Eibhlín or Bláthnat? Choosing the right baby name can be a challenge and with Irish baby names becoming more and more popular, do we really know their true meaning and origins? In her new book, Favourite Irish Names for Your Baby, Laurence Flanagan lists and glosses more than 200 of the most popular Irish names for boys and girls.
Since first publication 20 years ago, there has been both change and stability among favourite Irish names for children. It gives a short, authoritative commentary on each headline name, offers a complete list of alternative spellings and anglicised forms, and contains notes on the origins of each name with particular reference to the original holders. It is comprehensively indexed and cross-referenced.
The stability in the names arises from the fact that the 200 odd favourite names of 20 years ago are still in place. What has changed, however, is the pecking order within the overall list. Forenames of formerly Irish origin have advanced in recent times at the expense of names of English origin, so that, for instance, Seán, Connor and Cian are among the top 5 boys’ names while all top 5 girls’ names are purely Irish: Aoife, Ciara, Saoirse, Caoimhe and Niamh.
The Late Laurence Flanagan was a freelance writer and a former Keeper of Antiquities at the Ulster Museum.
WIN a copy of Favourite Irish Names for Your Baby!
We have 5 copies of the book to give away - simply email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org with ’Irish Names for Your Baby’ in the subject line. Closing date is 8th April.
Favourite Irish Names for Your Baby by Laurence Flanagan is now available from Gill Books and good bookshops nationwide.