Want to use the poetic Gaelic language to inspire your baby name search? Don’t miss our round-up of 40 popular Gaelic baby names.
Sprouted from a rich history and bearing a poetic, elegant feel, Gaelic baby names are a popular source of inspiration for many mamas-to-be.
To help you find the perfect fit for your peanut, we’ve rounded up 40 of the most popular Gaelic names and meanings.
In this article 📝
- Is Gaelic Irish or Scottish?
- Gaelic girl names
- Gaelic boy names
Is Gaelic Irish or Scottish?
Gaelic refers to a group of languages spoken by the Gaels, people with a long history in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Irish and Scottish Gaelic are two distinct languages, even though they both stem from the same root—the Celtic language.
The options on our list stem from both Irish and Scottish origins and show the diversity of Gaelic baby name options available.
Gaelic girl names
We’ll start with the girls and then head on to the boys—but many of these names work just as well for any sex.
- Afton. Inspiration for this unusual name comes from the small Scottish river beautifully described in Robert Burns’ poem, Afton Water.
- Aigneis. If you want to give a classic girl’s name a Gaelic twist, Aigneis is the Gaelic version of Agnes, meaning “pure.”
- Ailsa. Gaelic baby names have a wide range of origin stories, and Ailsa is a brilliant example of this. In fact, it’s actually the name of a western Scottish island. Interestingly, it’s partly derived from an Old Norse name, and means “elf victory.”
- Airleas. This stunning name means “oath.”
- Aisling. This poetic Irish name means “vision” or “dream.” It’s recently burst onto the global scene thanks to actress Aisling Loftus and comedian Aisling Bea.
- Amber. This is one of the most popular Gaelic girl names on our list. If you want to choose a more common name with an Irish feel, Amber is a great choice. From its Gaelic roots, it means “fierce.”
- Blair. Any Gossip Girl fan will immediately think of the show’s iconic, feisty, fashionable character. This chic Scottish Gaelic name means “meadow” or “battlefield.”
- Casey. This popular name likely comes from the Irish Gaelic word cathasaigh and means “vigilant.”
- Catriona. Recently brought into the spotlight by the speed skater Catriona LeMay, this name is a version of Katherine, which means “pure.”
- Donella. An unmistakably powerful Scottish Gaelic name, Donella means “world ruler.”
- Eithne. This is the Gaelic version of the name Edna and means “kernel” or “grain.”
- Keely. This is one of the most exquisite Irish girl names out there. Appropriately, it means “beautiful.”
- Maeve. Recently made famous by the lead female character in Netflix’s Sex Education, Maeve is a classic Irish Gaelic girl’s name. It’s at once simple and stylish, and means either “the intoxicating one” or “she who rules.”
- Maille. This adorable Irish name is a rare treasure and means “pearl.”
- Oona. This one has Scottish roots and means “lamb” or “universal.”
- Quinn. Ever watched Glee? If so, you’ll know the name Quinn from one of the show’s lead characters. It means “head” and “wise.”
- Trina. We mentioned Catriona above, and here is its shortened sister name. Trina and Catriona are both Scottish Gaelic names that are versions of Katherine, meaning “pure.”
- Vevila. If you’re looking for distinctly Gaelic baby names, this is a must-add to your list. Vevila is a unique girl’s name meaning “woman with a melodious voice.”
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Gaelic boy names
- Adair. In addition to its place in Gaelic boy names, Adair also has Old English roots. It means both “happy spear” and a “ford at oak trees.”
- Aidan. Alternatively spelled as Aiden, this name means both “ardent” and “little fire.”
- Alastair. This popular Scottish Gaelic name can also be spelled Alasdair, and means “defender of men.”
- Angus. This iconic example of Scottish Gaelic names means “one choice.” The Irish version of the name is Aengus.
- Brody. This distinctive Gaelic baby name has held its place in the top 200 baby names in the United States and belongs to the famous Jenner sibling, Brody. It can also be spelled Brodie and means “ditch” or “muddy place.”
- Caoimhín. The Irish form of Kevin, Caoimhín means “noble birth.”
- Cian. Pronounced kee-an, this Irish Gaelic name means “ancient.”
- Cianán. For a slightly longer alternative, this is the Irish version of the name Keenan. It also means “ancient.”
- Cillian. Fans of the show Peaky Blinders will be familiar with this name as it belongs to lead actor Cillian Murphy. It means “small church” and can also be spelled Killian.
- Colm. Pronounced Collum, this peaceful Irish name means “dove.”
- Cormac. Although a popular name in Ireland and Scotland, Cormac is still quite unusual in other parts of the world. It was the name of the mythical Irish king Cormac mac Airt and belongs to the American novelist Cormac McCarthy. The name means “son of the charioteer.”
- Craig. This ever-popular name comes from the Scottish Gaelic word creag, meaning “rock.”
- Desmond. The name of the famous Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu, Desmond is an Irish Gaelic option. The name of a historical kingdom in southwestern Ireland, Desmond means “gracious defender.”
- Duncan. From its Scottish Gaelic roots, this powerful name means “dark warrior” or “chief.”
- Finley. Don’t be fooled by the sweetness of this name’s sound. It means “fair warrior.”
- Glen. This versatile name can be a surname, boy’s, or girl’s name. It originates from the word gleana, which means “valley.”
- Kade. Many Gaelic boy names are brilliantly distinctive, and Kade is no exception. It can also be spelled Caid, Caide, or lengthened to Kaden. It holds the poetic meaning “from the wetlands.”
- Lennon. It’s hard not to think of John Lennon when you hear this name. It has a few different meanings, including “cloak,” “blackbird,” and “lover.”
- Malcolm. This name has held its own in various parts of the world for decades. It refers to a devotee of Saint Columba who is credited with spreading Christianity in Scotland.
- Neil. This popular name has Irish roots and means “honor,” “champion,” or “cloud.”
- Owen. Owen is certainly one of the more well-known Gaelic baby names on our list. It means “noble,” “youthful,” and “well-born.”
- Riordan. Riordan is a name that can be used as a first name or a surname. In keeping with its lyrical feel, it means “royal poet.”
All the best with your choice!
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