50 Irish Baby Boy Names With Strong Meanings

Jordyn Smith | Nov 14, 2019 Pregnancy
50 Irish Baby Boy Names With Strong Meanings

baby lying in green grass

Ireland is chock-full of rich history, beautiful language, and interesting legends, making it the perfect place to mine for unique baby names with a wide range of meanings. Irish names are a pretty common thing in the United States, so many non-Irish parents have recognized the beauty of these historic names. Their popularity here has caused boy's names like Keegan, Riley, and Quinn to be commonplace in classrooms all over the country. 

Still, there are so many Irish boys' names that have gone unnoticed by American parents due to the fact that they are a little more "out there" than others. While they might take a little time to learn how to pronounce and can be a little harder to spell, "unusual" Irish names are becoming increasingly more common in American culture as parents seek to outfit their kids with names that are both unique and meaningful.

More from CafeMom: 

Just like the culture they come from, the names on this list are full of life and personality. Whether they came into popularity as the name of a famous king or share their history with a Shakespearean hero, these 50 Irish boy names are unlike anything many folks have ever seen before.


  • Cullen

    cullen irish boys name

    Parents may remember Cullen as the last name of everyone's favorite sparkly vampire in the Twilight series, but it has been used as a first name in Ireland for decades. Meaning "holly tree" in Gaelic, the name reached peak popularity in Ireland in 2010, though it's still relatively uncommon in the US.

  • Aidan

    aiden irish boy name photo

    Aidan, a variant of Aiden, is well known across the United States but not necessarily widely used. Meaning "little fiery one" in Gaelic, Aidan is thought of as the modernized Irish version of the traditional name Aodhan. While it peaked in popularity in the '90s, the name has appeared on the top 100 boys names in Ireland as recently as 2014.

  • Eoghan

    Irish baby boy name Eoghan

    Eoghan is the Irish version of the name Owen and is pronounced exactly the same way. Meaning "born of the yew tree" in Gaelic, Eoghan was the name of multiple Irish kings and saints. This traditional spelling hasn't made its way to America yet but it has remained on the list of top 100 boy names in Ireland since 2010.

  • Cathal

    irish baby boy name Cathal

    Pronounced KA-hal, Cathal means "powerful in battle" in Gaelic. As the name of an ancient Irish saint, Cathal has been one of the most popular contemporary boys' names in Ireland since 2010. It has yet to reach a similar level of popularity in the US, but that just means it's unlikely to see two in the same classroom at once.

    More from CafeMom: 

  • Colin

    baby boy name Colin

    Often thought to have originated in England, Colin is actually a name of Irish and Scottish origins. The name was created as a shortened form of Nicholas and means "pup" in Gaelic. No matter its origins, the name is popular in countries all over Europe, as well as in the US.

  • Brendan

    baby boy name Brendan

    Another name that should already be recognizable to American parents, Brendan means "prince" in Gaelic. The name rose in popularity due to an Irish legend claiming that Saint Brendan was the first European voyager to reach American soil. While the name is a little less popular now than it was in the past, Brendan remains a staple in both the United States and Ireland. 

  • Darragh

    darragh irish boys name

    Darragh, pronounced DA-rah, is a traditional Irish name that means "oak tree" in Gaelic. Also spelled Dara and used as a girls' name, it is technically unisex but used for boys way more often than girls.

  • Colm

    irish boy name colm

    Colm is a classic name in Ireland and means "dove" in Gaelic, but it is thought of as an Irish version of the Latin name Columba. With its peaceful meaning and its simple pronunciation, Colm is a great choice for any baby boy, even if it's not the most popular name choice.

    More from CafeMom: 

  • Brion

    Irish baby boy name Brion

    A simple variation of the name Brian, Brion is an Irish name that has a murky history. It is thought to mean "strong" or "honorable" in Gaelic and has been used in many places outside of Ireland. While this spelling of the name has never been popular in the US, it's actually a standard choice overseas.

  • Odhran

    odhran irish boy names

    Pronounced O-rawn, Odhran certainly isn't popular in the US. But the name, meaning "little pale green one" in Gaelic, has remained on the list of the top 100 boy names in Ireland since about 2010. Given to a popular Irish Saint, the name has meaning to parents invested in ancient Irish traditions.

  • Sullivan

    sullivan irish boy names

    Sullivan is easily recognized as a common Irish surname in the US, but it has held firm as a popular first name, as well. Translated to mean "black-eyed one" in traditional Gaelic, it became popular in the US in the late 19th century before falling off the charts and coming back again in the '00s.

  • Daithí

    Daithí irish boys name

    Daithí, pronounced DAH-hee, is said to be the Irish version of the Hebrew name David. Like the Hebrew version, Daithí means "beloved," and while it's a popular choice in Ireland, it has yet to catch on over here.

    More from CafeMom: 

  • Cian

    Irish baby boy name Cian

    The name Cian is usually pronounced like KEE-in or KEEN -- whichever parents prefer -- and it carries the strong meaning of "ancient." The name is pretty unheard of in the US but it remains incredibly popular in Ireland, finding its way in the top 100 boys name in Ireland since 2010. 

  • Niall

    popular baby boy name Niall

    The name of one of the members of the popular boy band One Direction, Niall has made its presence known in the US -- but it's not quite topping the popularity charts yet. It is thought of as the Irish version of the name Neil and means "cloud" in Gaelic, making the translation just as sweet and simplistic as the name itself.

  • Finn

    baby boy name finn meaning

    Finn has been incredibly popular in the US in recent years. A modernized version of the traditional Irish name Fionn, Finn has made its way up the charts, thanks to popular culture (Glee) and celebrity parents like Owen Wilson, Christy Turlington, and Tori Spelling. The name means "fair." 

  • Donal

    irish baby boy names Donal

    The Irish version of the name Donald, Donal should sound relatively familiar to American parents. Meaning "proud chief" in Gaelic, Donal is a strong, simplistic name that is traditionally Irish but still has a hint of familiarity.

    More from CafeMom: 

  • Lorcan

    baby boy name Lorcan

    Lorcan is a name that is common all throughout Irish history. Given to multiple saints and kings, Lorcan means "little" or "fierce" in traditional Gaelic. With strong, empowering meanings like that, it's no wonder the name has remained popular all over Ireland since 2010. 

  • Cormac

    cormac irish boys names photo

    Both a strong and quirky name, Cormac is thought to translate to "charioteer" in Gaelic, but that definition is often contested. The name has never made it big in the US, but it counts famed author Cormac McCarthy as an association.

  • Fitzgerald

    baby boy name Fitzgerald

    While Fitzgerald is still a very common Irish surname, it has been transformed into a popular first name for boys in recent history. The name simply translates to "son of Gerald" in Gaelic but can be used no matter what the name of the baby boy's father is.

  • Eoin

    eoin irish boy names

    For parents looking to take a classic name and put a unique spin on it, Eoin is the perfect choice. It's the traditional Irish version of the name John, and it means "God is gracious" in Gaelic. Much like another name on this list, it is pronounced like the name Owen and is still incredibly popular all over Ireland. 

    More from CafeMom: 

  • Darby

    baby boy name Darby

    While Darby is often used as a unisex name these days, it was originally given to boys. Translated to mean either "free one" or "from the deer estate" in Gaelic, Darby is thought of as a sweet, lighthearted name. The popularity of the name peaked in Ireland in the '60s, though it's rarely heard these days.

  • Senan

    Irish baby name Senan

    Senan is another Irish name that that has Latin roots. Coming from the word for senator, the name means "old" or "wise" and started out as a respectable nickname that transformed into an awesome first name.

  • Ciarán

    Ciarán Irish baby boy name

    Ciarán is a classic variation of the Irish name Kieran. Both are pronounced the same way, and the name means "little dark one" in Gaelic, so it's traditionally given to little boys with black or dark hair. Neither the name nor this spelling of Ciarán is widely used in the United States but it is very popular in Ireland and England. 

  • Killian

    killian irish boy names photo

    Whether it's spelled Killian or Cillian, this name translates to the strong meanings of "war" or "strife." Killian is a name given to many Irish saints, and despite its slightly brash meaning, it has remained on the list of top 100 boys names in Ireland since 2010. 

    More from CafeMom: 

  • Kevin

    baby name Kevin meaning

    Most American parents know the name Kevin, but they may not be aware that it is Irish in origin. Kevin is the modern version of the name Caoimhín, and simply means "handsome" in Gaelic. That makes the name absolutely perfect for any adorable baby boy. 

  • Diarmaid

    diarmaid irish boys name

    The traditional Irish version of the name Dermot, Diarmaid translates to mean "free from envy" in old Gaelic. The name is thought to belong to a mythological hero in Irish legend who had the power to make women fall in love with him instantly. The traditional spelling of Diarmaid isn't popular in Ireland anymore either, which makes it even more unique. 

  • Lachlan

    lachlan irish boy names

    Lachlan is originally derived from the name Lochlainn and means "lake-land" in Gaelic. The name exists across various cultures and countries, so while it isn't necessarily popular in the United States yet, it's all the rage in places like New Zealand and Australia in addition to Ireland. 

  • Murphy

    murphy irish boy name

    Murphy may be incredibly recognizable as a surname in America, but Irish parents have taken to using it as a first name as well. The name means "sea warrior" in Gaelic, and while it's the most common surname in Ireland, it isn't known to be a popular given name in the US -- until now, that is.

    More from CafeMom: 

  • Conor