Ancient Celtic Names

These names were used by the Celtic peoples who occupied Europe and the British Isles. See also about Ancient Celtic names.
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ÁEDÁN m Ancient Irish, Irish Mythology
Older form of AODHÁN. This was the name of a 6th-century king of the Scots.
ÁEDH m Ancient Irish
Variant of ÁED.
ARTHFAEL m Ancient Welsh
Welsh form of ARMEL.
ARTHMAEL m Ancient Welsh
Old Welsh form of ARMEL.
BOADICEA f Ancient Celtic (Latinized)
Medieval variant of BOUDICCA, possibly arising from a scribal error.
BOUDICCA f Ancient Celtic (Latinized)
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. Her name is first recorded in Roman histories, as Boudicca by Tacitus and Βουδουῖκα (Boudouika) by Cassius Dio.
BRADÁN m Ancient Irish
Means "salmon" in Irish.
BRÉANAINN m Ancient Irish
Old Irish form of BRENDAN.
BRENNUS m Gaulish (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.
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.
BRICIUS m Gaulish (Latinized)
Latin form of BRICE, probably ultimately of Gaulish origin.
CADEYRN m Ancient Welsh
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.
CAISIDE m Ancient Irish
Old Irish byname meaning "curly haired", from Irish Gaelic cas.
CAOMH m Ancient Irish
Masculine form of CAOIMHE.
CAOMHÁN m Ancient Irish
Diminutive of CAOMH. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint.
CARATACOS m Brythonic
Derived from the Celtic element car meaning "love". This was the name of a 1st-century British chieftain who rebelled against Roman rule.
CATHASACH m Ancient Irish
Means "vigilant" in Irish.
CONCHOBAR m Ancient Irish, Irish Mythology
Original Irish form of CONOR.
CORRAIDHÍN m Ancient Irish
Means "little spear", derived from Irish corradh "spear" and a diminutive suffix.
CUIDIGHTHEACH m Ancient Irish
Old Irish byname meaning "helpful".
CUNOBELINUS m Brythonic
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.
CYNBEL m Ancient Welsh
Derived from Welsh cyn "chief" and bel "war".
CYNWRIG m Ancient Welsh
Derived from Welsh cyn meaning "chief" and gwr meaning "hero, man", plus the suffix ig indicating "has the quality of".
DONNCHAD m Ancient Irish
Older Irish form of Donnchadh (see DUNCAN).
DONNDUBHÁN m Ancient Irish
Composed of the Irish 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.
DRUSTAN m Ancient Celtic
Older form of TRISTAN. This name was borne by a 7th-century Scottish saint.
DUBHSHLÁINE m Ancient Irish
Old Irish name derived from dubh "dark, black" and either slán "defiance" or Sláine, the Irish 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.
ELISEDD m Ancient Welsh
Derived from Welsh elus meaning "kind". This was the name of two kings of Powys in Wales.
FEIDLIMID m & f Ancient Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "beauty" or "ever good" in Irish. This was the name of three early kings of Munster.
GALCHOBHAR m Ancient Irish
Means "foreign help" in Irish.
GWRTHEYRN m Ancient Welsh
Means "supreme king" from Welsh gor meaning "over" and teyrn meaning "king, monarch". It is possible that this is not a name, but a title. According to medieval chroniclers, Gwrtheyrn (also known as Vortigern) was a 5th-century king of the Britons. It was he who invited the brothers Hengist and Horsa to Britain, which eventually led to the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England.
LÓEGAIRE m Irish Mythology, Ancient Irish
Means "calf herder", derived from Irish loagh "calf". In Irish mythology Lóegaire Búadach was an Ulster warrior. He saved the life of the poet Áed, but died in the process. This was also the name of several Irish high kings.
LUIGSECH f Ancient Irish
Derived from the name of the Irish god LUGH.
MÁEDÓC m Ancient Irish
Meaning unknown. Saint Máedóc (also known as Áedán) of Ferns was a 7th-century Irish bishop.
MÁEL MÁEDÓC m Ancient Irish
Means "disciple of Saint MÁEDÓC" in Irish. Saint Máel Máedóc (also known as Malachy) was a 12th-century archbishop of Armagh.
MÁEL SECHNAILL m Ancient Irish
Means "disciple of Saint SEACHNALL" in Irish. This was the name of two Irish high kings: Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid who ruled all of Ireland in the 9th century; and Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill (called Malachy) who defeated the Norse of Dublin in the 10th century.
MATHGHAMHAIN m Ancient Irish
Means "bear" in Irish Gaelic. This was the name of a brother of the Irish king Brian Boru.
MOCHÁN m Ancient Irish
Derived from Irish moch meaning "early" combined with a diminutive suffix.
MORCANT m Ancient Welsh
Old Welsh form of MORGAN (1).
NECHTAN m Irish Mythology, Ancient Celtic
Celtic name of uncertain meaning, possibly meaning "damp" (cognate with NEPTUNE). In Irish mythology Nechtan was the husband of Boand, the goddess of the River Boyne. This name was also borne by the 5th-century Saint Nectan of Hartland in Devon, who was supposedly born in Ireland. It was also the name of several kings of the Picts.
NINIAN m Scottish, Irish, Ancient Celtic
Meaning unknown. It appears in a Latinized form Niniavus, which could be from the Welsh name NYNNIAW. This was the name of a 5th-century British saint who was apparently responsible for many miracles and cures. He is known as the Apostle to the Picts.
NUALLÁN m Ancient Irish
Derived from Irish nuall meaning "noble, famous" combined with a diminutive suffix.
NYNNIAW m Ancient Welsh
Meaning unknown, presumably of Brythonic origin. According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of a British prince who fought against the invading forces of Julius Caesar. It was also borne by an 8th-century Welsh historian, usually known by the Latinized form Nennius.
SEISYLL m Ancient Welsh
Old Welsh form of SEXTILIUS.
SLUAGHADHÁN m Ancient Irish
Derived from Irish sluaghadh meaning "raid" and a diminutive suffix.
SUIBHNE m Irish, Scottish, Ancient Irish
Means "well-going" in Gaelic. This was the name of a 7th-century high king of Ireland.
VERCINGETORIX m Gaulish
Means "king over warriors" from Gaulish ver "on, over" combined with cingeto "marching men, warriors" and rix "king". This name was borne by a chieftain of the Gaulish tribe the Arverni. He led the resistance against Julius Caesar's attempts to conquer Gaul, but he was eventually defeated, brought to Rome, and executed.
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