We encounter names that are Irish Gaelic in origin, names that were originally Scots, and even English/Scottish planter names. Plus a few Norman and Viking surnames tossed in for good measure. Typical of the Irish!
The most common family name in Ireland is Brennan (or Burke in Northern Ireland). Next come O'Neill, Kelly, Conway, MacCarthy, and O'Connor. The majority of these names are derived from ancient Gaelic families. However, some are adopted English or Scottish names.
In addition to these, there are also popular surname groups based on occupation or location. These include names such as Doyle, O'Brien, McMahon, and Ryan.
The vast majority of names are composed of two elements: a personal name and a place name. For example, Michael John Patrick George Smith would be called Mike Murphy. Places can be very important in naming conventions- Murphy was once thought to be an Irish surname until it was discovered that it is actually an English one!
Irish names from the past Here is a comprehensive list of Irish names. These are saints' names as well as historical and mythological names. Names vary in dialects, thus approximate pronunciations are provided.
List of Irish names: Mo Chulainn (Mo Culainn), Ciarán of Clonfert (Seán Ó Cearnais), Diarmuid Duibhne (Diarmaid Dún Bhearna), Fionnghall (Finn MacCool), Gearóid mac Máele Tuile (Gearoid Mac Muilte).
The oldest known name on record in Ireland is Caradoc, which appears in an inscription on a stone dated to about AD 300. The name itself is Welsh and means "brightness" or "glory". It was probably applied to this young man by his parents who were not Irish but came from South Wales.
Later names include: Conlaethre (Conlae), Eochu (Eoghan), Ibor (Iber), Lorcán (Lorcan), Maedoc (Maedhoc), Medb (Medbh), Nemann (Nemhan), Scothi (Scathach).
These are just the most famous people with Irish names.
Here is a comprehensive list of Irish names. Some sounds from the Irish language are similarly difficult to translate into English since some sounds do not exist in English. For example, the name Patrick is derived from an Irish name that means "fastest."
St. Patrick was born Gartnáith in what is now County Meath around 385 AD. His father was a wealthy landowner who lived near Tara, the ancient capital of Ireland. When St. Patrick was seven years old his family moved to a house nearby where he grew up learning how to be a priest from local monks. He later traveled throughout Ireland teaching people about Jesus Christ and using his own money to help poor farmers. In 461 AD Patrick founded a church in Dublin and began to convert the Irish to Christianity. He died on March 17th 461 AD at the age of 69.
There are several Irish names that come from one original name. For example, Mary's original name was Eimear. It means "beautiful" or "lovely." There are many other names that contain Eimear in them such as Emmara, Emmaline, Emily, Amelia, Imelda, Imogen, and Imeh.
According to legend, this surname arose when Irish emigrants took the Norman surnames de Yrlande and le Ireis. The Gaelic form of the name is Eoghan Ruaidhrí.
Many biblical names, such as John and James, are translatable. Others were just quite prevalent among settlers, or they were the names of kings or other notable persons. As a result, not all names function in Gaelic. Names created since the Middle Ages do not often translate into Irish Gaelic. All of these are feminine forms of Alexander.
Alexander was the most common name given to boys in the early years of colonization. It is derived from the name of the first Christian king of Scotland, Alexander. After that man's name became popular among Christians, it began to be used as a given name for males of any religion or no religion at all.
Some names have more than one meaning. These are called polysemous names. The word translates as "many meanings." For example, Ann means "noble" and "princess." Mary means "immortal" and "mother." Michael means "who praises God." There are also monosemous names, which have only one meaning. These are Ann who is a female given name, and Michael who is a male given name.
Names can also be onomatopoeic. This means that they sound like what they mean. For example, Sarah means "princess" because it sounds like the noise girls make when they laugh. Rebecca means "rebel" because it sounds like the noise you make when you shout "rabble!"
The table below lists the top 100 most popular Irish girl's names. Irish baby names changed over the years in response to historical events. The origins of Irish names may be highly complicated, ranging from the Celts through the Vikings, the Gaelic classes, the Anglo-Norman invasion and subsequent oppression, and later revolt. These events affected both what people named their children and how they spelled these names.
Source: Social Security Administration
Irish names have roots in many different cultures across Europe. They were originally derived from two main groups: the Celtic peoples and the Germanic peoples. The names were then adopted by other Europeans including Arabs, Africans, and Americans.
The first names used by the Irish were derived from languages spoken or colonies founded by the Celtic peoples. These included Ann, Mary, Joseph, Michael, John, Patrick, Elizabeth, Teresa, Bridget, Susan, and Diane.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, Ireland was invaded by Germanic tribes who introduced new names into use among the Irish people. These included Anne, Barbara, Betty, Clara, Diana, Eileen, Ellen, Emma, Florence, Hannah, Jane, Janet, Joanna, Judith, Katherine, Laura, Lea, Linda, Lucy, Madeline, Margaretta, Margaret, Maria, Martha, Maud, Naomi, Pamela, Paula, Rachel, Rebecca, Serena, Sylvia, Victoria, and Wilhelmina.