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42 Unusual Irish Baby Names & the Meanings Behind Them

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Give your baby the luck of the Irish with one of these unique names

If you're expecting a St. Patrick's Day baby (or a baby really anytime in March), why not take that as an opportunity to choose a cool and meaningful Irish name? Even though Irish names have been gaining popularity over the past decade or so (Liam is ranked at No. 1 this year), there are still a ton of unusual, less trendy Irish names to choose from if you prefer something more uncommon.

Many of the names on this list are the anglicized versions of a harder-to-pronounce Irish original or simply a name that comes from Irish roots. The only thing more beautiful than the sound of these names? Some of the amazing meanings behind them.

Unusual Irish baby names for boys

  • Aengus: Irish version of Angus
  • Ailill: From the Irish Ailleacht, or “beauty"
  • Bly: Anglicized version of an Irish name
  • Brogan: An Irish name meaning “sturdy shoe”
  • Caelan: Anglicized form of Caolán
  • Conlan: This Irish name means “hero”
  • Declan: Anglicized version of Deaglán
  • Doran: Meaning “stranger,” this name has Irish roots
  • Eion: Version of the name John
  • Girvin: This Irish name means “small rough one”
  • Keon: Another form of John
  • Lorcan: This name means “little fierce one”
  • Lunn: Meaning “strong, warlike”
  • Mannix: Anglicized version of Munchin
  • Oisin: This name is pronounced Oh-sheen
  • Phelan: This name means “like a wolf”
  • Riordan: An Irish name meaning “bard”
  • Rogan: Meaning “redheaded”
  • Seamus: This is the Irish form of James and is pronounced SHAY-mus
  • Tadhg: Pronounced TEIG, this name means “poet”
  • Tor: Refers to a craggy hilltop

More: Superhero Baby Names for Any Comic Book Lover

Unusual Irish baby names for girls

  • Agneis: An Irish form of Agnes
  • Aibreann: The Irish word for the month April
  • Blaine: This name means “yellow”
  • Caitrín: Irish form of Katherine
  • Calla: Form of the Irish name Caoilainn
  • Derry: This name means “oak grove”
  • Eithne: Pronounce this name EE-na
  • Elva: Anglicized version of Ailbhe
  • Ita: The name of a 6th century Irish saint
  • Kiana: This Irish name means “ancient”
  • Mab: In Irish stories, Queen Mab is monarch of the fairies
  • Maeve: Anglicized form of Meadhbh
  • Morna: This name means “affection”
  • Neala: Feminine form of the Irish Neal
  • Nola: Form of Fionnula, which means “white shoulder”
  • Oona: Pretty name meaning “one”
  • Riona: An Irish name that means “queenly”
  • Saoirse: Pronounce this name SEER-sha
  • Siobhan: Meaning “God is gracious,” this name is pronounced sha-VAHN
  • Sorcha: This name means “bright, shining”
  • Tierney: This name means “lord”

More: Baby Girl Names That Mean "Wild" for a Spitfire in the Making

Give your baby the luck of the Irish with one of these unique names
Image: mdmilliman/Getty Images

A version of this article was originally published in March 2017.

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