Recommended Reading

Scottish Names
Welsh Names
Irish Names
Breton Names
Place Names
Celtic names in General
Celtic folklore & mythology
Names in General

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Scottish Names

Pros: This the best resource I've found for Scottish Gaelic names.

Cons: it doesn't list that many names that are unusual. It also can be hard to find.

Pros: accurate, user-friendly, nice layout.

Cons: doesn't have that many names; not very comprehensive.

Pros: has lots of history, fairly comprehensive and accurate. Has names that are popular in Scotland though not necessarily Scottish in origin.

Cons: contains a lot of names that aren't necessarily Scottish--casual browsers may think some names are Scottish when they aren't.

Pros: lots of history, pretty accurate, nice layout.

Cons: Though there is generally at least a full paragraph about each name, there are relatively few names in this book. 

Pros: lots and lots of history, a good source for surnames

Cons: I'm not a good enough genealogist to know if it's accurate or not, so I can't really find any. It doesn't look like there are a lot of names.

Pros: has lots of beautifully illustrated tartan pictures. includes family crests, badges, and mottos.

Cons: hard to find; there are probably a zillion books out there with the same info.

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Irish Names

pros: If you're into Irish names, this book is indispensable.

cons: it's very scholarly, and names are alphabetized by their original Old Irish Spelling.

Pros: very accurate and user-friendly

Cons: not separated by gender, if you care. Also, doesn't include pronunciations.

Pros: One of my favorite Irish baby name books--the information is accurate, and it's arranged by meaning as well as alphabetically.

Cons: The picture on the cover is kind of dumb. Seriously, that's the only fault I can find!

Pros: interesting and entertaining. Arranged by subject by the authors of Beyond Jennifer & Jason.

Cons: doesn't have pronunciations, not always 100% accurate etymologies

Pros: accurate, contains lots of histories of names. Contains some popularity data

Cons: no pronunciations, not separated by gender

pros: This is a very good resource for Irish surnames.

cons: has a bunch of additions and appendices which are really hard to find.

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Welsh Names

Pros: This is the best book I've found so far! Lots of names, seems accurate.

Cons: no pronunciations

Pros: A re-print of a scholarly work that came highly recommended to me.

Cons: I haven't read it yet, so I can't verify the claim.

note: This book was recommended to me by a good source. However, I haven't actually looked at it yet, so I can't verify its accuracy.

Pros: By the same author as the above featured book, which is my favorite.

Cons: haven't read it, but I'm sure it's at least as good as the above.

note: This book was recommended to me by a good source. However, I haven't actually looked at it yet, so I can't verify its accuracy.

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Breton Names

Grand Choix de Prénoms Bretons by Gwennole le Menn Pros: interesting histories and origins of Breton names

Cons: you have to  read French (not in English). Hard to find. 

Pros: comprehensive, interesting, contains pronunciation guide in the back.

Cons: hard to find, all in French.

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Celtic Names in General


Pros: fairly accurate & comprehensive. Has Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Cornish and Manx names. Has lots of name history.

Cons: no pronunciations

Pros: Lots of names, including Manx, Cornish and Breton. Has names I haven't found in other books.

Cons: no pronunciations, seems fairly accurate, but doesn't go into a lot of detail about the names.


Pros: seems pretty accurate. Names are divided by language. Has pronunciations & pronunciation guide. Has lots of name history.

Cons: ?


Pros: user-friendly, fairly comprehensive, has lots of history

Cons: not always 100% accurate.

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Place Names


Pros: easy to navigate, has a lot of names

Cons: I like it when place names are broken down into root words; this book does not do that. Also, doesn't say what county the places are in.


Pros: basically awesome.

Cons: can't think of any.


note: This book was recommended to me by a good source. However, I haven't actually looked at it yet, so I can't verify its accuracy.

Pros: Contains place names from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Comprehensive and informative.

Cons: place names are not broken down by country, so, say, if you want a list of place names in Wales, you'll have to read the entire book.


note: This book was recommended to me by a good source. However, I haven't actually looked at it yet, so I can't verify its accuracy.

However, I have another book by this author that seems pretty good, so I'd trust him.



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Celtic Mythology

Pros: This book has beautiful illustrations, a lot of history, and is very comprehensive. Contains a lot of mythology and folklore aspects, as it relates to King Arthur.

Cons: Only about things relating to King Arthur, so not a mythology book in general, if that's what you're looking for.

Pros: This is indispensible to those interested in Celtic and particularly Welsh mythology. Good translation.

Cons: ?

Pros: This book is very comprehensive... almost overly so.

Cons: It has lots of info about Norse and Greek gods, which may be irrelevant if you're just looking for Celtic mythology.

Pros: Easy to read, fairly comprehensive

Cons: not scholarly, if that's what you're looking for..

Pros: Comprehensive, easy to read, yet somewhat scholarly in content

Cons: written in the early 1900s, and contains an appropriate world view from that era which can be distracting.

Pros: Scholarly, yet not dry, a fascinating study

Cons: not really about mythology, I should probably make a separate category for it or something.

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