A Letter from Ireland:
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Does your first name have an equivalent Irish name?

Do you know your given name in Irish? Does your first name have an equivalent Irish name? Just last week, I sent out a Letter from Ireland – and in it, I covered many of the more common first names in Irish. Well, the amount of mail I received in turn would would have kept me busy for the next month!

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So, what I decided to do is to lay out as many Irish names as I could come up with in the following article. I included the answers to many of the questions I received – maybe you can find some of your familiar names below?

I have divided them into boys and girls names. Have a look through and see what you think (btw – I am open to being corrected – the translations for some Irish names can be quite “fluid” at times):

Irish Names for Girls:

Let’s start with some girls names:

  • Agnes – Equivalent Irish: Úna (pronounced “oon-a”).
  • Alice – Equivalent Irish: Ailís (pronounced “ay-leesh”).
  • Anne – Equivalent Irish: Áine (pronounced “Awn-ya”).
  • Barbara – Equivalent Irish: Gormladh (pronounced “Gurm-la”) and Bairbre.
  • Catherine/Katherine – Equivalent Irish: Caitríona (pronounced “Ca-treena”).
  • Dorothy – Equivalent Irish: Doireann (pronounced “dirr-en”).
  • Edna – Equivalent Irish: Eithne (pronounced “et-na”).
  • Elizabeth – Equivalent Irish: Sibeal (pronounced “Sybil”) or Eibhlís (pronounced “aye-leesh).
  • Eva – Equivalent Irish: Aoife (pronounced “eef-a”).
  • Evelyn/Eileen – Equivalent Irish: Eibhlín (pronounced “aye-leen”).
  • Frances – Equivalent Irish: Proinnseas (pronounced “Prun-chis”).
  • Grace – Equivalent Irish: Gráinne (pronounced “Grawn-ya”).
  • Honora – Equivalent Irish: Nora (pronounced “nore-a”).
  • Jane/Jennifer/Janet – Equivalent Irish: Sinéad (pronounced “Shin-ade”).
  • Joan/Joanna/Judith/Julia – Equivalent Irish: Siobhán (pronounced “Shiv-awn”).
  • Josephine – Equivalent Irish: Seosaimhín (pronounced “show-sav-een”).
  • Kathleen – Equivalent Irish: Caitlín (pronounced “Cat-leen”).
  • Kelly – Equivalent Irish: Ceallach (pronounced “Ka-yallock”).
  • Margaret – Equivalent Irish: Mairéad (pronounced “Mor-ade”).
  • Marjorie/Mabel/Maude/Marion – Equivalent Irish: Muireann (pronounced “mwir-an”).
  • Mary/Miriam – Equivalent Irish: Máire (pronounced “Maw-re”).
  • Patricia – Equivalent Irish: Padraigín (pronounced “paw-drig-een”).
  • Pauline – Equivalent Irish: Póilín (pronounced “Poe-leen”).
  • Penelope – Equivalent Irish: Fionnuala (pronounced “fyun-oola”).
  • Rose – Equivalent Irish: Róisín (pronounced “rosh-een”).
  • Sarah/Sophia/Sally – Equivalent Irish: Sorcha (pronounced “sor-ka”).
  • Sheila/Sheelagh/Cecilia – Equivalent Irish: Síle (pronounced “Shee-la”).
  • Theresa – Equivalent Irish: Treasa (pronounced “trassa”).

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Irish Names for Boys:

And on to the boys:

  • Adam – Equivalent Irish: Adhamh (pronounced “awve”).
  • Aidan – Equivalent Irish: Aodhan (pronounced “ay-dawn”).
  • Andrew – Equivalent Irish: Aindréis (pronounced “Ann-draysh”).
  • Anthony – Equivalent Irish: Antaine (pronounced “An-tanna”).
  • Benjamin/Bernard – Equivalent Irish: Beaircheart (pronounced “bar-hart”).
  • Brendan – Equivalent Irish: Brendán (pronounced “bren-dawn”).
  • Brian – Equivalent Irish: Brían (pronounced “Bree-an”).
  • Charles – Equivalent Irish: Cathal (pronounced “Caw-hal”). This also gives us the surname Cahill. As you may be aware, most Irish surnames are derived from first names.
  • Christopher – Equivalent Irish: Críostóir (pronounced “kree-store”).
  • Conor/Cornelius – Equivalent Irish: Conchobhar (pronounced “conner”).
  • Daniel – Equivalent Irish: Domhnall/Dónal (pronounced “Dough-nal”). This also gives us the surnames McDonnell and O’Donnell. Think of “Daniel O’Donnell”.
  • David – Equivalent Irish: Daithí (pronounced “dah-hee”).
  • Declan – Equivalent Irish: Deaglán (pronounced “day-glawn”).
  • Denis – Equivalent Irish: Donnchadh (pronounced “duna-ka”).
  • Dermot/Jeremiah/Derry – Equivalent Irish: Diarmuid (pronounced “dear-mid”).
  • Edward/Edmund – Equivalent Irish: Eamon (pronounced “Ay-mon”).
  • Florence – Equivalent Irish: Finín (pronounced “fin-een”).
  • Francis/Frank – Equivalent Irish: Prionsíos (pronounced “Prun-sheeis”).
  • Frederick/Fergus – Equivalent Irish: Caitlín (pronounced “Cat-leen”).
  • George – Equivalent Irish: Seoirse (pronounced “shor-sha”).
  • Hugh – Equivalent Irish: Aodh (pronounced “Aay”).
  • James – Equivalent Irish: Séamus (pronounced “Shay-mus”) – often Shay for short.
  • John/Jack/Shane – Equivalent Irish: Seán (pronounced “shawn”).
  • Joseph – Equivalent Irish: Seosamh (pronounced “show-siv”).
  • Kenneth – Equivalent Irish: Coinneach (pronounced “quin-ock”).
  • Kevin – Equivalent Irish: Caoimhín (pronounced “Quiv-een”).
  • Kieran – Equivalent Irish: Ciarán (pronounced “Keer-awn”).
  • Laurence – Equivalent Irish: Lochlann (pronounced “Lock-lan”).
  • Luke – Equivalent Irish: Lúcás (pronounced “Loo-cawse”).
  • Martin – Equivalent Irish: Máirtín (pronounced “mar-teen”).
  • Matthew – Equivalent Irish: Maitiú (pronounced “matt-you”).
  • Maurice – Equivalent Irish: Muiris (pronounced “Mwir-ish”).
  • Michael – Equivalent Irish: Micheál (pronounced “mee-hawl”).
  • Murtagh/Mortimer – Equivalent Irish: Muircheartach (pronounced “mwir-cyar-toch”).
  • Neil – Equivalent Irish: Niall (pronounced “Nile”).
  • Owen/Eugene – Equivalent Irish: Eoghan (pronounced “Owe-en”).
  • Patrick – Equivalent Irish: Pádraig (pronounced “paw-drig”).
  • Paul – Equivalent Irish: Pól (pronounced “pole”).
  • Peter – Equivalent Irish: Peadar (pronounced “pad-ar”).
  • Philip – Equivalent Irish: Pilib (pronounced “phil-ib”).
  • Richard – Equivalent Irish: Risteard(pronounced “Rish-teared”).
  • Robert – Equivalent Irish: Robeárd (pronounced “rob-ayrd”).
  • Roger – Equivalent Irish: Ruadhrai (pronounced “Rue-ree”).
  • Stephen – Equivalent Irish: Stiofáin (pronounced “stiff-awn”).
  • Terrence/Terry – Equivalent Irish: Turlough (pronounced “Tur-lock”)
  • Timothy/Ted – Equivalent Irish: Tadhg (pronounced “tie-g”).
  • Thomas – Equivalent Irish: Tomás (pronounced “tom-awse”).
  • William – Equivalent Irish: Liam (pronounced “lee-am”).

So, are any of your family Irish names above? Does your first name have an equivalent Irish name? Remember, there are lots of modern names for which we don’t really have Irish equivalents – but there are still quite a few above!

  • Kerry says:

    My name isn’t on the list. My father was Dudley, but I think it was Dudlii, and I am Kerry which I know is Irish, as my grandfather came from Kerry.

  • Françoise Seguin (Bio name) Betty Ann Willoughby says:

    Hello my name is not on the list but my bio name is Belly Ann Willoughby Wollaston, Nothing ham England.
    My Grandmother is Aileen Munn rumour has it that it is Irish. I had my DNA done and I have 36% Irish. My adopted name is Mary Catherine Jo-Ann Françoise Côté,
    I have the feeling that my GrGrandmother had a say in it She was Julia O’Neil daughter of Catherine O’Connor.
    Sorry but that is all I have, for now.

  • ML Pursell says:

    Since every other aunt or cousin in my family is named Margaret, including both of my grandmothers, my parents named me for my great-grandmother, Mary Anne. Mine is spelled Marianne, and my middle name is Lisson, which was Mary Anne’s maiden name. She was from Bandon, County Cork.

  • Noreen says:

    What about Noreen? I know it comes from Honora but it should be on list!

  • Hi Mike, my mother’s name was in English Hannah Margaret she told me her Gaelic name was Siobhan Mairead, another name her family called her was something that sounded like Aida and I have no idea why. Her older sister was in Australian electoral roles as Julia Mary but I knew her as Sheila Marie and her younger sister as Helen Monica, I knew her as Eileen. My mother also told me that Sean was Irish for John and Sean was the name I new my uncle as. I didn’t know it at the time but I had my first lessons in Gaelic, I may know more but I have forgotten it.
    I have read that somewhere that the name Hannah in Gaelic is not the same in all areas of Ireland. I will let you know when I find it.

  • Susan Luck says:

    I enjoy reading all your letters after I go to church… it a special treat that I look forward to. Speaking of names… I have hit a brick wall with the name Henry Gorman 1835-1906 . Married a Honora, but I am not sure of her last name? Is the name Henry Irish? All I know is he was from Northern Ireland on one census and a Free State on other. These were from Connecticut, USA where they ended up. He did stop in Canada before entering the USA. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Hope you can help me out or point me in the right direction. Susan from Missouri, USA Have a great day!

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