Old Irish Names

These names were used by speakers of Old Irish. See Ancient Celtic names for a broader list.
gender
usage
Abbán m Old 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.
Áed m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Aodh.
Áedán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Aodhán.
Áedh m Old Irish
Variant of Áed.
Affraic f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Aifric.
Aíbinn f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Aoibheann.
Aífe f Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Old Irish form of Aoife.
Ailbe m & f Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Ailbhe.
Ailill m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "elf" in Irish. This name was borne by several early Irish kings. It also occurs frequently in Irish legend, borne for example by the husband of Queen Medb.
Áine f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "radiance, brilliance" in Irish. This was the name of a goddess of love and fertility in Irish legend, thought to dwell at the hill of Cnoc Áine in Limerick. It has sometimes been Anglicized as Anne.
Amalgaid m Old Irish
Old Irish name of uncertain meaning. This was the name of a few early Irish kings.
Amlaíb m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Olaf.
Ardgal m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Ardghal.
Bébinn f Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "fair woman", from Old Irish "woman" and finn "fair, white". This name was borne by several characters in Irish mythology, including the mother of the hero Fráech.
Berach m Old Irish
Derived from Old Irish berach meaning "sharp, pointed". This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint.
Bláán m Old Irish
From Old Irish blá meaning "yellow" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of 6th-century Irish saint, a bishop of Kingarth on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.
Bran 1 m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "raven" in Irish. In Irish legend Bran mac Febail was a mariner who was involved in several adventures on his quest to find the Otherworld.
Bréanainn m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Brendan.
Brendanus m Old Irish (Latinized)
Latinized form of Bréanainn (see Brendan).
Brian m English, Irish, Old Irish
Meaning uncertain, possibly related to the old Celtic root *brixs "hill, high" (Old Irish brií) or the related *brigā "might, power" (Old Irish briíg). It was borne by the 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. This name was common in Ireland after his time, and it was introduced to northern England by Norse-Gael settlers. It was also used in Brittany, and was brought to England by Bretons in the wake of the Norman Conquest. Though it eventually became rare in the English-speaking world, it was strongly revived in the 20th century, becoming a top-ten name for boys in most regions.
Broccán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Brogán.
Cáelfind f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Caoilfhionn.
Caíndelbán m Old Irish
Derived from Old Irish caín "handsome" and delb "form, image" (with a diminutive suffix).
Cainnech m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Coinneach.
Carthach m Old Irish
Means "loving" in Irish. This was the name of two Irish saints, from the 6th and 7th centuries.
Cathal m Irish, Old Irish
Derived from Old Irish cath "battle" and fal "rule". This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint. It was also borne by several Irish kings. It has sometimes been Anglicized as Charles.
Cathalán m Old Irish
Diminutive of Cathal.
Cathán m Old Irish
Derived from Old Irish cath "battle" combined with a diminutive suffix. Saint Cathán was a 6th-century Irish monk, a missionary to the Isle of Bute.
Cathassach m Old Irish
Means "vigilant" in Irish.
Cellach m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Ceallach.
Cellachán m Old Irish
Diminutive of Cellach. This name was borne by a 10th-century king of Munster.
Cennétig m Old Irish
Old Irish byname meaning either "armoured head" or "misshapen head" (Old Irish cenn "head" and étiud "armour, clothing" or étig "ugly, misshapen"). This was the name of an Irish king, the father of Brian Boru.
Cerball m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Cearbhall.
Cian m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "ancient, enduring" in Irish. In Irish mythology this was the name of the father of Lugh Lámfada. It was also borne by the mythical ancestor of the Ciannachta and by a son-in-law of Brian Boru.
Cianán m Irish, Old Irish
Diminutive of Cian. This was the name of a 5th-century Irish saint.
Ciar m & f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Derived from Irish ciar meaning "black". In Irish legend Ciar was a son of Fergus mac Róich and Medb, and the ancestor of the tribe of the Ciarraige (after whom County Kerry is named). As a feminine name, it was borne by an Irish nun (also called Ciara) who established a monastery in Tipperary in the 7th century.
Ciarán m Irish, Old Irish
Diminutive of Ciar. This was the name of two 6th-century Irish saints: Ciarán the Elder, the founder of the monastery at Saighir, and Ciarán the Younger, the founder of the monastery at Clonmacnoise.
Cináed m Medieval Scottish, Old Irish
Possibly from Old Irish cin "respect, esteem, affection" or cinid "be born, come into being" combined with áed "fire", though it might actually be of Pictish origin. This was the name of the first king of the Scots and Picts (9th century). It is often Anglicized as Kenneth. The originally unrelated name Coinneach is sometimes used as the modern Scottish Gaelic form.
Cóem m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Caomh.
Cóemán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Caomhán.
Cóemgein m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Kevin.
Colmán m Irish, Old Irish
Diminutive of Colm (see Colum). This was the name of a large number of Irish saints.
Colum m Irish, Old Irish
Irish form of Columba. The Old Irish word columb or colum also means "dove", derived from Latin columba.
Columb m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Columba.
Columbán m Old Irish
Possibly an Irish diminutive of Columba. Alternatively, it may be derived from Old Irish colum "dove" and bán "white". The 7th-century Saint Columbán of Leinster was the founder of several monasteries in Europe.
Comgall m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Comhghall.
Conall m Irish, Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "rule of a wolf", from Old Irish "hound, dog, wolf" (genitive con) and fal "rule". 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.
Conán m Irish, Old Irish
Irish Gaelic form of Conan.
Conchobar m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Derived from Old Irish "hound, dog, wolf" (genitive con) and cobar "desiring". It has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish rulers. It was borne by the Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa, one of the central characters in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, known for his tragic desire for Deirdre and his war with Queen Medb of Connacht.
Conláed m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Conleth.
Conn m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Perhaps from Old Irish conn meaning "sense, reason" or cenn meaning "head, chief". This was the name of a legendary high king of Ireland, Conn of the Hundred Battles.
Conrí m Old Irish
Means "king of hounds" in Irish.
Cúán m Old Irish
Means "little wolf" or "little hound" from Old Irish meaning "wolf, hound" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an 8th-century saint.
Cuimín m Old Irish
Probably from Old Irish camm meaning "bent, crooked". This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint.
Dálach m Old Irish
Derived from Old Irish dál meaning "assembly, meeting".
Damán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Damhán.
Damnat f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Damhnait.
Declán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Declan.
Derbáil f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Dearbháil.
Derbiled f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Deirbhile.
Domnall m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Domhnall (see Donald).
Donnchad m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Donnchadh (see Duncan).
Donndubán m Old Irish
Composed of the Old Irish element donn "brown" combined with dub "dark" and a diminutive suffix.
Dubán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Dubhán.
Dubgall m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Dubhghall (see Dougal).
Dubhshláine m Old Irish
Derived from Old Irish dub "dark, black" and either slán "challenge, defiance" or Sláine, the Irish name of the River Slaney.
Dubthach m Old Irish
Old Irish name derived from dub "dark, black" in combination with a second element of unknown meaning. This was the name of a 6th-century saint, a bishop of Armagh. It also appears in Irish legend as a companion of Fergus mac Róich.
Echdonn m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Eachann.
Echthigern m Old Irish
Means "horse lord" from Old Irish ech "horse" and tigerna "lord".
Eithne f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly from Old Irish etne meaning "kernel, grain". In Irish mythology Eithne or Ethniu was a Fomorian and the mother of Lugh Lámfada. It was borne by several other legendary and historical figures, including a few early saints.
Énna m Old Irish
Possibly from Old Irish én meaning "bird". This was the name of several Irish kings and heroes. It was also borne by a 6th-century saint who built the monastery of Killeany on Aran.
Énnae m Old Irish
Variant of Énna.
Eochaid m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Eochaidh.
Eógan m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Eoghan.
Étaín f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly derived from Old Irish ét meaning "jealousy, passion". In Irish legend she is the subject of the 9th-century tale The Wooing of Étaín. She was the wife of Midir, but his jealous first wife Fuamnach transformed her into a fly. She was accidentally swallowed, and then reborn to the woman who swallowed her. After she grew again to adulthood she married the Irish high king Eochaid Airem, having no memory of Midir. Midir and Étaín were eventually reunited after Midir defeated Eochaid in a game of chess.
Fachtna m Irish, Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly from Old Irish facht meaning "malice". This was the name of a legendary high king of Ireland, said in some traditions to be the husband of Neasa and the father of Conchobar.
Fáelán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Faolán.
Féchín m Old Irish
Means "little raven" from Old Irish fiach "raven" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of an Irish saint of the 7th century, the founder of the monastery at Fore. He died of the yellow plague.
Fedelm f Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly a feminine form of Feidlimid. This name is borne by several women in Irish legend including Fedelm Noíchrothach, a daughter of Conchobar the king of Ulster. It was also the name of a few early saints.
Feidlimid m & f Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Traditionally said to mean "ever good", it might be related to Old Irish feidil "enduring, constant". This was the name of three early kings of Munster. It was also borne by a 6th-century saint, typically called Saint Felim. In Irish legend, it was the name of the father of Deirdre.
Ferchar m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Fearchar.
Fergal m Irish, Old Irish
Means "man of valour", derived from the Old Irish elements fer "man" and gal "valour". This was the name of an 8th-century king of Ireland. As well as the Old Irish form of the name, this is the usual Anglicization of the Modern Irish form Fearghal.
Fergus m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "man of vigour", derived from the Old Irish elements fer "man" and guss "vigour, strength, force". This was the name of several early rulers of Ireland and Dál Riata, as well as many characters from Irish legend. Notably it was borne by the hero Fergus mac Róich, who was tricked into giving up the kingship of Ulster to Conchobar. However, he remained loyal to the new king until Conchobar betrayed Deirdre and Naoise, at which point he defected to Connacht in anger. The name was also borne by an 8th-century saint, a missionary to Scotland.... [more]
Fiachna m Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Derived from Irish fiach meaning "raven". This is the name of several characters from Irish legend. It was also borne by Fiachna mac Báetáin, a 7th-century king of Dál Araide.
Finn 1 m Irish Mythology, Old Irish, Irish, English, Dutch, German
Old Irish form of Fionn, as well as the usual Anglicized spelling of the name. As a surname it is borne by Huckleberry Finn, a character in Mark Twain's novels.
Finnán m Old Irish
Older form of Fionnán.
Finnbarr m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Finbar.
Fintan m Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly means either "white fire" or "white ancient" 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.
Flaithrí m Old Irish
Means "king of princes" from Old Irish flaith "ruler, sovereign, prince" and "king".
Flann m & f Irish, Old Irish
Means "blood red" in Irish. This was the name of a 9th-century high king of Ireland.
Flannán m Irish, Old Irish
Diminutive of Flann. This was the name of a 7th-century saint.
Gallcobar m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Gallchobhar.
Garbán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Garbhán.
Gobbán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Gobán.
Gobnat f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Gobnait.
Gormlaith f Old Irish
Derived from Old Irish gorm "blue" or "illustrious" and flaith "ruler, sovereign, princess". This was the name of several medieval Irish royals, including the wife of the 11th-century king Brian Boru.
Gráinne f Irish, Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Possibly derived from Old Irish grán meaning "grain" or gráin meaning "hatred, fear". In the Irish legend The Pursuit of Diarmaid and Gráinne she escaped from her arranged marriage to Fionn mac Cumhaill by fleeing with her lover Diarmaid. Another famous bearer was the powerful 16th-century Irish landowner and seafarer Gráinne Ní Mháille (known in English as Grace O'Malley), who was sometimes portrayed as a pirate queen in later tales.
Iarlaithe m Old Irish
From an Old Irish element of unknown meaning combined with flaith "ruler, sovereign". Saint Iarlaithe was the founder of a monastery at Tuam in the 6th century.
Íte f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Íde.
Lachtnae m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Lachtna.
Lochlainn m Irish, Old Irish
Means "Viking, Scandinavian" from Old Irish Lochlann, a name for Scandinavia. It means "land of the lakes", derived from loch "lake".
Lóegaire m Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Means "calf herder", derived from Old Irish lóeg "calf". In Irish legend 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.
Lommán m Old Irish
Means "little bare one", derived from Old Irish lomm "bare" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a nephew of Saint Patrick.
Lonán m Irish, Old Irish
Means "little blackbird", derived from Old Irish lon "blackbird" combined with a diminutive suffix. This name was borne by several early saints.
Lorccán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Lorcán.
Luigsech f Old Irish
Probably derived from the name of the mythological figure Lugh. This was the name of an obscure early Irish saint, mentioned in the martyrologies of Tallaght and Gorman.
Macdara m Irish, Old Irish
Means "son of oak" in Irish. This was the name of a 6th-century saint from Connemara.
Máedóc m Old Irish
Meaning unknown. Saint Máedóc (also known as Áedán) of Ferns was a 7th-century Irish bishop.
Máel Máedóc m Old 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 Old 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.
Mainchíne m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Mainchín.
Mathgamain m Old Irish
Means "bear" in Old Irish, a compound of math, itself meaning "bear", and gamuin meaning "calf". This was the name of a brother of the Irish king Brian Boru.
Mellán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Meallán.
Muadnat f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Muadhnait.
Muirchertach m Old Irish
Means "mariner" in Irish. This was the name of a 6th-century Irish high king.
Muiredach m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Muireadhach.
Muirenn f Old Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish muir "sea" and finn "fair, white". This is another name of Muirne, the mother of the legendary hero Fionn mac Cumhaill.
Muirgel f Old Irish
Means "bright sea", derived from Old Irish muir "sea" and gel "bright".
Murchad m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Murchadh.
Nechtan m Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Irish name of uncertain meaning, possibly from a Celtic root meaning "damp" (cognate with Neptune). In Irish mythology Nechtan was the husband of Boann, the goddess of the River Boyne. He is sometimes identified with Nuada. This name was 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 (described mostly from Gaelic sources, this may represent a Pictish cognate).
Niall m Irish, Old Irish
Irish form of Neil.
Nuadu m Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Old Irish form of Nuada.
Odarnat f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Odharnait.
Odrán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Odhrán.
Oébfinn f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Aoibheann.
Órlaith f Irish, Old Irish
Means "golden ruler", from Old Irish ór "gold" combined with flaith "ruler, sovereign, princess". This name was borne by several medieval Irish royals, including a sister of the king Brian Boru.
Pátraic m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Patrick.
Rathnat f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Rathnait.
Riacán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Riagán.
Rian m Irish, Old Irish, English
Irish form of Ryan, as well as an English variant.
Rígán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Ríoghán.
Rígbarddán m Old Irish
Means "little poet of the king", from Old Irish "king" (genitive ríg) combined with bard "poet" and a diminutive suffix.
Rónán m Irish, Old Irish
Means "little seal", derived from Old Irish rón "seal" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of several early Irish saints, including a pilgrim to Brittany who founded the hermitage at Locronan in the 6th century.
Rúadán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Ruadhán.
Ruaidrí m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Ruaidhrí.
Ruarcc m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Ruarc.
Sadb f Irish Mythology, Old Irish
Probably derived from the old Celtic root *swādu- meaning "sweet". This was a common name in medieval Ireland. In Irish mythology Sadb was a woman transformed into a deer. She was the mother of Oisín by Fionn mac Cumhaill.
Sechnall m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Seachnall.
Senán m Irish, Old Irish
Means "little old one", derived from Old Irish sen "old" combined with a diminutive suffix. Saint Senán was a 6th-century monk who founded the monastery on Inis Cathaigh.
Síthmaith f Old Irish
From Old Irish síd meaning "peace" or "fairy mound, tumulus" and maith meaning "good".
Sláine f & m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
From Old Irish slán meaning "health, safety". This was the name of a legendary high king of Ireland, one of the Fir Bolg. It was also the name of a daughter of the 11th-century high king Brian Boru.
Tadg m Old Irish, Irish Mythology
Old Irish form of Tadhg.
Tadgán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Tadhgán.
Tigernach m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Tighearnach.
Tigernán m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Tighearnán.
Tressach m Old Irish
Old Irish form of Treasach.
Túathal m Old Irish
Means "ruler of the people", from Old Irish túath "people, country" and fal "rule". This was the name of a few Irish kings, including the legendary Túathal Techtmar.
Tuathflaith f Old Irish
From Old Irish túath "people, country" and flaith "ruler, sovereign, princess".
Tuileflaith f Old Irish
Old Irish form of Talulla.
Ultán m Irish, Old Irish
Means "of Ulster" in Irish. Ulster is a region in the north of Ireland. This name was borne by two 7th-century Irish saints.