Tag Archives: irish names

Desmond

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🖤Desmond🖤
Irish meaning “from south Munster”
Irish. Heroic. Distinguished. Versatile.

If you’re looking for a distinguished Irish name with numerous notable namesakes and fun nickname options then Desmond may be the name for you! A surname derived from  Deasmhumhain, Desmond means one originating from the southern region of Muntser, Ireland. Desmond began to be used as a given name in the 20th century.

Less clunky than other names with -d endings like Arnold and Edmund, Desmond is a versatile sophisticated name that easily lends itself to more relaxed nicknames like Des, Desi, and Dez.

South African human rights activist Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. Tutu’s work for equality and against apartheid makes Desmond a wonderful choice for parents with a passion for social justice.

You may also associate this name with the character Desmond Hume, a beloved character on the show Lost. Hume’s character was named after philosopher David Hume. Beatles fans are sure to associate Desmond with the song Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da.

A few others you may associate to this name include Desmond Miles, a main character in the game Assasin’s Creed, Zoologist Desmond John Morris, and Jamaican musician Desmond Dekker.

🖤 Sisters to Desmond: Caroline, Honor, Lucy, Margot, Olive

🖤 Brothers to Desmond: Cedric, Conrad, Hugo, Sebastian, Winston

🖤 Middle Name Suggestions: Desmond Arthur, Desmond Leo, Desmond Oliver, Desmond Patrick, Desmond Royce

🖤 Names with a similar vibe to Desmond: Dermot, Malcolm, Roland, Theodore

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
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
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.

Delaney
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.

Flynn
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.”

Quinn
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?”

Rafferty
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.

Sullivan
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 😉

Irish Saints Names

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I’ve heard it said that we’ve all got a little Irish in us. It’s true, that many American’s have some Irish blood running through us. The month of March is home to Saint Patrick’s Day, and while Patrick makes a fine name and one we will delve into, let’s look at a total of five Irish Saint’s for lucky Name-spiration!

Saint Aidanaidan
Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne was a monk who founded a monastic chapel in Lindisfarne. St. Aiden traveled endlessly through the countryside spreading the gospel. Aidan boomed in popularity in the early 2000’s, peaking at Number 39 in 2003. Today Aidan is still well loved and used at Number 190. Alternative spelling Aiden is more popular at Number 16, while Ayden is Number 92, and Adan comes in at Number 443. Aidan is an Irish name meaning little and fiery which perfectly fits the little Aidan’s I’ve encountered.

Saint Brendanst.brendan
Saint Brendan of Clonfert is often reffered to as the “Navigator” or the “Voyager”, as he was one of the early Irish monastic saints who voyaged by sea on legendary quests. Brendan is an Irish name meaning prince that ranks right about in the middle of the Top 1,000 at Number 451. Brendan peaked in the late 1990’s but still wears well today. Actors James McAvoy and Mark Wahlberg each have sons named Brendan.

Saint BrigidSaintBrigid
Saint Brigid of Kildare is one of the patron saints of Ireland, along with Columba and Patrick. One of the first nuns, Brigid founded many monasteries and is also the patron saint of scholars. Brigid is a variation of the Irish fire goddess name Brighid meaning strength or exaulted one. The alternative spelling, Bridget became popular in the early 1970’s and currently ranks at Number 594. Brigid or Bridget also lends itself to many fun, quirky nicknames, like Biddy or Birdie.

Saint Columbacolumba
Saint Columba, one of the three patron saints of Ireland, was an abbot and a missionary who is credited with spreading Christianity to what is modern day Scotland. Saint Columba was male, with a Latin name meaning dove. The Irish translation Colm and Scottish translation Callum make for handsome alternatives and ways to honor St. Columba. Columba as never ranked in the US Top 1,000 for either sex, though I think it would work well for a girl.

Saint Patricksaintpatrick
The most popular patron saint of Ireland, St.Patrick is one of the world’s most recognizable saints. A Romano-British missionary he is credited with converting Ireland to Christianity. Patrick has become a quintessential Irish name though like St. Patrick himself, Patrick is of Latin origins and means noble or patrician. Patrick peaked in 1968 and was a Top 50 name from 1948-1997. Today Patrick ranks at Number 170 and is one I commonly see in the middle name spot.

What are your favorite Irish Saints Names?

Call me Cal

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Cal has always had a bit of a sporty sound to me probably because I associate it with baseball player Cal Ripkin Jr. Cal originated as a nickname for Calvin, which is Ripkin’s given name, but can be used for a whole slew of delightful names. Check out these 10 wonderful “Cal” names!

Caledon
I first heard the name Caldeon used on Billy Zane’s character in the epic film Titanic. Caledon is a striking underused name that fits in well with many -n ending male names. Caledon is mostly likely a variation of the place name Caledonia. Less than 5 babies were named Caledon last year.

Calfuray
I really enjoy Native American names and Calfuray is a stunning Mapuche name meaning violet flower. Traditionally a feminine name, Calfuray pronounced kal-foo-RAW-ee, could work on either sex. Less than 5 babies were named Calfuray last year.

Calhoun
Calhoun is an Irish surname packed full of charm. A fun name to say, Calhoun has a bit of a cowboy-vibe. Another cool thing about Calhoun is that it means from the forest. Only 8 boys were named Calhoun last year.

Calix
Calix is one of those names I think more people would use if they knew about it. A cool way to honor an Alex or get that modern -x ending. Calix comes from a Latin name meaning chalice. Only 26 baby boys were named Calix last year.

Callahan
Callahan is one of the many handsome Cal- surnames that makes for a usable yet uncommon first name. Also spelled Callaghan, this is a name with Irish roots meaning bright-headed. There were only 113 boys named Callahan and 10 boys named Callaghan last year.

Callan
If you find yourself drawn to two-syllable boys names that end in -n like Aiden, Ethan, or Mason, you may also consider Callan. A soft but handsome Gaelic name slowly rising in the charts, Callan means rock or battle. Callan currently ranks at Number 730 in popularity.

Calloway
Calloway is yet another charming Irish surname that makes for a delightful first name meaning pebbly place. Calloway has a melodic and mysterious vibe. 21 boys and 6 girls were named Calloway last year.

Callum
My fellow baby name lover and friend Rebe (youtube.com/rebesharpe) has a sweet little boy named Callum Donovan. If you love names with animal meanings you’ll definitely love that Callum, which comes from Scottish roots, means dove. Callum is currently Number 701 in popularity.

Calvert
Braver namers may enjoy the sophisticated and rare English name Calvert, meaning calf herder. Calvert is a great Albert alternative and of course comes with the usable nickname Cal. 6 baby boys were given the first name Calvert last year.

Calvin
Let’s not overlook Calvin, the first name most people will think of when they hear the nickname “Cal.” Calvin is a Latin name meaning bald, which is a pretty fun meaning for a newborn. We’re seeing more and more little Calvin’s as it ranks at Number 148.

There’s also Calder, Caldwell, Cale, Caleb , and Pascal that have the letters Cal in them though they offer a different sound.

What’s your favorite Cal name?

Everyone loves an Irish Baby Name!

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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!

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

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

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

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

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

Ciaránirishboy
(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.

Malachi
(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”

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

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

Sean
(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