Popular Irish baby names for boys and girls

The Editors
·3-min read
Photo credit: jeannehatch - Getty Images
Photo credit: jeannehatch - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Unsurprisingly, naming a baby can be a huge challenge – it's a pretty permanent decision after all! Some parents are into the idea of double-barrelled names (why pick one when you could have two?), others prefer something with a vintage or seasonal twist. Some seek out names that give a nod to their heritage too.

If you're looking for a name that is popular in Ireland, or that is traditionally Irish, we scoured the data provided by the Central Statistics Office to see which names, for both boys and girls, are big hitters right now, as well as looking to baby naming website Nameberry for their meanings.

The list of most popular baby names in Ireland is currently a mix of names with English origins, Irish origins and latin origins, so we've also sought out some well-known and more unique Irish names for you to browse for inspirations too.

Top baby names for boys in Ireland 2020:

  1. Jack

  2. James

  3. Noah

  4. Daniel

  5. Conor

  6. Finn

  7. Liam

  8. Fionn

  9. Harry

  10. Charlie

  11. Cillian

  12. Adam

  13. Darragh

  14. Luke

  15. Rían

  16. Oisín

  17. Michael

  18. Tadgh

  19. Thomas

  20. Seán

Top baby names for girls in Ireland 2020:

  1. Grace

  2. Fiadh

  3. Emily

  4. Sophie

  5. Ava

  6. Amelia

  7. Ella

  8. Hannah

  9. Lucy

  10. Mia

  11. Olivia

  12. Lily

  13. Ella

  14. Éabha (pronounced 'Ava')

  15. Chloe

  16. Sophia

  17. Molly

  18. Saoirse

  19. Sadie

  20. Evie

How to pronounce some of the most-loved Irish names

Some Irish names can be a challenge for people to pronounce if they're unfamiliar with Gaelic (and as we all know, there's nothing worse than having somebody butcher you, or your child's, name). So, with that in mind, we asked our good pal Brooke Scullion, a bona fide Derry girl, to lend a hand with how to correctly say some traditional Irish names (which are also listed below):

  1. Aoife: This typically feminine name means 'beautiful' or 'radiant'.

  2. Saoirse: This girl's name has seen a resurgence in recent years, possibly thanks to a certain actress, Saoirse Ronan. It means 'freedom' or 'liberty'.

  3. Oisín: A typically male name meaning 'little deer' (it can be spelled with or without a fada, the diacritic mark/acute accent, depending on personal preference).

  4. Aisling: Meaning 'dream' or 'vision'.

  5. Ailbhe: Some say this one means 'white', others 'bright' or 'noble'.

  6. Cillian: Another name which has seen a recent spike in popularity (Peaky Blinders, anyone?), this typically male name means 'church'.

  7. Aoibheann: This name means 'beautiful sheen'.

  8. Caoimhe: A girl's name meaning 'beautiful'.

  9. Dearbhla: This feminine name means 'daughter of the poet' and can also be spelled 'Dervla'. Last year, Dearbhla was ranked number 700 of all baby girls recorded in Ireland.

  10. Eoghan: A male name meaning 'born of the yew tree'.

  11. Gráinne: A traditionally female name meaning 'grain' or 'love'.

  12. Éibhear: A male name meaning 'yew wood' or 'archer' (this name is a rare one, so could be a good choice for any parents wanting to give their child a unique moniker).

  13. Niamh: This female name (which was especially popular in the 90s) means 'bright'.

  14. Fiadh: The third most popular baby girl's name in Ireland in 2019 (after Emily and Grace) and second most popular last year, meaning 'wild'.

  15. Tadhg: A boy's name meaning 'poet' or 'bard'.

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