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Irish Baby Girl Names

Irish Baby Girl Names

Irish baby girl names have been used outside the Emerald Isle for decades, but there's a new wave of Irish girl names that sound fresh and intriguing. Some of these beautiful Irish names for girls, such as Aoife, Niamh, and Fiadh, have been among Ireland's Top Baby Names for years, and are just starting to catch on in England and the US too. Many of the top Irish baby girl names in the US are gender-neutral surname names, such as Riley, Kennedy, and Quinn. These new names are taking over for more familiar traditional choices like Kathleen and Eileen.

Along with Aoife and Fiadh, Irish girl names rare in the US but common in Ireland include Caoimhe, Róisín, Ciara, Clodagh, Éabha, Sadhbh, Aoibhín, and Áine. Formerly obscure Irish names, such as Saoirse and Bellamy, are now rising in the US, and many of these choices could have similar trajectories. Here are some of our favorite Irish names for girls. You may also want to expand your search to our full list of Irish girl names. Or go here for a list of the best Irish baby names for boys.

MaeveHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "she who intoxicates"
  • Description:

    Maeve appears in Irish mythology in two forms, one as the powerful Queen of Connacht, the other as the queen of the fairies. Maeve of Connacht was a warrior queen, famous for starting a war in attempt to steal her ex-husband’s stud bull. Other spellings are Meabh, Medb and Meadhbh, which are connected to mead, a honey-based wine that was produced in many ancient cultures.

NoraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, diminutive of Honora, or Greek
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Nora has two separate origin stories, as a derivative of both Honora and Eleanor. The Irish and Anglo-Norman version derives from Honora, based on the Latin word honor. The Hungarians spawned Nora as a short form of Eleonora, a variation of Eleanor.

SloaneHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "raider"
  • Description:

    Sloane is a sleek, sophisticated surname name that has gradually morphed over to the girls' side. Sloane is definitely a name that's going to continue to rise. Spelled without the final "e," Sloan joined Sloane in the Top 1000 for the first time in 2011.

QuinnHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "descendent of Conn"
  • Description:

    Quinn is the Anglicized version of the Irish patronymic surname Ó Cuinn, meaning "descendent of Conn." Conn has two possible derivations—the Old Irish cond, meaning "intellect," or cenn, meaning "chief." One of the most notable Quinn clans was from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

SaoirseHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "liberty"
  • Description:

    Saoirse originated as a baby name in 1920s Ireland as an applied use of saoirse, the Gaelic word for "freedom." The name was first adopted during the Irish War of Independence, when the Irish Republican Army fought the British Army for the liberation of Ireland from British rule. In modern times, Saoirse, as well as a host of other Gaelic names, are being revived in Ireland, the UK, and the US.

RowanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rowan tree; little redhead"
  • Description:

    Rowan is the name of a tree with red berries that's commonly found in Scotland (and said to ward off witches). Some scholars say this name has been used for girls as well as boys since the Middle Ages, though no Rowans are found outside literature until modern times. It's also a genial Irish surname choice, especially for a redhead – girl or boy.

RileyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rye clearing; courageous"
  • Description:

    Riley originated as both an English and an Irish surname. The former was derived from British place names that got their names from the Old English words for "rye clearing." Irish Riley is a variation of Reilly, a surname taken from the given name Raghailleach.

TallulahHeart

  • Origin:

    Choctaw, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "leaping water, lady of abundance"
  • Description:

    As memories of the outragrous actress Talullah Bankhead have faded, this hauntingly euphonious Choctaw name has re-entered the public domain. A modern hipster favorite, it's been chosen for their daughters by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Patrick Dempsey, Damian Dash, Rachel Roy and Sara Rue, trail-blazed by Demi Moore and Bruce Willis for their now grown daughter. (Trivia tidbit: Bankhead's namesake was her paternal grandmother who, in turn, was named after the Georgia town of Tallulah Falls.)

AoifeHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "beautiful, radiant"
  • Description:

    Aoife, pronounced EE-fa, is derived from the Irish word aoibh, meaning "beauty." Aoife was borne by several different heroines of ancient Irish legend. In one tale, she was the fiercest woman warrior in the world and enemy of her twin sister, Scathach.

RoryHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "red king"
  • Description:

    Rory is a buoyant, spirited name for a redhead with Celtic roots. The name Rory is getting more popular overall, but for the past few years has been trending decidedly toward the boys' side -- however, it's been rising to new heights for girls in recent years.

NiamhHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "bright"
  • Description:

    Niamh, derived from the Old Irish Niam, is an ancient Irish name that was originally a term for a goddess. In Irish myth, one who bore it was Niamh of the Golden Hair, daughter of the sea god, who falls in love with Finn's son Oisin and takes him to the Land of Promise, where they stayed for three hundred years. Niamh can be Anglicized as Neve, Nieve, or Neave.

LennonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "lover"
  • Description:

    A growing number of high-profile (and other) parents are choosing to honor their musical idols, such as Hendrix, Presley, Jagger, and now Lennon, an Irish name for girls as well as boys with a wonderful meaning on many levels. Lennon first came to notice when Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit used it for their son in 1999, and singer-musician Adam Pascal followed their lead two years later.

OrlaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "golden princess"
  • Description:

    Orla is an Irish name closely associated with the high king Brian Boru, as it was the name of his sister, daughter and niece. It was very popular in the Middle Ages – the fourth most popular name in twelfth century Ireland – and has become popular again in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales today. In Irish, the name is commonly spelled Orlaith or Orlagh.

CaoimheHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "beautiful"
  • Description:

    Caoimhe, pronounced (more properly) kwee-va or kee-va, is a pretty and distinctive Gaelic name but one that could well lead to no end of confusion outside the Irish community. Even in its native habitat, it is sometimes spelled Keeva.

FinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired hero"
  • Description:

    This was a 100 percent boys’ name until celebs Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon bestowed it on their daughter, recently followed by Lisa Marie Presley, who used it for one of her (female) twins. Finlay is also now among the most popular unisex names.

KieraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Kiera entered the American popularity list in 1988, though it lags behind the alternate spelling Keira, largely due to the fame of actress Keira Knightley.

EnyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fire"
  • Description:

    This phonetic Anglicization of the Irish name Eithne was made familiar by the single-named Irish singer and composer. St. Eithne was the daughter of a king and an early Irish convert to Christianity.

UnaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "one; also, lamb"
  • Description:

    In an epic poem, the personification of truth, beauty, and unity; this ancient name is popular in Ireland but rarely heard here. The Oona spelling has more oomph.

TeaganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish or Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "little poet or fair"
  • Description:

    As Meghan/Megan and Reagan/Regan show signs of wilting, along comes Teagan to take up the slack: definitely one to consider. The vast majority of American babies named Teagan are now girls. A variant spelling is Teaghan.

DarcyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish or French
  • Meaning:

    "dark one, or from Arcy, or from the fortress"
  • Description:

    Delicate ballerina name with grace, charm, and heft courtesy of Jane Austen's Mr.

FiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish or Portuguese or Italian
  • Meaning:

    "wild or weaver"
  • Description:

    Fia may be most notable at this moment as the Anglicized version of the Irish Fiadh, one of the fastest-rising names in the Republic of Ireland. The meaning of Fia or Fiadh is sometimes given as "deer" but that's in the sense of a wild deer, as the name relates to the ancient word for wild.

OonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, variation of Una
  • Meaning:

    "lamb"
  • Description:

    Oona is a name made famous by Eugene O'Neill's daughter, who became Charlie Chaplin's wife. One of the original Oona's granddaughters was named after her, and is now an actress famous in her own right for playing Talisa of Volantis in HBO's "Game of Thrones." The double-o beginning gives their name a lot of oomph.

FallonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "leader"
  • Description:

    Fallon is one of several boyish surname names introduced in the over-the-top 1980s nighttime soap Dynasty: they sounded cutting-edge at the time, but no longer.

AineHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "brightness, splendor"
  • Description:

    More commonly seen here as Anya, this traditional yet unique Irish name belonged to the queen of the Munster fairies and is sprinkled throughout Irish folklore as an early Celtic goddess of summer and prosperity. One of the most popular baby names in Ireland, Aine's spelling and pronunciation might seem simple but could prove confusing in the U.S.

SiobhanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "god is gracious"
  • Description:

    Siobhan is the Irish variation of Joan, which is derived from the ancient Anglo-Norman name Jehanne. In this way Siobhan is indirectly related to the name Sinead—the Irish form of Jeannette, which also derived from Jehanne—although Sinead is not a nickname for Siobhan. Siobhan was the name of several early Irish queens and was introduced to the American public by the actress Siobhan McKenna.

ReaganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little king"
  • Description:

    A strong, straightforward Irish unisex surname, with a merry glint in its eye, Reagan has been leaping up the popularity lists, to become one of the top girl names starting with R. Some will inevitably link it to President Ronald, but spell it Regan and it's a Shakespearean name: a daughter of King Lear.

ShayHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "stately, gift"
  • Description:

    A variant spelling of either Irish Shea or Hebrew Shai, Shay feels at once vintage and modern.

KennedyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "misshapen head"
  • Description:

    This attractive surname name still projects that Kennedy family charisma. While it didn't come into widespread use until long after the deaths of martyred heroes President John F. or Senator Robert Kennedy, Kennedy is now one of the most popular unisex names for girls as well as the top girls' name starting with K. This is one name that manages to sound trendy and classic at the same time.

EithneHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "nut kernel"
  • Description:

    Pretty and soulful name of a goddess from Irish mythology and several Irish saints. Singer Enya, born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, has made the Anglicized spelling familiar. Eithne comes from the vocabulary word "kernel", which was used as a term of praise in old bardic poetry.

AislingHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "dream, vision"
  • Description:

    Aisling is currently a very popular Irish name for girls. Pronounced variously as ASH-ling, ASH-lin or ash-LEEN, it was part of the revival of authentic Irish names in the twentieth century, and is now being sparingly used by U.S. parents in place of the dated Ashley--though often spelled phonetically as Ashlyn or Ashlynn.

MckennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the handsome one"
  • Description:

    Mackenzie begat McKenna -- a catchy but very trendy choice. While the Mc or Mac prefix means "son of," this is exclusively a girl's names in the US, with no boys recorded with either spelling of the name.

BreeHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, from Brid, Brigh, Brigid
  • Meaning:

    "strength or exalted one"
  • Description:

    A short, breezy name with a sophisticated yet upbeat image, that doesn't betray its Irish roots. Bree first came to notice here in 1971 via the complex prostitute character in the movie Klute, which earned Jane Fonda an Oscar. More recently, it was tied to the character of Bree Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives.

CiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Ciara is very popular in Ireland, more familiar here as the Anglicized Kiera or Keira. The uninitiated will tend to pronounce Ciara as the Italian Chiara, a form of Claire—kee-AHR-a or even see-AHR-a, like the American singer-songwriter Ciara. In the US, Ciara peaked in 2005, when it was the Number 150 name; it's since fallen down to Number 882.

RoisinHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish. "little rose"
  • Meaning:

    "little rose"
  • Description:

    No, the pronunciation--ro-SHEEN--isn't immediately obvious to the non-Gaelic viewer, but the sound of this shiny Irish version of Rose is pretty enough to make it worth considering. Very popular in its native Ireland, it is now at Number 34. Earlier generations Anglicized at as Rosaleen, but we stay stick to the original.

MoiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, variation of Mary
  • Meaning:

    "bitter; beloved; drop of the sea"
  • Description:

    Well-established Irish and Scottish name that has never really caught on across the pond. Remembered by an older generation as the beautiful red-haired ballerina in the film The Red Shoes, Moira Shearer.

MorriganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "phantom queen"
  • Description:

    The mythological Morrigan was the ancient goddess of war, often symbolized by a crow. Besides being a name, this is also used as a proper noun preceded by an article: the Morrigan, defined as a monster in female form. The meaning of Morrigan has been related to both terror and greatness. While some relate the name to Morgan of the Arthurian legends, Morrigan and Morgan are actually unrelated.

CaitlinHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish variation of Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    An Irish and Welsh form of Catherine, Caitlin was a boom name of the eighties, rocketing from obscurity (Americans first heard it via the wife of doomed poet Dylan Thomas) to the height of popularity in the space of a decade. The original name was gradually eclipsed by its myriad spelling variations -- Katelyn and Kaitlyn both soon topping it on the popularity lists.

EilishHeart

  • Origin:

    Anglicized variation of Eilis, Irish form of Hebrew Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Eilish is one of those Irish names that, thanks to a celebrity, has suddenly become much more familiar to English speakers. Irish-American singer Billie Eilish (Eilish is actually one of her middle names) introduced the wider world to this Irish name as actress Saoirse Ronan did with hers. Interestingly, Saoirse Ronan's character in Brooklyn, based on the novel by Colm Toibin, was named Eilis, pronounced AY-lish.

SorchaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "bright, shining"
  • Description:

    A popular Irish name virtually unknown here, but one that feels like it could follow in the footsteps of Siobhan and Saoirse. It's pronounced SOR-ka, but with a little hiccup between the 'r' and the 'c' that's difficult for non-Gaelic speakers to reproduce. Spelled (and pronounced) Sorsha, she is a major character in the movie Willow.

AilisHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "noble"
  • Description:

    This attractive and unique Irish form of Alice can also be found in the spelling Ailish. It was introduced into Ireland by the Normans in the French form ALIZ.

BrigidHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish variation of Brighid
  • Meaning:

    "strength or exalted one"
  • Description:

    Brigid is the simpler Irish version of the name of the goddess of fire, which may also be spelled Brighid. Other variations include Bridget, the most usual spelling in the U.S., and the French Brigitte.

BrennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine form of Brennan
  • Meaning:

    "descendant of the sad one"
  • Description:

    Brenna is a feminine form of the Irish surname Brennan, or perhaps a variation of Brenda or Brendan—all of which have different meanings. Whatever its derivation or authenticity, it's a modern sounding name which has steadily decreased in popularity since 1995 when it peaked at Number 235 in the United States.

BrennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine form of Brennan
  • Meaning:

    "descendant of the sad one"
  • Description:

    Brenna is a feminine form of the Irish surname Brennan, or perhaps a variation of Brenda or Brendan—all of which have different meanings. Whatever its derivation or authenticity, it's a modern sounding name which has steadily decreased in popularity since 1995 when it peaked at Number 235 in the United States.

BellamyHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Irish from French
  • Meaning:

    "fine friend"
  • Description:

    Bellamy is emerging as an up-and-coming girls' name, an Irish surname-y riff on the super-popular Bella series of names. While the Bella connection makes Bellamy sound a little trendier and more popular than it really is, we see the name possibly rising through the ranks for both genders in the coming years.

DaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Slavic or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "pearl of wisdom; gift; or oak tree"
  • Description:

    Though Dara was an (extremely wise) male figure in the Bible, this name feels mostly feminine to modern Americans. The Irish Gaelic version, Darragh, is well-used in contemporary times for boys.

ClodaghHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish river name
  • Description:

    A popular choice in Ireland, Clodagh was the name of a river and later a saint. The "cloddy" aspect of the name has prevented it from spreading beyond Ireland, but that could change. Famous namesakes are singer Clodagh Rodgers and chef Clodagh McKenna.

MurphyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "hound of the sea"
  • Description:

    This surname name popularized for girls by TV's Murphy Brown back in the 80's and 90's still has some breezy energy.

NualaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, short form of Fionnuala
  • Meaning:

    "white shoulders"
  • Description:

    Officially a shortening of the traditional and tricky Gaelic Fionnghuala/Fionnuala, Nuala makes a lovely choice all on its own. Nuala is well-used in Ireland.

SineadHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish form of Janet
  • Meaning:

    "God's gracious gift"
  • Description:

    One of the best known of the Irish girls' names, thanks to singer Sinead O'Connor. Though it's still in the Irish Top 100, it's no longer quite as fashionable in Ireland as Aoife or Aisling. But by now everyone in the Western World knows it's pronounced shin-aid and so would have no trouble fitting in on an American playground.

DarbyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish or Norse, "free from envy, or, from the deer estate"
  • Meaning:

    "free from envy, or, from the deer estate"
  • Description:

    Once a common boys' name in Ireland (e. g. , Darby O'Gill and the Little People), the dynamic Darby now has a definite unisex feel. Actor Paul Rudd has a young daughter named Darby.
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