Getting in touch with your Irish roots? Or maybe you just want to impart on your little one a name that has a hint of magic to it? Irish baby names are timeless, often with a melodic quality that rolls right off the tongue.

Whether you’re on a quest for an Irish name for girls or an Irish boy name, the Emerald Isle is full of inspiration. You can look to strong leaders from the past and monikers pulled from the pages of your favorite pieces of literature. Or, of course you can go with whatever Irish baby name sounds the most special. While these Irish baby names might not all be super popular in the states yet, each one evokes tradition (and maybe a little bit of spunk) that’ll translate no matter where you live!

Irish Girl Names 

Adara: The literal translation from Irish origin is: “From the ford at the oak tree,” which has a mythical quality to it. This beautiful Irish girl's name is pronounced as it’s spelled and would suit any little princess. 

Ailey: A modern variant of Aileen, meaning a “bright, shining light.” This Irish baby name sounds similar to the more popular Hailey, but stands out as a pretty pick for girls. 

Bidelia: It’s rooted in Bridget, meaning “exalted one,” and sounds right out of a storybook. This popular Irish girl name (alternate spelling: Bedelia) lends itself to plenty of sweet nicknames, including Biddie or Didi.  

Catlee: This twist on the more traditional Catherine, with a similar feel to Callie, means “pure.” It has a special quality to it while being easy to pronounce for all who encounter your precious girl.   

Eilish: An Irish baby name for girls meaning “pledged to God.” It's worth mentioning that this one (which sounds a bit like “eyelash!”) is the surname of American anti-pop star Billie Eilish, a strong role model for young girls everywhere. 

Fia: If you’ve considered the more popular Sofia, give this one some thought. Fia is an Irish baby girl name that means “wild” or “weaver” and it has a fairy-like quality in three short letters.  

Izett: It has a bit of a French feel to it actually, but this Irish girls’ name means “the fair” and will certainly help your little one stand out on the playground.  

Kera: Whether she’s “dark-haired” like the name suggests, or grows into the other meaning of the name (“sacred bells,”) your little fighting spirit will be a gift to the family and all she meets. 

Lana: Deriving from Alana, the feminine Alan—this beautiful Irish baby name means attractive and cheerful. Talented American singer-songwriter Lana Del Ray helped put the name on the map with her rise to fame. 

Maeve: A one-syllable Irish name for girls meaning “she who intoxicates.” Maeve appears in Irish mythology twice: once as Maeve of Connacht a warrior queen, and the other as a queen of fairies.  

Neala: The feminine version of Neal, or “cloud.” This precious moniker is as soft and lovely as its meaning.  

Orla: This Irish baby means “golden princess,” perhaps making it perfect for your glowing new addition.

Saoirse: Pronounced “Ser-sha,” this powerful Irish girls’ name means “freedom.” And your little girl will be in good company bearing this Irish girl name: Actress Saoirse Ronan seems to rack up new accolades every year for her performances!  

Siobhan: Pronounced Shiv-on, this popular Irish name for girls means “God is gracious.” And pop-culturally, the name’s catching on stateside thanks to the hit show Succession.

Irish Boy Names 

Aiden: This classic Irish boy’s name has experienced a resurgence in the past 10 years, perhaps thanks its association with one of Carrie’s leading men on HBO’s Sex and the City. It means “little and fiery,” making it especially apt for the spunky tots.  

Bard: A balance of poetic and strong, “Bard” means minstrel or poet, and it sounds solid as a rock. 

Brennan: Admittedly the meaning of this Irish name for boys (“descendant of the sad one”) is a bit of a downer...but this less popular take on Brendan has a ring to it, and can easily be turned into a girl’s name by dropping the final ‘n.’

Cace: A one-syllable Irish boy’s name meaning “brave in battle” is perfect for your tiny force-to-be-reckoned-with!

Calhoun: An Irish name meaning “from the narrow forest,” makes a beautiful nature-inspired name for your little boy. 

Colum: Bestow this Irish name meaning “dove” on your peaceful bub.

Cormac: The Irish baby boy name seamlessly lends itself to two nicknames (Cory and Mac), but is particularly notable for belonging to renowned novelist Cormac McCarthy (who actually was born Charles!). It’s a name from Irish mythology that shows up in Harry Potter but has never made it into the US Top 1,000… yet, anyway! 

Gael: Or, “Gaelic”—it’s a modern Irish-inspired male name with a bold and exotic sound.

Liam: This boy’s name is the Irish truncation of William, which is certainly less common than its root name. Liam means “resolute protection” and has been a fixture in America’s top 10 most popular names for boys the past several years. 

Morrissey: The literal meaning is “descendent of Muiris”—in other words, it’s based upon an Irish last name. But the three-syllable stunner has major rockstar cred thanks to British star Steven Patrick Morrissey who is known by the singular moniker. 

Ossian: Your “little deer” would be lucky to grow up with such a unique Irish boys’ name hailing from old folklore. 

Ronan: Translating to “little seal,” this unique Irish baby name has found popularity since being utilized in the Harry Potter series. 

Shay: This Irish baby name is a phonetic, modern spelling of the classic Shea or Shai; “the stately, dauntless one.” A great pick for a middle name, Shay also makes a solid one-syllable first name.

Seamus: Parents who are considering “Sean” might opt for this Irish baby name twist instead. Interestingly, Seamus is a derivative of James, so it’s also a subtle way to pay tribute to a James in the family.

Gender-Neutral Irish Names

Bryn: A poetic unisex baby name of Welsh origin, Bryn is a popular pick for Irish babies (as well as babies around the world). Its meaning—“hill”—holds promise in the imagery of a climb… plus it fits into a nature theme, for parents who are outdoorsy types. 

Darcie: Lit-lovers will recognize this name from Pride & Prejudice's Mr. Darcy, but the unisex Irish baby name meaning “from the fortress” works for a baby of either gender. 

Dillon: From the Irish word meaning “flash of lightning,” Dillon is a unisex baby name that appeals to modern tastes while still nodding to Irish roots.  

Fallon: A strong Irish boy name for “leader,” Fallon is growing in popularity with parents of girls as well. 

Keegan: Spelled traditionally like this or alternatively as Keagan, it’s a traditional Irish boy’s name with roots in an Irish surname, but now it is used just as frequently for girls.  

Kieran: While more traditionally used for boys, this Irish name works well for little lassies too. Another option: Kiernan (yes, as in Shipka), which is more common for girls. Both Irish names mean “dark.”

Quinn: Like many Irish baby names, this one descends from a classic surname. Quinn is popular in the States for both boys and girls—and if you prefer it as a nickname you can find plenty of longer versions to use, like Quincy, Quinlan, and so on. 

Planning for a new baby? Don't forget to add SNOO to your registry!

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About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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