Yesterday we had a look through Ireland's top boys' names and compared them to our own. While there was definitely some overlap, there were a couple of new names, a few unexpected appearances, and some surprising omissions! Today it's the turn of the girls, so without much further ado: here's the top 10 Irish girls' names of 2016, plus a few honorable mentions!
Emily Emily has been in America's top 10 for nearly 30 years, so we weren't particularly surprised to see it top Ireland's list. Over the last 5 years, Emily has been slipping from its previous place of ascendancy in America, so it will be interesting to see if that same trend repeats itself across the pond.
Grace One of the most accessible of all the traditional virtue names, Grace has been a consistently popular name across the English speaking world for at least the last 20 years. It's simple, elegant and approachable, and is likely to remain a strong contender among parents across the world.
Ava Matched for third place on both the SSA and Irish lists! The Irish name Aoife has a similar ring to it (EE-fa), and was #15 last year in the country. It means 'beautiful, radiant' and could be a beautiful choice for your little girl, as long as the spelling of it doesn't intimidate you too much! The direct Irish translation for Ava is Eabha (AY-va), and it also makes an appearance lower down on the list, at #45, but we think that that might be too much of a spelling/pronounciation hurdle to import into the US.
Lucy A name which has been popular for quite some time in Ireland and the UK, but which the US is only recently catching up to. It is an extremely sweet name meaning 'light'. The Irish for Lucy is Luiseach, but is very, very rarely used. More likely to succeed here is Laoise (lee-sha), which also means 'light', and is connected to the Celtic god, Lugh. It will definitely cause confusion for Americans, but since Saoirse entered the top 1000 for the first time last year, Laoise could be the quirky new name of 2017!
Sophie Sophie means 'wisdom' and is hugely popular everywhere … Except the US! Last year it was just outside our top 100, and it continues to drop! Much more popular among prospective American parents are Sophia (#4) and Sofia (#14), but personally, we like the playful Sophie! For a really, really unique alternative, Sadhbh comes in at #57 on the Irish list. Though, to be honest: meaning 'sweet, goodness' and pronounced SIGH-v, we think this name might have about three too many consonants to make it decipherable in the states!
Emma America's top choice for three years in a row, and a popular choice among Irish parents. For something a little different, we like Emer (EE-mur) which is the Irish for 'swift'. In the mythological cycles, Emer was an incredibly beautiful, witty and intelligent woman, married to ancient Ireland's primary hero, Cu Chulainn.
Mia A really cross-cultural winner, appearing on top 10 lists from Ireland to Australia, the US to the UK, and quite a few other places in between!! It's a diminutive form of Maria, and means 'bitter'. It is an extremely simple, though elegant and friendly choice, which explains its massive appeal. But if you're looking for something completely unique and fresh, try Ireland's #24, Fiadh. Pronounced fee-a, it means 'wild, wild deer'. To make it more accessible, it could be anglicized to Fia.
Hannah One of America's most loved biblical names for girls, it has nonetheless seen a massive drop off in popularity in recent years. After nearly a decade of being in the top 5 in the late 90s, early noughties, Hannah is currently experiencing a slump at #33.