If you’ve found yourself wondering onto this random part of the internet, it’s likely that you’ve been struck with curiosity about the origins of a certain name that sounds a bit Irish, but you aren’t sure. Also, it is likely that it is 2am and you have work in the morning!
Or perhaps you’ve been caught up in a heated debate over a few pints about whether a name has its roots in the Emerald Isle, and you’re in desperate need of an answer to claim victory.Either way, welcome!
Irish names are a delightful blend of sing-song like sounds. Sometimes they have ancient origins, and to the non-Irish ear, they may even sound a bit exotic.
Our quest today is to determine if a name has its roots in the Irish language, known in Ireland and in Irish as ‘Gaeilge’. With each name on our list below, we’ll either unveil its Irish origins or debunk the myth once and for all.
So, whether you’re a proud Irish person, a member of our wide Irish diaspora, a name enthusiast, or simply someone with an insatiable curiosity for all things Irish and Celtic, we invite you to join us and check out our list of certified or debunked Irish names.
Grab your favorite cuppa (or a pint), sit back, and let’s explore the captivating world of Irish names.
Is Cormac an Irish Name?
Cormac is an Irish name! It originates from the Gaelic name “Cormac,” which is composed of two elements: “corb,” meaning “chariot” or “raven,” and “mac,” meaning “son” So, the name Cormac can be translated to “son of the chariot” or “son of the raven”.
Cormac has a strong presence in Irish history and mythology. One of the most famous bearers of the name was Cormac mac Airt, a legendary High King of Ireland. The name remains popular in Ireland to this day (my best friend growing up was named Cormac so I can attest to its popularity).
Is Dutton an Irish Name?
Dutton is not an Irish name. It is of English origin. The name Dutton is a locational surname, which means it was originally used to identify individuals who lived in or near a place called Dutton.
Over time, the name Dutton may have spread to other regions, including Ireland, through migration and intermarriage, but its roots are English.
Is McNeil an Irish Name?
McNeil is a surname that can have both Scottish and Irish origins. In both cases, it is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name “Mac Néill,” which means “son of Niall.” The name Niall itself is of Gaelic origin and means “champion” or “cloud” depending on the context. Niall of the Nine Hostages is a famous holder of this name.
In Ireland, the surname typically appears in the northern parts of Ireland, particularly in Ulster, where Scottish settlers and their descendants have lived for centuries. So, while McNeil can have both Scottish and Irish connections, it is essential to trace the specific family history to determine which origin is more applicable in a particular case.
Is Brown an Irish Name?
Brown can be an Irish name, but it is also a common surname of English and Scottish origins. In Ireland, the surname Brown sometimes comes from the Anglicization of the Gaelic name “Ó Bruáin” or “Mac Bruáin,” which means “descendant of Bruáin” or “son of Bruáin,” respectively.
However, Brown is more commonly associated with English and Scottish origins. Due to migration, intermarriage, and cultural exchange over the centuries, Brown has become a widespread surname in Ireland. To determine if a specific Brown family has Irish, English, or Scottish roots, it would be necessary to research the family’s genealogy and trace their lineage.
Yes, Casey is an Irish name. It is derived from the Gaelic surname “Ó Cathasaigh,” which means “descendant of Cathasach” The name Cathasach is formed from two elements: “cath,” meaning “battle,” and “sach,” meaning “vigilant” or “watchful” So, the name Casey can be translated as “descendant of the vigilant one in battle”.
Is Casey an Irish Name?
Yes, Casey is an Irish name. I knew many Casey’s growing up and still do. It comes from the Gaelic surname “Ó Cathasaigh,” which means “descendant of Cathasach” The name Cathasach is formed from two elements: “cath,” meaning “battle,” and “sach,” meaning “vigilant” or “watchful” So, the name Casey can be translated as “descendant of the vigilant one in battle” Pretty cool!
The Casey surname has been predominantly associated with the provinces of Munster and Leinster in Ireland.
Is Daniel an Irish Name?
Daniel is not uniquely Irish, but it is a popular name in Ireland and has been for centuries. The name Daniel has its origins in the Hebrew language. Though the name Daniel has ancient Semitic origins, it became widely used in many cultures, including Irish, due to its prominence in the Bible.
In Ireland, Daniel has been used as a name and a surname (such as O’Daniel or McDaniel, which are Anglicized forms of the Gaelic names “Ó Dónaill” and “Mac Dónaill”).
Is Malone an Irish Name?
Yes, Malone is an Irish name. It is an anglicized version of the Gaelic surname “Ó Maoil Eoin,” which means “descendant of the follower of St. John” The Malone surname is predominantly associated with the province of Leinster in Ireland, particularly in the counties of Westmeath and Offaly.
Is Delaney an Irish Name?
Yes, Delaney is an Irish name. It is an anglicized version of the Gaelic surname “Ó Dubhshláine” or “Ó Dubhshláinte”. The Delaney surname has strong associations with the province of Leinster in Ireland, particularly in the counties of Laois, Kilkenny, and Carlow.
Is Fitzgerald an Irish Name?
This could be contentions but we believe that Fitzgerald can be considered an Irish name. It is an Anglo-Norman surname introduced to Ireland during the Norman invasion in the 12th century. The name Fitzgerald is derived from the Old Norman-French “fils de Gérald,” which means “son of Gerald”
The Fitzgerald family became one of the most powerful and influential Anglo-Norman families in Ireland. They established themselves primarily in the province of Munster, where they held large estates and became known as the Geraldines. Two significant branches of the Fitzgerald family are the Earls of Desmond and the Earls of Kildare.
Despite its Norman origins, the Fitzgerald surname has been deeply ingrained in Irish culture and history for centuries which is why we think it is fair to classify it as an Irish name.
Is McLaughlin an Irish Name?
Yes, McLaughlin is an Irish name. It is an anglicized form of the Gaelic surname “Mac Lochlainn,” which means “son of Lochlainn” The personal name Lochlainn itself has a few possible origins, one being derived from the Old Norse name “Lochlann,” which referred to someone from Norway or Scandinavia (historically known as the “land of the lochs” in Irish). Another possibility is that it comes from the Gaelic elements “loch,” meaning “lake,” and “lann,” meaning “land”
The McLaughlin surname is primarily associated with the northern parts of Ireland, particularly in the province of Ulster and the county of Donegal. The McLaughlin family was once a powerful and influential Irish dynasty, claiming descent from the ancient kings of Aileach.
Is Doyle an Irish Name?
Yes, Doyle is an Irish name. It is an anglicized version of the Gaelic surname “Ó Dubhghaill,” which means “descendant of Dubhghall” The personal name Dubhghall is composed of two elements: “dubh,” meaning “black” or “dark,” and “gall,” meaning “stranger” or “foreigner” In this context, “black stranger” or “dark foreigner” would refer to someone of Viking or Scandinavian descent. This seems a bit funny to us as we considered the Vikings to be light haired, but the Irish considered them to be dark.
The Doyle surname is strongly associated with the province of Leinster in Ireland, especially in the counties of Wexford, Wicklow, and Dublin. The name has its origins in the times when Vikings were settling and intermingling with the native Irish population.
Is Fitzpatrick an Irish Name?
Like Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick is a contentious one but we would say that Fitzpatrick is an Irish name. It is an Anglo-Norman surname introduced to Ireland during the Norman invasion in the 12th century. The name Fitzpatrick is derived from the Old Norman-French “fils de Patrice,” which means “son of Patrick”
The Fitzpatrick family settled primarily in the province of Leinster, especially in the counties of Kilkenny and Laois. They became one of the most prominent Anglo-Norman families in the region, establishing themselves as the Lords of Upper Ossory. Over time, the Fitzpatrick family intermarried with the native Irish population and adopted Irish customs, making the name an integral part of Irish heritage.
Is Shelby an Irish Name?
Shelby is not an Irish name. I wonder are you here because of Thomas Shelby from the Peaky Blinders? Anyway, it is a name of English origin. It is also a locational surname, which means it was originally used to identify individuals who lived in or near a place called Shelby.
There are several places in England with names like Shelby or Shelbey, most notably in the counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Over time, the name Shelby may have spread to other regions, including Ireland, through migration and intermarriage.
Is Barnett an Irish Name?
Barnett is not an Irish name. It is primarily of English origin. The surname Barnett is derived from either a locational or a personal name. As a locational surname, it is connected to the various places called “Barnet” or “Burnet” in England, most notably in Hertfordshire, where the name originated.
Is Finlay an Irish Name?
Finlay is a name with both Scottish and Irish origins. In both cases, it is derived from the Gaelic name “Fionnlagh,” which means “white warrior” or “fair-haired warrior.”
In Scotland, the Finlay name is more commonly found as a given name and a surname. It has strong connections to Scottish culture and history, and several variations of the name, such as Findlay, Finley, and MacKinlay, exist.
In Ireland, Finlay is less common but still found as a surname and a given name, often with similar variations. The name may have been introduced to Ireland through cultural exchange and intermarriage between the Irish and the Scots, particularly in the northern regions of the country.
Is Reynolds an Irish Name?
We wish we could claim Ryan Reynolds as 100% Irish, but it is a name with both English and Irish origins. In its Irish form, the name is an anglicized version of the Gaelic surname “Mac Raghnaill” or “Mag Raghnaill,” which means “son of Raghnall” or “descendant of Raghnall.” This name itself comes from Viking origins.
The Reynolds surname in Ireland is most strongly associated with the provinces of Connacht and Ulster, particularly in the counties of Leitrim, Longford, and Cavan. There was also a powerful Irish clan in County Meath called the “O’Raghnaill” or “O’Reynolds.”
However, Reynolds is also an English surname, and in this context, it is derived from the Old English name “Regenweald,” which has a similar meaning to the Old Norse “Rögnvaldr.” In England, the Reynolds name is primarily found in the southern and eastern parts of the country.
We hope you enjoyed our list of names and breakdowns of their origins. If you have any suggestions to add to the list, comment below and we will get researching! Why not check out our full list of Celtic and Irish boy names and Celtic and Irish girl names?