Tag Archives: irish baby names

Seven Great IRISH Surnames

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St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner so why not full name inspiration from some Irish surnames that are perfect in the first name spot! Everyone loves a great Irish name!

Brady has a very Varsity, pal-next-door, light-hearted, but grounded feel. An anglicized Gaelic name, Brady comes from Ó Brádaigh, meaning large-chested and currently ranks at Number 227 in popularity. Brady may remind you of the show “The Brady Bunch” or athlete Tom Brady.

Callaghan is such a lush, fun name to say that lends itself easily to the nickname “Cal.” Callaghan is an anglicized form of Ó Ceallacháin which may mean bright-headed or church. The “g” is silent, pronounced “cal-a-han” and Callahan is a legit alternate spelling.

Playful yet grounded, Delaney is an anglicized form of Ó Dubhshláine meaning dark or black and currently ranks at Number 250 in popularity. Delaney may remind you of songwriter Tom Delaney or actor Kim Delaney. Laney seems the most natural nickname option.

A great Finn alternative, Flynn is an anglicized form of Ó Floinn meaning red-haired. I grew up with a girl named Flynn, a name that works on either sex and is currently ranked at Number 756 for boys in popularity. Disney fans will recognize Flynn as Rapunzel’s love-interest in ‘Tangled.”

A friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Quinn this year. An anglicized form of Ó Cuinn, meaning chief, Quinn is more popular than you may think, currently ranked at Number 76. Quinn is a well-loved TV name, she was the sister on MTV’s “Daria”, the cheerleader on “Glee”, and who could forget “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman?”

Don’t you just love saying Rafferty? I never understood why this delightful name, which could be shortened to the equally fun Raff or Rafe, is really used in the U.S. An anglicized form of Ó Rabhartaigh, Rafftery means floodtide. Jude Law and Sadie Frost have a son named Rafferty.

Another family name for me, there is something very warm and inviting about the name Sullivan. Sullivan is an anglicized form of Ó Súileabháin meaning little dark-eyed one and currently ranks at Number 399 in popularity. Celebs love this hearty Irish name too. Actor Patrick Dempsey and singer Tom Waits each have sons named Sullivan.

What are your favorite names from this list? I’m also partial to Burke, my own Irish surname 😉

Everyone loves an Irish Baby Name!


Irish names have a wonderful mix of warmth, mystery, and history to them. At the end of this post I’ll include a video of some of my favorite Irish names. But who can limit themselves to just 20 Irish names? Not this lady. Here are even more Irish names that I enjoy!

(Ashling, Aislin, Aislinn) Pronounced: ASH-ling. Alternative Pronounciation: ASH-lynn
A “dream” or a “vision”
A great alternative to Ashley.

(Enya, Eitna) Pronounced: EN-ya
A “kernal” or a “seed”
This name may remind you of the singer, Enya.

Pronounced: MAYV
Mean “cause of great joy” and “intoxicating”
Maeve Binchy wrote “Circle of Friends” and many other great stories.

Pronounced: SEER-sha
“Freedom” & “Liberty” – quite a strong meaning
The name of the lovely young actress, Saorise Ronan.

(Shavon, Chevonne) Pronounced: shi-VAWN
“God is gracious”
I’ve actually met quite a few women named Siobhan here in the U.S.

(Kieran, Keiran) Pronounced: KEER-awn. Alternative Pronunciation: Keer-in
“Dark” as in having dark hair or eyes.
The Kieran spelling is the most popular spelling of this name in the U.S.

(Malaki) Pronounced: Mal-e-kie. Alternative Pronunciation: Mal-a-khi
* Hebrew in orgin
“Angel” or “Messenger of God”
Name used in “Children of the Corn”

(Riley) Pronounced: Rye-lee
Possibly meaning “courageous”
A surname and unisex name.

Pronounced: shay-muss
The Irish form of the name James, meaning ‘suplanter”
A strong Irish name.

(Shawn, Shaun) Pronounced: Shawn
The Irish form of the name John, meaning “God is gracious”
Sean is my the name of my younger brother. It was my father’s favorite name growing up.

You can hear me chat about my favorite Irish names here:

Éirinn go Brách
~ Meagan