Did you know that Caitlin, Bridget, and Erin—some of the top baby girl names in the U.S.—are Irish? Chances are you know someone with one of these names, especially if you were born during the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s. There are several other common Irish girl names that are more popular in Ireland, which we’ve included in our list. Perhaps they’re ready to come over stateside!
The Irish language is a treasure trove of beautiful and unique names for baby girls. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose just one that feels perfect for your little one.
But fear not, because we’ve compiled a list of some of the best Irish girl names out there, complete with their meanings, origins, pronunciations, and more. Whether you’re drawn to names steeped in Irish mythology or simply want to capture the beauty of the Irish landscape in your child’s name, we’ve got you covered. So take a look, and find the perfect name for your new bundle of joy!
Table of Contents
- 100 Beautiful Irish Names for Girls
- Irish Name FAQs
100 Beautiful Irish Names for Girls
Check out these pretty and unique Irish female names for your baby girl.
Aifric, pronounced EYE-fric, is a variant of the name Africa. While you may think this name is derived from the continent, it usually existed in Scotland and Ireland during medieval times. During this period, many women of noble birth bore this name. Today, this traditional “A” name is much less common. However, there are some notable name bearers, including the editor of the Irish language journal Comhar and an Irish rower who won bronze in the 2021 Olympics.
Aine, pronounced as AWN-ya, was the goddess of summer and wealth in Irish mythology. She was also associated with love and fertility, thought to control crops and agriculture. The English equivalent of Aine is Anya. Sometimes, Aine is also viewed as the Gaelic version of the names Anna and Anne, even though these names have independent origins.
Aisling is pronounced ASH-ling or ASH-lin. This pretty Irish girl’s name hit its stride in Ireland during the early 90s when it ranked within the top 20 names. In 2005, it remained pretty high on the charts, ranked in 31st place. Although Aisling is slightly less prevalent today, it’s still a great name with deep Irish roots. In the U.S., Aisling could be a unique alternative to Ashley or Ashlyn.
Aoife, pronounced EE-fa, most likely derives from the Gaelic word “aoibh,” meaning “beauty.” According to Irish legend, Aoife was a fierce female warrior who was in constant conflict with her sister, Scáthach. Although Aoife isn’t related to the English name Eva, they sound very similar, so they are often used as variants.
It is the name of a beautiful town in Northern Ireland ranked as the best place to live by the Irish Times in 2012. Ardara is similar to the Hebrew name Adara, which makes it a pretty Irish alternative. Potential nicknames include Ari or Dara.
A relatively rare name, Aurnia, pronounced ORE-nia has been lost throughout the ages. Although it has a pretty meaning, it sounds a little bit like the English word “ornery” (AKA stubborn), which may be why it’s remained on the backburner. If you can get past the pronunciation issues, Aurnia could be a unique first or middle name for your baby girl.
Ava, like Aoife, derives from the Gaelic word “aoibh,” meaning “beauty or radiance.” It’s super trendy in Ireland right now, ranked as the 5th most popular girl’s name in 2020. It’s even hotter in the U.S., ranking in 3rd place since 2016. We predict this elegant yet straightforward name will remain at the top of the charts throughout the 2020s. If Ava’s too mainstream for you, consider naming your daughter a lesser-used alternative like Avalynn, Avah, or Ava-Marie and use Ava as a nickname.
Bevin, pronounced as BE-veen, is an adaptation of the traditional name Bebhinn. In Irish and Welsh mythology, Bebhinn was the name of two goddesses, one associated with birth and the other with the underworld. Bevin is commonly anglicized as Vivian or Vivion, despite these names having independent origins. Although Bevin hasn’t taken root outside of Ireland, its strong sound and beautiful meaning could someday make it a hit.
Blathnaid is an Irish version of the Latin name Florence. It’s a bit tricky to say, pronounced blaw-nid. Several variations exist, including Blathine, Blanaid, and Blathair. In Irish mythology, Blathnaid was the beautiful goddess of abundance who fell in love with her husband’s rival, Cu Chulainn, resulting in a complex love triangle. This name reached its peak in Ireland in 2006 but has since fallen out of favor. Maybe it’s time for Blathnaid to make a comeback
Brianna is the feminine form of the name Brian. It has several variations, including Bryanna, Breanna, and Brianne, but Brianna is by far the most typical. Brianna has been a long-standing favorite in the United States, ranked as the 146th most popular name for girls in 2020. Although this name sounds modern, it’s been around for centuries, first appearing in the 16th-century epic poem, The Faerie Queene.
This classic name derives from the Gaelic word “brigh,” meaning “power.” Its popularity in Ireland is thanks to Brigid of Kildare, one of the country’s patron saints. In the United States, Bridget was prevalent during the 1970s but has since decreased in popularity. As of 2020, it was ranked #747, making it a pretty rare pick. Famous name bearers include actresses Bridget Fonda and Bridget Moynahan.
Pronounced bro-nah, Bronagh is the anglicized form of the Old Irish name Bronach. It was the name of a famous ninth-century Irish saint who helped protect sailors by ringing a bell to warn them of advancing storms. This name was prevalent in Ireland from the 1960s to the 2010s. However, its popularity has started to dwindle in recent years, ranking at an all-time low of #544 in 2020.
Traditionally, Caitlin, pronounced kath-LEEN, was anglicized as Cathleen or Kathleen. However, during the 1970s, non-Irish speakers started to pronounce it according to English-spelling rules as KAYT-lin. Several variations arose, including Katelyn and Caitlyn. Today, the “lyn” spellings are more popular, with Caitlin now considered a bit old-fashioned. A famous namesake is Caitlyn Jenner, an American media personality and former Olympic athlete.
Pronounced kee-VA, Caoimhe is a classic Gaelic name that is very common in the Emerald Isle. As of 2014, it was ranked as the 19th most popular Irish name for girls. Unfortunately, people outside of Ireland find this name challenging to pronounce. If you live in the U.S., you may prefer to use an anglicized version like Keeva or Kiva to avoid constant correction.
This Celtic name has been around since the 19th century, most frequently used during the 70s, 80s, and 90s in the U.S. While it isn’t currently popular in the states, it is still a top 50 pick in Ireland and Scotland. Cara is also a common name in Italy, meaning “dear” or “beloved one.” A famous name bearer is the beautiful English model known for her super-luscious eyebrows, Cara Delevingne.
It was initially a surname given to physicians who served the chiefs of Fermanagh during the 12th century. Today, Cassidy functions as a modern name for girls and, in rare cases, boys. Cassidy ranked as the 406th most popular name for U.S. girls in 2020, making it a familiar but relatively uncommon pick. If you’re looking for a classic Irish-American name that isn’t overused, Cassidy could be calling your name!
Pronounced KAH-seer, Cessair is a figure from the Lebor Gabala Erenn, a medieval Christian pseudohistory of Ireland. She led the first inhabitants to Ireland in an attempt to escape the Great Flood. However, only Cessair and fifty others survived. This name is rare, even in Ireland, making it a genuinely unique option.
While giving your daughter a name meaning “dark one” may sound sinister, it actually refers to having dark features, such as hair or eyes. This pretty Gaelic name is pronounced kee-RA and is often anglicized as Keira. However, R&B goddess Ciara Princess Wilson pronounces her name as see-AIR-ah. So, you may have trouble getting people on board with the Irish pronunciation in the U.S.
During the Middle Ages, the Latin word “clarus” became a common name for boys, and the female form, Clara, was popular for girls. Eventually, several variations of this name arose, including Claire in France and Clare in England and Ireland. Clare is also the name of a county in Ireland derived from the Irish word “Clar,” meaning “board.” Supposedly, townspeople placed a plank across the smallest part of the River Fergus to make a bridge, which led to the surrounding area being called County Clare.
In old Irish myths, Cliona was the goddess of love and beauty. Tragedy strikes in the tale of “Cliona’s Wave” when Cliona leaves the land of promise to be with her mortal lover, only to be taken by a giant wave. This poetic name is pronounced klee-ONA, often associated with the English name Cleena.
Clodagh, pronounced CLO-dah, is the name of a river in Tipperary. It was first used as a given name by the nobleman Marquis of Waterford, who gave it to his daughter. This modern name has been popular in Ireland ever since, especially among Christians. However, it has never extended its reach outside of the Emerald Isle, likely because it sounds similar to the dirt-related word, cloddy.
Although Colleen has never been popular among Ireland natives, it was a common name for Irish immigrants to the U.S., Australia, and England during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. This Irish American name is rare nowadays, not ranking within the top 500 names for U.S. girls. While Colleen may be a little outdated, it’s not entirely unheard of, with famous YouTuber Colleen Ballinger and costume designer Colleen Atwood bearing this name.
Creidne, also spelled Credne, was a mystical warrior and sea goddess in Irish Mythology. She was a part of a Fianna, which was a small, independent warrior group mentioned in several Irish myths. Creidne was also the name of the god of arts and metals in Irish folklore and is uncommon for both boys and girls.
Pronounced CREE-ya, Croia is virtually unheard of in the U.S. It was also pretty uncommon in Ireland until last year when it shot up to the 95th most popular girl’s name. This sudden spike in popularity may have something to do with famed MMA fighter Conor McGregor, who chose this name for his daughter in 2019.
Daimhin, pronounced daw-veen, is a rare name in Ireland. In 2018, it was ranked #873, with only three girls receiving the name that year. In English, it is often anglicized as Davin and Davina.
Deirdre, pronounced DEER-druh, was the most beautiful woman in Ireland in Celtic mythology. Unfortunately, she died of a broken heart after Conchobhar, the King of Ulster, killed her lover and forced her to be his queen. This tragic, albeit beautiful name, was first used as a given name during the 20th century.
Traditionally, Delaney was a surname derived from the Gaelic clan O Dubhslaine, with Dubh meaning “black” and slaine meaning “to defy.” However, like other cool surnames, Delaney is now used as a given name for girls and, in some cases, boys. Delaney was the 312th most popular name for girls in the U.S. in 2020, so it’s familiar but not overdone. Delaney feels fresh and modern, yet it has traditional Irish roots, striking the perfect balance between old and new!
Delma is the shortened form of the name Fidelma, which is a traditional Irish name. It may also be the diminutive form of Adelma, which is a German name. In Catholic history, Fidelma was the daughter of King Leary, the monarch of Ireland from 427 to 457. She and her sister, Eithne, were some of the first to be converted to Christianity by Saint Patrick. Delma could be a fantastic name choice if your family is Christian.
Other spelling variations include Dimpna, Dymphnart, Damnat, or Damhnait. The most famous name bearer is St Dympna, a Christian saint honored in Catholic and Orthodox traditions. During her life, Dympna fled to the town of Geel in present-day Belgium. After she died, they created a church in her honor, and Geel became a sanctuary for the mentally ill. Today, Dympna is honored as the patron saint of mental illness, anxiety, and sexual abuse.
Ealga, pronounced ALE-ga, is a strong Irish name anglicized as Alanna, Alice, Alicia, or Alyssa. Innis Ealga is a poetic name for Ireland, meaning “the Noble Isle.” Giving your daughter this patriotic name could be a perfect way to honor your family’s Irish heritage.
This is the Irish version of the Norman name Aveline. In English, it is anglicized as Eileen, Eveleen, or Evelyn. Most commonly, it is pronounced as ave-leen. The most notable namesake was an 18th-century poet who wrote the Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, which is described as the greatest Irish poem composed during this period.
Made famous by Irish-American pop queen Billie Eilish, this good old-fashioned Irish name has gone from unheard of to a well-known girl’s name in the U.S. Its Christian roots also make Eilish a sensible choice if your family is religious. Pronounced AY-Lish or EYE-lish, this traditional name is the Irish form of Elizabeth or Alice.
Eimile is the Irish version of the English name Emily. Surprisingly, Emily is more prevalent in Ireland, ranking #3 in 2020. In the U.S., Emily was super trendy from 1993 to 2008. However, its consistent over-use has made it less popular in recent years. Perhaps the lesser-known Eimile could make this name fashionable again in years to come.
This pretty name is quite a popular name in Ireland, with many famous namesakes. In Irish mythology, Eithne was the daughter of Balor, who was locked in a tower until her lover saved her (like an Irish Rapunzel)! A modern-day bearer is singer Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, who goes by Enya, the English version of this name.
Emer is an ancient name cited in Irish Mythology. She was the wife of hero Cu Chulainn and was said to be the “perfect woman” blessed with the gifts of wisdom, beauty, virtue, speech, and needlework (sounds like a catch to me)! Pronounced EE-mer, this name is sometimes mispronounced as Emma. Spelling variations include Eimer, Eimear, or Eimhear.
Erin derives from the Old Irish name Eiru, the Matron Goddess of Ireland in Celtic mythology. This name is relatively rare in the U.S., ranked as the 520th most popular girls name in 2020. Another common variation is Eire.
In Irish mythology, Etain was a beautiful goddess. The fairy King Midir falls in love with her, making his wife Fuamnach so angry that she turns Etain into a fly. Eventually, Etain falls into a glass of wine and is swallowed, which makes the drinker pregnant. She is reborn as a human, eventually becoming a queen. This unique Gaelic name was common in Ireland during the 12th and 15th centuries but is less prevalent today.
Fallon is a masculine-sounding surname that became a popular pick for girls through the 1980s soap opera, Dynasty. Today, Fallon is relatively uncommon, ranked #859 for girls in the U.S. in 2020. Currently, it’s fashionable for girls to have strong unisex names that defy gender norms, like Charlie or Aiden. So, Fallon is an on-trend name that is still pretty unique!
Perfect for nature-lovers, this unisex name would be an excellent pick for a boy or girl. Although Fearne is a top 100 pick in Scotland, it’s pretty uncommon in Ireland, ranked #834 for girls in 2020.
In Ireland, Fiadh, pronounced as FEE-a, has been on the rise since 2016. As of 2020, it was the 2nd most popular name for girls on the Emerald Isle. However, Fiadh has not extended its reach outside the country, with minimal usage in the U.S. or England. This pretty name can be anglicized to Fia, making it a unique alternative to the common English name, Sophia.
Do you want your baby girl to grow up to be strong and brave? Then, you should consider naming her Finley! This Gaelic name derives from the Old Irish surname, Findlaech. While it sounds masculine, it is commonly given to females, especially in the U.S. In the U.K., it’s primarily a boy’s name, ranked as the 35th most popular pick in 2016. Finley comes with super cute nicknames, such as Fin, Finn, or Lee.
Many variations of this name exist, including Finnguala, Fionnghuala, and Fionnuala. However, Finola is the least complicated. Pronounced FINN-olla, this classic name can be shortened to Nola or Nuala for a modern twist. In ancient Irish mythology, Finola was the daughter of Lir, who was changed into a swan by her stepmother, Aoife. She was forced to stay in the lakes of Ireland for 900 years until a marriage set her free. Famous namesakes include U.K. film producer Finola Dwyer and British actress Finola Hughes.
Fiona is one of the more well-known Irish names for girls, despite it not having traditional roots. It was first invented in the 19th century by Scottish poet James Macpherson and has been in use ever since. Some consider it to be an English version of the Gaelic word Fionn, meaning “fair.” This name was relatively uncommon in the U.S. until the early 2000s when it started to gain some momentum. This may have been due to the hit 2001 animated movie about a lovable ogre and his donkey sidekick, Shrek. Cute nicknames include Fee or Fi.
Gael, short for Gaelic, is a name referring to a person native to Ireland. In Medieval legends, Gael was a hero from whom the Irish people took their name. While this name is technically unisex, in recent years, Gael has typically been given to boys. The alternative, Gail, is more common for girls.
In Old Irish mythology, Grainne was the patron of the harvest. In later myths, Grainne was the beautiful daughter of Cormac Mac Art, the King of Ireland. She was promised to marry famed warrior Fionn Mac Cool. However, her heart belonged to Diarmuid, Fionn’s nephew, with whom she ran away.
Fionn chased the lovers so they could never stay in one place for more than two nights. Today, many Neolithic monuments in Ireland are called “Diarmuid and Grainne’s Bed,” viewed as places they may have stayed while on the run. The English version of this name is Grace.
Pronounced EE-duh, Ide was originally spelled Ite until modern Irish spelling reforms took place. Ide was the name of an Irish nun during the middle ages who became the patron saint of Killeedy. Her name was given to her because of her “thirst for holiness.”
She was an independent and accomplished woman who possessed the six virtues of womanhood, including wisdom, purity, beauty, musical ability, gentle speech, and needle skills. English variations include Ida, Ita, and Meeda.
Imogen, pronounced imma-JEN, possibly derives from the Celtic word inghean, meaning “maiden.” It’s popular in several countries, including Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and even the West Indies. However, it has never made the top 1000 in the U.S., so it could be a unique pick if your daughter is Irish American.
Iona is an island lying between Ireland and Scotland. It was the place where St.Colmcille founded his monastery in 563 AD. Initially, the island was called Ioua, which is a Gaelic word. However, due to the similarity between “n” and “u,” it was transcribed as Iona by mistake. Today, Iona is a popular name in Scotland, ranking #56 in 2019. The most famous namesake is the fictional character played by Molly Ringwald in the 80s classic, Pretty in Pink.
This unusual Celtic name is pronounced EE-soolt. In Tristan and Iseult’s chivalric opera, Iseult is an Irish princess taken by the knight Tristian to Cornwall to marry his uncle, King Mark. However, Tristan and Iseult accidentally take a love potion during their travels, resulting in them falling madly in love and running away together.
Other versions include Isolde, Yseult, Ysolt, Isode, Isoude, Iseut, and Isaut.
Keely was initially a surname and the name of a town in Northern Ireland. However, this sweet-sounding girl’s name has taken off in recent years, becoming a typical selection throughout the Emerald Isle.
Keely is yet to make its way across the pond, with minimal usage in the U.S. Keely could be an excellent replacement for the time-worn Kelly and Kylie. Other spellings include Keeley and Keelie.
A gender-neutral pick, Kennedy is another Irish name for girls that doesn’t confine to gender norms. Originally derived from the Irish name Cinneidigh, Kennedy used to be 100% male, but more and more parents have chosen this powerful name for their daughters in recent years. Woman name bearers include the actress from the 2019 Nancy Drew series and beauty and lifestyle YouTuber Kennedy Cymone.
According to Irish mythology, the King of Ulster, Fergus mac Roich, named his tribe Ciarraighe (the original form of Kerry) in honor of his son Ciar. Today, the same land is now called County Kerry. This unisex name belongs to several actresses, musicians, and athletes. A notable bearer is Kerry Washington, who played Olivia Pope in the hit TV series Scandal. Less popular forms include Kerrie, Keri, Kerrie, and Kari.
Pronounced LEE-sha, Laoise is the Irish form of the French name Louise. It has been on the rise in Ireland since the 1970s, ranked as the 111th most popular Irish name for girls in 2020. Other spelling options are Leesha and Louisa.
Pronounced LAH-sah-reena, Lazarina is a modernized version of the Old Irish name, Lasairfhiona. It was very popular during the late Middle Ages in Connacht, a province of Ireland. Several queens and saints bore this name, including Lasairfhiona Ni Conchobair, the princess of Connacht during the 1200s. While Lazarina is rare today, one modern example is Lasairfhiona Ní Chonaola, an Irish folk singer.
Every music fan is likely familiar with the English songwriter and musician John Lennon. Even if you aren’t a big Beatles fan, Lennon could still have some appeal. This cool unisex name has a bona fide Irish beginning, starting out as the old surname O’Lennon. It has since become a trendy choice for baby girls in modern times, with former NFL star A.J. Hawk giving it to his daughter in 2010. Ranked as the 299th most popular U.S. girls name in 2020, Lennon is definitely on the up and up.
While a name referring to a grey lady doesn’t seem appealing at first glance, don’t write Liadan off just yet! Liadan, pronounced lee-ah-din, was the name of a beloved Irish poetess and nun in Irish folklore. Liadan was also the mother of Ciaran of Saigir, one of the 12 apostles of Ireland. In the historical fantasy series The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Liadan is a gifted healer who can see the future.
Is your baby girl as mesmerizing as a mermaid? Then, you should consider naming her Liban! In old Irish mythology, Liban was a young girl living by lake Lough Neagh. One day, the lake flooded, resulting in everyone drowning except her and her dog.
She was forced to live in an underwater chamber for years until, eventually, she was transformed into a half-human, half-salmon creature. After 300 years, she was captured in a net, baptized, and given the christened name Muirgen.
Macha, pronounced MAKH-a, was one of three warrior goddesses in Irish mythology. She was a part of the Tuatha De Danann, which was a supernatural race mentioned in several Irish myths. According to legend, Macha often arrived at a battle disguised as a raven. Famous namesakes are American poet Macha Rosenthal and Canadian actress Macha Grenon.
Maeve, originally Meadhbh, was the name of a legendary warrior queen in first-century Ireland. This powerful name is an up-and-comer in the U.S., ranked #173 in 2020. Maeve is also one of the top Irish female names in its homeland, currently rated as the 99th most popular pick for girls. This elegant baby name has ancient roots and a fresh, modern sound, making it a high contender on our list! Potential nicknames are May or Mae.
Maire is the Irish form of the Latin name Maria and the English name Mary. Maire was prevalent for many years due to the Irish people’s devotion to the Virgin Mary. Today, Maire is still a frequently used name, however it isn’t quite as popular as it used to be since Ireland has become more secularized. Still, this good old-fashioned name is pretty and easy to pronounce, so it’s worth some consideration!
Maolisa is an excellent selection for your daughter if your family is Christian. This pretty Celtic name is pronounced mail-ISSA and is the Irish equivalent of the English name Melissa. Although Maolisa looks like a woman’s name, it was primarily given to Christian bishops during the 10th century. Another common variation is Malise.
It derives from the old Irish name Mairead. While both spelling variations are used in Ireland, Margaret is by far the most popular, ranked 150th in 2018. Margaret is also typical in the U.S., ranking as the 14th most popular name for girls over the last 100 years. Maighread is another variation of this name that is popular among the Scottish Gaelic.
Mckenna, also spelled MacKenna, Mackenna, and Makenna, is the anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Mac Cionaoith. Historically, many Mckenna’s resided in County Monaghan in Ireland, where their coat of arms can still be found on several graves today. Mckenna was first used as a given name during the 20th century when using surnames as first names became the new trend.
A simple and elegant name, Mona is a popular choice across the globe. It has many different origins, including Arabic, Brenton, French, Greek, and Italian. In Gaelic, Mona is the anglicized form of Muadhnait, meaning “noble or honorable.” Variations of this name include Monah, Monna, and Monya. This sophisticated name could be the perfect choice for your little woman in the making!
This cool unisex name has two possible origins. It could have derived from Morcant, a traditional male name meaning “defender of the sea” or “born of the sea.” The other possible origin is the female name Morrigan, which derives from the old Irish word Mor Rioghain, meaning “great queen.”
In ancient Irish folklore, Mor Rioghain was the goddess of war who often took the form of a crow. The current version first appeared during the Middle Ages and has been around ever since!
Murphy is an Irish name meaning “warrior of the sea.”
It derives from the Irish surname Murchadh, with “muir” meaning “sea” and “cath” meaning “warrior or battle.” Murphy is currently the most common surname in Ireland and the 58th most prevalent surname in the U.S. However, it is also used as a given name from time to time.
While there aren’t many real-life bearers, many fictional namesakes exist, including the main character in the hit 80s show Murphy Brown and Murphy Cooper from the sci-fi flick Interstellar.
Neala, pronounced knee-LA, is the female version of Neal. Another version is Neilina. In 2020, Neala was ranked #544 of all baby girls’ names recorded in Ireland, so it’s relatively uncommon. It’s even more unusual in the U.S., where it has never even made the top 2000. If you want to name your baby something rare but straightforward, perhaps you could give Neala a try!
According to Old Irish Mythology, Nessa was the mother of Conchobar mac Nessa, the King of Ulster. She was initially named Assa, which meant “gentle one.” However, after her foster fathers were killed, Assa fearlessly sought out the culprit, leading to her new title of Nessa, or “not gentle one.” Nessa is also the diminutive form of Vanessa, a popular Irish American name first invented by writer Jonathan Swift.
Pronounced neev, any little girl named Niamh will probably face many pronunciation and spelling errors throughout her life. Despite this, Niamh is a beautiful name with mystical origins. In ancient Irish mythology, Niamh was a princess who was the daughter of Manannan, the god of the sea.
She was also the lover of the famed poet-hero, Oisin. Several simpler variations exist, including Neve, Neave, Neeve, and Nieve. However, there is something strangely appealing about Niamh in its original form!
Nollaig, pronounced null-eg, is a happy name filled with holiday cheer. Since Medieval times, It has been given to baby boys and girls born on Christmas day. The English and French equivalents are Noelle or Noel.
The Irish Nora likely derives from the Latin word Honora, which means “honor.” It could also be a shortened form of the name Eleanor, meaning “torch.” This traditional Irish name is trendy in the U.S., ranked #30 in 2020. If you’d prefer something a little longer, you could name your daughter Noreen, Norene, or Norine and call her Nora as a nickname! The most famous namesake is singer Norah Jones, who has an “h” for added uniqueness.
Oona, also spelled Una and Onnagh, was the queen of the fairies in Irish folklore. It was also the name of Charlie Chaplin’s wife and a former member of the U.K. parliament, known for her activism in social justice. This cool name is uncommon in the U.S. but is typical for baby girls in Ireland and Finland.
Orla is the shortened form of the Celtic name Orlaith. Historically, Orlaith Ingen Cennetig was an Irish queen who was the sister of Brian Boru, the famed king who ended the Viking invasion and domination of medieval Ireland. Orla was very popular until the 12th century when it dropped out of favor. It started picking up steam again in the 20th century, ranking #201 in Ireland in 2019.
Initially used as a surname, Quinn either derives from the Old Irish word “cond,” meaning “intelligence,” or “cenn,” meaning “chief or head.” This unisex name has become a trendy choice for both genders in recent years. However, it seems there are currently more girl Quinns than boys. Several fictional namesakes exist, including the popular cheerleader from Glee and one of the main characters in the popular teen TV series Zoey 101.
Pronounced row-uh, Radha derives from the Old Irish word “rodarc” meaning “remarkable sight” or “range of vision.” Radha is also the name of a Hindu goddess who is the primary spouse of Krishna, one of the most revered Indian divinities. Although non-Irish folks often mispronounce this name, it may be worth it for your little visionary!
A name with complex origins, Rainey can be found all over western Europe. In Ireland, it is derived from the Gaelic name O’Raigne, first introduced in the Emerald Isle after an invasion in 1170. In Germany, it’s derived from the word “ragin,” meaning “counsel.” It may also be a variation of the Latin name Regina, meaning “queen.” Rainey includes the word “rain,” which could make it a popular choice for nature-lovers in English-speaking countries.
Give your daughter a mighty name by naming her Reagan! This strong unisex name will undoubtedly make others think of the 40th president of the U.S. If you remove one “a” and call your daughter Regan, she will be associated with Shakespeare’s King Lear instead. This traditionally masculine name is now more popular for females, ranked 114th for U.S. girls in 2020.
Riley is a modern-sounding name with classic origins. It derives from the old-Irish given name Raghallaigh or the prevalent Irish and English surname O’Reilly. Although Riley isn’t a popular name in Ireland, it’s very common in Australia, England, Scotland, New Zealand, and the U.S. The U.S. is the only country that favors Riley as a girl’s name. So, unless your daughter is Irish American, she may be the only female Riley in her class! A modernized spelling is Rylee.
Several variations exist, including Rhiannon, Rihanna, and Rhianon. In Celtic mythology, Rhiannon was a queen deity famed for her generosity, intelligence, and beauty. Modern-day “queens” include everyone’s favorite Barbadian pop star Rihanna Fenty, and the lead singer from the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rhiannon Giddens. Fleetwood Mac released a song entitled “Rhiannon” in 1978, resulting in it shooting up the naming charts that year. Today, Riona and (all of its spelling variations) are outside the U.S. top 1000, making it an uncommon yet beautiful choice!
Rory is the anglicized version of the old Gaelic names Ruairi, Ruaidhri, and Ruaidhrigh. While it’s almost exclusively used for boys in Ireland and Scotland, it ranked within the top 500 names for girls in the United States in 2019 and 2020. Rory could be a trendy choice if your daughter is Irish-American. A famous namesake is the young protagonist in the hit drama series Gilmore Girls.
Rosaleen is an Irish female name meaning “little rose.”
Derived from the Latin name Rosa, Rosaleen, pronounced row-sheen, has been a common name in Ireland since the 16th century. Alternative spellings are Roisin and Rosheen. The song Roisin Dubh, or “dark Rosaleen,” is one of Ireland’s most famous political songs, written at a time when patriotic expression was forbidden. This classic (albeit slightly old-fashioned) name can be shortened to Rosa for an elegant yet modern feel.
Ryanne derives from the old Irish surname O Riain. An alternative spelling, Ryann, ranked #779 for U.S. girls in 2020, making this name a relatively unique selection in the west. Giving girls traditionally masculine names is all the rage in 2021, so no one would fault you if you chose to name your daughter the simpler and more recognizable Ryan instead.
Pronounced SIVE, Sadbh is a beautiful Irish name that is unfortunately very challenging for non-Irish folks to pronounce and spell. Naming your daughter Sadbh pretty much ensures that she’ll never find her name on anything in a souvenir store.
Additionally, she’ll have to teach almost everyone she meets how to say her name. Perhaps all of those corrections will make her a patient person (here’s to hoping, right)? In Irish mythology, Sadbh was a goddess who was transformed into a deer after giving birth to her son, Oisin.
Pronounced SEER-sha or SUR-sha, Saoirse first appeared during the Irish War for Independence in the 1920s. This patriotic pick re-emerged in Ireland during the early 2000s, where it remains a trendy choice for baby girls. Saoirse has also made a splash in the U.S., ranking within the top 1000 names in 2016.
This may have something to do with famous Irish American actress Saoirse Ronan, best known for her roles in The Lovely Bones, Lady Bird, and Little Women.
Shannon is the anglicized version of the Irish name Sionainn. It was a top pick in the U.S. during the 70s and 80s but has since fallen out of favor. Similarly, Shannon isn’t doing too hot in Ireland, where trendier picks like Saoirse and Sybil are replacing it. If you like Shannon but want something more in-fashion, consider a hip alternative like Shan, Shana, or Shanna.
Shauna is the feminine form of Sean. It’s a relatively popular girl’s name in Ireland, ranked #211 in 2020. Shauna could be an excellent choice if your family is religious. An alternative spelling with a little more spunk is Shawna. Potential nicknames include Shaw, Sean, or Na.
Sheila is the Irish form of the Latin name Cecilia, who was the patron saint of music. Alternative spellings include Sheela, Sile, and Shelagh. In Australia and New Zealand, Sheila is a word referring to a young girl or woman. In the U.S., Sheila had its moment of glory in the 60s, when it ranked 59th. It hasn’t made the top 100 ever since.
Sibeal, pronounced shib-ale, is the Irish form of the Spanish name Isabel. It originally derives from the Hebrew name Elisheba, which is where it gets its meaning. Sibeal is also anglicized as Elizabeth and Sybil. As of 2018, Sibeal was ranked #734 in Ireland, with only four babies receiving the name that year. This classic Irish name is a long-lost gem just waiting to be rediscovered!
Sinead, pronounced shin-AID, is the Irish version of the French Jeanette and the English Janet. It is also sometimes anglicized as Jane or Jennifer. The most intriguing name bearer is Sinead O’Connor, an Irish rock singer and ordained priest famous for her hit single, “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
Siobhan, pronounced shiv-awn, is the Irish form of Joan. It is also anglicized as Shavon, Chevonne, Shivon, and Shevaun since these spellings are easier to pronounce in English. Siobhan was a long-standing favorite in Ireland until 2003 when it started its slow decline.
It’s still very uncommon in the U.S., making it a genuinely unique pick that’ll truly impress your friends and family! If you find yourself always explaining how to pronounce Siobhan, you can use an uncomplicated nickname like Shivy, Sio, or Von.
A relatively new name, Siofra, pronounced SHEE-fra, has only been used since the 18th century. This Gaelic name has roots in ancient Irish superstitions. In the past, it was thought that fairy creatures called changelings would take newborns and replace them with elven children when the parents weren’t watching.
In recent years, this unusual name has just begun picking up steam in Ireland, so it could be a good choice if you want something a little out of the ordinary.
Despite its masculine meaning, Sloane is a cool name for boys and girls. This smooth-sounding “S” name rolls off the tongue, making it a chic unisex pick that is very on-trend. In the 1980s, Slone was the name of a square located in the stylish Chelsea neighborhood of New York. High society girls who lived near the square were known as “Sloane Rangers.”
Pronounced SOHR-ka, this traditional Gaelic name may be challenging for non-Irish natives to pronounce. You’ll likely hear a slew of mispronunciations, including SORE-sha, SOR-cha, and more. Even though Sorcha is tricky to say, it is a beautiful name that derives from the Old Irish word “sorchae,” meaning “bright.”
In Scotland, Sorcha is the Irish form of the Latin name Clara. Namesakes are Sorcha Cusack, a famous Irish Actress, and Sorcha Cusack, an American potter.
A name with many origins, Tara is popular across the globe. In Ireland, Tara derives from the Hill of Tara, an ancient ceremonial site believed to be the seat for the High King of Ireland. Tara is also the name of a Hindu goddess and a female Buddha in Tibetan Buddhism. Additionally, Tara is a popular unisex name for Sikhs deriving from a Sanskrit word meaning “star.”
A cool unisex name with an even cooler meaning, Teagan is a trendy pick for girls in Ireland and beyond. In 2020, Teagan was the 246th most popular girl’s name in Ireland, so it’s familiar but not overused. In the U.S., Teagan is a little more mainstream, ranked #192 in 2020 and #185 in 2019. Famous bearers are American bodybuilder and actress Teagan Clive and Australian child actress Teagan Croft.
There are a couple of variations of Tuathla, including Tuathflaith and Tuathlaith. However, Tuathla is the simplest, making it the best choice for the modern era. Pronounced TOO-uh-la, this name derives from the male name Tuathlaith which means “ruler of the people.” So, the feminine version is interpreted to mean “princess of the people.” An ancient namesake is Tuathflaith Ingen Cathail, who was the queen of Leinster during the Middle Ages.
Pronounced TIR-en, Tuiren was the name of legendary Irish warrior Fionn Mac Cumhail’s aunt, well-known for her grace and beauty. According to Irish folklore, Tuiren was turned into a dog after the fairy Uchtdealbh became jealous of her for stealing her lover. Practically unheard of in the U.S., Tuiren is a lightly used name in Ireland, ranking #544 in 2020.
Although this name is only composed of three letters, it has an exquisite meaning, making it an excellent selection if you are looking for something simple yet meaningful! If Ula is a bit too short for your liking, consider naming your daughter Eulalia or Ursula and calling her Ula as a nickname. Ula is pretty unusual in Ireland and the U.S.
This is the feminine version of the name Ultach, a given name for male inhabitants of Ulster. Several saints have been named Ultach. The most famous was Saint Ultan of Ardbraccan, who cared for the sick and poor in Medieval Ireland. Today, there is a hospital in Dublin named in his honor. This name is pretty uncommon inside and outside Ireland, making it a unique option for your little lady.
Zaira, pronounced zare-ah, is one of the most unusual Irish female names on our list. Unlike the other Irish girl names with traditional origins, Zaira was an invention of Irish writer C.R. Maturin’s 1818 novel Women. Zaira sounds similar to Sarah, which could be a unique alternative to this time-worn name.
Irish Name FAQs
According to the Central Statistics Office of Ireland, Grace (Grainne), Fiadh, Emily (Emile), and Ava were the most popular names for Irish girls in 2020.
In the U.S., names derived from Irish surnames are very fashionable, such as Riley, Finley, and Quinn. Other Irish names like Reagan, Nora, Brianna, and Maeve are also trendy, making the top 200 in 2020.
Looking for Irish girl names that are out of the mainstream? You’re in luck! There are a plethora of unique Irish names for girls just waiting to be chosen!
Some of the rarest are Liadan, Etain, Iseult, and Caoimhe. Sadbh, a relatively common name in Ireland, is very rare in the U.S., so it could be a unique pick if you’re American.
Unfortunately, many of the uncommon Irish female names are also the hardest to spell and pronounce. So, if you’re not an Irish native, be prepared to constantly correct others on your daughter’s name!
Are you looking for Irish girl names that are fit for royalty? If so, you should consider Morgan, Riona, or Rainey. All three of these gorgeous Irish female names mean “queen.”
If none of these queenly names strike your fancy, consider naming your baby girl Orla or Tuathla instead, which are Gaelic for “princess.”
Another similar alternative is Reagan, which means “little ruler.”