Whether you have Irish heritage or are just an admirer of all things Celtic, looking through amazing and unique boy names can be so much fun.
Irish names are complex and steeped in history from its early clan system to Anglicization. They are devoted to ancient mythology and Catholicism. All these properties give way to some unique names with amazing meanings.
We have put together some of our favorite Irish boy names along with their meanings for you to start your search for that perfect name.
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Unusual Irish Boy Names
- Cael – Pronounced like Kale. It means slender and in Irish mythology, Cael was a warrior and a member of Na Fianna.
- Cashel – This name means stone fort or castle.
- Conlaoch – Pronounced as Kawn-lay or Kon-leth. It means chief or hero and one of the earliest holders of the name was the son of Cuchulainn and Aoife. The name appears in Irish mythology, Conlaoch’s Well was the source of great inspiration and knowledge, as The Salmon of Knowledge swam in its waters.
- Cuan – Pronounced coo-an. It means little wolf or little hound.
- Feidhelm – Pronounced Fail-im. The name comes from the word ‘feidhil’ which means beauty or ever good. Three kings of Munster bore the name.
- Luan – Pronounced as Loo-an. Luan is an old Irish name and means warrior, strong and warlike.
- Lugh – Pronounced Lou. Lugh was a Celtic Sun God and father of Cu Chulainn. A variation of this name is Lughaidh which is pronounced like the French name Louis.
- Muiris – Pronounced Mur-rish. It comes from the name Muir which means sea. So the name is said to mean sea-warrior or mariner.
- Odhran – Pronounced as Oh-ran. The name Odhran has been used by seventeen saints and Odhran Abbott of Meath was one of the 12 devotees who accompanied St. Columba to Iona. Another Odhran was the charioteer of St. Patrick.
- Ruadhan – Pronounced as Roo-awn and from Ruadh. The name means red or red-haired and is the name of an Irish saint. It can also be spelled Rowan.
- Turlough – Pronounced as Tur-la. This name is related to Terry and Terence. Turlough O’Carolan was a 17th century blind harpist and composer who wrote one of the most haunting pieces of Irish music O’Carolan’s Concerto.
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Unique Irish Boy Names
- Aban – This name has roots in both Arabic and Gaelic. In Gaelic, it means ‘little abbot.’ An abbot is the head monk in an abbey.
- Alaois – It means ‘one who enjoys the perks of life’ or ‘famous in war.’
- Bain – Pronounced exactly as it looks and it means ‘fair-haired one.’
- Caelan – Pronounced Shay-lan or Kay-lan. The name has multiple meanings. It means ‘slender or child.’ Or it means mighty warrior or victorious people. This is now considered a unisex name.
- Colm – A beautiful name that means ‘dove.’
- Daly – This name stems from the surname O’Dalaigh. It’s best translated as one who attends an assembly or counselor.
- Fiadh – This is another unisex name on our list and it means ‘wild.’
- Galvin – This is the anglicized version of the Gaelic name Gealbhan and it means ‘bright one.’
- Jarlarth – A really unique Irish boy name, originally Iarfhlaith in Gaelic and it means ‘tribulatory lord.’
- Iollan – This unusual name stems from a character in Irish mythology. Iollan was the pursuant of Deirdre and Naoisi. It means ‘one who worships a different god.’
- Leith – This is actually a Scottish and Irish name. The Scottish name refers to river, and the Irish name means ‘wide.’
- Lonan – In Gaelic it means ‘little blackbird.’
- Riordan – O’Riordan is a common surname but is considered an unusual name. It means ‘royal poet’ or ‘bard.’
- Tully – This is a relaxed and rarely used Irish surname. It is a unisex name but its meaning depends on what root is used. The Irish tulach means hill or mound while tuile means ‘flood.’
- Veon – This is one of the most unique names on this list. Veon is a variant of Taveon and it means ‘hillside or sky.’
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Strong Irish Boy Names
- Brogan – A strong, simple name that is an anglicized version of Bogain which means ‘little shoe.’
- Burke – A name with a strong meaning of burg or fortification.
- Coileain – O’Coileain is a common surname in Irish history. The anglicized version of the name is Collin and it means cub or young one.
- Clancy – A really strong name for your little boy. The name means ‘red warrior.’
- Declan – The old Irish version of this name is Deglan. Some pronounce it as De-glawn and others prefer de-clawn. This very traditional Irish name means ‘full of goodness.’
- Devlin – It means ‘fierce bravery.’ This is a strong name for any little boy.
- Diarmuid – You may be more familiar with this version of the name Dermot. The name has a rich history in old Irish mythology and he was the demi-god lover of Grainne, the daughter of the High King Cormac mac Airt. The legend goes that Diarmuid and Grainne run away together, ruthlessly pursued by her elderly betrothed, Finn mac Cumhaill. In the end, Diarmuid meets an untimely death, but his character was fierce and admirable.
- Eamon – Pronounced as AY-mon or Ee-Mon. The name means ‘guardian or wealthy protector.’
- Eoghan – Pronounced Own, it is an ancient Irish name. He is the infamous son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Eoghan means ‘from the yew tree’ or ‘young.’
- Fallon – This is a unisex name and designates that the child is the offspring of a high king. Fallon now simply means ‘leader.’
- Ferris – Another strong name that means ‘rock.’
- Hagan – Pronounced as it sounds. Hagan is the anglicized version of the surname O’Uiginn which means ‘Viking.’
- Hugh – The Gaelic version of this name, Aodh means ‘fire.’
- Jamie – There is debate as to whether this is a Scottish or an Irish name. But either way, it means supplanter and is most likely derived from James.
- Kane – Originally spelled Cian, it means ‘ancient’ or ‘enduring.’
- Keiran – This is the phonetic version of Ciaran and means dark. It became popular from the Irish saints Ciaran the Elder and Ciaran the Younger.
- Merric – This is quite a popular name and it means ‘fame or popular.’ Its roots are from Ireland and the original version means ruler of the sea.
- Nevan – It originates from the Irish boy name Naomhan which means ‘holy.’
- Niall – Often pronounced and spelled Neal. Niall means ‘warrior or champion.’ The history behind the name is incredible – High King Niall created a dynasty that ruled Northern Ireland for four centuries.
- Oisin – Pronounced as O-Sheen, Oisin was another key player in Irish mythology. He was the son of Finn mac Cumhaill, the warrior that pursued Grainne. Oisin was slightly gentler than his dad and although he was a warrior he was also known as a poet. The name means ‘little deer.’
- Phelan – The phonetic version of Faolain and it means ‘wolf.’
- Quillan – A slightly cooler version of Collin.
- Rourke – This is sometimes referred to as a clan name and it means ‘champion.’
- Saoirse – Pronounced Seer-sha and it’s more commonly used as a girl’s name, it was originally a boy’s name and means ‘freedom.’
- Taber – A simple name that means ‘well.’
- Torin – This name has a variety of meanings and origins depending on how it is spelled. The Irish version means chief from the crags. The English version of this name means ‘woodland.’
- Whelan – Is a variant of the Gaelic name Faolan meaning ‘wolf.’
- Yven – Technically this is not an Irish boy name. It was a term used by the French to denote someone as a Celt. It comes from the word ‘yew or yew tree.’
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Popular Irish Boy Names
- Aaron – A biblical name of Hebrew origin that means ‘exalted or strong.’
- Aidan – A popular name with Irish origin meaning ‘little fire.’
- Berkeley – A unisex name with English origin meaning ‘from the birch wood.’
- Brady – A name of Irish origin and it means ‘descendant of Bradach.’
- Brendan – Of Irish origin and it means ‘prince.’ The name was originally a Welsh name.
- Brennan – This is a diminutive of the Irish word Braon. The name means ‘tear or sorrow’ and it’s of Irish origin.
- Brody – This name is of Scottish origin and is actually the name of a Scottish castle.
- Calhoun – Another Scottish name that means ‘from the nook or corner.’ It is a variant of the Scottish surname Colquhoun.
- Callahan – The name Callahan means ‘little bright-headed one’ or ‘devotee of the church.’ It is of Irish origin and comes from the Gaelic surname O Ceallachain.
- Cillian – A name of Irish origin and it means ‘little cell.’
- Connor – The name comes from the Irish/Celtic name Conchobhar and was possibly used for someone who loved wolves. The name means ‘a descendant of hound or desire.’
- Cory – Of Irish origin and it means ‘hollow.’
- Cullen – This name has origins in both Scottish and Irish. It is a Scottish surname used for families from Cullen. It is also an Irish name from MacCullen possibly from a first name that means ‘holly.’
- Darcy – A name of French origin and it means ‘dark one.’
- Derry – The name Derry is a county in Ireland and the name actually means ‘the people’s ruler.’
- Dillon – A name of Welsh origin and it means ‘born from the ocean.’ A variation of this name is Dylan.
- Eoin – This is the Irish version of John and it means ‘God is gracious.’ It is of Irish origin.
- Fergus – A name of Scottish origin and it means ‘man strength.’
- Finbar – Of Irish origin and it means ‘fair-haired.’
- Finn – A name of Irish origin and it means ‘fair.’ The name is also a Nordic name meaning man from Finland.
- Finnegan – This is a descendant of Finn and of Irish origin. Finn means ‘fair or white.’
- Flynn – A unisex name of Irish origin and it means ‘descendant of the red-haired man.’
- Gallagher – From the Gaelic Gallchobhair. With Irish origins and means ‘descendant of the lover of foreigners.’
- Garrett – An English surname and a form of Gerald or Gerard. Garrett is of English origin and it means ‘spear rule.’
- Keegan – The name means ‘descendant of the fiery one’ and is of Irish origin.
- Patrick – This is the Anglicized form of the Irish name Padraig which comes from the Latin Patricius which means ‘nobly born.’ Patrick is also the name of the patron saint of Ireland.
- Rian – Pronounced as Ree-an and means ‘little king or kingly.’ Diminutive of the Irish word for ‘king’ which is ri.
- Ronan – A very old Irish name that means ‘little seal’ and is derived from the diminutive form of ‘ron’ which means ‘seal.’ There have been 12 saints named Ronan as well as an ancient king of Leinster.
- Rory – Borne by the last high king of Ireland, Rory O’Connor, who reigned from 1166-1170. The name means red or rust-colored.
- Seamus – The Irish form of James and it means ‘supplanter.’ One of the most famous bearers of this name is the 1995 Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney.
- Tiernan – This name means ‘little lord.’ Tiernan O’Rourke was a 12th-century Irish king.
- Ultan – A name of Irish origin and means man from Ulster. It is the name of eighteen Irish saints of the past. It is quite popular in Ireland but has failed to be exported.
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Badass Irish Boy Names
Many of these names are classed as badass purely because of the people that they’re associated with or because they have a cool meaning.
- Faolan – A name of Irish origin that means ‘wolf.’
- Liam – This name was originally a short form of William until it became a name in its own right. It is of Irish origin and means ‘with gilded helmet.’
- Roan – The name is of English origin and it means ‘red color.’
- Shane – A form of John or Sean. Shane is of Irish origin and means ‘God is gracious.’
Top Ten Irish Boy Names
Ireland’s Central Statistics Office released the most popular baby names in Ireland for 2019.
- Jack – A name of English origin and it means ‘God is gracious.’
- James – Hebrew origin and it means ‘supplanter.’
- Noah – A biblical name of Hebrew origin and it means ‘rest or peace.’
- Connor – A name of Irish origin and it means ‘descendant of hound or desire.’
- Daniel – A biblical name of Hebrew origin and it means ‘only God is my judge.’
- Adam – Another biblical name of Hebrew origin that means ‘man of the Earth.’
- Liam – Of Irish origin and it means ‘with a gilded helmet.’
- Tadhg – The name means poet or philosopher and is of Irish origin. It is pronounced as Tayg.
- Luke – A biblical name of Hebrew origin and it means ‘person from Lucania.’
- Charlie – A name of English origin and it means ‘free man.’
The Final Thought
When you begin your search for the perfect baby name, you want a name that not only sounds cool or beautiful. But a name that will speak to the soul of your child and to their future and personality.
Now, remember that you will be doing this before you even meet your child or have any clear idea of their personality so I hope you love a challenge.
The list of Irish baby names above is both beautiful and cool. But more than that they are steeped in history and are timeless. Whichever name you choose, you know that the name will be as special as he is!