Ireland has a rich history, interesting legends, and a beautiful language, making it an ideal place to mine unique baby names with distinct meanings. Irish names are becoming common in Europe and the United States as non-Irish parents begin to understand the beauty of historic Irish names. Names such as Quinn, Riley, and Keegan have become common in classrooms across the United States. The following are popular Irish boy names.
Irish Boy Names
Aiden or Aiden means the “little fiery one.” It is well known outside Ireland but not widely used in the United States. Aiden is a modern form of the traditional Irish name Aodhan. The popularity of the name peaked in the 1990s but has managed to stay among the top 40 boy names in Ireland.
Baker is a popular name that traces its origin to Ireland and England, but the name has since spread throughout the British Isles as well as to the Americas and Australia. The name was derived from the ancient Irish word bacan, meaning “to dry by heat,” and was associated with bakers. The name was initially reserved for those in the baking profession but found its way to the general population over time.
Connor, Conor, or Conner is anglicized from the Irish word Conchobhar, meaning the “lover of wolves.” Conchobar mac Nessa was a brave semi-legendary King of Ulster as described in Irish mythology. The name is popularly used in the British Isles and the United States.
Darragh is derived from the ancient Irish name Daire (Doire) meaning oak. It is popularly used as a masculine forename though it can also serve as a surname or feminine forename. Variations of the name include Dáire, Daragh, or Dara. In Celtic, Darragh is a variation of Dagda, a mythological Celtic god of the underworld.
Ewan is an anglicized form of the Scottish Gaelic name Eòghann which is a derivative of the Irish name Wen or Vuen meaning “children of the mountain." It is a common male forename in Ireland, Wales, Canada, and Scotland and a less common surname in Scotland. It is used as “Owen” in England and “Ouen” in French.
Liam is a short name of the English name William that is itself a derivative of Irish name Uilliam. It is among the most famous names in the United States, although it is not popular in its short form in the British Isles.
Most popular Irish Names
The most popular names for male newborns in 2018 were Jack, James, Daniel, Conor, Shawn, Noah, Luke, and Harry, in that order. Although these name may qualify as cliché in other parts of the world, the Irish have a history of being conservative over the names they give to their children.