Traditional Gaelic Names

ere are some traditional Gaelic names. All of them have Gaelic or ancient Celtic roots. Most of them have a long history and many of them are from myth and legend.
Through the course of time, Gaelic names have become associated with English names. These are names that usually have no etymological connection with the Gaelic name, they just have a similar sound. These names are italicized.

Mens' Names

Name Pronunciation Meaning Anglicization/association
Ailde AL ja, EL ja ? -
Ailean A lun, E lun from an old Celtic name meaning, perhaps, "rock" or "noble." Alan
Ailpein AL pen, EL pen possibly means "white" Alpin, Alpine
Airril AR ril, ER ril ? -
Amhalghaidh AUW ul ghee ? Aulay
Angaidh AN gee dim. of Aonghas Angy
Aodh OOGH fire (a Celtic god's name) Hugh
Aodhagan UGH uk an dim. of Aodh -
Aodhan OOGH an dim. of Aodh Eadan
Aoidhean OOY yan " -
Aonghas un OO us, IN us "unique choice" Angus, Aeneas
Aonghasan un OO us an, IN us an dim. of Aonghas .
Armadal Arm uh dul ? Armitage
Art ART dim. of Artair? -
Artagan ART ug an dim. of Artair -
Artair AR ter from an old Celtic name whose meaning is thought to be either "bear" or "stone." Arthur
Athairne A ar nya ? -
Baodan BOO tun ? -
Baoithein BOOY en ? Bothan
Barra BAR ra dim. of Barrfhionn ("fair head") -
Bearach BEH ruch spear; pointed weapon -
Bearchan BER chan, BAR chan dim. of Bearach -
Beatan BEH tan ? -
Beathan BEH un "child of life" -
Beisdean BAES tchan dim. of Gilleasbaig -
BlÓr BLAWR ? Blair
BlÓthan BLAW un ? -
Boisil BO shil ? Boswell
Bran BRAN raven -
Branan BRAN an dim. of Bran -
Brandubh BRAN doow black raven Branduff
Breandan BREN dun form of Breannan -
Breannan BREN un ? Brendan
Brian BREE un strength -
Brianan BREE un an dim. of Brian -
Cailean KA len, KE len whelp (young warrior) Colin
Cairbre KAR uh bra, KER uh bra charioteer or bearer Carbry
Caireall KA rel, KE rul form of Coireall Caral
Camran KAM uh run bent nose Cameron
Caoilte KOOL tcha ? -
Caorall KOO rull form of Coireall Caral
Carmag KA ruh muk form of Cormag Cormick
Catan KAH tan small cat -
Cathal KA hul battle mighty -
Cathalan KA hul an dim. of Cathal -
KY, KEE ? Keith
Ceallach KEL uch means possibly, "war; strife;" or "bright-headed" Kelly
Cesan KES an spear Kessan
Ciaran KEE ur an dark, shadowy Kieran
Coinneach KOIN nyuch fair (haired) one Kenneth
Coireall KO rull ? Caral
Coll KOLL, KOELL form of Colla -
Colla KOL la lofty -
C˛mhall KOE wull ? Cowall
C˛mhan KOE wun co-birth (a twin?) Cowan
Conall KON ul high; powerful Connell
Conan KON an wee doggie -
Conchar KON chur, KON uh chur high will or desire or wolf-lover -
Conn KON free man, sense; intelligence -
Corc KOHRK heart; crimson -
Cormag KO ruh muk means possibly "charioteer" or "defiler's son" Cormack
Cosgrach KOSK ruch, KOSK uh ruch victor -
Cuirealan KOO rul an dim. of Coireall -
Curadan KOO rut un ? Curitan, Boniface
DÓn DAWN dim. of Domhnaill influenced by Dan
Diarmad JIR mut could mean either "without injunction," or "without envy." Dermid
Diocail JU kel ? Diocuil
Dobharcu DOE ur choo otter -
Dolaidh DO lee dim. of D˛mhnall -
D˛mhnallaidh DOLE ee, DOE nul ee " -
D˛mhnallan DLOE an, DOE nul an " -
Donaidh DO nee " Donny
Donnach DO nuch dim. of Donnchadh -
Donnan DON an brown -
Donnchadh DO nu chugh, DO nu chu, DOO nu chugh, DOO nu chu brown warrior Duncan
Donnchaidh DO nu chee, DOO nu chee dim. of Donnchadh -
Donnghail DO ghel, DON nu ghel ? -
Drostan DROST an offspring of Drost (a Pictish name) Tristan - probably the name from which Tristan of Tristan and Isolde came from. When the legend was re-told in France, the root of the name became "triste" meaning "sad." unfortunately, the original Celtic meaning has been lost.
Dubh DOO black Duff
Dubhagan DOOW uk an dim. of Dubhag Dugan
Dubhshýth DOOW hee black one of peace Duffy
Dubhthach DOOW uch black Duthac, Duthas
D¨ghall DOO ul, DOO ghul black stranger (a Dane) Dougal, Dugald
D¨ghlas DOO lus black water Douglas
Duibhne DOOEE nyuh black? -
DunlŔibhe doon LAWY vuh brown hill or moor MacClay, Livingstone
Eachainn ECH en form of Eachann -
Eachann ECH unn horse lord, brown horse Hector
Eacharn ECH urn horse lord -
Eadan AE dan dim. of Aodh Aidan
Earc ERK speckled -
Earnan ERN an iron, one of knowledge Ernest
Eircheard ER chart super craftsman -
Eochagan YO chuk an dim. of Eochaidh -
Eochaidh YOCH ee horse rider, horse warrior -
E˛gan YO kan dim. of Eoghann -
Eoghanan YO un an form of E˛nan Hughie
E˛ghann YO un, EO un well born, youth Ewan
E˛ghnaidh YO nee, EO nee dim. of E˛ghann
E˛nan YOE nan fear? -
E˛ran YOE ran dim. of E˛nan -
Failbhe FAL uh vuh lively; spritely, wolf-slayer -
Faolagan FOO luk an dim. of Faolan -
Faolan FOOL an wolf -
Fearchar FE ruh chur very dear one Farquar
Feargan FER gun, FE ruh gan ? -
Fearghas FE ruh ghus supreme choice Fergus
Finnean FIN yan white headed -
Fýonan FEEnan dim. of Fionn -
Fionghan FIN uh ghun fair-born -
Fionn FYOON white, fair -
Fionnchan FYOON uh chun ? -
Fionnghal FYOON ghul white stranger (a Norseman) Fingal
Fionnlagan FYOON lak an dim. of Fionnlagh Finlagan
Fionnlagh FYOON lugh white hero Finlay, Findlay
Fionntan FYOON tan dim. of Fionn Fintan
Flaithbheartach FLY vyurch tuch rich dominion, lordly in action Flaherty
Flannagan FLAUNN uk an blood-red -
Fotadh FOE ugh ? -
Friseal FREE shul strawberry? (from old French) Fraser
Gabhran GAW run, GAV run ? -
Garbhan GAR uv an, GAR aw an rough -
Gilleanndrais gil AUNN drush servant of St. Andrew Gillanders
Gilleasbachan gil LES puh chan dim. of Gilleasbaig .
Gilleasbaig gil LES pik servant of the bishop Archibald
Gilleasp gil ESP, gil AESP dim of Gilleasbaig Gillespie
Gilleathain gil LE en follower of St. John Gillian, Gillean
Gillebhrýghde gil luh BREE juh servant of St. Brigid Gilbride
Gillechrýosd gil luh CHREE ust servant of Christ Gilchrist
Gilliosa gil LEE us uh servant of Jesus Gillies
G˛rdan GOR dun super fort Gordon
Gormal GAU rum ul deep-blue eye -
Guaire GOOY ruh proud; noble -
Guinnein GWIN nen form of Finnean, "white-headed" -
Guirmean GOO ruh man blue one -
H¨isdean HOOSH jun form of Uisdean -
I¨rnan YOOR nun form of Earnan -
Lachaidh LACH ee dim. of Lachlann Lochie
Lachann LACH unn form of Lachlann -
Lachlainn LACH lenn " -
Lachlann LACH lunn from the land of lochs (i.e., a Norseman or Viking) Lachlan
Laise LASH uh flame -
Latharn LA urn fox Lorne
Luag LOO ak possibly, "to win" or "light; brightness." (the name of a Celtic sun god) -
Lulach LOO luch little calf? -
Macbeatha mahc BEH uh son of life Macbeth
Machar MACH ur plainsman -
Macrath mahc RA son of prosperity -
Madadh MA dugh canine; dog -
Manachan MAN uch an "a monk" -
Maoilios MOOY lus "servant of Jesus" Malise Miles
Maold˛mhnaich mool DOW nich "servant of Sunday" Ludovic
Maolmoire mool MOY ruh "servant of Mary" Malmure
Maolsneachta mool SHNYACH kuh, mool SHNYECH kuh "servant of snow" Malsnacht
Maon MOON hero -
Mariubhe ma RUY uh tonsured servant of the promantory -
Moireach MOE ruch sea-settlement Murray
Muireach MOO ruch "lord" Murdoch
Muireachan MOO ruch an dim. of Muireach
Mungan MOON gun beloved; amiable Mungo
Murchadh MOOR uh chugh sea-warrior Murdo, Murdoch
Murdaigean MOOR dek an dim. of Murchadh -
Naoghas NOO us, NEE us form of Aonghas -
Naoise NOOSH uh ? -
Naomhan NOOV an saint -
Neachdainn NECH k(t)in, NYACH k(t)in rejoicing in purity Nachlan, Nathalan, Nechtan
Neas NES ? -
Neasan NES an offspring of Neas -
Niall NEE ull could mean either "champion,", "vehement" or "cloud" Neil, Nigel
Niallghas NEE ul ghus champion choice -
Nilidh NEE lee dim. of Niall -
Ninean NIN yun ? Ninian
Ninnidh NEEN yee dim. of Ninean -
Odhran OE ran dun-colored -
Oisean Osh an form of Oisian -
Oisian Osh ee an deer Ossian
Onchu ON choo mighty dog -
Osgar OS kur could be either from the Norse name Asgeirr meaning, "divine spear" or from the Celtic meaning "lover of deer." Oscar
Rodachan ROT uh chan dim. of Ruairidh _
Rodaidh RO dee dim. of Ruairidh Roddy
R˛idh ROY reddish Roy- a Gaelic spelling of Roy, which is an anglicization of the Gaelic Ruadh
Roithridh ROY ree ? Ryrie
R˛nan ROE nan seal Ronan
Ros ROS promontory Ross
Ruairidh ROO uh ree reddish-brown Rory Roderick, Derek
Ruarachan ROO a ruh chan dim. of Ruairidh -
Scotaidh SCO tee a Scotsman Scottie
Sealbhach SHEH luh vuch fortunate; prosperous -
Searc SHERK, SHARK a form of Earc? -
SŔitheach SHAY uch wolf Shaw
Sionn SHOONN fox -
S˛las SOH lus joy, comfort, solace -
Suibhne SOOEE nyuh well-going Sween, Sweeney
Taog TOOK poet; philospher -
Taraghlan TA ruh ghlan white brow -
Taran TA ran ? -
TeÓrlach TCHAWR luch instigator; abettor, shaped like Thor Charles
TeÓrlaidh TCHAR lee, TCHAIR lee dim. of TeÓrlach Charlie
Torradan TUR ruh dun ? -
Truinnean TRIN nyun form of Ninean -
Uallas WAL lus "foreigner" Wallace
Ualraig OO ul rik ? Walrick
Uisdean OOSH jun ? Hugh

 

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