210+ Irish Girl Names (and Meanings)
Irish girl names have been growing in popularity not just in Ireland but around the world in recent years. Irish language names for girls such as Saoirse and surname-names like Riley are finding widespread favor in Ireland, the US, and other European and English-speaking countries.
Along with Saoirse and Riley, other Irish names for baby girls in the US Top 1000 include Nora, Kennedy, Quinn, Reagan, and Sloane. One of the favorite Irish female names on Nameberry is the goddess name Maeve, particularly liked by Irish-American parents.
The classic Irish girls' name Nora is also a top name in countries as varied as Sweden and Norway, Germany and the Netherlands, and Spain. Unique Irish girl names trending now include Fia, Tierney, Eilish, Niamh, and Una.
Popular names in Ireland for baby girls include Saoirse — popularized around the world by Oscar-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan — Fiadh, Aoife, and Caoimhe. Irish names for girls such as Molly and Erin continue to rank in both the US and Ireland.
Traditional Irish girl names such as Kathleen, Erin, and Bridget are still used in the US, Ireland, and other English-speaking countries, but they no longer make the list of most popular Irish choices. If you're looking to name your baby for a grandparent born in Dublin or Galway, you may need to look beyond the most popular Irish female names or vary the honor name.
While Irish names are trending for both girls and boys, we see the style factor on the rise particularly in Irish girls' names unheard of here a generation ago, such as Aisling and Collins. Many of the most fashionable Irish names today are in fact gender neutral names, with Quinn, Rowan, Rory, Lennon, and Finley popular for both girls and boys.
This list gathers some of our favorite Irish baby names for girls you might want to consider, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.
Meaning:"she who intoxicates"
Description:Maeve is a short and sweet name that has become one of the most stylish Irish names for girls in the modern US. Maeve would make an excellent first or middle name choice, with more heft than Mae/May and more modern charm than Mavis.
Origin:Irish, diminutive of Honora, or Greek
Description:Nora is a lovely, refined name that conjures up images of Belle Epoch ladies in fur-trimmed coats skating in Central Park. Long seen as a quintessentially Irish name, Nora is a quietly stylish favorite tiptoeing up the popularity ladder.
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.)
Description:Before the young Irish actress Saoirse Ronan made her mark in the films Ladybird and The Lovely Bones, few of us had heard this name, let alone known how to pronounce it. But now it is slowly way edging its way into the mainstream, particularly, of course, with parents who have Irish roots. It made its first appearance in the US Top 1000 in 2016, when it was the third-fastest-rising girls' name.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Origin:Irish, variation of Una
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.
Origin:Anglicized variation of Gaelic Brighid
Meaning:"strength or exalted one"
Description:Bridget is the Anglicized form of Brigid, an Irish-Gaelic name that was derived from the word brígh, which means "strength."
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.
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.
Origin:Feminization of Alan, Irish; variation of Ilana, Hebrew; Gaelic; Hawaiian
Meaning:"handsome, rock; oak tree; child; awakening"
Description:Alana, in all its various spellings, was at one time reserved for daughters of dads named Alan, but is now much more widespread. It came into prominence via model/actress/celeb spouse Alana Hamilton Stewart.
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.
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.
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.
Description:Fiadh is the fastest-rising girls' name in Ireland, derived from the ancient root word for "wild". The Anglicized form Fia is one we might see rising in the US as well – to take the place of its popular cousin Mia.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cara or Norse mythology name
Meaning:"wild stormy one"
Description:Kara and the soundalike (though not necessarily related) Cara are among the most multi-cultural names around. Cara has roots in Latin, Italian, Irish, Spanish, and Portuguese, and Kara can be viewed as simply as K-starting version of Cara. But Kara is also uniquely a Norse mythology name, drawn from the name of a valkyrie meaning "wild stormy one".. Kara was a Valkyrie, lover of Helgi, who charmed his enemies in battle by enchanting them with song. Both Cara and Kara peaked in the 1980s but Kara remains more popular than the Cara variant.
Meaning:"little dark one"
Description:Keira is an attractive girls’ name that's gotten a huge boost from the meteoric rise of Keira Knightley. Original spelling Kiera, which relates more directly to the male Kieran, was the more popular form until the rise of Keira Knightley reversed the order. Both are Anglicized versions of the Irish Ciara.
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.