AGRONA f Celtic Mythology
Derived from the old Celtic element agro
meaning "battle, slaughter". This was the name of the Brythonic goddess of war and death.
AILILL m Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "elf" in Irish Gaelic. This name occurs frequently in Irish legend, borne for example by the husband of queen Medb
ANDRASTE f Celtic Mythology
Possibly means "invincible" in Celtic. This was the name of a Briton goddess of victory who was invoked by Boudicca
before her revolt.
AODH m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áed
, which meant "fire". This was a very popular name in early Ireland, being borne by numerous figures in Irish mythology and several high kings. It has been traditionally Anglicized as Hugh
AODHÁN m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
From the old Irish name Áedán
, a diminutive of Áed
). This was the name of an Irish monk and saint of the 7th century. It was also borne by several characters in Irish mythology.
AOIFE f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "beauty" from the Gaelic word aoibh
. In Irish legend Aoife was a warrior princess. In war against her sister Scathach, she was defeated in single combat by the hero Cúchulainn
. Eventually she was reconciled with her sister and became the lover of Cúchulainn. This name is sometimes used as a Gaelic form of EVE
AONGHUS m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Possibly meaning "one strength" derived from Irish óen
"one" and gus
"force, strength, energy". Aonghus (sometimes surnamed Mac Og
meaning "young son") was the Irish god of love and youth. The name was also borne by an 8th-century Pictish king and several Irish kings.
ARAWN m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the god of the underworld, called Annwfn, in Welsh mythology.
ARIANRHOD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Possibly means "silver wheel" or "round wheel" in Welsh. In Welsh myth Arianrhod was the mother of the brothers Dylan
Llaw Gyffes. In earlier myths she was a goddess of the moon.
ARMEL m French
From the old Welsh name Arthfael
, which was composed of the elements arth
"bear" and mael
"prince". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh saint who founded abbeys in Brittany.
ARTHUR m English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
The meaning of this name is unknown. It could be derived from the Celtic elements artos
"bear" combined with viros
"man" or rigos
"king". Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius
. Arthur is the name of the central character in Arthurian legend, a 6th-century king of the Britons who resisted Saxon invaders. He may or may not have been a real person. He first appears in Welsh poems and chronicles (some possibly as early as the 7th century) but his character was not developed until the chronicles of the 12th-century Geoffrey of Monmouth.... [more]
BÉBINN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "fair lady" in Irish Gaelic. This name was borne by several characters in Irish mythology, including a goddess of childbirth.
BEDIVERE m Welsh Mythology, Arthurian Romance
From the Welsh name Bedwyr
, which is of unknown meaning. In Arthurian legends Bedivere was one of the original companions of King Arthur
. He first appears in early Welsh tales, and his story was later expanded by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century. He is the one who throws the sword Excalibur into the lake at the request of the dying Arthur.
BELENUS m Celtic Mythology
Probably from a Celtic word meaning "bright, brilliant". This was the name of a Gaulish solar god who was often equated with Apollo
BELI m Welsh Mythology
Probably a Welsh derivative of BELENUS
. Beli Mawr was a Welsh ancestor deity who established several royal lines in Wales.
BILE m Irish Mythology
Possibly an Irish form of BELENUS
, though it may derive from an Irish word meaning "hero". In Irish mythology this was the name of one of the Milesians who was drowned while invading Ireland.
BIRGITTA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish
Most likely a Scandinavian form of BRIDGET
via the Latinized form Brigitta
. Alternatively it could be a feminine derivative of BIRGER
. This is the name of the patron saint of Europe, Birgitta of Sweden, the 14th-century founder of the Bridgettine nuns. Her father's name was Birger.
BLÁTHNAT f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "little flower" from the Irish word blath
"flower" combined with a diminutive suffix. In Irish legend she was a maiden abducted and married by Cú Roí. She was rescued by Cúchulainn
, who killed her husband, but she was in turn murdered by one of Cú Roí's loyal servants.
BLODEUWEDD f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "face of flowers" in Welsh. In a story in the Mabinogion, she is created out of flowers by Gwydion
to be the wife of his nephew Lleu
Llaw Gyffes. She is eventually changed into an owl for her infidelity.
BOUDICCA f Ancient Celtic
Derived from Brythonic boud
meaning "victory". This was the name of a 1st-century queen of the Iceni who led the Britons in revolt against the Romans. Eventually her forces were defeated and she committed suicide.
BRAN (2) m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "raven" in Welsh. In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed (called also Bendigeid Vran) was the son of the god Llyr
. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was killed attacking Ireland.
BRANDON m English
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "hill covered with broom" in Old English. It is sometimes also used as a variant of BRENDAN
BRANWEN f Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "beautiful raven" from Welsh bran
"raven" and gwen
"fair, white, blessed". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, she is the sister of the British king Bran
and the wife of the Irish king Matholwch.
BRENDA f English
Possibly a feminine form of the Old Norse name Brandr
, meaning "sword", which was brought to Britain in the Middle Ages. This name is sometimes used as a feminine form of BRENDAN
BRENDAN m Irish, English
, the Latinized form of the Irish name Bréanainn
which was derived from a Welsh word meaning "prince". Saint Brendan was a 6th-century Irish abbot who, according to legend, crossed the Atlantic and reached North America with 17 other monks.
BRENNAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname derived from Ó Braonáin
meaning "descendant of Braonán". Braonán
is a byname meaning "rain, moisture, drop" (with a diminutive suffix).
BRENNUS m Ancient Celtic (Latinized)
Latinized form of a Celtic name (or title) that possibly meant either "king, prince" or "raven". Brennus was a Gallic leader of the 4th century BC who attacked and sacked Rome.
BRETT m & f English
From a Middle English surname meaning "a Breton", referring to an inhabitant of Brittany. A famous bearer is the American football quarterback Brett Favre (1969-).
BRIAN m Irish, English, Ancient Irish
The meaning of this name is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre
meaning "hill", or by extension "high, noble". It was borne by the semi-legendary Irish king Brian Boru, who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. He was slain in the Battle of Clontarf, though his forces were decisively victorious. The name was common in Ireland before his time, and even more so afterwards. It came into use in England in the Middle Ages, introduced by Breton settlers. It subsequently became rare, but was revived in the 20th century.
BRIANA f English
Feminine form of BRIAN
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in 'The Faerie Queene' (1590). The name was not commonly used until the 1970s, when it rapidly became popular in the United States.
BRICE m French, English
From the name Bricius
, which was probably a Latinized form of a Gaulish name meaning "speckled". This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a disciple of Saint Martin of Tours.
BRIDGET f Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Brighid
which means "exalted one". In Irish mythology this was the name of the goddess of fire, poetry and wisdom, the daughter of the god Dagda. In the 5th century it was borne by Saint Brigid, the founder of a monastery at Kildare and a patron saint of Ireland. Because of the saint, the name was considered sacred in Ireland, and it did not come into general use there until the 17th century. In the form Birgitta
this name has been common in Scandinavia, made popular by the 14th-century Saint Birgitta of Sweden, patron saint of Europe.
BRITANNIA f English (Rare)
From the Latin name of the island of Britain, in occasional use as an English given name since the 18th century. This is also the name of the Roman female personification of Britain pictured on some British coins.
BRITTANY f English
From the name of the region in the northwest of France, called in French Bretagne
. It was named for the Britons who settled there after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the invasions of the Anglo-Saxons. As a given name, it first came into common use in America in the 1970s.
BRITTON m English
Derived from a Middle English surname meaning "a Briton" (a Celt of England) or "a Breton" (an inhabitant of Brittany).
CADEYRN m Ancient Celtic
Means "battle king" from Welsh cad
"battle" and teyrn
"king, monarch". Cadeyrn (also known as Catigern) was a 5th-century king of Powys in Wales, the son of Vortigern.
CÁEL m Irish Mythology
From Gaelic caol
"slender". In Irish legend Cáel was a warrior of the Fianna and the lover of Créd.
CARADOG m Welsh
Welsh form of CARATACOS
. This is the name of several figures in Welsh history and legend, including a 6th-century king of Gwent and a Knight of the Round Table in Arthurian romance.
CARATACOS m Ancient Celtic
Derived from the Celtic element car
meaning "love". This was the name of a 1st-century British chieftain who rebelled against Roman rule.
CARLISLE m English
From a surname which was derived from the name of a city in northern England. The city was originally called by the Romans Luguvalium
meaning "stronghold of LUGUS
". Later the Brythonic element ker
"fort" was appended to the name of the city.
CASEY m & f English, Irish
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Cathasaigh
meaning "descendant of CATHASACH
". This name can be given in honour of Casey Jones (1863-1900), a train engineer who sacrificed his life to save his passengers. In his case, Casey
was a nickname acquired because he was raised in the town of Cayce, Kentucky.
CAVAN m English
Either from the name of the Irish county, which is derived from Irish cabhán
"hollow", or else from the Irish surname CAVAN
CEDRIC m English
Invented by Sir Walter Scott for a character in his novel 'Ivanhoe' (1819). Apparently he based it on the actual name Cerdic
, the name of the semi-legendary founder of the kingdom of Wessex in the 6th century. The meaning of Cerdic
is uncertain, but it does not appear to be Old English in origin. It could be connected to the Brythonic name CARATACOS
. The name was also used by Frances Hodgson Burnett for the main character in her novel 'Little Lord Fauntleroy' (1886).
CERNUNNOS m Celtic Mythology (Latinized)
Means "horned" in Celtic. This was the name of the Celtic god fertility, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was usually depicted having antlers, and was identified with the Roman god Mercury
CIAN m Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "ancient" in Gaelic. This was the name of the mythical ancestor of the Cianachta in Irish legend. Cian was also the name of a son-in-law of Brian
CIANÁN m Irish
Diminutive of CIAN
. This was the name of a 5th-century Irish saint.
CLÍODHNA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "shapely" in Irish Gaelic. In Irish legend this was the name of a beautiful goddess. She fell in love with a mortal named Ciabhan and left the Land of Promise with him, but when she arrived on the other shore she was swept to sea by a great wave.
CODY m English, Irish
From the Gaelic surname Ó Cuidighthigh
, which means "descendant of CUIDIGHTHEACH
". A famous bearer of the surname was the American frontiersman and showman Buffalo Bill Cody (1846-1917).
CONALL m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Means "strong wolf" in Gaelic. This is the name of several characters in Irish legend including the hero Conall Cernach ("Conall of the victories"), a member of the Red Branch of Ulster, who avenged Cúchulainn
's death by killing Lugaid.
CONLAOCH m Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Gaelic conn
"chief" and flaith
"lord". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend including a son of Cúchulainn
who was accidentally killed by his father.
CONOR m Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Conchobhar
which means "dog lover" or "wolf lover". It has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish kings. It was also borne by the legendary Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa, known for his tragic desire for Deirdre
CÚCHULAINN m Irish Mythology
Means "hound of Culann" in Irish. This was the usual name of the warrior hero who was named Sétanta at birth, given to him because he took the place of one of Culann's hounds after he accidentally killed it. Irish legend tells of Cúchulainn's many adventures, including his single-handed defense of Ulster against the army of queen Medb
CUIMÍN m Irish
Possibly from Celtic cam
meaning "bent, crooked". This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint.
CULHWCH m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "hiding place of the pig" in Welsh. In Welsh legend he was the lover of Olwen
the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. Before the giant would allow Culhwch to marry his daughter, he insisted that Culhwch complete a series of extremely difficult tasks. Culhwch managed to complete them, and he returned to marry Olwen and kill the giant. This tale appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
CUNOBELINUS m Ancient Celtic
Possibly means "hound of Belenus" from the old Celtic element koun
"hound" combined with the name of the god BELENUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century king of southeast Britain.
CYNWRIG m Ancient Celtic
Derived from Welsh cyn
meaning "chief" and gwr
meaning "hero, man", plus the suffix -ig
indicating "has the quality of".
DAGDA m Irish Mythology
Means "good god" in Celtic. In Irish myth Dagda (called also The Dagda) was the powerful god of the earth, knowledge, magic, abundance and treaties, a leader of the Tuatha De Danann. He was skilled in combat and healing and possessed a huge club, the handle of which could revive the dead.
DÁIRE m Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "fruitful, fertile" in Irish Gaelic. This name is borne by many figures in Irish legend, including the Ulster chief who reneged on his promise to loan the Brown Bull of Cooley to Medb
, starting the war between Connacht and Ulster as told in the Irish epic 'The Cattle Raid of Cooley'.
DARA (1) m Irish
From the Irish Mac Dara
which means "oak tree". This was the name of a 6th-century saint from Connemara. It is also used as an Anglicized form of DÁIRE
DEIRDRE f English, Irish, Irish Mythology
From the older Gaelic form Derdriu
, meaning unknown, possibly derived from a Celtic word meaning "woman". This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobhar
, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise
DIARMAID m Irish, Irish Mythology
Perhaps means "without envy" in Irish. In Irish mythology this was the name of a warrior who became the lover of Gráinne
. It was also the name of several ancient Irish kings.
DILLON m English
Variant of DYLAN
based on the spelling of the surname Dillon
, which has an unrelated origin.
DOIREANN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "sullen, tempestuous" in Irish. This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including a daughter of Bodb Derg who poisoned Fionn
DONNDUBHÁN m Ancient Irish
Composed of the Gaelic element donn
"brown" combined with dubh
"dark" and a diminutive suffix.
DRUST m Ancient Celtic
Pictish name probably derived from Celtic drest
meaning "riot" or "tumult". This name was borne by several kings of the Picts, including their last king Drust X, who ruled in the 9th century.
DUBHSHLÁINE m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" and either slán
"defiance" or Sláine
, the Gaelic name of the River Slaney.
DUBHTHACH m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh
"dark, black" in combination with a second element of unknown meaning.
ÉIBHEAR m Irish, Irish Mythology
Meaning unknown. According to Irish legend this name belonged to two of the sons of Míl, Éibhear Dunn and Éibhear Finn, the first of the Gaels to conquer Ireland.
ELISEDD m Ancient Celtic
Derived from Welsh elus
meaning "kind". This was the name of two kings of Powys in Wales.
EMER f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from Gaelic eimh
"swift". In Irish legend she was the wife of Cúchulainn
. She was said to possess the six gifts of womanhood: beauty, voice, speech, needlework, wisdom and chastity.
EPONA f Celtic Mythology
Derived from Gaulish epos
meaning "horse". This was the name of the Celtic goddess of horses.
ERIN f English, Irish
Anglicized form of EIREANN
. It has been used as a given name since the middle of the 20th century.
ÉRIU f Irish Mythology
From the name of an Irish goddess, who according to legend gave her name to Ireland (which is called Éire
in Irish). In reality, the goddess probably got her name from that of the island, which may mean something like "abundant land" in Old Irish.
ÉTAÍN f Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Old Irish ét
"jealousy". In Irish mythology she was a sun and horse goddess who was the lover of Midir.
FAOLÁN m Irish
Means "little wolf", derived from Gaelic fáel
"wolf" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an Irish saint who did missionary work in Scotland.
FEARGHAS m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Means "man of vigour", derived from the Gaelic elements fear
"man" and gus
"vigour". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend including the Ulster hero Fearghas mac Róich.
FIACHRA m Irish, Irish Mythology
Derived from Gaelic fiach
meaning "raven". In Irish legend Fiachra was one of the four children of Lir
transformed into swans for a period of 900 years. This is also the name of the patron saint of gardeners, a 7th-century Irish abbot who settled in France.
FINN (1) m Irish Mythology, Irish
Older Irish form of FIONN
. This is also the usual Anglicized spelling of the name. As a surname it is borne by Huckleberry Finn, a character in Mark Twain's novels.
FINNEGAN m Irish, English (Modern)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Fionnagáin
meaning "descendant of Fionnagán". The name Fionnagán
is a diminutive of FIONN
. This was the name of a character in James Joyce's novel 'Finnegans Wake' (1939), the title of which was based on a 19th-century Irish ballad called 'Finnegan's Wake'.
FINTAN m Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means either "white fire" or "white bull" in Irish. According to legend this was the name of the only Irish person to survive the great flood. This name was also borne by many Irish saints.
FIONA f Scottish, English
Feminine form of FIONN
. This name was (first?) used by Scottish poet James Macpherson in his poem 'Fingal' (1762).
FIONN m Irish, Irish Mythology
From Irish fionn
(older Irish finn
) meaning "fair" or "white". Fionn mac Cumhail was a legendary Irish hero who became all-wise by eating an enchanted salmon. He fought against the giant Fomors with his son Oisín
and grandson Oscar
FIONNUALA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "white shoulder" from Irish fionn
"white, fair" and guala
"shoulder". In Irish legend Fionnuala was one of the four children of Lir
who were transformed into swans for a period of 900 years.
GAVIN m English, Scottish
Medieval form of GAWAIN
. Though it died out in England, it was reintroduced from Scotland in the 20th century.
GAWAIN m Welsh, Arthurian Romance
Meaning uncertain, from the Latin form Walganus
used by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth. This was the name of a nephew of King Arthur
and one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He can be identified with the earlier Welsh hero Gwalchmei, and it is likely that the name derives from GWALCHMEI
. Alternatively it may have a different Celtic or even a Germanic origin. Gawain was a popular hero in medieval stories such as the 14th-century romantic poem 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'.