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If you’re struggling to figure out the perfect name for your baby girl, don’t worry: you’re not alone! Naming a child can be difficult for many reasons. That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of unique Irish baby girl names with lovely meanings. Have a look and see what calls out to you. We’re certain that at least one will catch your eye – and your heart.
A word about Irish names: they can be appealing whether you have Irish blood, love the culture, or simply are looking for a great one for your child. Irish names conjure up ideas of ancient folklore, rolling green countryside vistas, and a general sense of timeless historic beauty. When choosing one of these names, don’t worry that your child will be alone in her Irish moniker. In fact, Irish names are quite common in the United States.
Meaning little fire, this name conjures up dynamic visuals of a small and spunky little sweetheart who will have no problems expressing her true feelings in any situation! Adenat is the feminine of the male name Aidan and is of itself a fairly uncommon name. Given its three-syllable construction, we are of the opinion that Adenat goes well with a single-syllable middle name such as Rose – it’s a nice contrast. However you use it, though, it’s a strong and unusual name that is likely to turn heads toward your little fire as she grows to realize her full potential!
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Pronounced all-bay, Ailbe takes its genesis from an old Irish word that means white. In addition to this simple meaning, it’s also associated with St. Ailbe, who in the sixth century was associated with the Emly monastery in County Tipperary. Upon the request of the local people, St. Ailbe blessed a river that had no fish – immediately bringing a slew of fish to the river. To thank the saint, the people built five churches in his honor – not surprisingly all situated by the river’s most prime fishing spots. Ailbe can be used as a male or female name, but we think it is particularly evocative for a little girl.
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Pronounced awn-ya, this name is Anglicized as Hannah and Anna and is of itself a unique Irish spelling. In Gaelic, the name means both joy and praise, both of which we imagine your little girl will merit plenty of! It takes its history from a legendary Irish fairy queen, but we’re betting that your little one will be the one who makes history with a beautiful name like this. Paired with a multi-syllabic middle name for contrast, Aine offers the simplicity of an easy-to-spell name with the sweet exoticism of Irish culture, which is the best of both worlds.
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The old Irish king Brian Boru, who ended the domination of the High Kingship of Ireland around 1000 A.D., was birthed by a woman named Beibhinn. The king named his daughter for her as well – and in legend the golden-haired giantess Beibhinn sought refuge so as not to have to marry the giant Hugh the Splendid. This name is a blend of bean (woman, lady) with finn (fair, white), a description originally applied to Viking women. We think it’s a lovely mix of the old and the contemporary, and one that would apply splendidly to the lucky bearer of its name.
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Pronounced behr-it, this variation on the name Bridget means powerful, strong, or splendid. It is the name of a goddess in Celtic mythology and is also the name of several legendary saints. It is also spelled Berrit, Beritt, and Berita. We like to think a girl with this name will be set upon a stable, sturdy course in life … and succeed! One note on Bridget: it was popularized by Bridget Jones’ Diary, which in turn may have led to the rise of popularity of Berit. In any event, this pretty name offers a favorable future for your little girl.
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Pronounced baw-nid, this name takes its interpretation of flower or blossom from Blath. Legend has it that Curai MacDaire’s unwilling wife Blathnaid was in love with her husband’s rival Cuchlainn. This caused her to lead him to the secret entrance of her husband’s fortress by the unique method of first milking her cow and then letting the milk stream down the hill. Cuchlainn tracked the stream, which eventually led him to the fortress and to Blathnaid’s rescue. We think it is a beautiful name – and lovely meaning – whether or not your little girl is interested in creating a trail of cow milk!
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This lovely name is pronounced kay-linn and in English is translated as Keelin or Kalin. It is a mix of caol (slender) and fionn (fair, pure). Several Irish saints bore this name, with one in particular renowned as a pious woman dedicated to each duty and known for her sweet disposition, lovely temper, and pure piety. This is an extremely unusual name – out of nearly 6 million U.S. Social Security Administration public records, there was not a single instance of Caoilann. It has an estimated less than five occurrences yearly, making it one of the more unusual names on this list.
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Pronounced klee-ona, this name means shapely. It takes its form from the legendary, Cliodhna, who possessed not one or two but three magical birds with the ability to sing the sick to sleep and thus cure them. Cliodhna is the heroine of the tale “Cliodhna’s Wave”, where she falls in love with the mortal Keevan of the Curling Locks and is tempted away from her home, Tir-Na-Nog, or the Land of Eternal Youth. This decision is proven a rather unlucky one when, while on the beach, Clidhona is swept away by a great wave. Her lover is left desolate and we are left wondering why she didn’t wear a lifejacket. That said, it is a lovely name and a great meaning.
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Pronounced deck-tir-ra, Dechtire harkens back to the sister of Conchubar and the mother of Cuchlainn, who was referenced above. Dech means ten, indicating that Dechtire was perhaps the tenth child in her family. While she was rather inconveniently turned into a bird on occasion by the Sive fairies, she did happen to become a woman now and again. On one of these serendipitous occasions, she conceived her son Cuchlainn with Lugh, the sun-god. While the meaning of ten itself is a bit vague, we like to think that the idea of a bird-woman is a fanciful one of itself and creates some wonderful images to associate with your little girl.
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Here is a last name turned first name. Pronounced de-lai-nee, this is thought to mean offspring of the challenger in Gaelic. Not only is that a beautiful meaning, but it’s a strong one, and a positive reflection on you as a parent as well as on your little girl. As with other multisyllabic first names, we recommend that you choose a shorter, simpler middle name for contrast. Delaney can also be used as a male name but is more often used for females. This unusual name is sometimes spelled Delanai or Delanei, but whichever way you slice it, it’s a good one!
This name means kernel of a nut or a seed, but is also possibly related to Adenat, meaning little fire. Of the nine (at least) St. Eithnes, one in the sixth century was the mother of St. Columba. Prior to her son’s birth, an angel appeared to Eithne; it was wearing a beautiful cloak covered with lovely flowers. However, when she reached for the cloak it rose up into the air, lengthening and floating over the earth until it appeared to be resting on distant hills. Eithne took this as a sign that her son was meant to travel great distances with honor. The name is pronounced en-ya.
Pronounced ee-mer, this name reflects the legendary six gifts of womanhood: beauty, a gentle voice, sweet words, wisdom, needlework, and chastity. (Remember, this dates back a long time.) Bethrothed to Cuchulainn from the time they were both children, Eimear put up with the warrior’s wandering eye – and even his betrayal when he took Fand (wife of the sea god Manannan) as a lover. In fact, when Cuchulainn passed away, Eimear went to his graveside to speak sweetly of her longtime love. This is a name that evokes loyalty, grace, and class – qualities any little girl would benefit from possessing.
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Pronounced finn-ula, the name means a very specific fair shouldered. It comes from the legend of King Lir and his wife Aobh, who had a daughter named Finnoula and three sons, Aedh, Conn, and Fiachra. The children were turned into swans by Lir’s subsequent wife Aoife (who he married upon Aodh’s death) and dispatched to live on Lake Daravarragh for three centuries, on the Sea of Moyle for another three centuries, and finally three centuries on Innis Glora. The only way they would regain personhood would be by hearing a Christian bell – and they did. They were baptized and today are known as the Children of Lir in Irish mythology.
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Pronounced gorm-lee, this name is known as Barbara in America. It is a mix of gorm (illustrious or splendid) and flaith (queen or princess) and takes its genesis from Lady Gormlaith, wife of Olaf and queen of the Irish Danes. Ultimately she married Brian Boru, who was first king of Munster and then king of the entire country of Ireland. After Brian Boru died in 1041, Lady Gormlaith’s sons Sitric, Murdach, and Donough took over Irish rule. We think there are far worse fates than being known as an illustrious part of royalty, and that this is one of the cooler names out there.
In ancient Irish days, Grainne was the harvest patron – so it won’t surprise you that the name means grain or corn. While this of itself may not seem lyrical, if you extrapolate it out to the idea of fruitfulness and feeding others, it may appear a little more appealing. Grainne was also the lovely daughter of Cormac Mac Art, an Irish High King, and had been promised in marriage to the king Fionn Mac Cool. However, she fell for Fionn’s nephew and ran away with him – but to no avail as Fionn pursued her and prevented them from spending consecutive nights together in the same place. It is pronounced graw-nya.
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Pronounced lu-ile, this name means downy-haired, soft-haired, and youthful. In the United States in 2017, less than five girls were given the name. It is a form of the far more popular name Julia, which is widely used in America. However, if you are looking for a unique moniker that offers an idea of soft youthfulness – what better to describe a new baby? – Iuile may be right up your alley. Another variant of the meaning is downy-bearded, but we’re guessing that this will not be applicable to your little girl! It could work well with a short middle name for syllabic contrast.
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This sweet, simple name has Irish roots but is also very popular in Australia, where it represents the meaning of boomerang. We like to think that the extended meaning of that is good karma, or happiness boomeranging back in you and your child’s direction. Some see it as the female version of Kyle, and variations can include Kelly, Kayley, and Kai, as well as Kiley, Kyli, and Kylee. Singer Kylie Minogue is one celebrity who boasts this pretty moniker, and if your child does as well, she will have a pretty name throughout her life as well.
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This name, pronounced mack-en-sie, has Gaelic roots and sometimes comes along with the nicknames Mack or Mac. It is also alternatively spelled Makenzie and McKenzie – and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling named her second daughter Mackenzie as well. It means comely and can also mean child of fire as well as born of fire. Whichever way you look at it, you’re giving your child a gift of strength and confidence when naming her Mackenzie. While the name Mackenzie has been used as both a male and female name, over time it has proven most popular for girl babies.
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Pronounced may-v. Maebh means the cause of great joy or she who intoxicates – now, isn’t that nice? Taken from the ancient Irish name Madb, the warrior queen of Connacht who left King Conchobhar MacNessa for Ailill, the name embodies sovereign power. However, the couple did not last as they fought over who owned the most stuff (an argument one could still have today) even though Madb had professed that Ailill was “a man without … fear or jealousy.” While the history may not be the happiest, the meaning of the name certainly is one that any parent could get behind, right?
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Pronounced oo-na, this name comes from the Irish word for lamb and also the Latin term for one, so it is not a surprise that it sometimes translates as unity. The legendary Oonagh was renowned for her ground-length golden hair; she was called the Queen of the Fairies. The name is sometimes also spelled Oona or Una. The meaning of the name can be extrapolated to mean a uniquely precious one, which we know your baby daughter certainly is! Additionally, the notion of unity adds a certain harmonious element to this name, making it even more beautiful.
Pronounced or-la, this simple and sweet name was initially popular in the Middle Ages and is now making a comeback. A shortened version of Orlaith, Orla means golden princess in Gaelic. You won’t find it much around the United States, but it’s a much-beloved name in Irish culture. Moreover, who can argue with the idea of one’s little girl being a golden princess? With its easy pronunciation and spelling, this is a name that is both unique and easy for your little girl to carry as she grows up. We also just really like how it sounds!
Pronounced ro-sheen, this name comes from the Latin moniker Rosa and – perhaps not surprisingly – has the meaning little rose. In the 1800s, the name grew to symbolize Irish poetry and the cultural tradition of shielding then-outlawed patriotic verse as love songs. In use since the sixteenth century, it came to prominence in the character of Roisin Dubh in poetry as translated by James Clarence Mangan in 1835. We think that the history of beautiful rebellion connected with poetry resounds wonderfully in this name, and that it might pair well with a single-syllable middle name such as Fawn.
The diminutive for Rian, or little king, this name (which is pronounced ry-anne) brings an element of royalty to your little girl’s life. The name comes from the Irish surname O’Riain, or descendant of Rian. Celebrities who share this name include romance novelist Ryanne Corey, guitarist and actress Ryanne van Dorst, actress Ryanne Kettner, and fellow actress Ryanne Duzich. Since royalty looms large in Irish legend and history, you can rest assured that using this name offers true significance for your little princess. The diminutive is also an indicator of extra affection for your new baby, making the name even more special!
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Pronounced seer-sha, this pretty name may be purely Irish Gaelic but is not terribly traditional. It is the Gaelic word for freedom – one of the greatest gifts you can give any child. It grew to prominence as a statement of freedom in the 1920s during times of revolution. Irish parents began adopting this name in the 20th century and many Americans came to know it via the actress Saoirse Ronan. Today this pretty, luminous name is gaining favor throughout Ireland and is showing itself in the United States as well, even though debates are raging over its correct pronunciation!
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While this name technically means man of arms, it also connotes a confident, sophisticated sound for a girl. In recent history, a group of upper-class young women who lived near hip Sloane Square in London began calling themselves the Sloane Rangers. This happened in the 1980s, and at the same time, one of the main characters in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was also named Sloane. The name is often used to define a privileged, elegant being … and someone worthy of top-notch treatment. We can’t think of a better way to refer to your little girl!
Do you have a favorite from these Irish baby girl names?