Popular Celtic Baby Names

Updated May 20, 2020
Celtic baby names

If you've got Celtic roots or love the unique sounds of Celtic names, choosing a baby name with Celtic origins for your son or daughter could be the right option. Popular Celtic baby name options include Gaelic names, Irish names, Welsh names, and Scottish names. Proper Celtic pronunciations are provided where possible, but you can also use the English pronunciations of your favorite Celtic names.

Popular Celtic Names for Girls

Popular Celtic names for girls are usually short with a strong sound. Most of these names end in a vowel sound, particularly "ee" or "ah," or end in the letter n."

Celtic Girl Names in Wales and England

Since Welsh is a Celtic language, most Welsh baby names could be considered Celtic. While the top 10-20 names for girls in Wales and England aren't of Welsh origins, these are the most popular baby girl names in England and Wales that are.

Name Pronunciation Meaning
Cadi cah-dee unknown
Efa ay-vah to breathe/live
Eira eye-rah snow
Eleri eh-leh-rih unknown
Elin eh-lin unknown
Erin (Éireann) eh-run Ireland
Ffion fee-awn foxglove
Gwen gwehn white/fair
Imogen (Innogen) im-uh-jen maiden
Mabli mah-blee lovable
Orla (Órfhlaith) ohr-lah golden princess
Seren seh-ren star

Most Popular Girl Names in Ireland

Some of the most popular girl names in Ireland in 2019 are Celtic in origins, but not all Irish baby names are. Most of these names aren't pronounced how they look, so be prepared to do a lot of pronouncing and spelling if you choose one.

Irish Fairy Princess newborn girl
Name Pronunciation Meaning
Aoife ee-fuh beauty; legendary warrior princess
Caoimhe kee-vah beautiful/kind
Ciara keer-ah black
Clodagh claw-duh river name
Éabha ay-vah to breathe/live
Fiadh fee-ah wild
Róisín roh-sheen rose
Sadhbh sayv sweet
Saoirse see-r-shuh freedom

Top Scottish Girl Names

Several of the top baby names in Scotland in 2019 had Scottish Gaelic origins. These pretty Celtic names for girls sound familiar, but have a unique edge.

Name Pronunciation Meaning
Ailsa ayl-sah Scottish island name
Bonnie boh-nee pretty
Eilidh ay-lee unknown
Iona yo-nah/eye-oh-nuh Scottish island name
Mirren mih-ren unknown
Quinn kwihn descendant of conn (chief)

Popular Girl Names in the U.S. With Celtic Origins

Some of the most popular names in the U.S. in 2018 for girls are of Celtic origins. You can use these modern English versions or do some research to find the ancient versions they evolved from.

Baby girl sitting on grass
Name Pronunciation Meaning
Arabella air-uh-bell-uh lovable/invocable
Brianna bree-ah-nah/bree-an-uh hill/noble
Morgan mor-gin sea circle
Reese reess enthusiasm
Riley ry-lee unknown
Sloane slohn raid
Teagan tee-gin descendant of Tadhgán

Popular Celtic Names for Boys

Celtic boy names often double as gender neutral names and girl names in modern times. These names are typically short, but have a softer sound that makes them strong and beautiful.

Celtic Boy Names in Wales and England

The top baby boy names in Wales and England aren't generally of Celtic origins, but these are the most popular boys names in England and Wales with Celtic origins.

Name Pronunciation Meaning
Arlo (Aherlow) ar-loh between two highlands
Ellis (Elissed) eh-liss kind
Finley (Fionnlagh) finn-lee white warrior
Hari hah-ree home ruler
Jac jock God is gracious
Logan loh-gun little hollow
Oscar (os cara) ohss-cahr deer friend
Osian (Oisín) osh-ann/aw-sheen little deer
Rory (Ruaidhrí) roh-ree red king
Rowan/ÓRuadháin roo-awn descendant of Ruadhan

Popular Irish Boy Names

Cool Irish Celtic boy names include some of the most popular boy names in Ireland in 2019. These names look and sound similar to other common English names, but the slight differences make them unique names.

baby boy in the bed
Name Pronunciation Meaning
Cian kee-in ancient
Cillian kill-ee-in church
Conor (Conchobar) coh-nohr hound desiring
Darragh daw-rah fruitful
Fionn/Finn fee-ahn fair/white
Seán sh-on god is gracious
Senán sheh-nahn little old person
Tadhg tayg poet

Popular Boy Names in Scotland

Scottish baby names for boys often end in a consonant giving them a hard sound.

Name Pronunciation Meaning
Aidan (Aodhán) ay-don little fire
Angus (Aonghus) ang-uhs one strength
Arran ar-uhn Scottish island name
Brodie/Brody broh-dee ditch
Carson car-sohn unknown
Fraser fray-zur unknown
Ruaridh roh-ree red king

Top Boy Names in the U.S. With Celtic Origins

Some of the most popular boy names in the U.S. in 2018 are of Celtic origins. You can use the English versions of the names or find out what their original forms were.

Newborn baby boy
Name Pronunciation Meaning
Aiden/Ayden ay-den little fire
Kaiden/Caden kay-din son of Cadán
Cameron kam-run crooked nose
Declan deck-lahn unknown
Dylan dill-uhn great tide
Ian ee-in god is gracious
Liam lee-um desire protection
Owen oh-ehn unknown
Ryan ry-ahn descendant of Rion (little king)

What Does Celtic Mean?

The Celts are typically viewed as a set of tribes originating in Central Europe. While the tribes were separate, they spoke a similar language and had similar beliefs, traditions, and cultures. These tribes eventually spread to areas including Britain, Ireland, France, and Spain. You can find this culture still in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland primarily. The term "Celtic" can be pronounced with a "k" sound or an "s" sound at the beginning.

Celtic Languages

While Celtic tribes spoke similar languages, each was distinct. The proper pronunciation of names in these languages can be difficult as they're not typically phonetic. Celtic languages include:

  • Breton
  • Cornish
  • Gaelic
  • Manx
  • Scottish Gaelic
  • Welsh (Cymru in Celtic)

Unique Celtic Baby Names That May Become Popular

Thanks to shows like Outlander, languages such as Gaelic are becoming popular again. You can get ahead of the most recent Celtic trend by choosing unique baby names that have the potential to become popular in the next few years.

Gaelic Names From Popular Culture

  • Colum (male; cah-luhm) - dove
  • Dougal (male; dool) - dark stranger
  • Geillis (female; gay-liss) - unknown
  • Hamish (male; hay-mish) - unknown
  • Laoghaire (female; lyr-ree) - calf herder
  • Murtagh (male; mer-tahg) - mariner

Other Words for Celtic to Use as Baby Names

When ancient writers wrote about these tribes, they assigned a variety of names to them which have morphed over time.

  • Britanni - name for the Celtic-speaking people of Great Britain
  • Celtae - Latin word for Celts
  • Celtisch - German word for Celts
  • Celtique - French word for Celts
  • Galli - Roman word for Celts
  • Keltoi - Greek word for Celts
  • Pritani - Greek word for Brittani

Celtic Tribe Names to Use As Baby Names

There were dozens and dozens of different Celtic tribes in ancient times. You could use these tribe names and first names for boys or girls.

  • Belgae - tribes living in Northern Gaul
  • Brigantes - tribe in ancient England
  • Cornovii - tribe of Britain
  • Deceangli - tribe in ancient Wales
  • Demetae - tribe in ancient Wales
  • Novantae - tribe of Britain
  • Gael - tribe of Ireland/Scotland
  • Galatian - tribe from what is now Turkey
  • Gaul - tribe from what is now France
  • Ordovices - tribe in ancient Wales
  • Silures - tribe in ancient Wales

Embracing Celtic Culture

The Celts were hardy travelers and their names exude strength; they might even be considered exotic names today. If you love the look and sound of Celtic baby names, you might also like Old English baby names and pagan baby names, which stem from the same era as the height of Celtic culture.

Popular Celtic Baby Names