Wednesday, October 21, 2015

10 Irish Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Need an interesting Irish name for your little lad? These choices hit the sweet spot between unusual and familiar.

Caledon- Most people only recognize Caledon as the name of a supporting character in the Titanic movie, but he's originally a place name of sorts. Caledonia, from which he derived, is the Latin word for Scotland. So makes Caledon the perfect name for an Irish-Scottish baby boy. Bonus points for the cowboy-cool nickname Cal.

Colm- Malcolm may be stuck in the nineties, but Colm is lovely for a 2015 baby. He isn't pronounced quite the same--it's more like "column," but he is related to Malcolm, as well as up and comer Callum.

Corrigan- Corrigan is a striking Irish surname with a lot of potential. He's ideal if you're looking for an updated version of 20th century favorite Cory, especially if you need to honor one. One possible downside: Cory is his only obvious nickname, so if you're not a fan, Corrigan might not be the name for you.

Fallon- The hit TV show Dynasty made Fallon a possibility for girls in the eighties and nineties, but now that late night host Jimmy is on the scene, this unisex name could very well go to the boys. If you like his sound, but not the television connections, try spelling him Faolan, Felan, or Phelan.

Fintan- Finn is one of the hottest, most likeable names for boys right now. Many people use him in his own right, but others see Finn more as a nickname. If you want a longer name for Finn, but something less feminine than Finley, and more unique than Griffan, Fintan might be the best option. He's fun, easy to pronounce, and has two cool possible nicknames, "white bull" or "white fire."

Larkin- Simple, stylish Lark is a hit for the ladies right now, but Larkin--which comes from Laurence, so he and Lark are unrelated--feels entirely right for a guy. Like many trendy names right now, he is originally a surname, but unlike those, he's not currently trendy. Larkin dropped out of the top 1000 in 1909, making his re-entrance about six years overdue.

Malone- Malone is particularly popular as a last name, but never quite made it as a first. His syllable pattern lends him well to the middle position, but if you like nicknameless names, Malone would be prime as a first name. But enough talk about where to place him--Malone has some serious swagger, and deserves more notoriety.

Oran- It can be hard to find a fashionable name that seamlessly blends two cultures together. But if you need a name for a Jewish-Irish fellow, Oran does just that. He ranks at #100 in Ireland, but surprisingly doesn't make the charts in the U.S. For a name that's so easy to like, I hope that changes soon.

Roark- Roark is a strong surname with a fantastic meaning--"illustrious and mighty." He has a plethora of spellings--Roarke, Rorke, Rourke, or Ruark--so take your pick. Unfortunately the one I've cited here has an unfortunate connection to an Ayn Rand book, so Roarke (or Rourke, if you're a fan of Mickey) might be a better option.

Tadhg- And finally, the one that might confuse people. No, Tadhg is not intuitive in his pronunciation (it's TYEG, as in tiger)--he does not rhyme with the equally charming Teague. However, for you poetry fans, Tadhg means "poet," and he's featured in Irish mythology as Finn McCool's grandfather.


  1. Tadgh is my favorite. I also really like Quinn and Darragh. It kills me that Quinn is so female nowadays.

    1. I know! I'm working on a unisex names list right now, and I can't decide if I want to put Quinn on the "better for girls" side or "better for boys" side. I think I might put it in both!