Modern Monikers

names to think about

Irish Faves for Girls

Even though St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, I just can’t stop thinking about some of my favorite Irish names. Of course, these names may not be so easy to pronounce by just looking at them, but don’t let that ruin their charm.

Aoife (EE-fa)- This gorgeous Gaelic name, meaning “beautiful”, is one of my favorites. I think it makes a great, if uncommon, replacement for the super-trendy Bella.

Bridget – Also spelled “Brigid”, “Brighid”, “Brigitte”, etc., this lovely Irish name, meaning “strength, power” is just perfect. I has some great nicknames, from Bree to Biddy to Bridie, as well as a pop culture heroine in “Bridget Jones”. At #448 in SSA’s top 1,000 baby names, it isn’t too popular, yet remains recognizable.

Fionnuala (fin-OO-la)- Alright, this is a long shot, but I can’t help myself. This one has a ridiculous amount of spelling variations, from the simplified “Finola” to the long-winded “Fionnualagh” and everything in between. The meaning, “white shoulders” is somewhat odd, but the spunky nicknames, Finn and Nuala, are just too cute to pass up. She’s my guilty pleasure.

Maeve (mayv)- I love Maeve. Mae, Maevie, Maisie. I think Maeve could be the new Grace. Her meaning, “she who intoxicates” is certainly appropriate. I am just entranced by Maeve. And at #536, she’s not common, but not unheard of.

Moira (moy-rah)- Oh, I have a huge crush on Moira. It reminds me of Peter Pan when Wendy says her full name, “Wendy Moira Angela Darling”. I always feel like saying it with a British accent. Moira’s Irish meaning, “bitter” (it’s a variant of the uber-classic, Mary), is less appealing than its Greek one: “fate”. In Greek mythology, the Moirae (plural of Moira), also known as the Fates, are the keepers of the thread of life. They map out a person’s destiny and everyone, even the gods, bow to their will. Awesome.

Niamh (neev)- I know, the pronunciation makes no sense. But I love it. I could be the meaning (“bright”), it could be the simple one-syllable, it could even be the confusing pronunciation. Whatever it is, I think it’s gorgeous. But it may be better suited for the middle.

Sinead (shin-AID)- Despite the controvesrial namesake in Sinead O’Conner, I think Sinead is really pretty. Just say it out loud. Sinead. Ahhhh. So lovely. As a variant of John, Sinead means “God is gracious” and can be used to honor any bearer of a John variant (Jane, Ivan, Sean, Janet, Evan, etc.).

I just love these names, but I have a soft spot for monikers from the Emerald Isle. What are some of your favorite Irish names?

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