Ireland's Favorite Boys Names

Blog > Ireland's Favorite Boys Names
Posted on: June 9th, 2017by Ruth Fitzpatrick

Here at Nameslist, we are always on the lookout for cute name-spiration, and monitoring global as well as national trends. While we're still busy trawling through the SSA's statistics, we spotted that Ireland has just released its 2016 figures and thought we should compare! After all: America loves Irish names, so we might just 2017's hottest name!

James The number one name in Ireland last year was America's #5, so clearly James has a huge amount of appeal across the English speaking world, and beyond. The Irish variant, Seamus, didn't even make their list though: parents in Ireland definitely favor the classic. But, the SSA does list Seamus: last year in the States, 217 baby boys were given this name!

Jack Hugely popular in Ireland, Scotland and England, Jack was the 38th most used name last year in the States. It's a strong, sturdy name with a lot of character, and we think it could easily creep back into the top 25 here in the very near future!

Daniel A name which has been in the top 15 of almost every English speaking country for the last 4 decades! It has a huge amount of cross-cultural appeal, and is also extremely popular in France, Spain and Germany.

Conor Phew! We though we weren't going to find any Irish names on the Irish list! Conor was #323 last year in the States, but the lengthier variant, Connor, reached the lofty heights of #54. Conor means 'lover of hounds', and the shorter form, Conn, simply means 'hounds'.

Sean The Irish for John, Sean has made somewhat of a nosedive here in the States: for a period of three decades, up until 1998, Sean was consistently in the US top 50. Currently, though, it sits at #233.

Noah America's favorite is Ireland's 6th favorite! It's difficult to know if Ireland has been influenced by the US here, or if this is just part of a global trend to the takeover of Noahs!

Adam Consistently in America's top 100 since 1970, Adam's popularity has dropped off slightly in recent names, with parents favoring more trendy Old Testament names, like Noah, Elijah and Isaac. For more adventurous parents on the lookout for a more unique choice, the similar sounding name Abban (OB-awn), which means 'little abbot' in Irish, could be an option.

Oisin Pronounced USH-een, this one might find it hard to make it big in the States. Pronunciation and spelling issues aside, though, it is a really pretty name. It means 'little deer', and one of its earliest namesakes was a mythological hero and adventurer.

Michael 9th place in Ireland, 8th in the US! The Irish for Michael is Micheál (pronounced MEE-hawl), but as with James/Seamus, the classic prevails.

Luke Parents in the US prefer Lucas, but the original has been steadily rising in popularity here too. It's a very accessible name with some serious cool-boy attitude.

Honorable mentions:

America's favorite Irish name (and 2nd favorite, overall), Liam, hasn't received as much love in its ancestral homeland. In 2016, it was Ireland's 14th most popular name. Another State-side favorite, Aiden, doesn't even make the list! But the slight variant, Aidan, comes in at #52.

#58, Senan (shah-nun), was a new one for us, but we think it could definitely be used in the States, and would make an awesome and fresh alternative to Sean. Meaning 'old, wise', it also sounds similar to Ireland's largest river, the Shannon.

#68, Donnacha, looks a little intimidating at first, but we can see it becoming used more and more here. Pronounced done-aka, it has a very pleasing melodious sounding brogue to it, and it means 'brown-haired warrior'.

#83, Cormac, could be used as an extremely unique alternative to the super popular Connor. The original Cormac was an ancient Irish king, and the name means 'charioteer'.

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