ABBÁN m Irish
Means "little abbot", derived from Irish abb
"abbot" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint, the son of king Cormac of Leinster.
ADERYN f Welsh
Means "bird" in Welsh. This is a modern Welsh name.
AERON (1) m & f Welsh
Either derived from Welsh aeron
meaning "berry" or else from the name of a river in Wales.
AFON f & m Welsh
Means "river" in Welsh. This is a Welsh name of recent origin.
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.
AILBHE f & m Irish
Possibly derived from the old Gaelic root albho
meaning "white". In Irish legend this was the name of a female warrior of the Fianna. It was also the name of a 6th-century masculine saint.
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
ÁINE f Irish
Means "radiance" in Gaelic. This was the name of the queen of the fairies in Celtic mythology. It is also taken as an Irish form of Anne
AISLING f Irish
Means "dream" or "vision" in Irish Gaelic. This name was created in the 20th century.
AL m English
Short form of ALBERT
and other names beginning with Al
. A notable bearer is American actor Al Pacino (1940-).
ALAN m English, Scottish, Breton, French
The meaning of this name is not known for certain. It was used in Brittany at least as early as the 6th century, and it possibly means either "little rock" or "handsome" in Breton. Alternatively, it may derive from the tribal name of the Alans, an Iranian people who migrated into Europe in the 4th and 5th centuries.... [more]
ALANIS f English (Rare)
Feminine form of ALAN
. Canadian musician Alanis Morissette (1974-) was named after her father Alan. Her parents apparently decided to use this particular spelling after seeing this word in a Greek newspaper.
ALANNAH f English (Modern), Irish
Variant of ALANA
. It has been influenced by the affectionate Anglo-Irish word alannah
, from the Irish Gaelic phrase a leanbh
meaning "O child".
ALED m Welsh
From the name of a Welsh river, of uncertain meaning.
ALLAN m English, Scottish, Danish
Variant of ALAN
. The American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) got his middle name from the surname of the parents who adopted him.
ALLEN m English, Scottish
Variant of ALAN
. A famous bearer of this name was Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), an American beat poet. Another is the American film director and actor Woody Allen (1935-), who took the stage name Allen from his real first name.
ALUN m Welsh
Welsh form of ALAN
. This name appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
ALWYN m Welsh
From the name of the River Alwen in Wales.
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.
ANEIRIN m Welsh
Welsh name, originally spelled Neirin
, which possibly means "noble". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh poet.
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.
AOIBHEANN f Irish
Means "beautiful sheen" in Irish Gaelic. This was the name of the mother of Saint Enda. It was also borne by Irish royalty.
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.
ARAN (1) f & m Irish
From the name of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.
ARAWN m Welsh Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of the god of the underworld, called Annwfn, in Welsh mythology.
ARDGHAL m Irish
Means "high valour", derived from the Irish elements ard
"high" and gal
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]
ARWYN m Welsh
From the Welsh intensifying prefix ar-
meaning "white, fair".
BARRFHIONN m Irish
Means "fair hair", derived from Gaelic barr
"head" and fionn
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.
BERACH m Irish
Derived from Gaelic biorach
meaning "sharp". This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint.
BERWYN m Welsh
Means "white head" from the Welsh elements barr
"head" and wyn
BEVAN m Welsh
From a Welsh surname which was derived from ap Evan
meaning "son of EVAN
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.
BLEDDYN m Welsh
From Welsh blaidd
"wolf" combined with a diminutive suffix.
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.
BLODWEN f Welsh
Means "white flowers" from Welsh blodau
"flowers" combined with gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
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.
BRÁDACH m Irish
Possibly derived from a Gaelic word meaning "large-chested".
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-).
BRIALLEN f Welsh
Derived from Welsh briallu
meaning "primrose". This is a modern Welsh name.
BRIAN m English, Irish, 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.
BRÍGH f Irish
Derived from Irish brígh
meaning "power, high".
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).
BROGAN m & f Irish
Derived from Gaelic bróg
"shoe" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of several Irish saints, including Saint Patrick
BRÓNACH f Irish
Derived from Irish Gaelic brón
meaning "sorrow". Saint Brónach was a 6th-century mystic from Ireland.
BRONWEN f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements bron
"breast" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
BRYN m & f Welsh, English
Means "hill, mound" in Welsh. It is now used as a feminine name as well.
BRYNMOR m Welsh
From a Welsh place name meaning "great hill".
CADELL m Welsh
From Welsh cad
"battle" and a diminutive suffix.
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.
CADFAEL m Welsh
Means "battle prince" from Welsh cad
"battle" and mael
CADFAN m Welsh
Means "battle peak" from Welsh cad
"battle" and ban
"peak". Saint Cadfan, from Brittany, was a 6th-century missionary to Wales.
CADOC m Welsh
Derived from Welsh cad
"battle". This was the name of a 6th-century Welsh saint who was martyred by the Saxons.
CADWALADER m Welsh
Means "leader of the battle" from Welsh cad
"battle" and gwaladr
"leader". This was the name of a Welsh saint of the 7th century.
CADWGAN m Welsh
Means "glory in battle" from Welsh cad
"battle" and gwogawn
"glory, honour". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, this name is briefly mentioned as the son of Iddon.
CÁEL m Irish Mythology
From Gaelic caol
"slender". In Irish legend Cáel was a warrior of the Fianna and the lover of Créd.
CAERWYN m Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements caer
"fortress" and gwyn
CAOILFHIONN f Irish
Derived from the Gaelic elements caol
"slender" and fionn
"fair". This was the name of several Irish saints.
CAOLÁN m Irish
From Gaelic caol
"slender" combined with the diminutive suffix án
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.
CARON f & m Welsh
Derived from Welsh caru
meaning "to love".
CARROLL m Irish
Anglicized form of CEARBHALL
. A famous bearer of the surname was Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the author of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'.
CÁRTHACH m Irish
Means "loving" in Irish. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint.
CARWYN m Welsh
Means "blessed love" from Welsh caru
"love" and gwyn
"white, fair, blessed".
CARYS f Welsh
Derived from Welsh caru
meaning "love". This is a relatively modern Welsh name, in common use only since the middle of the 20th century.
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.
CATHAIR m Irish
Means "battle man" from Gaelic cath
"battle" and vir
CATHAL m Irish
Derived from the Gaelic elements cath
"battle" and val
"rule". This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint. It has sometimes been Anglicized as Charles
CATHÁN m Irish
Derived from Gaelic cath
"battle" combined with a diminutive suffix.
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
CEALLACH m Irish
Irish name of uncertain origin, traditionally said to mean "bright-headed". Alternatively it could be derived from Old Irish ceallach
"war, strife" or ceall
CECIL m English
From the Roman name Caecilius
). This was the name of a 3rd-century saint, a companion of Saint Cyprian. Though it was in use during the Middle Ages in England, it did not become common until the 19th century when it was given in honour of the noble Cecil family, who had been prominent since the 16th century. Their surname was derived from the Welsh given name Seisyll
, which was derived from the Roman name Sextilius
, a derivative of SEXTUS
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).
CEINWEN f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements cain
"lovely" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
CENNÉTIG m Irish
Old Irish byname meaning "armoured head" or "misshapen head". This was the name of an Irish king, the father of Brian
CERI (1) m Welsh
Possibly derived from Welsh caru
meaning "to love".
CERIDWEN f Welsh
Possibly from Welsh cyrrid
"bent" or cerdd
"poetry" combined with ven
"woman" or gwen
"white, fair, blessed". According to medieval Welsh legend this was the name of a sorceress or goddess who created a potion that would grant wisdom to her son Morfan. The potion was instead consumed by her servant Gwion Bach, who was subsequently reborn as the renowned bard Taliesin
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