Top 35 Unique Irish Baby Girl Names
Looking for unique Irish baby girl names that that honor legendary princesses, mighty warrior queens, and mythical fairies?
Not only will you find many of the most popular and unique Irish baby girl names here, you'll also get the pronunciation, origin, meaning, and alternate spellings whenever possible.
One word of advice on pronunciations...
Pronunciations vary between sources, so your best bet is to find a name that has special meaning for you and just use the pronunciation you feel most comfortable with. Perhaps you'll find a unique Irish name by tracing your family tree. Then come back and look up its meaning here.
How I made my choices...
I believe the best Irish baby girl names are distinctive. I love the names that signify the most honorable qualities of great Celtic Irish women...like strength, courage, wisdom, and devotion.
So, rest assured, you will not find every single Celtic or Irish baby girl name I ever came across in my years of research about Ireland's rich history and culture. That would fill volumes!
I chose instead, in keeping with my passion for the romantic side of the Emerald Isle, to feature only my favorite Irish baby girl names, which were chosen because of the lyrical nature of their pronunciations, because I admire the Irish women (historical or mythical) who shared the names, or both.
Unique Irish baby girl names are not so easy to find in the sea of baby names on the web. And I know what it's like spending more time than you'd like sorting out the valuable resources from the ones that waste your time.
But don't worry...researching Irish Baby Names just got simpler!
I have compiled our favorites from many sources. And I have found that the best places to learn about Irish baby names are those that focus on Celtic culture and the Emerald Isle itself. So even if you don't find a unique Irish baby girl name that's right for you here, I share with you the best resources for researching Irish baby names.
Regardless of which name you choose, where you find it, or how you say it...I hope you will find the perfect unique Irish baby girl name...the one that inspires you and feels right for your baby girl.
Top 35 Unique Irish Baby Girl Names
- Áine (AWN-ye) From the Old Irish áine, meaning 'brilliance, wit, splendor, glory, radiance'. Connected with fruitfulness and prosperity. According to Irish legend, Áine was the daughter of Fer I (Man of the Yew) and queen of the fairies of South Munster. Irish folklore held that she lived at a place now called Knockany (Cnoc Áine, "Áine's Hill") and was "the best-hearted woman who ever lived – lucky in love and in money." Anglicized versions include: Anya, Anna, Hannah. According to Ireland's Central Statistics Office, Áine has been among the top 50 most popular names registered to baby girls in Ireland every year since they began publishing the report in 1998. Click here for more popular Irish baby girl names.
- Aoife (EE-fe) From the Old Irish Aífe, a goddess name meaning 'beautiful, radiant, joyful'. In a tale of apprenticeship of the Ulster hero Cú Chulainn, Aífe was the fiercest woman warrior in the world. After she was defeated by the hero, she bore him his only son, Connlach. Aoife Dearg ("Red Aoife") was a daughter of a king of Connacht who had her marriage arranged by St. Patrick himself. In 2003 Aoife was the third most popular Irish girl name. In fact, it has been among the top four most popular names registered to baby girls in Ireland every year since Ireland's Central Statistics Office began publishing the report in 1998. Click here for more popular Irish girl names. Anglicized versions include: Eva and Ava.
- Bébhinn (BAY-vin) From the Old Irish béan, meaning 'woman, lady' + binn, meaning 'sweet, melodious'. This Irish baby girl name was shared by many early queens and saints, including a 12th-century abbess of Derry. Brian Boru's mother was called Bébhinn and he named his daughter for her. In legend, the golden-haired giantess Bébhinn sought sanctuary with Finn mac Cunhaill so she would not have to marry the giant "Hugh The Splendid." Anglicized versions include: Bevin, Bevan.
- Caitríona - (ka-TREE-na) This is the Irish version of the name Cathleen. Devotion to St. Catherine came to Ireland with Christianity. Revered for her courage and purity, Cathleen, became such a popular Irish girl name that W. B. Yeats chose it for the heroine of his 1899 play The Countess Cathleen which was inspired by an Irish folktale. In a time of famine the Devil offers food to the starving poor in exchange for their souls. But Cathleen convinces Satan to take her soul instead. When she dies the Devil comes to collect her soul but God intervenes and carries Cathleen to heaven, saying that "such a sacrificial act cannot justly lead to evil consequences." Anglicized versions include: Catherine, Kathleen. Nicknames include: Caít (KAYT), Caítín (kay-TEEN), Caítlín (kayt-LEEN), and Tríona.
- Caoilainn - (KAY-leen) Derived from the Old Irish name Cáelfind: cáel, meaning 'slender' + finn, meaning 'bright, fair, pure'. Saint Cáelfinf of Kerry has her feast day February 3. Several saints were named Caoilainn and one was described as "a pious lady who quickly won the esteem and affection of her sister nuns by her exactness to every duty, as also by her sweet temper, gentle, confiding disposition and unaffected piety."
- Cessair - (KAH-seer) According to old Irish legends, Cessair was the grandaughter of Noah who led the first settlers to Ireland. The story says that she came to Ireland with fifty women and three men whom Noah refused to allow onto the ark. Except for Finian, Cessair and the other settlers died in the Great Flood.
- Ciara - (KEE-ra) The feminine form of Ciarán, from the Irish ciar, meaning 'dark' and implies 'dark hair and brown eyes'. Saint Ciara was a distinguished seventh-century figure who established a monastery at Kilkeary in County Tipperary. In 2003 Ciara was the third most popular Irish girl name. In fact, it has been among the top five most popular Irish baby girl names every year since Ireland's Central Statistics Office began publishing the report in 1998. Click here for more popular Irish girl names. Anglicized versions are: Keera, Keira, and Kira.
- Cliona - (KLEE-a-na) From the Old Irish girl name Clídna. According to Old Irish legends, Clídna was the name of one of the three beautiful daughters of the poet Manannán mac Lir. A fairy named Clídna was the guardian spirit of the MacCarthy's. Clídna had three magical birds that could sing the sick to sleep and heal them. In the tale of "Clídna's Wave" she falls in love with a mortal, "Keevan of the Curling Locks," and leaves Tir-na-n'Og ("Land of Eternal Youth") with him. But when he goes off to hunt, leaving her on the beach, she is swept to sea by a great wave, leaving her lover desolate. The Modern Irish form, Clíodhna, is a very popular baby girl name in Ireland today.
- Dervil - (DER-uh-vil) From the Old Irish girls' name Derbáil, probably derived from der, meaning 'daughter' + Fál, an ancient name for Ireland. So the meaning of this Irish baby girl name would be 'daughter of Ireland'. Many ancient Celtic and Medieval Irish princesses were named Derbáil. It was also a traditional name for baby girls born into the MacDermott family. Modern Irish version spelled Dearbháil, and it is currently a very popular Irish baby girl name. Another spelling is Dervla (DAYR-vla).
- Éabha - (AW-va) Irish form of the Hebrew name "Eve", which is derived from the word chavah, meaning 'breath of life'. According to the Judeo-Christian Bible, in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were the first humans created by God. This was among the top 100 most popular names registered to baby girls in Ireland for the last two years, according to Ireland's Central Statistics Office. Click here for more popular Irish girl names.
- Eibhlín - (ay-LEEN, ev-LEEN) Derived from the French girl name Aveline, and brought to Ireland by the Anglo-Normans. Meaning 'bringer of light'. This was a very popular Irish baby girl name among the nobility throughout the Middle Ages. Alternate spelling: Eveleen. Anglicized versions include: Eileen, Aileen, and Ellen.
- Eithne - (AY-he-ne) This ancient Irish baby girl name has become very popular again in modern Ireland. According to Irish mythology, Eithne was the mother of the god Lugh. Many legendary queens were also named Eithne, including the wives of Conn of the Hundred Battles and Cormac mac Airt. Eight saints were also named Eithne. Alternate versions include: Ethna (ET-na), and Enya (EN-ya).
- Émer - (EE-mer) Émer was the wife of the legendary Irish hero Cú Chulainn. William Butler Yeats recounts her story in his play, The Only Jealousy of Émer. Émer would only marry the man who was her equal in noble birth, beauty, and wisdom. So when Cú Chulainn came to court her, she would not marry him unless he successfully answered her series of riddles.
- Étaoin (AY-deen) From the Old Irish ét, meaning 'jealousy'. According to Old Irish legends, this heroine was more beautiful and gentle than all the other woman in Ireland. An early Irish tale, The Wooing of Étaoin, tells the story of how fairy king Midir and the mortal king Eochaid Airem vied for her love. Étaoin was a traditional Irish baby girl name in the O'Connor, O'Hara and O'Flannagan families.
- Fionnabhair - (fyuhn-OOR) From the Old Irish female name Finnabarr. Derived from finn, meaning 'bright, fair' + siabhre, meaning phantom, fairy'. This is the Irish version of the Welsh female name Gwenhwyfar (familiar to most of us as King Arthur's Queen Guinevere). In Old Irish legends, the princess Fionnabhair was the daughter of King Aillil and Queen Maeve of Connacht.
- Gormlaith - (GOORM-la) From the Old Irish gorm, meaning splendid + flaith, meaning 'queen, sovereignty'. An especially popular Irish girl name throughout medieval times, shared by many queens, including Brian Boru's wife. Gormlaith is enjoying a revival in popularity as an Irish baby girl name, but is now usually spelled in its Anglicized version, Gormley.
- Grania - (GRAW-nya) From the Old Irish gráinne, meaning 'grain, seed'. Most experts agree this was the name of the Irish goddess of grain. According to medieval Irish folklore, Gráinne was to marry the hero Finn mac Cunhaill, but instead eloped with Diarmaid. Grania Mhaol Ni Mhaolmhaigh (Grace O'Malley) was a chieftainess of the Burkes of County Mayo. She was admired for her seafaring skills and fought valiantly against Queen Elizabeth I's forces. Gráinne is becoming a very popular Irish baby girl name again in modern times. In fact, Gráinne has been among the top 100 most popular names registered to baby girls in Ireland every year since Ireland's Central Statistics Office began publishing the report in 1998. Click here for more popular Irish girl names.
- Íte, Íde - (EE-te) From the Old Irish ite, meaning thirst. The abbess of Killeedy in County Limerick during the 6th century was Saint Íte, so scholars believe this Irish baby girl name means 'thirst for divine love'. Saint Íte composed a famous lullaby for the baby Jesus, and her feast day is January 15. Anglicized version: Ita.
- Laoise - (LEE sha) Irish form of the name Louise, which is of French origin. According to NameNerds.com, Laoise means 'radiant girl'. Even though it would be considered quite a unique baby name in America, it was one of the top 100 registered Irish baby girl names for the last two years, according to the CSO. Click here for more popular Irish girl names. Alternate spellings: Leesha, Louisa.
- Líadan - (LYAH-dan) An Old Irish female name. Líadan was a poetess, beloved by the poet Cuirithur, even though she was a nun. The mother of Saint Ciarán of Seir was also named Líadan. Legend has it that she conceived Ciarán after swallowing a star that had fallen into her mouth while she lay sleeping.
- Macha - (MAC-a) The name of an Irish goddess. She was one of the three war goddesses of Tuatha Dé Danaan, along with Badb and Morrígan. The royal site of Ulster, Navan Fort, was once known as Emain Macha, meaning 'Twins of Macha'. Armagh, the spiritual site nearby founded by Saint Patrick, was once called Ard Macha, meaning 'Hill of Macha'. The patron saint of Killiney is Saint Macha, and her feast day is February 6. "MAC-a" is the modern pronunciation, but the more authentic old Irish pronunciation is "MAKH-a", with the "kh" pronounced as in the Scottish "loch".
- Maeve - (MAYV) From the Old Irish name Medb, meaning 'intoxicating'. The goddess of sovereignty at Tara was Medb Lethderg, meaning Maeve of the Red Side. According to legend, she was the wife of nine successive kings, including Conn of the Hundred Battles, his son Art, and Art's son, Cormac mac Airt. Another famous Medb was the mighty queen in the epic The Cattle Raid of Cooley. This Irish baby girl name is becoming a very popular name again in Ireland. According to Ireland's Central Statistics Office, Maeve has been among the top 100 most popular names registered to baby girls in Ireland every year since they began publishing the report in 1998. Click here for more popular Irish girl names.
- Máire - (MAW-re) The Irish version of the name Mary. Until the 17th century, baby girls were never given this name because it was considered too sacred. Before then, girls were named Maél Muire instead, meaning 'devoted to Mary'. Anglicized versions of this Irish baby girl name include: Moira, Maura, Maurya.
- Muireann - (MEER-an) From the old Irish muir, meaning 'sea'. In Irish folklore tales, Mauireann was the wife of Finn mac Cumaill's son Oisín. There was also Queen Muireann, who was the ancestress of the kings of Connacht. This Irish female name was also shared by four abbesses of Kildare.
- Muirín - (MEER-een) From the Old Irish muir, meaning 'sea' + gein, meaning 'birth'. In the 6th century, the fisherman of Saint Congall captured a 300-year-old pagan mermaid by the name of Muirín in Lough Neagh. According to the legend, Comgall baptized her and made it possible for her to go to heaven.
- Nessa - (NES-a) A very old Irish female name. Nessa was the mother of the legendary king of Ulster, Conchobar mac Nessa. Folklore says she was originally named Assa, which means 'gentle'. But after her twelve brothers were murdered, she set out to avenge their deaths and became a fierce warrior. After this she changed her name to Ni-assa, meaning ungentle, or Nessa.
- Niamh - (NEE-av) From the Old Irish niamh, meaning 'luster, sheen, brilliance'. Many women of Old Irish legends shared this name. One was a princess of Tir-na-n'Og ("Land of Eternal Youth"), the daughter of the sea god Manannan. She was known as "Niamh of the Golden Hair," a beautiful princess riding on a white horse, who fell in love with Finn mac Cumhaill's son Oisín and took him to to live with her in the Otherworld, Tir-na-n'Og. Three years passed, even though it only seemed like three weeks. In 2003 it was the eleventh most popular Irish baby girl name, according to the CSO. From 1998-2002, Niamh was among the top 10 most popular Irish baby girl names. Click here for more popular Irish girl names. It is also written Niam. The Welsh version of the name is Nia.
- Órla - (OHR-la) From the Old Irish ór, meaning 'gold' + flaith, meaning 'sovereignty, queen'. Brian Boru's sister and daughter were both named Órla, so it has always been a very popular Irish baby girl name, both in medieval times and today. Although it might be considered a unique girls name in America, it is very popular in Ireland. According to Ireland's Central Statistics Office, Órla has been among the top 100 most popular Irish baby girl names every year since Ireland's Central Statistics Office began publishing their report in 1998. Click here for more popular Irish girl names. The modern Irish version is spelled Órlaith.
- Ríonach - (REE-uh-na, or REE-uh-nakh, with "ch" pronounced as in the Scottish word "loch") From the Old Irish female name Rígnach, meaning 'queenly'. The legendary ancestress of the O'Neill, MacLoughlin, O'Donnell, O'Gallagher, and O'Gormley families was the Queen Ríonach. Alternate spelling: Riona.
- Rós - (ROHS) Although the origin of this Irish baby girl name is unclear, it is probably derived either from the German hros, meaning 'horse', or the old English, 'rose'. This has been a traditional Irish baby girl name in the O'Kane and O'Murray families. A common nickname is Róisín (row-SHEEN).
- Sadhbh - (SAH-eev) From the Old Irish name Sadb, which means 'sweet, goodness'. Many famous Irish princesses, both historical and legendary, were named Sadhbh, including the daughters of King Brian Boru, of Queen Medb of Connacht, and of Conn of the Hundred Battles. Alternative spelling: Sabha (SE-va). One of the top 100 most popular Irish baby girl names for the past two years, according to Ireland's Central Statistics Office. Click here for more popular Irish girl names.
- Sinéad - (shih-NAID) An Irish version of the Norman French name Jonet, which means 'gracious'. Alternate spelling: Sine (SHEE-na). Anglicized version: Jane. This name gained popularity in America after Irish musician, Sinéad O'Conner took the world by storm. According to Ireland's Central Statistics Office, Sinéad has been among the top 40 most popular Irish baby girl names every year since they began publishing their report in 1998. Click here for more popular Irish girl names.
- Síomha - (SHEE-va) From the Old Irish name Síthmaith. Derived from the Old Irish síth, meaning 'peace' + maith, meaning 'good'. The 8th century abbess of Clonburren was named Síthmaith. Angicized version Sheeva.
- Sorcha - (SIR-ka) From the Old Irish sorchae, meaning 'bright, radiant'. Since the middle ages, Sorcha has always been a very popular Irish baby girl name and it continues its popularity even today.
- Úna - (OO-na) From the Old Irish úan, meaning 'lamb'. According to Irish legends, Úna was the daughter of a king of Lochlainn. It was a very popular Irish baby girl name throughout the middle ages. Alternate spellings: Oona, Oonagh.
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