Unusual and exotic sounding Irish girl names. These are the popular Irish names for girls including the Gaelic origins, meanings, and spellings. You can listen to the author Frank McCourt pronounce every girls name in vivid description. This is a great way to find out how to exactly pronounce female Irish names. Get the the correct pronunciation of each Irish girl names, research the meaning, and find out the origin of the female name for your baby girl.
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PRONOUCE: “ey + nit”
ENGLISH: Enat, Ena
DESCRIPTION: The feminine of the name Aidan meaning “little fire.”
PRONOUCE: “ave + leen”
ENGLISH: Eveleen, Eveline, Evelyn
DESCRIPTION: A name thought to have Norman roots that means “wished-for” or “longed-for child.”
PRONOUCE: “ab + rawn”
DESCRIPTION: Aibreann is April in the Irish language.
PRONOUCE: “ay + deen”
DESCRIPTION: Formed like Aidan from aed “fire.” Aideen loved her husband Oscar, a grandson of Fionn Mac Cool (read the legend), so much that when he fell in battle she died of a broken heart.
PRONOUCE: “all + bay”
DESCRIPTION: From an old Irish word meaning “white,” the 6th century St. Ailbe was associated with the monastery at Emly in County Tipperary. The local people requested that he bless a river that had no fish. St. Ailbe did and that very day the river was filled with an abundance of fish. The people built five churches in St. Ailbe’s honor at the best fishing spots along the river.
Ailbe may be used for a boy or a girl.
PRONOUCE: “ay + leen”
DESCRIPTION: Ancient Irish name from ail “noble.”
PRONOUCE: “ay + lish”
DESCRIPTION: Irish version of the Norman Alice or Alicia from Elizabeth “God is my oath.”
PRONOUCE: “awn + ye”
ENGLISH: Anya, Anna, Hannah
DESCRIPTION: Ancient Irish name from the noun aine that means “splendor, radiance, brilliance.” Aine is connected with fruitfulness and prosperity. The queen of the Munster fairies was called Aine as was one of the wives of Fionn Mac Cool (read the legend). Aine appears in folktales as “the best-hearted woman who ever lived – lucky in love and in money.”
PRONOUCE: “a + lan + a”
DESCRIPTION: Adding a to leanbh, the word for “child” in Irish, brings a sense of warmth – “O child” or “darling child.”
A favored name in Ireland with all three spellings.
PRONOUCE: “eve + een”
DESCRIPTION: aoibhinn “pleasant, beautiful sheen, of radiant beauty.” Often interpreted as “little Eve.” One Aoibheann was the mother of St. Enda of Aran who died c. 530 AD.
PRONOUCE: “ee + fa”
ENGLISH: Eva, Ava
DESCRIPTION: “beautiful, radiant, joyful.” Known as the greatest woman warrior in the world, Aoife was the mother of Cuchulainn’s (read the legend) 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 girls name for babies in Ireland.
PRONOUCE: “ash + ling”
DESCRIPTION: From aislinge which means “a vision” or “a dream,” Aisling is the name given to a popular poetic genre from the 17th and 18th centuries in which Ireland is personified as a beautiful woman in peril.
A very popular name in Ireland now.
PRONOUCE: “be + veen”
ENGLISH: Bevin, Bevan
DESCRIPTION: A blend of bean “woman, lady” and finn “fair, white” originally described Viking women. Brian Boru‘s (read the legend) mother was called Beibhinn and he named his daughter for her. In legend, the golden-haired giantess Beibhinn sought sanctuary with Fionn Mac Cool (read the legend) so she would not have to marry the giant “Hugh The Splendid.”
PRONOUCE: “blaw + nid”
DESCRIPTION: blath means “flower, blossom.” In legend, Blaithnaid, the reluctant wife of Curai Mac Daire, loved Cuchulainn (read the legend), her husband’s rival. She revealed the secret entrance to her husband’s fortress to him by milking her cow and letting the milk run down the hill into a stream. Cuchulainn followed the stream, raided the fortress and rescued Blathnaid.
PRONOUCE: “bran + na”
DESCRIPTION: From bran “raven,” a way of saying “beauty with hair as dark as a raven.”
PRONOUCE: “bree + a + na”
DESCRIPTION: “noble, virtuous.” The feminine of Brian.
PRONOUCE: “bridge + id”
DESCRIPTION: The name Brigid from brigh meaning “power, vigour, virtue” epitomizes the Irish genius for layering old and new. The main female deity of the Celts, Brigid made the land fruitful and animals multiply, she blessed poets and blacksmiths. Her namesake St. Brigid of Kildare carried her powers into the Christian era. The stories of Brigid”s compassion and miracles are told now as they have been for more than 1500 years in every part of Ireland. She is equal in esteem and shares a grave with St. Patrick and St. Columcille. Her feast day, February 1st, is the first day of Spring in the Celtic calender.
PRONOUCE: “bro + nah”
DESCRIPTION: Though rooted in bronach “sad, sorrowful” St. Bronagh must have been a popular figure in her home area of County Down where her bell is venerated because so many girls in that area are named for her now as they have been for over 1000 years.
Caireann, Cairenn, Ciaran
PRONOUCE: “care + in”
ENGLISH: Karen, Karan
DESCRIPTION: From the Gaelic cara + the diminutive -in meaning “little friend or little beloved.” Caireann Chasdubh (“Cairenn of the Dark Curly Hair”) was the mother of the legendary warrior Niall of the Nine Hostages (read the legend) and thus was the maternal ancestor of the high kings of Ireland.
Caitlin or Cathleen
PRONOUCE: “koit + leen” “kath + leen”
ENGLISH: Catherine, Kathleen
DESCRIPTION: Devotion to St. Catherine came to Ireland with Christianity. Revered for her courage and purity, Catherine in the Irish form, Cathleen, became such a popular 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.”
PRONOUCE: “kay + linn”
ENGLISH: Keelin (“kee + linn”) or Kalin (“kay + linn”)
DESCRIPTION: caol “slender” and fionn “white, fair, pure.” Several saints were 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.”
PRONOUCE: “kee + va”
ENGLISH: Keeva, Keva
DESCRIPTION: From caomh “gentle, beautiful, precious.” The same root as Kevin, the name has become very popular in Ireland with the original Irish spelling.
In 2003 it was the twelfth most popular Irish girl name for baby girls.
Cara, Caragh or Caera
PRONOUCE: “car + a” “keer + a”
DESCRIPTION: In Irish cara simply means a “friend.”
DESCRIPTION: From cas “curly-haired.” The Cassidys were the hereditary physicians to the Maguires, the chiefs of County Fermanagh between 1300 and 1600. As their healing skills became widely known, many Cassidys were employed by other chieftans, particularly in the north of the country.
PRONOUCE: “ka + tree + na”
DESCRIPTION: An Irish form of Catherine that derives from an older Greek name meaning “clear, pure.” (See also Caitlin.)
PRONOUCE: “kee + ra”
ENGLISH: Keera, Keira, Kira
DESCRIPTION: The feminine form of Ciaran, from the Irish ciar meaning “dark” and implies “dark hair and brown eyes.” St. Ciara was a distinguished seventh-century figure who established a monastery at Kilkeary in County Tipperary.
It was the fourth most popular baby girl name in Ireland in 2003.
DESCRIPTION: A medieval name derived from Latin clarus “clear, bright, famous.” St. Claire, a follower of St. Francis of Assisi, who left her wealthy family to found the order of nuns known as the “Poor Clares,” has always been very respected in Ireland and the name is still popular today.
PRONOUCE: “klee + ona”
DESCRIPTION: From clodhna meaning “shapely.” Cliodhna had three magical birds that could sing the sick to sleep and cure them. In the tale of “Cliodhna’s Wave” she falls in love with a mortal, “Keevan of the Curling Locks,” and leaves Tir-Na-Nog (“Land of Eternal Youth”) (read the legend) 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.
PRONOUCE: “clo + da”
DESCRIPTION: The river Clody runs through County Tipperary and County Wexford and like most Irish rivers is named for a local female deity. Rivers become places for prayer and Clodagh is a popular name in this part of the country.
DESCRIPTION: From the Irish cailin meaning “girl” and used by the Irish in the USA and Australia as a way of connecting to their Irish roots.
Irish Girl Names D – F
PRONOUCE: “daw + veen”
ENGLISH: Davin, Davina
DESCRIPTION: From damh “deer” and the diminutive -in it means “little deer.”
PRONOUCE: “dar + rawn”
DESCRIPTION: Meaning “fruitful, bountiful.” In legend, Daireann, a beautiful young woman, fell in love with Fionn Mac Cool (read the legend), a man with many wives. She asked to be his only wife for a year – and then to have the half of his time after that.
DESCRIPTION: In Irish dorcha means “dark, dark-haired” or “descendant of the dark one.” Both a surname and a given name.
Dearbhail, Dearbhal or Deirbhile
PRONOUCE: “dare + voll” “dare + villa”
DESCRIPTION: From der + fal “daughter of Fal,” “Fal” being an ancient name for Ireland.
PRONOUCE: “deck + tir + ra”
DESCRIPTION: Dechtire was the sister of Conchubar and the mother of Cuchulainn (read the legend). deich means ten and perhaps she was the tenth child. The fairies, “Sive” in Irish, transformed her into a bird but at times she was able to be a woman again and conceived Cuchulainn with the sun-god Lugh.
PRONOUCE: “deer + dre” or “dare + dreh”
DESCRIPTION: The most beautiful woman in ancient Ireland, she was bethrothed to the High King Conchobhar Mac Nessa but she fell in love with his nephew Naoise. Deirdre and Naoise eloped to Scotland where they lived a blissful exile for many years. By offering forgiveness, Conchobhar tricked them into returning to Ulster where Naoise was slain by the jealous Conchobhar. Deirdre threw herself from Conchobhar’s chariot rather than live with the man who had caused Naoise’s death. It was said that her grave was near to Naoise’s and that a yew tree grew from each plot. The yew trees grew toward one another till their branches intertwined, joining the two lovers even after death.
PRONOUCE: “eack + na”
DESCRIPTION: From each meaning “steed, horse.” The daughter of a king of the Irish province of Connacht, she was renowned for both her beauty and her fashion sense. “A smock of royal silk she had next to her skin, over that an outer tunic of soft silk and around her a hooded mantle of crimson fastened on her breast with a golden brooch.”
PRONOUCE: “ale + ga”
DESCRIPTION: “noble, brave.” The poetic name for Ireland, Innis Ealga, means “The Noble Isle.”
PRONOUCE: “ave + linn” or “eve + linn”
ENGLISH: Eileen, Elaine
DESCRIPTION: aoibheann “pleasant, beautiful, radiant.” “Eibhlin a Ruan” was a 17th century love-song composed by the harpist Cearbhall O’Dalaigh who used it to persuade his beloved to elope with him on her wedding day and it is still a popular piece of music at Irish weddings.
PRONOUCE: “a + neen”
DESCRIPTION: A contemporary name ean + the diminutive -in means “little bird.”
PRONOUCE: “en + ya”
DESCRIPTION: eithne means “kernel of a nut or seed” but it may also be related to Aidan meaning “little fire.” There are at least nine St. Eithnes. One 6th century St. Eithne was the mother of St. Columba. Before the birth of her son an angel appeared to her displaying a beautifully colored cloak covered with wonderful flowers. When she reached for the cloak it rose into the air, and spreading out, floated over land and sea until it seemed to rest upon the hills of a distant land. This vision foretold that her little son was to travel over the seas and there win great distinction and honour.
PRONOUCE: “ee + mer”
DESCRIPTION: Eimear possessed the “Six Gifts of Womanhood” – “beauty, a gentle voice, sweet words, wisdom, needlework and chastity!” She was bethrothed to the warrior Cuchulainn (read the legend) when they were children and they loved each other very deeply. But Cuchulainn had “a wandering eye” and Eimear endured this, realizing “everything new is fair,” but when he made love to Fand, wife of the sea god Manannan, Eimear confronted the lovers. After seeing the strength of Fand’s love she offered to withdraw. Touched by this display of unselfishness, Fand left Cuchulainn and returned to the sea. When Cuchulainn died Eimear spoke movingly and lovingly at his graveside.
DESCRIPTION: ean means “bird” and suggests “birdlike” or “freedom of spirit.” St. Enda was a sixth-century monk associated with the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. The name is used for boys and girls.
PRONOUCE: “e + tane”
DESCRIPTION: From et meaning “jealousy.” Etain surpassed all other women of her time in beauty and gentleness and thus was an object of jealousy herself. When the fairy king Midir fell in love with her his wife, Fuamnach, transformed Etain into a scarlet fly that was blown over the ocean for seven years. When she was finally able to return to Ireland she fell into a glass of wine which was drunk by a woman who longed for a child. In this way Etain was reborn and she later married a High King of Ireland.
PRONOUCE: “fee + ina”
DESCRIPTION: Fionn Mac Cool’s (read the legend) warrior band were known as the Fianna (read the legend). In early Ireland women had equal rights and while the warriors were usually men there is a strong tradition of Celtic women fighting alongside the men, dating as far back as Roman times.
PRONOUCE: “fid + el + ma”
DESCRIPTION: Meaning “beauty” or “constant.” The name goes back to ancient times and has been held by six saints. One Fidelma, a daughter of the High King Conchobhar Mac Nessa, was known as Fidelma Nichrothach “Fidelma The Nine-Times-Beautiful,” and a warrior of note herself.
PRONOUCE: “fee + ona”
DESCRIPTION: fionn meaning “fair, white, beautiful” it is the feminine form of Fionn. Of Scottish origin it is quite a popular name in Ireland.
PRONOUCE: “finn + ula”
DESCRIPTION: The name comes from fionn + ghuala “fair shouldered.” The chieftan King Lir and his wife Aobh had a daughter Fionnoula and three sons Aedh, Conn and Fiachra. When Aodh died Lir’s new wife Aoife was so jealous of her husband’s love for his children that she cast a spell on them and turned them into swans and condemned them to spend 300 years on Lake Daravarragh, 300 years on the Sea of Moyle and 300 years on Innis Glora. However, if they heard a Christian bell in Ireland they would become people again. One morning they were awakened by the sound of a Mass bell. St. Patrick had arrived. The children were brought to him and he baptised them and they have lived on in Irish mythology as the “Children of Lir” (read the legend).
Irish Girl Names G – N
DESCRIPTION: Often refers to a person who is a native Irish speaker or a person who is from Ireland. Medieval legend holds that Gael was the name of the hero from whom the Irish race took its name.
Gormlaith, Gormla, Gormley
PRONOUCE: “gorm + lee”
DESCRIPTION: Anglicized as Barbara. May come from gorm “illustrious” or “splendid” and flaith “queen, princess.” Lady Gormlaith, a legendary beauty, was queen of the Danes in Ireland as wife of Olaf, The Viking leader of Dublin; later she was wife of Malachy II, king of Ulster and finally married Brian Boru (read the legend), king of Munster and later king of all Ireland. Her three sons, Sitric, Murdach and Donough continued to rule Ireland after The Battle of Clontarf where Brian Boru died in 1014.
PRONOUCE: “graw + nya”
DESCRIPTION: From gran “grain, corn.” Grainne in ancient Ireland was the patron of the harvest. In later legends Grainne was the name of the beautiful daughter of a High King of Ireland, Cormac Mac Art. She had been promised in marriage to the king Fionn Mac Cool (read the legend). When Grainne saw him at the wedding banquet she realised Fionn was too old for her and put a “geis,” a love spell on Fionn’s nephew, Diarmuid. They ran away together but Fionn’s pursuit prevented them from spending two consecutive nights in the same place. Megalithic sites throughout Ireland are still traditionally referred to as “the bed of Grainne and Diarmuid” (read the legend).
PRONOUCE: “graw + nya + wail”
DESCRIPTION: Described as “one of the most remarkable women in Irish history” Granuaile or Grainne Ni Mhaille (ang. as Grace O’Malley) was a renowned sea captain who led a band of 200 sea-raiders from the coast of Galway in the sixteenth century. Twice widowed, twice imprisoned, fighting her enemies both Irish and English for her rights, condemned for piracy, and finally pardoned in London by Queen Elizabeth herself, her fame was celebrated in verse and song and in James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake.” She is often seen as a poetic symbol for Ireland.
PRONOUCE: “ee + da”
DESCRIPTION: Meaning “thirst” as in “thirst for goodness or knowledge.” St. Ide and St. Brigid are considered the most influential woman saints of early Irish Christianity. Associated with education, Ide founded a monastery in Killeedy in County Limerick where a holy well is dedicated to her. In an earlier legend she was the foster-mother of the infant Jesus.
PRONOUCE: “i + o + na”
DESCRIPTION: St. Colmcille founded his monastery on Iona, the island between Ireland and Scotland in 563 AD and thus the name is associated with “blessed.”
Kaitlin, Kaitlyn, Kaytlin
PRONOUCE: “kate + linn”
DESCRIPTION: These are recent spellings of the name Caitlin.
Keela or Kyla
PRONOUCE: “kee + la” “kie + la”
DESCRIPTION: The word cadhla means beautiful and implies “a beauty that only poetry can capture.”
DESCRIPTION: ciar means “dark” and probably implies “dark hair and brown eyes.” County Kerry means “the land of the descendant of Ciar” who was the love-child of the High King Fergus Mac Roth and the legendary Queen Maebh.
PRONOUCE: “key + na”
DESCRIPTION: From cion “love, affection, esteem.”
PRONOUCE: “may + v”
DESCRIPTION: From an old Irish name Madb, “the cause of great joy” or “she who intoxicates.” The great warrior queen of Connacht and embodiment of sovereignity she stars in Ireland’s greatest epic “The Cattle Raid of Cooley” (read the legend). She left king Conchobhar Mac Nessa for Ailill because “you are a man without meaness, fear or jealousy, a match for my own greatness.” But the couple quarrelled over who had the most possessions. Maebh’s bull had defected to Ailill’s herd and so she bought Daire’s brown bull. When Daire went back on the deal she went to war with Cuchulainn (read the legend) and the province of Ulster to recover the bull.
PRONOUCE: “my + ra”
DESCRIPTION: The name that was used in Ireland for Our Lady was Muire and interestingly, her name was so honored that it was rarely used as a first name until the end of the fifteenth century. Then Maire became acceptable as a given name but the spelling Muire was reserved for the Blessed Mother.
Mairead or Muiread
PRONOUCE: “mawr + aid”
“mur + aid”
DESCRIPTION: The Irish form of Margaret, it became popular around the fourteenth century.
PRONOUCE: “mail + issa”
DESCRIPTION: maol + Iosa “follower of Jesus.” A name first used by clerics as early as the tenth century. It is used for boys and girls.
PRONOUCE: “meer + a”
DESCRIPTION: The Irish word mara means “sea.”
DESCRIPTION: Muadhnat “little noble one” is one possible source of the name. The Normans brought Monique, “giver of advice,” or it could refer to Madonna, “lady” as in the Mona Lisa.
PRONOUCE: “mur + in”
ENGLISH: Miren, Moirin
DESCRIPTION: Means “sea white, sea fair.” The very appropriate name of the 6th century mermaid caught by a fisherman in Lough Neagh. He brought her to St. Comghall who baptized her which transformed her into a woman.
PRONOUCE: “mur + el”
ENGLISH: Meryl, Muriel
DESCRIPTION: muirgheal “bright as the sea.” The Irish form of the name Muriel.
PRONOUCE: “mir + ne”
ENGLISH: Morna, Myrna
DESCRIPTION: muirne means “high-spirited, festive.” Muirne loved Conall who was from an opposing tribe. Her father, a druid, opposed the match and had Conall killed but not before Muirne had conceived a son, who grew up to be the legendary warrior Fionn Mac Cool(read the legend) and who later avenged the death of his father.
PRONOUCE: “nee + la”
DESCRIPTION: Meaning “female champion” it is the feminine form of Niall.
DESCRIPTION: Nessa was the mother of Conchobhar (Conor) Mac Nessa, king of Ulster. A powerful and beautiful woman, ambitious for her son, she tricked her second husband, Fergus, into giving up his kingdom to his stepson, Conchobhar (Conor), for a year, but Conchobhar (Conor) ruled so wisely and so well that the people chose him to be their permanent king.
PRONOUCE: “nee + iv” or “neev”
DESCRIPTION: niamh “radiance, lustre, brightness.” The daughter of the sea god Manannan she was known as “Niamh of the Golden Hair,” a beautiful princess riding on a white horse. She fell in love with Fionn’s son Oisin (read the legend of Niamh and Oisin) and lived with him in Tir-na-nOg (“Land of the Young”) (read the legend) where 300 years passed in what seemed like three weeks. In 2003 it was the eleventh most popular baby girl’s name in Ireland.
DESCRIPTION: Popular names that are considered to be abbreviated forms of Fionnoula. (See Fionnuala above).
PRONOUCE: “null + ig”
DESCRIPTION: Used for both male and female it is the Irish word for Christmas, as in Noel or Noelle.
Nora, Norah, Noreen
DESCRIPTION: A classic Irish name, it could be a shortened form of Eleanor meaning “torch” or could be from the Latin Honora meaning “honor, reputation” and became so popular in Ireland in the Middle Ages that many people assumed it was Irish. Noreen is the diminutive of Nora and means “little honourable one.”
PRONOUCE: “noo + la”
DESCRIPTION: It is really a shortened version of Fionnuala (see Fionnuala above) and in Ireland it is more widely used than Fionnuala. Meaning “fair shouldered, exceptionally lovely,” the name has been in existence since the 13th century.
Irish Girl Names O – Z
Oonagh, Oona, Una
PRONOUCE: “ou + na”
DESCRIPTION: From the Irish word uan “a lamb” or may come from the Latin unameaning “one,” hence it is sometimes translated as “Unity.” In legend Oonagh was “Queen of the Fairies” who had long golden hair which reached to the ground and she was also the wife of Fionn Mac Cool (read the legend).
PRONOUCE: “or + la”
DESCRIPTION: orlaith means “golden princess.” The name was shared by both a sister and a daughter of the most famous of the high kings, Brian Boru (read the legend).
PRONOUCE: “row + a”
DESCRIPTION: From radharc meaning “a vision.”
DESCRIPTION: Comes from ri “sovereign, king” and the diminutive -in and means “the king’s child” or may come from riogach “impulsive, furious.” Regan may be used for a boy or a girl.
PRONOUCE: “ree + in + ock”
DESCRIPTION: From rionach meaning “queenly.” In legend Rionach was the wife of “Niall of the Nine Hostages” (read the legend) and as such is the maternal ancestor of many of the great Irish family dynasties.
PRONOUCE: “ro + sheen”
DESCRIPTION: From the Latin name Rosa and means “little rose.” Records show that the name has been in use in Ireland since the sixteenth century. When the expression of Irish patriotic poetry and song was outlawed during Ireland’s troubled and turbulent past, the Irish bards would disguise their nationalistic verse as love songs. In the figure of Roisin Dubh (“Dark Rosaleen”), a Gaelic poem translated by James Clarence Mangan in 1835, the name became a poetic symbol of Ireland, reflecting the Irish tradition of disguising outlawed patriotic verse as love songs where she is told not to be downhearted for her friends are returning from abroad to come to her aid.
PRONOUCE: “ro + ree”
DESCRIPTION: From rua + ri “red-headed king” it is often used as the feminine of the name Rory.
PRONOUCE: “rye + an”
DESCRIPTION: From ri + the diminutive -in meaning “little king” and has become a female form of Ryan.
PRONOUCE: “sear + sha”
DESCRIPTION: Irish word saoirse “freedom, liberty.” It has only been used since the 1920s and has strong patriotic overtones. It has become a very popular baby girl name in Ireland in recent years.
PRONOUCE: “shaw + na”
DESCRIPTION: The feminine form of Sean. It is currently a very popular name in Ireland.
PRONOUCE: “she + na”
DESCRIPTION: An Irish form of Jane “God is gracious” and may be a shortened form of Sinead.
PRONOUCE: “shib + ale”
DESCRIPTION: Form of Isabel which is a Spanish form of the Hebrew nameElisheba, meaning “God is my oath.” Forms of Elizabeth have always been popular throughout the Celtic world.
PRONOUCE: “she + la”
ENGLISH: Sheila, Sheela
DESCRIPTION: The Irish form of the Latin name Cecilia, the patron saint of music and implies “pure and musical.”
PRONOUCE: “shin + aid”
ENGLISH: Jane, Janet, Janette
DESCRIPTION: Irish form of Jane “God is gracious.”
PRONOUCE: “shiv + awn”
ENGLISH: Shevaun, Shavon, Chevonne
DESCRIPTION: Siobhan is another Irish form of Joan meaning “God is gracious.” A popular name in Ireland where the anglicised versions are often used. Siobhan McKenna, an Irish actress who died in 1986, was considered by many as a woman who personified all that was good about being Irish.
PRONOUCE: “sor + aka” or “surk + ha”
DESCRIPTION: From sorcha meaning “bright, radiant, light.” Popular in the Middle Ages, the name has become popular again in recent years partly due to the success of the Irish actress Sorcha Cusack in Britain. Incidentally, her actor sisters are named Sinead and Niamh.
DESCRIPTION: The Irish form of the Welsh name Tegwin which means “beautiful.”
PRONOUCE: “ul + ta + na”
DESCRIPTION: Has been used mainly in Northern Ireland as a female form ofUltach “an Ulsterman.” There have been eighteen saints named Ultan. St. Ultan of Ardbraccan, c. 650 AD, noted for his care of the poor, orphans and the sick is considered the patron saint of children and a hospital for sick children in Dublin is named after him.
Yseult, Isolt, Iseult
PRONOUCE: “ee + solt”
DESCRIPTION: All these variations refer to the famous Irish woman bethrothed to King Mark of Cornwall who fell in love with his nephew Tristan when they drank a love potion by mistake.