Favorite Irish/Celtic Girl Names?

Due in 3 weeks...I would like to use an Irish/Celtic name as our last name is super Italian (3 syllables, begins with F) and I'm not Italian. 

What are your favorite Irish/Celitic girl names? 



November 10, 2015 12:40 PM

Quinn might work for you.

November 10, 2015 1:29 PM

My sister Sh0na's name is lovely I think. I also really like Orla and Aoife (Eefa), and Aisling (Ay-shlin). Not sure if you were looking for anglified Celtic names or crazy original spelling ones?

Since my family really cornered the market on both versions, I'll also throw in Siobhan, Eilidh, Caitlin, Fionnula, Dervla, and Niamh.

November 10, 2015 4:09 PM

I second Orla, Niamh, and Fionnula. I'll also offer Maeve, Fiona, Isla, Bridget.

November 10, 2015 6:30 PM

I agree, Fionnula is a great idea- it is sometimes anglicised as Fenella, which I think would also work nicely with an Italian surname. Maeve is a really nice suggestion, too -- such a crisp, short name to set off a long and rollicking surname (as many Italian names are).

November 11, 2015 2:18 AM

I've also seen it spelled Finnola, which lends itself to nn Nola. I think it's adorable but I haven't managed to persuade hubs.

November 10, 2015 6:21 PM

There is a nice list of Irish girl names on behindthename.com.  You can also go to the homepage and seach by Scottish, Welsh, etc.


Personally, I really like Fiona, Maeve, Maura & Moira, Isla, Lilias, Carys & Guinevere.

November 10, 2015 8:04 PM

Thanks for all the ideas so far! 

November 11, 2015 7:32 AM


- Orlagh/Orla

- Sinead

- Maeve (anglocised version of Maebh)

- Aoife

- Alannah

- Catriona

- Elva (anglocised version of Ailbhe)

Considering pronouncitation I think the best are Maeve, Orla/Orlagh and Alannah

November 11, 2015 9:26 PM



November 11, 2015 11:19 PM

I can only think of Catriona (pronounced Catrina or with the O) Caitlin/Caitlyn, Bronwen/Bronwyn, Winifred, Gwendolen/Gwendolyn, Rhiannon, Isolde, Erin and Elspeth.

November 14, 2015 1:13 AM

have you decided?

June 20, 2016 2:16 PM

Long overdue, but we went with Grace and couldn't be happier :)

June 20, 2016 10:35 PM

Congratulations! Grace is a beautiful name.

By mk
November 14, 2015 11:39 PM

I've always liked Aoife.

December 3, 2015 12:51 PM

Due in 3 weeks...I would like to use an Irish/Celtic name as our last name is super Italian (3 syllables, begins with F) and I'm not Italian.

December 3, 2015 4:24 PM

Did you see Laura E's blog post last month? "15 Fresh Celtic Girls' Names" http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2015/11/15-fresh-celtic-girls-names

December 4, 2015 6:27 PM

It should be noted that some of the "girls" names on the list are actually masculine names.  In some cases (e.g., Emlyn) Ms. Enerson acknowledges this.  However, Wynne/Wyn/Wynn is a masculine name. derived from Gwyn which is also masculine, not feminine at all.  Someone contemplating Wynn for a girl may not care that it is a masculine name, but at least should be aware that it is.

December 4, 2015 5:38 PM

Does Gwenllian count? Also, Bridget.

December 4, 2015 11:07 PM

Aoife, Dervla, Deirdre, Maeve, Sive, Niamh.

December 4, 2015 11:16 PM

I'd like to offer a word of caution that a first and last name that are very strongly rooted in different cultures can be offputting at times... It depends on the exact combination, though, and how common each name is. Caitlin Bosco wouldn't even be noticeable. Siobhan Borgogni would definitely surprise me.

It's up to you, of course, where you feel comfortable. But here are a few names that I personally think have the potential to work with a very Italian name, but are low enough in popularity that they still retain their national flavor:









December 5, 2015 7:16 AM

I agree that culture clash within a name can cause a bit of mental whiplash. This is especially true for language combinations like Irish plus Italian, because they have such totally different spelling rules. (Irish uses the Roman alphabet just to confuse foreigners.)

December 5, 2015 3:28 PM

I know that folks who have commented on this don't mean it this way, but I really need to say something about names that "don't match" culturally.

FWIW, I like names with contrast, particularly when both parts of the name represent different parts of the individual's heritage or other personal history. I have a Japanese last name (from dad's heritage) and Welsh-ish first name (from mom's), and have many, many friends with non-European last names but western first names, so it seems "normal" to me. If I met a Siobhan Abbraciabene or whatever I would find it charming, and assume that she had both Irish and Italian heritage, or perhaps Italian parents with some particular connection to Irish culture.

It's much less common now than when I was growing up for people to stare at my family, or to ask me "what ARE you?" but it still rubs me wrong to hear that maybe I should water down my naming preferences to pander to folks who might be put off by a "mixed" marriage (or my mixed children). I don't see any reason why an Irish/Italian pair of parents should do so, either.

December 5, 2015 3:36 PM

On this topic I am always put in mind of the newscaster Soledad O'Brien.  Her mother is Afro-Cuban, her father Irish-Australian, and according to Wikipedia her parents met attending Mass when they were at Johns Hopkins.  Her siblings are Maria, Cecilia, Tony, Estela, and Orestes.

December 6, 2015 12:19 PM

As an aside, I went to grad school with a different Soledad O'Brien. She is Spanish and her husband Irish-American. I thought it a striking combination when I met her and was doubly surprised when I first became aware of the newscaster.

December 5, 2015 3:56 PM

I don't share your personal history with this, I'm pretty solidly a western Euromutt, but I totally agree with the sentiment. It might be confusing or disorienting to others, but I would think a child would be proud to have names that represented different parts of their heritage. And we shouldn't be choosing names for our children based on the opinions of strangers.

December 5, 2015 7:36 PM

I'm not opposed to mixed-culture names as a species -- quite the contrary, in fact -- but I do think that different sound-to-letter associations in different parts of a name should generally be avoided if possible. There are exceptions: if a name is well-known and common enough, then it becomes essentially a "sight word", and the internal workings of its orthography aren't all that relevant, so it's easier to mix it with a different orthographic system. So Sean Siena works (because I'm familiar with the names), but a combination like Aoibhe Aiello is just... too confusing, for me.

December 5, 2015 7:50 PM

Bad example. :) Aoibhe on its own is too confusing already; no last name is going to change that.

December 5, 2015 11:45 PM

I would have thought that Sean was widely familiar, but we have a local tv newscaster here named Sean McLaughlin who pronounces his name Seen (yes, like the past participle of see).  Makes me nuts....

December 5, 2015 11:38 PM

Illustrating that opinions vary widely, I actually find the origin contrast between the different components of a name to be one of my favorite things in a name. I think it can require a little extra care that the two pronunciation schemes for the particular names involved flow together well, granted, but I've never seen any examples of this that DIDN'T work for me. Encountering a name where the first and surname have very apparently divergent origins in the wild always gives me a moment of great happiness to be living in a country where people have diverse ancestries and can celebrate them with naming. So, Aoife Fiondella? Siobhan Brunelli? Maeve Buonarotti? All totally fine by me. For all the people for whom that induces whiplash or a moment of cognitive dissonance, there will be people who are particularly cheered by it as well... so I think I'd proceed with the call name you like most, provided that the sounds in it are not awkward in combination with the surname. (By which I mean that I'd say no to Fionuala Agnelli just because I find it hard to say -a A- combined with multiple l sounds.)

December 6, 2015 12:44 AM

I seem to have sparked a bit of a debate, and so I thought I would clarify my intentions a little...

By no means do I have anything against embracing a child's different heritages, whether with her name or in any other way. I was merely offering a warning about the occasionally jarring effects of certain combinations to certain people. I then went on to list several, still clearly Irish, names that I thought might help to lessen that effect. :)

Most people fret an awful lot about making sure the first and last name sound good together, and I just wanted to point out a possible point of concern for this particular family. If you decide that you just don't care, then go for it!

January 2, 2018 11:04 PM













January 3, 2018 12:28 AM

Are you aware that you're replying to a thread from three years ago?

January 3, 2018 4:10 AM

oops, didnt even look at the date