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42 Unusual Irish Baby Names & the Meanings Behind Them

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

Unusual Irish baby names
Image: mdmilliman/Getty Images

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

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