Modern Monikers

names to think about

Irish Faves for Boys

I have a soft spot for Irish boy names. They just seem so masculine, distinguished, and slightly unique to me. Here are some of my favorites from the Emerald Isle.

Cian (KEE-an)- Cian reminds me of the really popular -an names a la Aidan, Keegan, Brendan (which are all Irish), but it still remains a fresh choice. Its meaning, “ancient” gives a nod to yesteryear while remaining modern.

Cormac – This strong name, with its rustic meaning (“tree trunk”), is aces in my book. I’m not sure that it can get much better than Cormac. Famous bearer, author Cormac McCarthy, gives this name a literary edge. Trade in the tired Corey nickname for spunky, friendly Mac, and you’ve got a winner.

Desmond – Ah, Desmond. Once thought of as only the name of Bishop Tutu, it has been brought back into the limelight, thanks to Henry Ian Cusick’s character on the ABC mega-hit, Lost. The meaning, “man from south Munster”, isn’t much to write home about, but the nicknames Des and Desi may be enough to nudge you in his camp.

Flynn – Given new credence from Disney’s Tangled, Flynn has a fresh spirit that is a great replacement for Finn. Although the meaning, “son of the red-haired one” is slightly awkward, it remains a solid choice for those wanting a simple, earthy name.

Rafferty – Rafferty has an old-school quality that is becoming very hip. Meaning “prosperity”, Rafferty was chosen by Jude Law for his son. I love the nicknames Rafe and Raff to make the stoic Rafferty a bit more approachable.

Rory – While having a similar beginning and ending as Rafferty, Rory has a decidedly different feel. Rory is much more light-hearted that has slowly shifted to the girls’ side. However, at #750 in 2010, the masculine Rory is more popular than the feminine one. Meaning “red king” Rory is all-boy to me. It also doesn’t hurt to be the namesake of a male Doctor Who companion.

Seamus – While Sean is the Irish form of John, Seamus is the Irish form of James. With its meaning, “supplanter”, light nickname, Sea (Shay), and Harry Potter connection, I am surprised it isn’t higher on the list; at #878, it’s even lower than Rory. But I have a feeling it could climb higher if more people realize all it has going for it.

What are some of your favorite Irish names for boys?


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