Irish names for boys

Top 115 Irish Names for Your Baby Boy

11. Rory – 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.

Irish boys names

Irish names for boys

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 baby names to choose from for your boy. With so many wonderful stories in the lore and culture of Ireland, it’s no wonder that Irish boys names are a popular choice for baby boy names.

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.

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).

Popular Irish boys names and their meanings

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.

1. Aidan – The Anglicized form of Gaelic “Aodhan,” which means “little fiery one.”

2. Brandon – This name comes from “Bréanainn” which is derived from the Irish word “brenhin” meaning prince.

3. Dara – Dara comes from “daire” and means “fruitful” or “fertile.” It’s also associated with the Irish legend about the brown bull of Cooley.

4. Darren – 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.

5. Eamon – The name Eamon is a boy’s name of Irish origin meaning “wealthy protector”.

6. Hugh – Hugh is a translation of an ancient name Aodh meaning “fire.”

7. Liam – Liam means a strong-willed warrior and protector. It is also the Irish derivation of the name William.

8. Lorcan – Means “silent” or “fierce” and was probably used as a nickname for a “brave warrior.”

9. Oscar – 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.

10. Quinn – 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.

11. Rory – 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.

12. Shane – Shane is a boy’s name of Irish origin meaning “God is gracious”. It is also the anglicized form of Sean.

13. Case – A variant of the name Casey, Case means both ‘observant’ and ‘alert.’

14. Colin– Pronounced ‘Col-in’, Colin is an English short form of the Irish name Coilean. It means ‘victory of the people.’

15. Kealan – Meaning ‘small’ ‘slim’ or ‘slender’ pronounced ‘ke-al-an.’ Alternative spellings include Caolan and Keelan.

16. Cillian – A name with several meanings including ‘war’ ‘strife’ and ‘bright-headed’, the name ‘Cille’ is also associated with the word ‘church’ or ‘monastery.’ An alternative spelling is Killian.

17. Cian – Meaning ‘ancient’, in the Irish legend, Cian Mac Mael Muad was the son-in-law of Brian Boru. Both were killed in the Battle of Clontarf. Pronounced ‘kee-an’.

18. Connell– You may recogonise this name from the popular show and book Normal People by Sally Rooney. Meaning ‘strong as a wolf’ it’s pronounced ‘co-nne-ll.’

19. Brendan – Your baby is bound to be your little prince, so what about Brendan with its meaning ‘prince’? Pronounced ‘bren-dan.’

20. Finn – Alternatively spelt as ‘Fionn’, this strong name means ‘fair or white’ pronounced ‘fi-nn’. Associated with the warrior band, the Fianna.

21. Ronan – Did you know there were 12 saints of Ronan? This very old name means ‘little seal’ pronounced ‘row-nan’​.

22. Shay – A lovely unisex option, meaning ‘hawk’ or ‘brown haired warrior’ pronounced ‘sh-ei’.

23. Brian – A popular name in Ireland in honour of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland. It means high, noble and strong.

24. Sean – Sean is an Irish variant of John meaning “God is gracious” and is gender-neutral.

25. Declan – Declan is a Irish boy’s name that means “full of goodness” and also “man of prayer.”

Cool Irish baby boy names

You may know some of the names below from popular TV characters or celebrities, either way we think these names are pretty cool.

26. Blaine – Irish Gaelic, meaning ‘yellow’. Blaine Anderson is a fictional character from TV hit comedy Glee.

27. Coby – an alternative spelling of Cody, or Colby, meaning ‘son of Oda’.

28. Devyn – Devyn is a gender-neutral baby name of Irish origin which derives from the Irish surnames Ó Damháin and Ó Dubháin and means “poet.”

29. Kasey – From the Irish/Celtic name Cathasach meaning Vigilant In War. An alternative meaning is ‘alert’.

30. Kyllion – Kyllion has two meanings as well, one is ‘Handsome, dark, small, and from a narrow straight’. Also ‘warlike’.

31. Dwayne – Dwayne is a boy’s given name of Irish origin. It is the anglicized version of the Irish name Dubhán, which was a popular surname in historic times.

32. Brady – Brady is a surname derived from the Irish surname Ó Brádaigh or Mac Brádaigh, meaning “spirited; broad”.

33. Padraig – The Irish equivalent of Patrick, a name that is also very popular in Ireland, even a little more so than Padraig. The name Padraig is derived from the Latin Patricius, which means ‘patrician class’ or ‘noble’.

34. Reilly – meaning ‘courageous’. A very common first name and surname in Ireland.

35. Cassidy – Originating from the surname, Caiside, Cassidy means ‘clever’ or ‘curly haired’.

36. Ultan – meaning ‘from Ulster’. St Ultan was an Irish monk in the seventh century.

37. Beckett– Beckett is an English and Irish name meaning “bee hive, bee cottage, little brook, or beak”. It is derived from a Middle English surname that has several possible origins.

38. Art– name of a warrior in Irish mythology, Art Oenfer Art the Lonely.

39. Callahan– Callahan is a boy’s name of Irish origin which means “bright-headed.”

Unusual Irish baby boy names

Irish baby boy names are steeped in history and tradition, making some of them sound rather mysterious and unique – perfect if you want your baby boy to have a name like no one else.

40. Bannon – derived from the Old Gaelic Irish surname O Banain, which means “son of the fair-haired one”. This is pronounced BANN-uhn.

41. Daire – Also spelled Dáire ie Darragh, this name translates to “fruitful” or “fertile.”

42. Gannon– The name Gannon is boy’s name of Irish origin meaning “fair-skinned, fair-haired”.

43. Quaid– derived from the Gaelic word “gúaire,” which means “noble” or “proud.” In Irish history, the name is associated with the region of County Clare in western Ireland.

44. Senan – Meaning “old”, “ancient” or “little wise person”.

45. Awnan– The name Awnan is primarily a male name of Irish origin that means ‘Little Adam’.

46. Dempsey – In the original Irish Dempsey is Ó Diomasaigh, from diomasach, meaning “proud” or “arrogant”. The name was also occasionally anglicised “Proudman”.

47. Mahoney – Mahoney is primarily a gender-neutral name of Irish origin that means Son Of The Bear. From the Gaelic surname “O’Mathghamhana” meaning “son of Mathghamhain,” literally meaning “bear.”

48. Oisin – derived from the Celtic name Ossian, meaning ‘fawn’. The name of an ancient Irish poet.

49. Fiachra – Fiachra is boy’s name meaning “crow, raven”. St Fiachra is the patron saint of gardeners. Pronounced FEE-uh-Kra or FEE-uck-ra.

50. Darragh – Darragh is a gender-neutral name of Irish origin meaning ‘dark oak’, it is also spelled Daire or Dara.

Even more names

Find other Irish boy names below, or try out our baby name generator for even more ideas!

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Top 115 Irish Names for Your Baby Boy

Strong, unique and modern names from the Emerald Isle are on the rise.

preview for Popular Baby Names and Their Meanings

If you look at the most recent list of the most popular baby boy names in the United States, you can see that Irish baby boy names are having a moment. The name Liam, for example, is currently the most-used baby boy name, and it’s been in the top spot since 2017, But will it stay that way?

Liam is beginning to fall in usage,” says Sophie Kihm, the editor-in-chief of baby-naming site Nameberry. “We expect it to slip in the rankings soon. Other Irish boy names now past their peak include Finn, Connor and Declan.”

So, which names does Kihm see on the rise? “The most coveted Irish boy names right now are energetic choices that start with ‘R.’ Rowan and Rory lead the pack, but we’re also seeing once-obscure names like Rafferty and Redmond get the attention they deserve.” Names that start with ‘C’ and end with ‘N,’ like Cillian, Cian and Callahan, are also getting hot, Kihm says, along with names like Mac/Mack and Sullivan.

Whether you want to honor your Emerald Isle heritage or just like the way these sound, these Irish boy names are certain to be high on your list of potential baby monikers

These are the most popular baby boy names in Ireland.

Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) keeps track of baby names going back to 1964, if you’re looking for a deep well of inspiration. While they’re not all names of Irish origin, according to the CSO, these are the top baby boy names in Ireland at the moment.

As you can see, these run the gamut of popularity this side of the pond: Some, like Liam, Noah and Oliver, are also extremely popular in the United States. Others, like Darragh, Oisín (pronounced oh-SHEEN) and Tadhg (pronounced TI-guh, like the first syllable in the word “tiger”), didn’t even make the top 1,000 names stateside, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), which keeps track of baby names in the United States. There are also quite a few names on this list that follow the recent baby name trend of using a nickname over a full name, like Alex (over Alexander), Theo (over Theodore) and Ben (over Benjamin).

These are currently the most popular baby names of Irish origin in the United States.

If you don’t want to go too far out of the box, these are some more names that are currently high-rankers on the SSA’s list of top baby names. All of Irish origin, they rank somewhere within the top 300 names in the United States.

Interestingly, the “R” names that Kihm mentioned earlier — like Ryan, Rowan, Riley and Rory — are also on the list of most popular baby names for girls in the United States. These are great options if you’re looking for a gender-neutral baby name.

These Irish baby names are on the rise.

The SSA doesn’t just keep track of the most popular names — they keep tabs on how that popularity is changing over time. These names haven’t broken into the top 100 yet, but they increased in popularity over the last year (listed in order from the biggest jump in popularity to least-biggest).

The last-names-as-first-names trend is showing no signs of abating, but if there’s one name that looks poised to take on Liam in the future, it looks like it’ll be the contender Kihm noted earlier: Cillian/Kylian. Could this be the Peaky Blinders effect, a nod to Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy?

cillian murphy at the

Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy. Cillian is a fast-climbing boys’ name in the United States.

These Irish name are going to trend.

According to Nameberry, these are other Irish names to consider:

BabyCenter’s name lists also goes deep into names of Irish origin. Here are some of their most-used names among the site’s readers (listed alphabetically).

These unique Irish names are ripe for the taking.

These out-of-the-box choices are perfect for those looking for something unusual.

Looking for more baby boy name inspiration? Check out our list of top Indian/Hindu boy names, Hispanic boy names, long boy names and short boy names, along with baby girl names for good measure.

Marisa (she/her) has covered all things parenting, from the postpartum period through the empty nest, for Good Housekeeping since 2018; she previously wrote about parents and families at Parents and Working Mother. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, where she can be found dominating the audio round at her local bar trivia night or tweeting about movies.