes some way toward accounting for the fact that many of the names on our popularity list are more common in other countries than they are in the US. Of course, some American parents also search for international names to reflect their own ethnic heritage or to celebrate a culture or country they love or to find a more dashing way to honor Grandpa Frank.
Most of the names here, drawn from the names right below the most popular Top 1000, are European in origin and so evidence that sophisticated French or Italian or Scandinavian style. Or at least they do to the American ear, which relishes an accent.
There are also European-inflected names for boys higher up in the Nameberry popularity list: Callum and Enzo and Stellan, for instance. And in Europe itself, baby names originating in one country may be stylish in another, so that the Dutch like Italian names, the Italians favor Russian names, the Russians prefer French names, and the French are in love with British names. The boys’ names here are more distinctive than their popular brothers, but just as nimble at crossing international borders.
If you’re looking for an international name for your baby boy, these are the perfect blend of familiar yet exotic.
You might know the Irish poet William Butler Yeats (it rhymes with Gates, not Keats) from his much-loved poems like The Lake Isle of Innisfree, possibly the most peaceful poem ever written, or memorable lines like “tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.”
One thing (among many) Yeats is remembered for is his retelling of Irish myths and legends. He helped to introduce characters from ancient literature – and their names – to the English-speaking world. Today we take it for granted that it’s easy to access Irish culture – like stories, music, and of course names – but that wasn’t always the case.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Now it’s the boy’s turn to romance their names.
We recently posted a list of 100 girls’ names in translation, where we took some rather prosaic appellations like Helen, Henrietta and Hedwig, and gave them some international flair via their translations into other languages. Well, several of you asked us to do the same for the boys, and so here they are. Of course there are countless other versions and variations—maybe you’ll find the honor replacement you’ve been looking for!