With so many wonderful stories in the lore and culture of Ireland, it's no wonder that Irish names are a popular choice for baby boy names. Whether you've discovered a long-lost Irish heritage you'd like to revive, or your family is Irish, or if you just like the lore behind Irish culture, there are some great names to choose from for your boy.
If you're looking for a meaningful name for your boy, you can't go far wrong with an Irish name – this category is full of individual names straight out of Irish legends and folktales, with names derived and inspired by saints, warriors and kings of old such as the King of Tara, the King of Leinster, and even the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick himself. They have history behind them, but some also sound quite modern.
There are so many adorable Irish baby boy names to choose from, so we've rounded up a list of some of our favourite Irish names and their meanings and pronunciations to narrow the choice down for you.
12 popular Irish boy names and their meanings
The Anglicized form of Gaelic “Aodhan,” which means “little fiery one.”
This name comes from “Bréanainn” which is derived from the Irish word “brenhin” meaning prince.
Dara comes from "daire" and means “fruitful” or “fertile.” It's also associated with the Irish legend about the brown bull of Cooley.
Likely derives from the Gaelic name Darragh, meaning ‘little oak.’ The oak tree is a powerful symbol to the Celts, representing nobility, strength, vitality, and wisdom.
The name Eamon is a boy's name of Irish origin meaning "wealthy protector".
Hugh is a translation of an ancient name Aodh meaning “fire.”
Liam means a strong-willed warrior and protector. It is also the Irish derivation of the name William.
Means “silent” or “fierce” and was probably used as a nickname for a “brave warrior.”
Meaning “friend of deer” as derived from the Gaelic form of the word for “os” (deer) and “cara” (friend). In Irish mythology, Oscar was the son of the poet Oisin, and the grandson of the hero Finn MacCool.
A variant of the name ceann meaning “intelligent" and descendant of Conn, chief leader. Quinn is the most common surname in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland and is increasingly used as a given name.
A form of the Irish word for “red” or “rust-colored.” Borne by Rory O’Connor, the last high king of Ireland, who reigned from 1166-1170.
Shane means “Gift from God” and is the anglicized form of Sean.
Mother and Baby team picks
Here are a few more brilliant Irish names that we love, and may inspire you to give your little man an Irish name:
- Cace - 'brave in battle' pronounced 'KaaS'
- Colin - 'pup' pronounced 'Col-in'
- Kealan - meaning 'slender lad' pronounced 'ke-al-an'
- Cillian - meaning 'war strife or church' pronounced 'ci-lli-an'
- Cian - meaning 'ancient' pronounced 'ci-an'
- Connell - meaning 'strong as a wolf' pronounced 'co-nne-ll'
- Brendan - meaning 'prince' pronounced 'bren-dan'
- Finn - meaning 'fair or white' pronounced 'fi-nn'. Associated with the warrior band, the Fianna.
- Ronan - meaning 'little seal' pronounced 'row-nan'
- Shay - meaning 'hawk' or 'brown haired warrior' pronounced 'sh-ei'
Celebrities with Irish names
Some famous faces with Irish names you may know of include: actor Hugh Jackman (which means "mind" or "spirit"), actor Ryan Reynolds, whose name means "little king" or "illustrious" and comes from the Old Irish name Rian, and also actor Aiden Turner (which means "fiery" and/or "bringer of fire" and is derived from the name of a Celtic sun god).
There are more Irish boy names listed below...