There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a name for a new little bundle of joy – especially today, with so many unique and interesting baby names making the rounds.
Mom is likely to get input (both solicited and unsolicited) about what her baby’s prospective name should be and shouldn’t be. Names can be inspired by heritage, faith, or even just something we might have heard in passing from a conversation or in the media. We often want our baby’s name to be meaningful, or exemplify the kind of person we hope our little bean grows up to be.
The baby naming pressure is real! It doesn’t help when there are so many options to choose from. And even if mom chooses a name before the baby is born, her mind can instantly be changed at the sight of her precious little one, so it’s important to keep baby name options open.
Some of the strongest and most beautiful names can be found across the seas. Looking to Ireland for inspiration, here are some of the most beautiful, unique, and traditional Irish names to consider for your future little one that are sure to stand out!
This beautiful name stands for ‘freedom’. Every parent of a little girl hopes that his or her baby girl grows up to be a strong and independent woman. What better way to instill a fierce sense of strength in a young girl than to give her a name that empowers her as a person? The name was born in the 1920s after the Irish War of Independence. It is derived from the saying “Saorstát Éireann” which is translated to “The Irish Free State”.
The name has recently come to light because of rising star, Saoirse Ronan, popular for films Ladybird, The Lovely Bones, and her appearance in Ed Sheeran’s music video for ‘Galway Girl’.
But it is still a largely unpopular name for American children, only reaching BabyCenter.com’s 951st spot in popular baby girl names for 2018, which means your little one will remain unique in their name.
Another, lesser known but notable person, donning this beautiful name is Saoirse Kennedy Hill – related to the beloved Kennedy family. Characteristics which Saoirses are believed to share include being intellectual, sensual, and adventurous. A perfect moniker, symbolic of meaningful sentiments and amazing traits, for a young woman growing up today!
Pronounced: nile. English variation: Neil
While this name isn’t such a secret, thanks to Irish heartthrob Niall Horan of X-Factor sensation, One Direction, its still a great name in its own right, and is only #1408 on BabyCenter.com’s popular baby boy names of 2018. Its Anglicized version, Neil, is #581 -- still low enough on the list that your son's name remains unique.
Irish legend reveals that Niall was one of five sons of the High King in the late 4th century. In a test to decide which son would acquire the throne, they were each sent on a quest for water, only to be met by an old hag requesting a kiss in return for the access to a well. Niall was the only son who obliged the old lady. Once they kissed, she turned into a beautiful young woman, and Niall went on to become the king.
The name means ‘passionate,’ which is a wonderful characteristic to instill in a young man.
It also holds other meaning in Scottish Gaelic, which is ‘champion’. Niall is a short and sweet name that rolls off the tongue, while remaining strong in character. Other characteristics attributed to the name include leader, discipline, and confidence.
Pronounced: ash-lin. English variation: Ashley
This is an eloquent and beautiful twist on a classic girl name. It ranks #1338 versus its English counterpart, ranking #322 on Baby Center’s list of baby names for 2018. The name itself means ‘a vision or a dream’, which is a good name to instill a sense of wonder in a growing young lady. It’s a name that can also describe the euphoria a new parent can feel when they hold their child for the first time – like a wonderful dream.
While all meanings are open to interpretation, the historical meaning behind Aislinn, is specific to a dream of a beautiful woman from the spirit world. Once she is seen in a dream, the dreamer cannot be content in life. The name was also used to personify Ireland, by Irish political-poets, during the 17th century, when turmoil took over the country during a political battle between Protestants and Catholics.
The name’s history gives it more than enough interesting meaning, but Aislinn has also been associated with being powerful, affectionate, and tenacious.
Canadian actress, Aislinn Paul of Degrassi, is the most notable pop culture name bearer. Maybe your little princess can be the next one to popularize it!
Pronounced: o-win. English variation: Owen, John, or Eugene
The spelling of this name is unique and eye catching. The Gaelic take on the American classic name, ‘John’, Eoin is sure to make your son stand out from the crowd. Eoin’s English variations reign supreme, with ‘John’ ranking 43rd and ‘Owen’ ranking 21st for baby names in 2018, while 'Eugene' is #1779, and the traditional spelling comes in at #2250.
Ancient Celts believed the yew tree to be a sacred symbol of immortality that held mystical powers. The literal translation is ‘born of the yew tree’. In Celtic culture, the yew has many strong and symbolic meanings such as power, honor, and strength – all attributes worthy of an innocent bundle of joy.
Today, those with the name are said to share the sentiments of being social and optimistic.
The name's many variations keep famous company with the likes of Owen Wilson, known for his roles in Zoolander and Wedding Crashers, John Stamos -- America's favorite TV uncle (from TV show, Full House), and Eugene Levy known from the American Pie franchise. All great men in their own rights, and all would make a good role model for your growing son.
Pronounced: nee-iv or neev. English variation: Neve
If you grew up in the 90s, you have undoubtedly come across this name in film and TV credits, with actress Neve Campbell, known for her role as Sidney Prescott in the Scream movies and her role in TV's Party of Five. It’s a fitting name for the actress (and your rising star) as it means radiance and brightness.
There is an interesting mythology associated with the name, too. Niamh was the ‘golden haired’ daughter of the king of the land of Eternal Youth and Pleasure. On a visit across the seas to Ireland, she met Oisín, and the two instantly fell in love. Niamh brought Oisín back to her land on horseback, where they lived together for 300 hundred years. Niamh was a woman in pursuit of her own heart.
If you want your daughter to be a bright, strong-willed woman who knows what she wants, you might want to consider Niamh (or Neve) for your baby girl.
Some other characteristics commonly associated with the name perfection and intuitive. Other notable people who share the name is Saw franchise actress, Niamh Wilson, so your babe will be in good company, no matter which spelling you choose to take.
Pronounced: ti-gue. English variation: Timothy
This is a fantastic version of the popular ‘Timothy’. It’s a fresh take on an old classic, with a strong history to boot!
In Celtic mythology, Tadhg Mor was a kingsman who went to battle with the Vikings. Upon his defeat, a great creature rose from the ocean to protect his body until his clan could come retrieve him. The animal was described to be a magnificent beast with the head of a fox, chest of an elephant, and the mane of a lion.
The translation of the name means ‘a poet’ or ‘a philosopher’ and is associated being inspirational and extremely bright. The traditional Irish spelling lands the name in the 4842nd position, while its Anglicized variation comes in at #214. Tadhg Murphy, of the History channel's Vikings, is the most notable Tadhg today. Timothys are quite popular in the entertainment business. Some notable Timothys include football player Tim Tebow (Timother Richard Tebow), country music star Tim McGraw (Samuel Timothy McGraw), and master of fantasy films, Tim Burton (Timothy Walton Burton).
The name Tadhg is multidimensional, offering a strong history with a sensitive meaning. Strong and sensitive are both highly sought qualities in budding young men.
Pronounced: ro-sheen. English variation: Rosaleen
A delicate name, Roisin is derived from a Latin word, meaning “little rose”.
This common Irish name reached popularity in Irish history, when bards disguised patriotic poetry as love songs, one of the most popular being ‘Roísín Dubh’ (Dark Rosaleen). Political meanings and messages had to be disguised, as England outlawed patriotic poems and songs in Ireland in the 16th century. Roisin Dubh is a metaphor for Ireland, itself, and the song speaks of the hardships the country was enduring at the time, and how the Irish people would stand by their country no matter what.
The history of the name’s popularity would make it a meaningfully strong name for a young girl, born today. It currently comes in on the 2018 popular baby names list at #7765, and bearers of this moniker are believed to share the attributes of being happy, social, and creative. The Anglicized, Roasleen, is #7713 on the list. Both variations so far down on the list, guarantees your baby girl to be one of a kind.
The name keeps company with Olympic runner, Roísín McGettigan, who participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Perhaps choosing this name for your daughter will help her sprint into greatness!
Pronounced: paw-drig. English variation: Patrick
There’s nothing like a good sturdy Patrick. It’s no secret why this Irish name is meaningful and popular – after all, there’s a whole day dedicated to the guy. A patron saint of Ireland, St. Padraig was kidnapped as a young boy, and brought to Ireland to guard sheep. He eventually escaped his captors, crossing the sea into mainland Europe, where he would train to become a priest. After many years, he felt a call to go back to Ireland. His return to the Emerald Isle is famous, as this is when he banished the snakes from Ireland into the sea and converted much of the country to Christianity.
Aside from its historical meaning, the name is derived from Latin, meaning ‘nobly born’. Pádraigs (and Patricks) are said to have characteristics such as being family-oriented, loving, and compassionate.
These are amazing sentiments to bestow upon your little one through his name.
Traditional spelling finds its spot on the 2018 popularity list at #5969, while its Anglicized Patrick ranks 211th on the baby names list, and is in very good company. Notable famous people donning the name: Patrick Stewart, Patrick Dempsey, and who can forget '80s/'90s heartthrob Patrick Swayze?
Pronounced: ee-fa. English variation: Eva or Ava
Aoife is one of Ireland’s most popular baby names. Irish history is filled with heroines named Aoife. One of the most notable Aoifes in Irish history is Aoife Dearg, who had her marriage arranged by St. Patrick, himself. But a more tantalizing story in legend places Aofie as the second wife to the Irish God, Lir. She grew jealous of the love that he had of her four step-children, and devised a plan to get rid of them. When the time came to complete her task, she was struck with compassion, and instead turned them into beautiful white swans, destined to swim various waters for 900 years.
The name itself means beautiful or radiant, which may add to why it is such a popular name in Ireland.
Surprisingly, this variation of the name has climbed the ladder in 2018 to position #1259, which is 329 steps higher than its rank in 2017.
The name keeps great company in its variations with the likes of Eva Longoria and Ava Gardner. Aoife is sometimes also said to be the Gaelic version for the biblical Eve. Common characteristics associated with the name include perfection, independent, and intuitive.
Pronounced: aid-an or aid-on. English variation: Aidan, Aiden, or Ayden
Aiden is undoubtedly a well-used name. This spelling ranks #10 in 2018, which means there will be a lot of Aidens walking around in the years to come. If you absolutely love this name, consider using the Gaelic spelling to keep your baby’s name fresh and unique. Its traditional Gaelic spelling currently ranks #1383 in 2018.
Aedan loosely translates to ‘fire’ or ‘born of fire’ which implies a fierceness within the person who dons this name.
The namesake's story is one of mysticism and luck. He appears in Irish legend as Aedan of Ferns, a 6th century bishop. His story begins on the day of his baptism, when no boats were available to carry him across the lake. In a stroke of luck (or miracle), the young babe was miraculously able to float across the lake by himself on a slab of stone. He was met on the shore by St. Kilian, who performed his baptism.
Famous Aedan variations include Aidan Quinn, who is an Irish-American actor most known for his role in Practical Magic, and Aiden Stewart, Rod Stewart’s son. Let’s not forget Sex and The City’s heartthrob character, Aidan Shaw -- fictional characters count, too!
Pronounced: ave-linn. English variation: Eileen
If you’re looking for a baby girl name with out of the ordinary spelling, this might be your ticket! It last appeared on a Baby Center baby names list in 2016, which means there aren’t a lot of Eibhleanns walking around to steal your baby’s thunder.
There’s a common theme in the meanings of Irish girls’ names, being that many of them mean beautiful or radiant, and Eibhleann is no exception. Common qualities of those with the name include adventurous and intellectual.
Unlike many of the names on this list, Eibhleann does not share a rich Irish history or legend. In the early Middle Ages, as Christianity began to spread, people from across the sea came to settle in Ireland. Exposed to new names, the Irish adapted foreign monikers into their native tongue, Gaelic. The name Eibhleann was adapted from foreign settlers’ version of the name, Aveline. There is one instance in Irish history of the name. Harpist Cearbhall O’Dalaigh wrote the song ‘ Ebhlin a Ruan’ to persuade his love to elope with him on her wedding day. So while the name might carry a delicate meaning, it also has an edge to it.
Everyone has heard the name Eileen, thanks to Dexys Midnight Runners and their song ‘Come on Eileen’. Another famous Eileen is Eileen Brennan, who received an Oscar nomination for her role in Private Benjamin.
Pronounced: ave-leen. English variation: Evelyn
While a close call to the above mentioned Eibhleann, Aibhlinn can most certainly hold its own.
It’s an interesting and meaningful name to keep in mind for those who may be struggling to conceive, as it means ‘wished for’ or ‘longed for child’.
Truly a fitting name for a long awaited baby girl, born at the end of long and difficult infertility journey. Inspirational, uplifting, and intuitive are thought to be common attributes of those who hold the name. It shares a history with Eibleann, in that it was adapted from Norman-French settlers who came to the British Isles in 1066, and it is believed to be adapted from the same name, Aveline.
Its most recent popular year was 2016, and even then it was only ranked at #6743. That means this is another unique name to give to consider giving your new baby. The Anglicized, Evelyn, is quite popular and is currently #12 on Baby Center's popular names of 2018 list.
Some notable Evelyns include Evelyn Keyes from the classic movie, Gone With the Wind, and interestingly, Sir Evelyn Robert de Rothschild, showing that the name is strong and holds no bounds regarding gender!
Pronounced: kil-e-an. English variation: Killian
This is a name for those with a dark side. If you’re a fan of the TV show Once Upon A Time, it should not be new to you, as the character Killian Jones, aka Captain Hook. Much like the character in the show, the name has a dark history associated with it. In Irish history, Cillian was a priest who traveled to Germany to preach the gospel. He converted many to Christianity, including the local Duke. When he deemed the Duke’s marriage invalid and against the scripture, the Duke’s wife ordered St. Cillian a harsh sentence. It is fitting that this man in history was a priest, as ‘cille’ derived from Cillian, means ‘associated with the church’.
While perhaps this is not a history you want to pass onto your child, the sound of the name itself is strong, and may be enough to disassociate its dark past from it.
Cillians are said to be adventurous, sensual, and adaptable. The name keeps famous company with Irish actor, Cillian Murphy, whose most notable roles include 28 Days Later and Inception. Its variations, Cillian and Killian, take spots 958 and 267, respectively, in popular names for 2018.
Pronounced: cotch-leen. English variation: Catherine or Kathleen
While relatively ordinary in spelling, Caitlin holds its uniqueness in its pronunciation. Like Eibhleann and Aibhlinn, Caitlin is said to have come to Ireland by way of foreign settlers in the Middle Ages. However, there is the Irish legend of the Countess of Cathleen to take into account. During a time of famine in Ireland, the Countess of Cathleen offered her soul to the devil to save people from starvation. When the devil came to collect his payment for saving the starving people of Cathleen, God came down to save the countess’s soul, sending her straight to heaven for her selfless deed. It's a truly amazing story to tell, when explaining where your name comes from.
With a story like that, it’s easy to see why the name means ‘pure’.
Those with the name share attributes such as being adaptable, adventurous, and freedom-loving, and is currently in the 691st spot on the popular baby names list. Interestingly, the Anglicized spelling, Kathleen, is currently #1154.
Celebrities who share the name include Caitlin Fitzgerald from a Showtime tv show, model Caite Upton, whose given name is Lauren Caitlin Upton, and girl band pioneer Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill.
Pronounced: dill-en. English variation: Dylan
Dillon has been said to mean “flash of light,” making it a wonderful name to promote inspiration and brightness in your little one. Some have also said the name to mean “faithful” or “sea”, allowing the name to evolve with your little one as he or she grows.
While traditionally a boy’s name in Ireland, in countries across the sea, it crosses gender boundaries allowing it to be become an acceptable and popular name for girls, too.
In Welsh mythology, Wales being a close neighbor to Ireland, Dylan was a divinity of the sea. He became in tune with the water when he was plunged into the sea during his baptism. The boy was able to swim as well as the best fish in the ocean, and earned the name, ‘Dylan, the son of the wave.’
Some fun characteristics of Dillons are creative, optimistic, and happy. Its Gaelic spelling ranks #804 in 2018, while its English variation lands in the 52nd spot, for boys. Girl Dillons and Dylans come in at #2213 and #405, respectively. Well-known Dylans include Dylan McDermott of American Horror Story, and Dylan Frances Penn – daughter of actors Sean Penn and Robin Wright.
Also spelled: Kian. Pronounced: key-in. English variation: Kane
You’ve likely come across this name in the golden days of Vine (RIP), thanks to internet funny man, Cian Twomey. The name means ancient or enduring, which offers a strong foundation of a name for any growing child.
In history Cian Máelmuaid was the son-in-law of the 11th century High King of Ireland, Brian Boru. He assisted Brian in marching the Irish armies to battle to victory against the invading Vikings in the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Sadly but honorably, the two died in battle together.
Crossing borders, Cian/Kian has been a popular name in other countries such as Iran, England, Scotland, and the Netherlands.
With so many variations, the name also hold different meanings in other countries. The Persian version of the name means "benevolent king," and the Arabic meaning is "soul or essence." Characteristics of Cians are powerful, authoritative, and tenacious. Cian and Kian rank #844 and #318, respectively, in 2018. Twomey is the most notable person who dons the name, followed by Irish rugby player, Cian Healey, and soccer player, Cian Bolger. The English variation, Kane, currently ranks at #434. Celebrity Kanes include country singer Kane Brown, and WWE wrestling character Kane, played by Glenn Thomas Jacobs.
Pronounced: graw-nya. English variation: Grace
Grainne is a name derived from gran, meaning grain or corn. In ancient Irish history, Grainne was the patron of the harvest. A more exciting story of Grainne, however, comes from Irish legend. Grainne was arranged to marry an older and well-off suitor. Upon arriving at her wedding banquet, she casts a geis (or love spell) upon her groom’s nephew, Diarmuid. This results in the pair eloping, and staying on the run for many years, before eventually being pardoned by the man she left at the altar, Fionn. They were then left to live their lives in peace.
Giving the name an even more textured history, Grainne Mhaol was known as the Pirate Queen in the 16th century. She made her way onto a ship by cutting off her long, beautiful hair. In Irish, 'maol' means bald. She sailed along the west coasts, raiding along the way, collecting mountains of wealth. The Pirate Queen was eventually caught and arrested in 1584 -- proving all good things must come to an end.
The name has sometimes been Anglicized as Grace, and currently holds position #7545 on Baby Center's 2018 list. Attributes of the English variation, Grace, include being wise, eccentric, and philosophical. Arguably the most notable Grace is actress turn princess, Grace Kelly.
Pronounced: tur-la. English variation: Terrence
Turlough and Terrance are names that hold debated meanings.
Turlough is said to mean ‘one who aids or assists’. Terrence, its modernized variation, is said to be derived from an ancient Aramaic word meaning “heart.”
The name is also considered to be a derivative of the Old Irish, “Toirdhealbhach,” which means ‘prompting.’ This is a nickname that was usually given to a person who was an instigator of situations. The latter meanings compliment each other, leading to the Irish meaning of 'one who assists'.
Turlough O'Carolan is the most known name bearer in Irish history. He was a music composer and harpist in the 18th and 19th centuries. He is fondly remembered as "the last of the Irish bards."
Turloughs and Terrences have been said to hold the characteristics of being imaginative, mystical, and solitary. The name hasn’t made the popular names radar since 2014, where is held the 12666th spot – a surprising 2797 step rise in the ranks from its 2013 spot. The English version, Terrence, hold the 2368th spot on the list -- an unexpectedly unpopular name.
Celebrity Terrences include actor Terrence Howard, known for his roles in Hustle & Flow, and most recently, TV's Empire, and professional basketball player, Terrence Ross, who currently plays for the Orlando Magic.
Pronounced: awn-ya. English variation: Anya or Anna
The perfect name for your new bundle of joy, the name Aine means joy. It is also derived from the Ancient Irish noun, aine, which means splendor, radiance, and brilliance.
The name has also been associated with fruitfulness and prosperity -- something we wish for all of our children. In Irish legend, Aine was the queen of the Munster fairies. Folklore describes Aine as “the best-hearted woman who ever lived – lucky in love and money.” Also sometimes portrayed as the goddess of earth and nature, it was believed that she brought great luck and good magic to her followers.
Common markers of Aine (and its variations) include being social, happy, and easy-going. While the traditional spelling, Aine, isn’t the most popular of names, only currently coming in at #4339, its Anglicized variation, Anna, sits at #76 in 2018, I’m sure with much thanks to Disney’s Frozen. Aside from the Disney princess, notable Annas include Pitch Perfect’s Anna Kendrick, and True Blood leading lady, Anna Paquin. Well-known Anyas include America's Next Top Model contestant Anya Rozova. Celebrity chef, Aine McAteer, is the most notable woman who holds the beautiful name with its traditional spelling.
Pronounced: can-iss. English variation: Kenneth
Canice is actually the Angligcized derivative of Coinneach, and translates to ‘attractive one.’ Following Ireland’s rich history, Canice was a 6th century missionary who founded churches in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The town of Kilkenny got its name from St. Canice.
Although Canice is technically the English version of the name, it has further been Anglicized to the form of Kenneth. The inspired name, Kenneth, held a spot on the top 25 baby names from the 1920s to the 1950s, and has continued to decrease in popularity since. It’s a classic name, not currently wildly used, making it a unique comeback name for your baby boy. The Anglicized, Kenneth, is currently #311 on the 2018 baby names list, while Canice holds position #15,464.
Some characteristics that are often associated with Kenneths include being adaptable, easy going, and progressive. Fitting characteristics for the up and coming generation.
The meaning ‘attractive one’ is a good descriptor for famous Kenneths such as country star Kenny Chesney and Irish actor Kenneth Branagh, famously known for his roles in film adaptations of Shakespeare plays, and more recently his role portraying Gilderoy Lockhart in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Pronounced kee-va. English variation: Keeva
This sharp and short name is the feminine version of the male name Caoimhín (Anglicized as Kevin). Both versions mean gentle and beautiful. Caoimhin, like the above mentioned Canice, was a 6th century saint. He came from a family of nobility and lived with monks until he was 12. He is popular for his life of solitude in the glacial valley of Glendalough, Ireland. He subjected himself to harsh weather and solitude to further devote himself to God and studying the scripture. People traveled to Glendalough to learn from St. Caoimhin, eventually inspiring a monastery to be built around his teachings.
While Irish baby names are often inspired by patron saints, the female version, Caoimhe, gained its popularity due to its favorable meaning of beautiful, gentle, and kind -- which are great attributes to bestow upon your baby girl.
Traditional spelling, Caoimhe, currently ranks #1984 for baby names in 2018, and the Anglicized Keeva, surprisingly, is lower on the list, currently holding the 3962th position. Common characteristics associated with the name include intuitive, independent, and multi-talented. Actress Alyson Hannigan from the American Pie franchise and How I Met Your Mother named her second daughter Keeva.
Pronounced: ree-an. English variation: Ryan
It’s been popular to call each other kings and queens lately, so this is the perfect name for a new stunning little one. Rian translates to ‘little king.’
In Ancient Ireland, the name was used to imply some degree of royalty within clans.
It was more commonly a surname, with its most notable descendent being the 10th century Irish King Rian of South Leinster. It remains a popular last name in Ireland, but a well used first name across the seas in the United States.
Rian currently ranks #804, while its English counterpart, Ryan, tops the 2018 charts at #37. Confidence, leader, and discipline are characteristics often associated with the name Ryan/Rian. An added bonus is the name's diversity, which gives you the freedom to use it for a girl or boy.
Celebrities sharing the name include the multitalented La La Land star, Ryan Gosling, and Disney starlet Ryan Newman, known for her role on Zeke and Luther. Rian Johnson is another notable person holding the moniker, and the only one donning the name with its traditional Irish spelling. He is a director, with popular titles like Looper and Star Wars: The Last Jedi on his list of credits.
Pronounced: bridge-id. English variation: Bridget or Bridgette
While Bridget is widely known, its traditional Irish spelling can breathe new life into the long beloved name.
The name is derived from the Celtic noun ‘brigh’ which mean power, strength, vigor, and virtue. It has also been thought to be derived from the word "brigani" which means "sublime one." In Irish mythology, Brighid was a pagan deity. She was associated with inspiration and poetry, healing and fertility, and most surprisingly, blacksmith and martial arts. Brigit also happens to be the name of an Irish patron saint. It has long held meaning for the Irish, and has translated across borders, with variations in French, German, English, and even Spanish.
With a name meaning power and strength, it’s no wonder that people who bare the name are often associated with characteristics such as uplifting, intuitive, and inspirational.
Although the name is popular across the sea, its English variation, Bridget, barely breaks the 2018 top baby names list, currently resting at #884. The traditional Brigid currently holds the 4863rd position/ The name keeps famous company with the likes of actress Bridget Moynahan, known for Coyote Ugly and Serendipity, and actress Bridgitte Helms, known for her role in the silent movie classic, Metropolis.
If you’re looking to raise a strong but sensitive man, this name might be the one for you. The name itself sounds strong when rolling off of the tongue, but it means ‘little deer.’
Oisin is known in mythology as the son of Fionn mac Cumhail and the goddess Sive. But his biggest adventure is intertwined with Niamh of the Golden Hair (#21 above). The pair eloped to Niamh’s mystical homeland, Tir Na Nog, where they spent 300 years together, although Oisin believed it only to be 3 weeks. This is because Tir Na Nog, the land of Eternal Youth and Pleasure, was a place where time stood still. Niamh eventually allowed Oisin to return to his homeland, Ireland, but forbade him to let his feet touch the ground, or he could not return to her. In a stroke of bad luck, Oisin’s stirrup broke, propelling him to the ground, leaving him stranded in Ireland and transformed into an old man.
The name is so unique and uncommon in American, that in 2013, it was given to a mere 16 baby boys out of almost two million male births. Men carrying this name share characteristics such as happy, creative, and communicative.
Pronounced: mayv, English variation: Maeve
Maeve is a name that matches its bearer at any stage of life. It is cute for a baby, young girl, teen, and ages well in older adulthood.
The beautifully short moniker means ‘the cause of great joy’ or, more daringly, ‘intoxicating.’ So while it might sound like Grandma’s name, it can definitely hold seductive secrets in its meaning.
Celtic history is filled with strong, independent women, and Maebh is no exception. Her story lies in the west, as Queen Maebh of Connacht. She was married for a short period of time toking Conchobar of Ulster, but left him because she was not satisfied with their life together. While she left many men in her wake, her final lover was found in her bodyguard Aillil. The two argued about who held more possessions, which led Queen Maebh on a quest for the magic bull of Cooley. It was a frivolous quest, as her newly acquired bull fought to the death with Aillil’s own bull, but the story reinforces the fierceness that any Maebh (or Maeve) can embody.
With a history like that, it’s no surprise that those women bearing the name are characterized as independent, ambitious, and successful. In 2018 it holds the #489th place in popularity.