15 Uncommon Celtic Names for Boys
It’s tough these days to walk onto a playground and not hear “Liam,” “Owen,” or “Connor.” Today’s moms and dads have embraced the Celtic sound, and for good reason - these names balance a boyish vibe with friendliness and flair. However, finding an appealing name in this style that’s not taken by five other boys in his class - there’s the challenge!
Here are fifteen names that fit the bill - masculine and modern, these names all have an amicable feeling and Celtic background without being too popular. If you’re looking for a name outside the top 500 for your little one, this is the list for you.
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Lorcan. With the fabulous meaning of “little fierce one,” Lorcan is a force to be reckoned with. It’s fairly popular in Ireland, being the name of several ancient Irish kings, but this handsome choice has yet to cross the pond. Might Lorcan soon join the ranks of modern favorites Landon and Logan?
Teague. Now that Teagan has been claimed by the girls, Teague feels like an ideal alternative for the boys. It comes from the name Tadhg, meaning “poet,” and would work well as an honorific for a writer. Teague also fits well with the modern trend towards surnames-as-first-names, if you’re a fan of the style.
Eamon. Pronounced “AY-mun,” this name might cause some confusion at first - but it has so many wonderful qualities that it’s more than worth it. It’s an Irish form of the name Edmund, with plenty of namesakes in history, politics, and entertainment. With a dapper tone and a friendly vibe, Eamon is an uncommon choice just ripe for the picking.
Angus. While the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand have embraced this vintage choice, the United States has yet to follow suit. In Celtic mythology, Angus was the god of love and youth - an inspiring backstory. The nickname Gus is darling, but longer form Angus feels rugged, adventurous, and retro to boot.
Colman. Sources vary on Colman’s history - it’s either an Irish derivative of Columba, or an occupational surname variation. Either way, Colman fits in well with contemporary picks like Cole or Colin, but maintains its own refined air. In addition, Colman has a long history as both a royal name and a saint’s name, adding to its charm.
Murphy. Cute on a boy and confident on a man, Murphy has an unparalleled personality. It’s the most popular surname in Ireland, which could appeal to American parents honoring their ancestral roots. While the television show “Murphy Brown” focused on a female lead, Murphy is the kind of name that wears well on both boys and girls.
Lachlan. Originally a Scottish name for Norse invaders, Lachlan could work well for families with both Scandinavian and Celtic heritage. This dashing choice has been worn by athletes, politicians, and musicians, making it an attractive name for all types. It’s particularly popular in Australia, but currently only ranks at #700 on the US top 1000.
Finnian. With the rise of adorable Finn, many parents are on the lookout for a longer form that adds more substance to the stylish pick. Why not choose classic Finnian? It was worn by several Irish saints, and graced the Broadway stage in “Finian’s Rainbow.” Simple yet sweet, Finnian is a great mix of history and the here-and-now.
Conall. Strong and sophisticated, Conall is a great substitute for popular Connor with a more unusual vibe. The name adorns a hero in Irish legend, as well as both a king and a saint in the Middle Ages, making it an especially noble option. Conall comes from a name meaning “strong as a wolf” - a cool trait for a marvelous name.
Duncan. An historically royal Scottish name, debonair Duncan is also known for it’s literary prominence - it’s featured in all kinds of classic writing, from Shakespeare to Cooper to Irving. Kids will appreciate the connection to Thomas the Tank Engine, as well as A Series of Unfortunate Events. Despite its pop culture prestige, Duncan has always flown just under the radar in name trends, giving it a sense of timelessness.
Torin. From an Irish Gaelic word meaning “chief,” Torin is a more accessible alternative to Thor and a more unique alternative to Tristan. While it fits in with modern sounds, Torin has never ranked on the US top 1000, making it rather uncommon. If you’re looking for a name that’s both pleasant and powerful, Torin might be the choice for you.
Brogan. While this name sounds like a combination of Brody and Logan, Brogan is actually an old Irish surname with a jovial vibe. It’s been used for both boys and girls, but Brogan fits in better with names like Brandon and Brady. Saint Brogan was the nephew and scribe of Saint Patrick, adding another Irish connection.
Kiernan. A variation of Kieran, Kiernan is another Celtic surname with an historic background centuries old. Though the most notable namesake is actress Kiernan Brennan Shipka, the name works well for both genders. This lovely choice - meaning “little dark one” - has a kind and spirited personality.
Dermot. Dermot is a modern variation on the name of a warrior from Irish mythology, as well as the name of some early Celtic kings and saints. Modern actor Dermot Mulroney helped make it familiar in the US, but this gorgeous choice has yet to be popularized. Cheerful nickname Derry makes it a bit more friendly as well.
Thane. A title for certain noblemen in ancient Scotland, Thane is a suave option that’s similar to favorites Shane and Zane. It’s been recorded in the US as far back as 1916, but has never been used for more than 58 boys in any given year. An old-fashioned yet edgy choice, Thane is a memorable name with style.