Fave Irish/Scottish names?

I would love to you what your favorite Irish and Scottish names are. [name_m]Can[/name_m] be as outlandish or GP/hard to wear as you want, if you can please put the meaning of it and/or reasons why you like it. Bonus point if they have nns but not required or anything, just interested in hearing your thoughts.

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] there.

I love Irish & Scottish names.

Here are my top five:


  1. [name_m]Colm[/name_m]-This name means ‘dove’, which makes it even more beautiful. I read it in a historical fiction book set in the 1860s. [name_m]Colm[/name_m] was the name of an Irish immigrant soldier. I just love how gentle yet handsome it sounds.

  2. [name_m]Ewan[/name_m]-I just find this charming, witty, kind & handsome. It’s simple, yet somehow not at all popular. The only nn I kind of like is [name_u]Win[/name_u]. Meaning isn’t for certain, but it may mean ‘born under the yew tree’. Which is nature-y & sweet.

  3. [name_m]Nolan[/name_m]-I’m a huge baseball fan, so I love names that sound like ballplayers. This one totally does, but it also sounds like a rugged woodsman. And then at the same time, it also has a kind gentle feeling. I love boy names like that. The nn [name_m]Nollie[/name_m] pretty cute.

4.[name_m]Seamus[/name_m]-I think that this is my fourth favorite. First three are set in stone. I love this, because it’s just the epitome of an Irish name. It just sounds like a charming, cheerful friendly hardworking fella. And the nn [name_u]Shea[/name_u] is beautiful.

  1. [name_m]Eamon[/name_m]-This is another of those cool outdoorsy guy sounding name, who has a gentle soul. It’s very Irish too.

As a side note, I think you’d like to know my nephews’ names. Dh’s sister has five boys called Li@m, Se@mus (nn [name_u]Shay[/name_u] most of the time), Cilli@n, M@lachy & E@mon. And then his brother has two boys called Decl@n & [name_m]Kier[/name_m]@n. And their dog, [name_m]Ron[/name_m]@n. Then I have a bunch of non-Irish named nephews as well.

Anyway, the girls…

  1. [name_f]Fiona[/name_f]-The beautiful angel in my profile picture if [name_f]Fiona[/name_f]. I just love the name so much. It’s a perfect balance of boldness & feminine beauty. It means ‘fair’ or ‘white’. As far as nns, we call her Fi or Feefs a lot. I think that Feefs may be goofy for a human. I’ve never used this, but always thought that the name [name_f]Nonie[/name_f] could work.

  2. Finuala/[name_f]Nuala[/name_f]-I can’t decide which one I like more. I sort of like the idea of the full name & [name_f]Nuala[/name_f] as a nn. I have just [name_f]Nuala[/name_f] on my ‘would use for a hypothetical human baby’ list, because Finuala is too close to [name_f]Fiona[/name_f]. Finuala means ‘white shoulder’.

  3. [name_f]Aine[/name_f]-This is basically said like [name_f]Anya[/name_f], but I think a little bit more like ‘own-yuh’. It’s kind of too complicated to use in real life, in my opinion. But it’s beautiful, isn’t it? It means ‘radiance’, & she was the queen of the fairies in Gaelic mythology.

  4. [name_f]Elspeth[/name_f]-This is a Scottish form of [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f], so it means ‘God is an oath’. I think that it sounds smart & sassy. And has the adorable nn of [name_f]Elsie[/name_f].

  5. [name_f]Maeve[/name_f]-Apparently this means ‘intoxicating’. And she was a warrior queen in Irish mythology. I never thought that it sounded warrior-y, but that’s very cool. I think it sounds smart & sweet.

[name_f]Hope[/name_f] this helps. :slight_smile:

[name_f]My[/name_f] favourites for boys are [name_u]Rory[/name_u], which is apparently both Scottish and Irish, [name_m]Malachi[/name_m] (Irish) and [name_m]Angus[/name_m], which is Scottish. For girls I love [name_f]Marsaili[/name_f] (MAR-sa-lee), which is derived from the [name_m]Roman[/name_m] god of war, [name_u]Mars[/name_u], and [name_f]Arabella[/name_f], both of which are Scottish, and the Irish [name_f]Maeve[/name_f]: it’s simple and strong and I love its meaning/background. It means ‘she who intoxicates’ and in Irish mythology [name_f]Maeve[/name_f] was both a warrior queen and queen of the fairies. I started appreciating it when I watched Sex Education (it’s the name of a feisty, intelligent, and also beautiful character). Oisín (b) and [name_f]Saoirse[/name_f] (g), both of which are Irish, are also great names. I love that both Irish and Scottish names seem, both aesthetically and in sound, simultaneously strong and magical. They make me think of highland battles, witches on heaths, and fairy magic.

I love Celtic names, so many amazing options.

[name_f]Bronagh[/name_f] - means ‘sorrow’. Sad meaning but I love how strong she is, I can just imagine this she-wolf type character.

[name_f]Imogen[/name_f] - means ‘maiden’. One of my absolute favourites for a long while now, even though she’s quite familiar for me, I think she’s also fairly unique and I don’t see her getting as much love as I think she deserves.

[name_f]Isobel[/name_f] - means ‘pledged to God’. This is the Scottish variant of [name_f]Isabel[/name_f]/[name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] etc and, in my opinion, far and above the best of all versions. [name_f]Isabella[/name_f]/[name_f]Isabelle[/name_f] can be a little juvenile to me, like it wouldn’t suit a grown woman at all but [name_f]Isobel[/name_f] feels like it would suit anyone of any age.

[name_m]Alistair[/name_m] - means ‘defending men’. A total classic, and lovely alternative to [name_m]Alexander[/name_m].

[name_m]Lorcan[/name_m] - means ‘little, fierce’. Such a great meaning, no? And so full of Irish history, I love him the most.

[name_m]Malachy[/name_m] - means ‘my messenger’. I prefer [name_m]Malachy[/name_m] (MAL-AH-KEY) over the Hebrew [name_m]Malachi[/name_m] (MAL-AH-KAI). I watched a show once with a character called this and pronounced how I preferred, Irish accent and all, and I just fell for him.

[name_u]Rory[/name_u] - means ‘red king’. Always a favourite. I’m firmly on the boys team where [name_u]Rory[/name_u] is concerned and even though I said [name_m]Lorcan[/name_m] is my absolute favourite, [name_u]Rory[/name_u] is the one I’d consider more for a future kiddo. I just feel like he’d fit a lot of personalities without being the same old kind of thing, if that makes sense.

[name_u]Tristan[/name_u] - means ‘noise or sorrowful.’ Another sad meaning, but he’s such a classic, in my opinion. So sturdy, too, and another with a wealth of history with him. Charming.

[name_f]Hope[/name_f] these give you some inspiration.

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[name_m]Fergus[/name_m] “[name_u]Gus[/name_u]”: [name_f]My[/name_f] all time favorite boys name. It’s the perfect balance of hardy, steady, manly, but with the nickname [name_u]Gus[/name_u] it’s soft, playful, somewhat childish. I thing it’s just perfect for any kind of boy. It means “man of force”

[name_m]Fraser[/name_m] “[name_m]Frey[/name_m]”: my second favorite boys name. It hits all the same points as [name_m]Fergus[/name_m] does. It means “strawberry” which is just adorable. I’ve always loved the name [name_m]Frey[/name_m] but it’s a little too weak to stand by itself. I think it really softens [name_m]Fraser[/name_m] up.

[name_m]Branigan[/name_m] “[name_m]Bram[/name_m]”: a new love of mine. It has such a unique sound to it and the coolest meaning (“little raven”). I think it’s well rounded, handsome, and can be the name of a little boy or an old man.

[name_m]Callaghan[/name_m] “[name_u]Cal[/name_u]”: I’m a sucker for names that have [name_u]Cal[/name_u] as the nickname. It again fits the above criteria which is what I look for in boy names. [name_u]Cal[/name_u] once again softens the harsher name and provides an adorable nickname for a child. It means “lover of churches” which is an okay meaning, nothing special though.

[name_m]Dougal[/name_m]: I’ve loved this name for a while now. It’s more of a guilty pleasure though. It’s a steady, tough boy name. I love it’s mysterious meaning, “dark stranger”. I do not like the nickname [name_m]Doug[/name_m] which is inevitable with a name like this. Also where I live no one would be able to pronounce it.

[name_m]Findlay[/name_m]: it has a cool meaning. “fair-haired hero”. I also prefer this traditional spelling. This (and all other [name_m]Fin[/name_m] names) are guilty pleasure for me. I have a cat named [name_m]Phinneas[/name_m] “Phinn/Phinney” so I can’t really name a kit the same thing.

[name_m]Finian[/name_m] “[name_m]Fin[/name_m]”: same as above. It means “fair”. I prefer it spelt with one N. I read a book series with a character named [name_m]Finian[/name_m] and I feel in love with the name and the character. It’s such a strong and handsome name however I couldn’t really use it unfortunately.

[name_m]Finnegan[/name_m]: same as above. I didn’t like this name for a long time, but for some reason it started to grow on me. It’s fun, playful, unique, handsome, and just well rounded.

[name_m]Hamish[/name_m]: oh how I love this name. It just makes me smile whenever I read or hear it. It means “supplanter”. It’s just the cutest, most adorable name ever. It borders on brave and GP for me since where I’m from everyone wil pronounce it [name_m]Ham[/name_m]-ish instead of Hay-mish.

[name_u]Keegan[/name_u]: this used to be a top name for me but then I went to college and I meant three of them. It’s not as unqiue as I thought it was and I’m not a huge fan of the kids who are named [name_u]Keegan[/name_u]. I love the meaning, “a thinker; fiery”. I don’t really like the potential nicknames though so that is a drawback.

[name_u]Killian[/name_u] “[name_u]Kit[/name_u]”: I’ve loved this name for a long time. I read it in a book and the character was bad*ss. I do prefer the spelling with a K instead of a C. The C makes me want to pronounce it as an S. Since [name_u]Killian[/name_u] is a harsher name, I wanted to find a softer nickname for it. [name_u]Kit[/name_u] is a stretch but I love it as a nickname. [name_u]Killian[/name_u] means “War strife or church” which isn’t my favorite meaning, but it’s not the worst.

Murtagh: This is another GP for me. I love the meaning (“skilled navigator”). I first heard it in the show Outlander. I love the character. It sounds soft but at the same time carries a subtle strength to it. Once again no one where I’m from would be able to pronounce it correctly, so it’s a GP for me.

[name_m]Seamus[/name_m] “[name_u]Shay[/name_u]”: I would use this name is a heartbeat. I think some people would pronounce it wrong at first but It’s an easy correction. It means “supplanter”. Nicknames are inevitable in my family, so his nickname would by [name_u]Shay[/name_u]. I don’t hate or love [name_u]Shay[/name_u], but it’s starting to grow on me. I think [name_m]Seamus[/name_m] is a tough, kind boy name. I can see any kind of boy wearing it.

[name_f]Aila[/name_f]: this a new love of mine. It’s still growing on me, however, it’s not my favorite bc it’s pronounced the same way as [name_f]Isla[/name_f] which is becoming very popular. It means “from a strong place” which I really like. I love strong names on girls and I think this one is perfect.

Ailith: I want to love this name but I’m having a hard time. I’m not a huge fan of the th at the end, but it is growing on me. It means “warrior” which I adore.

[name_u]Ainsley[/name_u]: I’ve loved this name for a while now. I have a hard time pairing with a middle though. It’s rising in popularity which I’m not fond of but I think I’ll be willing to overlook it. It means “one’s own meadow”. It’s such a sweet meaning. I think it’s a very independent, cute, strong name for a girl.

[name_f]Eilidh[/name_f]: this is a GP of mine, no one would be able to pronounce it. I love the meaning: “sun, radiant one”. I think it’s perfect for a girl. This name exudes confidence, strength, and gives me queen vibes.

[name_u]Fiadh[/name_u]: another GP just bc people would have trouble pronouncing it. I adore it’s meaning: “wild”. It’s strong, beautiful, feisty, and to me, just a perfect girls name.

[name_u]Madigan[/name_u]: this name is just adorable. It means “little dog” which I think it so cute. [name_m]Even[/name_m] though it’s cute, it’s just so strong. It’s a great alternative to [name_f]Madeline[/name_f] which is so popular. However, I do not like the nickname [name_f]Maddy[/name_f] which is pretty much a guarantee.

[name_f]Scotland[/name_f] “[name_u]Scout[/name_u] or [name_u]Scottie[/name_u]”: I’ve loved this for a girl for a long time now. It’s an honor to my mom. I think it’s strong, stunning, independent, and beautiful. Perfect for any aged woman.

[name_u]Thistle[/name_u]: this is the national flower of [name_f]Scotland[/name_f]. It’s just so beautiful. It’s a harsher name but I still love it, especially as a middle. It is an honor for my mom.

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I have a cousin named [name_m]Nolan[/name_m] and we have a sneaking suspicion that my uncle named him after the player! I like this name too!

[name_m]Sholto[/name_m] is my favourite scottish boy’s name - it just sounds so earthy and cool, so fully of life. It gives me imagery of a quiet woodland waiting to be explored

[name_m]Cillian[/name_m], [name_u]Murphy[/name_u], [name_u]Keegan[/name_u] and [name_m]Fergus[/name_m] are some runners up

[name_f]Clodagh[/name_f] is my favourite Irish girls name. I love the distinctive sounds and the mixture of softness and hardness. It’s tough with a kind of gentleness and it gives me imagery of running water

[name_f]Effie[/name_f], [name_f]Eilidh[/name_f], [name_f]Ailish[/name_f] and [name_f]Mairead[/name_f] are some runners up

Mine are:

Irish -



Scottish -



I have Irish heritage so I have a soft spot for Irish names. If my mum had had her way, me & my sister would have been called [name_f]Niamh[/name_f] and [name_f]Siobhan[/name_f].

[name_f]My[/name_f] favourites…


[name_m]Faolan[/name_m] - this was my favourite boys name for the longest time! It means “little wolf” so Wolfie would be an adorable nickname too.

Thank you all for your feedback! I have now been able to narrow down what kind of Gaelic names I’m looking for and I am leaning heavily to “gaelic roots that sound modern/trendy to the American ear” from these names im really liking:
[name_u]Killian[/name_u] nn [name_u]Kit[/name_u]
[name_m]Brannigan[/name_m] nn [name_u]Bran[/name_u]
[name_u]Keegan[/name_u] nn [name_m]Keys[/name_m]
[name_m]Shamus[/name_m] nn [name_u]Shay[/name_u]
[name_u]Madigan[/name_u] (although I also dislike [name_f]Maddie[/name_f] as a nn)
[name_m]Fergus[/name_m] made me think of [name_m]Magnus[/name_m] nn [name_u]Gus[/name_u] which I really like
And [name_u]Thistle[/name_u] is a really cool idea!
[name_m]Lorcan[/name_m] (nn ideas?)
[name_m]Cormac[/name_m] nn [name_u]Mack[/name_u]