There’s a lot more to Irish names than just Mary and Sean!
Those are good strong Irish names! But the Irish influence has spread far and wide in the US, showing up in places you might not expect it. There are names you hear every day that you might not guess have Irish roots. Met someone called Brayden? Morgan? Guess what – their name is totally Irish!
Read on and discover the secret Irish meanings of 13 of the most popular first names in the US. The Irish are everywhere!
The name Colin is pronounced “koh-lin” in Ireland. It comes from the native Irish or Gaelic word “Cailean” or “Coileáin”, meaning “whelp”, “cub”, or “young pup”. So if you know a Colin, tell him Ireland says to grow up!
Kaitlyn sounds as American as apple pie. But Kaitlyn is actually a modern form of the Irish baby name Caitlin, which derives from Catherine and means “pure”.
Austin is an American form of the Irish name Oistin, meaning “august”, “dignified” and “holy” – three things both Austins and the Irish are famous for.
Opinions about the meaning of the Irish name Brandon are divided. Some scholars claim the Irish name means “prince” or “brave”. Less kind souls say Brandon derives from the Irish words for “stinking hair.” Either way, the name is totally fitting for 1990s teen heartthrob, Brandon Walsh
Who knew that Brandon’s sister Brenda also had an Irish first name?! It seems the Walsh parents of Beverly Hills gave their boy and girl twins the same name! The Irish girls’ name Brenda is a female variant of Brendan or Brandon and can also mean either “brave” or “stinking hair.”
The popular US baby name Kyle has beautiful and mysterious Irish roots. In Gaelic, the baby name Kyle derives from a place name describing “the narrows” – a forest or a church.
US girls with the name Shannon might be surprised to learn they have an airport named after them in County Clare in Ireland. Shannons also share their name with the “wise river” that runs through Ireland – the origins of the popular American girls’ name.
America loves Ryans – Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling .. but first, there was Ryan’s Daughter. The Irish name Ryan translates from the Gaelic “Ó Ríain” or “little king”.
Ciara is a very popular Irish first name, pronounced “Kee-rah”. The Irish name Ciara means “dark-haired”.
OK, Kayla? An Irish first name? Really? Yes, Kayla is an Irish name! US Kaylas wll be happy to hear their name is translated from the Irish words for “slim and fair”. Sounds like Kayla to us!
Remember Aidan, Carrie’s boyfriend from Sex and the City? Aidan is also a really popular Irish name! The name Aidan comes from the Celtic word for “fire”.
Names don’t get any more American that Megan, right? Wrong, kinda! Megan, or more often “Meghan” in Ireland is an old Irish name that means “brave warrior.”
The 1980s was a healthy time for Irish names in the US, with Coreys Haim and Feldman breaking hearts all over Hollywood. No wonder, with their Irish charm! Corey is an Irish boys’ name translated from the Gaelic place name for a “hill hollow” or ravine. Weird. But that’s Coreys for you!