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Celtic names are a lot more diverse than many people think.
This is because there are so many different languages within the Celtic family. In fact, some of the most popular Celtic languages include Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic, which have over 5 million speakers combined! One thing’s for sure: if you’re looking for an unusual name that has roots in this language group, then look no further than these five surprising options!
Celtic names are a lot more diverse than many people think. This is because there are so many different languages within the Celtic family. In fact, some of the most popular Celtic languages include Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic, which have over five million speakers combined! One thing’s for sure: if you’re looking for an unusual name that has roots in this language group, then look no further than these five surprising options!
-Aodh (uh): Meaning fire or one who shines from great strength, Aodh is pronounced like “e” as in “hello.” It can also be spelled Eoghan/Ewan if you want to get fancy with it. The first word means fire while the second word means one who shines.
-Padraic (puh-DREEK) is pronounced like “Patrick.” It’s also spelled Padraig or Pádraig if you want to get fancy with it. The first word means father while the second word can mean chieftain, generous and noble, and liberator all at once!
-Gareth (gah RAYTH): Gareth can be pronounced like “garage.” It’s spelled Garetha in Wales but it’s also spelled Garreth when you are outside Ireland and Scotland. The first word means gentle while the second has no exact translation it may have something to do with spear?
-Nigel: Pronounced nee GOAL, Nigel is an English spelling that comes from Nigellus which translates as dark one who shines/black but fair! Kinda reminds me of Night King from Game of Thrones.
-Kian (kee AN): Kian is a Gaelic name that can be pronounced quite differently from how it’s spelled. Say as KEYAN or kye ANN, depending on where in the world you’re from! The first word means young while the second comes from Kenneth which translates to handsome one.
-Ronan: Ronan is an Irish variation of Rónán which means seal pup and probably has something to do with water too? It sounds like Rowen but could also be spelt Ronald when outside Ireland. The first word for this name translation wise would mean little salmon but its meaning is really hard to translate because it was so commonly used before English words were adopted into other languages and cultures. In Welsh, it’s Rowen which means red-haired.
-Liam: Liam is short for William and from the Welsh name Llewellyn, both of which mean will or desire. It could also be spelt Wynn when outside Ireland because that’s how it would’ve been spelled in Wales before English words were adopted into other languages and cultures as well.
-Niall: Niall was a Celtic Irish king who founded Clan Niall (aka The Uí Néill). Literally this name translates to “champion”. Its meaning comes from the Gaelic word naomh which can translate to saint but has many different meanings depending on what language you’re speaking so there are very few translations out there! This one is probably the best translation you’re going to find.
-Owen: Owen is a Welsh name meaning “born of yew” and comes from the word iawn which means noble, lofty or well born. It’s similar to names like Aidan (Irish) Aodh (Gaelic) and Eugene (Greek), all of which have meanings related to being high in rank!
-Aiden: This Irish Gaelic surname translates into English as Fire but it has many other meanings depending on what language you’re speaking so there are very few translations out there! In French for example, it would translate back into fire because they pronounce this word differently than we do here. The most common meaning is derived from Latin and it translates back to fire.
-Euan: This Scottish Gaelic translation is a little tricky because there are so many different meanings depending on what language you’re speaking! In French for example, this name would translate into the word meaning “born of yew”, which is not really surprising considering that’s where Owen comes from as well. If I was going strictly by Gaelic then Ewan would be translated into English as John but we already have one of those names covered with our first suggestion! The most common way to say Euan in Scotland today is Yohn and when pronounced correctly, sounds like “YOON”.
-Ian: Ian is an Irish surname derived from the Latin phrase ianua which means door. It’s not a common name for boys out there but if you’re looking to give your little guy something that sounds different then this might be the one!
-Emmett: This is an Irish and Scottish Gaelic version of the Old Norse name “Emundr” which means beloved. If you want to go with a heritage inspired boy’s Celtic name then Emmett should be at the top of your list because it has some serious historical roots!
-Ronan: In Ireland, Ronan was typically written as Rónán or Ruadhan and its meaning comes from ríon (king) so on paper it would mean “little king”. All jokes aside, this is actually a pretty cool sounding Celtic name for boys and it’s not too common either!
-Rowan: This Irish surname is a variant of the name “Rogan” which means red. It might sound like an odd choice, but when you think about it, this color carries some powerful symbolism that can be passed on to your son if you choose Rowan as his Celtic name.
-Ciarán: Ciarán is also known by its Latinized form – Queranus which means dark or black in ancient Gaelic language. If what we’re looking for is something with a darker undertone then Ciarán could work out just fine because there are plenty of other names that have similar meanings such as Bran (Raven) and Ruairí (
One of the most popular trends in America right now are names from different cultures. If you’re looking for a cool Celtic name with historic roots, here are five possibilities to consider.
Ciarán: A powerful Irish warrior who was known as “The Dark Hero”, Ciaran is one of the most beloved saints in Ireland and Scotland. This variation on Kiernan means “little black haired”. It has been used by stars such as Pierce Brosnan or Liam Neeson.
Caoimhe: Meaning ‘gentle’ or ‘merciful‘, this Gaelic version of Evelyn suits both girls and boys beautifully – plus it’s got an elegant sound! This beautiful first name might be famous thanks to the talented actress Saoirse Ronan.
Ruairí: This name means ‘a little red one’ and has been used by Irish boys for centuries, with many people believing it is derived from the Gaelic word ruadh meaning “red”. We love this name because of its simplicity but also think that it might be a perfect choice if you are looking to give your son an unusual Celtic first name!
As always, we hope these tips will help you find something special for your baby boy or girl. Which would you choose? Leave us a comment below if there are any questions about our naming advice today!