Let me guess: your children know two Liams, a Finn, a Finley, three Aidans (albeit with three different spellings), a girl Rowan and a boy Rowan. Not to mention you’re married to a Polish guy named Kevin. Am I right?
Point is, Irish names are nothing new. They hold quite an appeal right now for those who wish to honor their Gaelic ancestry as well as for those in search of something with an amiable sound. Trouble is, when names start to get diluted like this, they lose a bit of their ring of authenticity.
If you want your child to wear kelly green year round as it were, consider one of these lesser used choices from the Emerald Isle.
It’s true that the spellings will give you fits. In some cases the authentic spelling seems the best choice, but some of them are so far from obvious that perhaps the anglicized spelling makes more sense. I’m curious: in cases where more than one spelling is listed, which do you prefer and why?
1) Angus, Aonghus- Yes, it’s a burger. Yes, I hear that. But if you can get beyond the obvious reference, this could really be quite cute.
2) Cian, pronounced “Kean”
3) Kieran, Ciaran- Familiarity will help this name shed its somewhat feminine image
4) Clancy- The only surname you’ll find here, this strikes me as a peppy alternative to the oft heard Brody and Brady.
5) Cormac- The mac sounds like “mick” in Ireland; made famous by America’s own Cormac McCarthy
6) Declan, Deaglán- Great potential to make inroads into with the rabid “two syllable ends in N” crowd
7) Dermot, Diarmaid- Said something like “JEER-mid” in Ireland, what do we think of the Anglicized spelling and pronunciation?
8 ) Desmond- Thanks to LOST, I’m sure this name is no longer lost on many an American family.
9) Eamon- Pronounced “AY-mun”, this one’s pretty easy on the eyes and the tongue.
10) Fergus, Fearghas- Save this for the artsy crew.
11) Lorcan- Suitable for Connor’s baby brother, no?
12) Malachy, Maeleachlainn- I think it’s safe to say the Anglicized spelling works better here.
13) Riordan- What could be a sweeter meaning than “little poet king”?
14) Ronan- A Gaelic contender in my own family perhaps, strong but affable.
15) Seamus- They say “SHAY-muss.”
16) Teague, Tadhg- Another one I’m personally drawn to, but I can never for the life of me remember how the original is spelled.
17) Torin- A new discovery for me, but has the ring of other unrelated familiars like Soren and Tobin.