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Most Popular Irish First Names







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These are the Irish and Irishoid names that appear in the US top 1000 for 1998. The list came from babyzone.com The Babyzone's compilation of Mike Shackleford's top 1000 based on US Social Security applications. OK, OK I know the "Irishness" of some of these names is a bit stretched. This list is for people with Irish heritage who want a name wit Irish flavor, but don't really care about authenticity.

The "rank" box indicate's a name's status within the top 1000 for 1998. There is a list of girls' names and a list of boys' names.


Girls' List



US Rank Name Notes
1 Kaitlyn American form of the Irish Caitlín (form of Catherine)
6 Brianna Modern fem. Form of Brian
18 Kayla Even though it’s probably a modern creation, it is similar to the Irish man’s name Cadhla meaning ‘slender’
29 Ciara Ciara, pronounced “KEE a ra” is a modern Irish name meaning ‘dark.’ However, in the USA, is’t probably pronounced see-Ahr-a or see-AIR-a, and is a modern crestion based on Sierra.
33 Anna/Ana Most Anas are probably of Latina descent, but Ana can also be an ancient Celtic goddess name.
43 Kylie Kylie is usually thought of as an Australian aborigianl name meaning ‘boomerang.’ However, it can also be a form of Kiley, an anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Cadhla.
50 Bailey Anglicization of the surnames Báille (from English) or deBelleau (from Norman)
61 Kaylee This name is a modern invention based on the names Kay and Lee. However, it is sometimes used because it sounds like céilí, the Irish word for a gathering.
67 Erin This is the poetic name for Ireland. The name is not used in Ireland itself, although it’s gaining in popularity in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
82 Kelly This is an anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Ceallaich, meaning ‘bright-headed’
94 Clare Claire is the more popular spelling in the USA, and this is a French name meaning ‘clear.’ Clare is usually thought of as an alternate spelling. There is a county in Ireland called Clare (anglicization of an Clar).
96 Kira Kira/Kyra is a Persian name meaning ‘light.’ However, it can also be an anglicization of Ciara, an Irish name meaning ‘dark.’
98 Cassidy Anglicization of an Irish surname with an obscure meaning.
100 Molly A typically Irish pet form of Mary. Spelled Mallaidh in Irish.
132 Cara/Kara Cara is the Italian word for ‘dear,’ It’s also the Irish word for ‘friend.’ It is not used in the Republic, but is used in Northern Ireland.
146 Riley Riley can be an English surname meaning ‘rye field’ or an anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Raghailligh.
148 Cailin Sometimes spelled Kaylin, Caylin etc, this name is a modern creation based on the names Kay and Lynn. However, Cailín, pron. ‘colleen’ is the Irish word for ‘girl.’
149 Alana Used as a feminine form of the name Alan (of Celtic origin), Alannah’s popularity also can stem form the fact that it’s an anglicization of ‘a leanbh’ (‘0 child’), an Irish term of endearment.
150 Brenda This name actually comes from a Norse word meaning ‘fire brand.’ However, it is often used as a feminine form of the Irish name Brendan.
151 Ashlyn is is a modern creation based on the names Ashley and Lynn, but it can also be thought of as an anglicization of the Irish name Aislinn (ASH ling or ASH lin) meaning ‘dream’ or ‘vision.’
154 McKenna Anglicization of the Irish surname MacCionnaith.
166 Kennedy Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Cinnéde, meaning ‘ugly head.’
174 Bridget St. Brigid is one of the 3 patron saints of Ireland. See This page for more information on the name.
177 Kathleen Anglicization of the Irish Caitlín, a form of Catherine.
178 Patricia This is the feminine form of Patrick, which is actually name with Latin origins. However, many people use this name in honor of St. Patrick.
182 Tara This is an anglicization of the old Irish name Teamhair.
213 Shaina/Shauna/Shanna These are generally considered to be modern forms of the name Séan, an Irish form of John. Shaina also means ‘beautiful’ in Yiddish.
254 Brenna Modern feminine form of the name Brennan, an anglicization of the surname Ó Braonáin. Brennan is used for boys in the USA.
267 Aileen/Eileen Anglicizations of the Irish name Aibhilín/Eibhilín, an Irish form of the Germanic name Aveline/Eveline. It is also sometimes used as an Irish form of Helen.
268 Shayla a modern anglicization of the Irish name Síle (SHEE la), usually anglicized Sheila. Síle is a form of the Latin name Cecilia.
281 Reagan An anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Ríagáin.
294 Shea Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Siadha.
337 Shawna See Shaina/Shauna/Shanna.
343 Keely Modern coinage based on the Irish names Caoilfhionn and Cadhla.
401 Cori/Kori Anglicization of the Irish surname Mac Gothraidh.
407 Fiona Originally, Fíona, pronounced Feena was an old Irish name meaning ‘vine.’ Today, pronounced fee-OH na, it is a Scottish feminine form of Fionn.
467 Maura Anglicization of the name Máire, the Irish form of Mary.
469 Shelia Anglicization of Síle, the Irish form of Cecilia.
473 Tracy Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Treasaigh
529 Quinn Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Cuinn
567 Ireland The name of the country itself. This name has been gaining in popularity ever since Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger named their daughter Ireland.
598 Maeve An anglicization of the old Irish name Meadhbh. This is one of the few names on this list that is actually used in Ireland!
734 Dara The Irish word for “oak tree.”

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Boys' List





US Rank Name Notes
7 Brandon Anglicization of Breanainn, usually anglicized Brendan. Also an English surname meaning hill top
8 Austin Anglicization of the name Aghaistín, the Irish form of Augustine.
17 Cody Anglicization of the Irish surname Mac Óda, meaning ‘son of Otto’
19 Ryan Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Ríain.
26 Kyle Anglicization of Irish word “coill” meaning “woods”. More commonly used in Scotland, where is is from a place name meaning "narrow".
38 Sean Irish form of John
44 Connor Anglicization/modern form of the Irish name Conchobhar, usually spelled Conor in Ireland.
69 Colin Can be either an anglicization of Coilean, and Irish name meaning “whelp” or Cóilín, an Irish short form of Nicholas.
70 Brendan Anglicization of Breandán/Breannain, a major Irish saint.
75 Corey Anglicization of the Irish surname Mac Gothraidh
84 Cole An anglicization of the Irish name Comhall. Also an English short form of Nicholas.
108 Alan Anglicization of the Irish name Ailín.
116 Shane An anglicization of Seán, an Irish form of John.
117 Riley An anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Raghaillidh. Can also be an English surname meaning “rye field”
128 Oscar Anglicization of Osgar, meaning ‘deer lover’
136 Braden Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Bradaoin, meaning ‘salmon’
146 Aidan Anglicization of Aodhán, meaning ‘little fire’
154 Casey Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Cathasaigh
157 Bailey Anglicization of the surnames Báille and deBelleau, of English and Norman origin.
159 Liam Shortened form of Uilliam, the Irish form of William.
162 Brady Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Bradaigh
188 Owen Usually a Welsh name. It can be an anglicization of the Irish names Eoin (form of John) and Eoghan, meaning “born of the yew.”
198 Miles A name often used to translate Irish names beginning with Maol-meaning 'devotee of- (insert saint here)'
200 Brennan Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Braonáin
214 Griffin Usually a Welsh name, but it can be an anglicization of the Irish name Críofán.
226 Nolan Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Nualláin
240 Keegan Anglicization of the Irish surname Mac Aodhgáin
253 Caden Anglicization of the Irish surname MacAodháin
301 Brody Usually Scottish, this name can also be an anglicization of the Irish surname Mac Bruaideadha
315 Quinn Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Cuinn
317 Ross Old Irish name meaning 'headland.'
346 Neil Anglicization of the Irish name Niall.
405 Keenan Anglicization of the Irish name Cianán. Used mainly in the USA as the transferred use of the surname Ó Cianáin.
441 Dorian Although it is based on the name Dora, which has no Irish roots, this name was coined by the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde for his play The Portrait of Dorian Gray.
446 Coleman This name can be an independent English surname as well as an anglicization of the Irish name Colmán.
453 Cullen Anglicization of the Irish name Mac Cuileainn, meaning ‘son of the holly’
498 Kerry Anglicization of the Irish county name Ciarraí.
504 Kieran Anglicization of the Irish name Ciarán, meaning ‘little dark one’
514 Killian Anglicization of the Irish name Cillén, a saint’s name.
515 Barry Shortened form of names like Finbar and Bairfhionn.
521 Rory Anglicization of the Irish name Ruadhrí, meaning ‘red king’
550 Kelly Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Ceallaigh meaning ‘bright-headed’
593 Declan Form of the name Deaglán, an Irish saints’ name of obscure meaning.
599 Dallin Probably a modern creation, but it could be based on the Irish name Dallán, meaning ‘blind.’
616 Kellen Anglicization of the Irish surname Mac Coilin or Mac Coilín
618 Hugh A common anglicization of the Irish name Aodh.
623 Tracy Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Treasaigh, meaning 'strength.'
639 Grady Anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Gradaigh
643 Rohan Anglicization of the Irish name Ruadhán, meaning ‘little red one’
691 Vaughn Usually a Welsh surname, but also an anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Beacháin, meaning ‘beech tree’


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last updated on: April 3rd, 2017

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