18 Gorgeous Celtic Baby Names That Are Totally Overlooked

Liz Alterman | Jun 14, 2016 Baby
18 Gorgeous Celtic Baby Names That Are Totally Overlooked
Image: Inna Churikova/Shutterstock

unique celtic names

Want your daughter's name to embody romance, adventure, and possibly even the great outdoors? Should your son's name suggest that he's a legend in the making? Thankfully, Laura Wattenberg, founder of Baby Name Wizard, has some lovely, lyrical options that originate from Cornwall, Brittany, or the Isle of Man and evoke a spirit of whimsy and wonder. We promise, these names are going to make you do a double-take. They're THAT good.

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Plenty of parents adore Celtic names, but it can be hard to find ones that aren't already super-popular. Pronunciations can proving challenging, but thankfully Wattenberg has included those as well.

These names have history, but sound pleasantly modern. Almost like you are naming a tiny fairy -- and we just adore the first name on our list. 

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Take a look at these delightfully unique baby names and see if you recognize any. We promise that more than a few will make your final list!


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  • Elowen (eh-LOH-in)

    1

    Image via Olga Bogatyrenko/shutterstock

    Elowen (eh-LOH-in): Elowen is a modern name, from the Cornish for "elm tree." Its use is spreading beyond Cornwall.

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  • Kerensa/Kerenza (kə-REHN-zə)

    2

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    Kerensa/Kerenza (kə-REHN-zə): The Cornish word for "love," Kerensa has multiple equally popular spellings.

    This one is so feminine and pretty and a nice departure from Kyra and Kerry.

  • Emblyn (EHM-blin)

    3

    Image via tommaso lizzul/shutterstock

    Emblyn (EHM-blin): This medieval form of Emmeline remained in use in Cornwall for centuries, though it's rare in modern usage.

  • Veryan (VEHR-ee-ən)

    4

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    Veryan (VEHR-ee-ən): The Cornish village of Veryan took its name from its patron saint Symphorian via a process of linguistic corruption: Symphorian --> Severian --> St. Veryan. While the saint was male, the name is somewhat more common for girls today.

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  • Delen (DEHL-ən)

    5

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    Delen (DEHL-ən): This modern name is the Cornish word for "leaf" or "petal."

    This is a unique alternative to Helen or Ellen. If you love those but want your little girl to have a "D" initial, this is a great choice.

  • Endellion (ehn-DEHL-yən, ehn-DEHL-ee-ən)

    6

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    Endellion (ehn-DEHL-yən, ehn-DEHL-ee-ən): A saintly classic with fairy-tale style. St. Endellion was said to be a daughter of the legendary 5th-century King Brychan, and a village in Cornwall is named for her.

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  • Enora (eh-NOH-rə)

    7

    Image via Rostov Oleksandr/shutterstock

    Enora (eh-NOH-rə): The Breton form of Honora, this name has gained popularity in the past generation.

    This sounds like a pretty combination of Eleanor and Nora. We could definitely see it becoming popular.

  • Katell (KA-tell)

    8

    Image via Taisa/shutterstock

    Katell (KA-tell): A rare French "K" name, Katell is a Breton form of Katherine.

    "Katie" or "Kat" still work as nicknames but if you're going for originality, Katell is a winner.

  • Calybrid (KAH-lee-breed)

    9

    Image via Christin Lola/shutterstock
     

     

    Calybrid (KAH-lee-breed): The Caly- prefix was attached to various saints' names and meant "devotee/servant of"; in this case, "devotee of St. Brigid." Gil- was the male counterpart, and both prefixes can also stand alone.

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  • Cador (CAD-ohr)

    10

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    Cador (CAD-ohr): The Cornish ruler Sir Cador is straight out of Arthurian legend. The name remains more familiar as legend than as a baby name, and still sounds valiant.

  • Locryn (LAWK-rin)

    11

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    Locryn (LAWK-rin): Legends tell us that spurned Queen Gwendolen assembled an army in Cornwall to defeat King Locrinus of the Britons. The King's name survives in the Cornish name Locryn, which has been revived somewhat in modern Cornwall.

    "Lock" seems like a pretty cool nickname, doesn't it?

  • Lowen (LŌ-en)

    12

    Image via Patryk Kosmider/shutterstock

    Lowen (LŌ-en): A modern name taken from the Cornish word for "happy," Lowen is a unisex name in Cornwall today.

    We love that this name is used for either gender.

  • Zennor (ZEHN-er)

    13

    Image via Zdenka Darula/shutterstock

    Zennor (ZEHN-er): The name of a Cornish village, from the local name for Saint Senara. Used for girls as well.

    There are so few girls names that start with "Z." It's cool to have another option.

  • Jory (JOR-ee)

    14

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    Jory (JOR-ee): A Cornish form of George, Jory could also work as a youthful nickname for that formal classic.

    Bored with Rory or Corey? Here you go!

  • Talek (TAL-ehk)

    15

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    Talek (TAL-ehk): Cornish writer E. G. Retallack Hooper, a 20th-century Grand Bard of Cornwall, adopted the bardic name Talek ("big-browed"). It developed some momentum as a baby name in his wake.

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  • Briac (bree-AK, BREE-ahk)

    16

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    Briac (bree-AK, BREE-ahk): An old Breton Saint's name, Briac is a linguistic relative of familiar Celtic names like Brian and Bridget.

  • Mael (MIY-ayl, MIYL)

    17

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    Mael (MIY-ayl, MIYL): Mael is currently the most popular name of Breton heritage. It's typically written Maël in French, and the feminine version Maëlle is nearly as popular.

  • Finlo (FIN-loh)

    18

    Image via Uvarov Stanislav/shutterstock

    Finlo (FIN-loh): A Manx classic built around the popular root Finn ("white, fair").

    Finn has been popular for years so we'd have to imagine this variation is one we'll hear more often!

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