Forenames

Below are some common Irish names and their meanings.

Aidan

Aodhán -This comes from Áedán which was a diminutive of Áed (later Aodh) meaning fire.

Anne

Áine - The Irish equivalent of Anne is Áine

Brendan

Bréanainn - The original name in old Irish was Bréanainn.

Bridget

Bríd - This name means ‘the exalted one’. She was the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom and daughter of the god Dagda. Again, the name did not become common here until the 17th century out of deference to the fifth century Saint Brighid.

Catherine

Caitríona - The name Catherine was originally a Greek name. Other Irish forms include Caitlín, Cáit and Ríona.

Charles

Searlus - Although sometimes the name Cathal is used, the names are not historically related.

Colm

Colm - Variant of Colum and Columba meaning ‘dove.’ Spelt the same in Irish and English. The fifth century St Columba or Colmcille of Iona is credited with christianising Scotland. St Columbanus of Bangor later established monasteries throughout Europe.

Conor

Conchúr - From Conchobhar meaning ‘dog lover’. The name has been in use in Ireland for many centuries.

Donal

Dónall - From Domhnall this name means ‘ruler of the world.’

Elizabeth

Éilis - An Irish form of Elizabeth which has its origins in the Greek and Hebrew languages.

James

Séamas - An Irish version of the English name James which derives from the Latin Iacomus.

John

Eoin - Eoin is the Irish for John, e.g Eoin Baiste - John the Baptist.

Mark

Marcas - From the Latin name Marcus, which probably come from Mars, the Roman god of war.

Michael

Mícheál - The name Michael comes from the Hebrew and means ‘who is like God.’

Patricia

Pádraigín - A feminine form of Pádraig

Patrick

Pádraig - After St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. From the Latin Patricius meaning nobleman. The name did not become common here until the 17th century as it was considered too sacred to use.

Sarah

Sorcha - This means radiant in Irish, being the opposite of 'dorcha' meaning dark and is often used as the equivalent of Sarah. Sorcha is pronounced with the aid of an extra vowel between the ‘r’ and the ‘c’ which sound like Sor-a-ha.

Sheila

Síle - An Irish version of Cecilia, which derives from the Latin.

Thomas

Tomás - This comes via the Greek from the Aramaic and means twin.

William

Liam - William is referred to as Liam, the determined protector.