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30 Oldest Irish Names with Meanings

30 Oldest Irish Names

We have created for you a list of the oldest Irish names (based on the first historical references that our team managed to find). We hope this article will be useful to you.

 

Achtan

Earliest mention of a name: around 2nd century.

Reference: Achtan Acha, mother of Cormac mac Airt.

Name meaning: ray, beam.

Related names: Acktan, Achetyn.

 

Adamair

Earliest mention of a name: around 3rd century BC.

Reference: Adamair, High King of Ireland. He was also the husband of the goddess Flidais.

Name meaning: love a lot, to love greatly.

Related names: Aedamar, Adammair, Adhamair.

 

Áedan

Earliest mention of a name: around 6th century BC.

Reference: Áedan Glas, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: fire, flames, fiery (derived from Old Irish áed).

Related names: Aidan, Aydan, Aeden.

 

Ailbhe

Earliest mention of a name: around 3rd century.

Reference: Ailbhe Cormac, daughter of Cormac mac Airt.

Name meaning: blanch, white (derived from Old Irish albho).

Related names: Ailbe.

 

Ailill

Earliest mention of a name: around 3rd century.

Reference: Ailill Aulom, king of the southern half of Ireland.

Name meaning: fairy, elf.

Related names: Oilill.

 

Aine

Name meaning: brightness, lighting, radiance.

Reference: Aine, goddess of summer and wealth in Irish mythology.

Related names: Ainne, Eine, Ayne.

 

Cairpre

Earliest mention of a name: around 3rd century.

Reference: Cairpre Liffeachaire, son of Cormac mac Airt.

Name meaning: uncertain (may mean noble).

Related names: Cairbre.

 

Conaire

Earliest mention of a name: around 1st century.

Reference: Conaire Mór, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: the greatest.

Related names: Konaire, Connor, Conoire.

 

Cormac

Earliest mention of a name: around 2nd century.

Reference: Cormac mac Airt, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: unknown (may mean rider or son of a rider).

Related names: Cormm, Corbmac.

 

Crimthann

Earliest mention of a name: around 2nd century BC.

Reference: Crimthann Coscrach, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: triumphant, victorious.

Related names: Crimtan, Crimthan, Crimthenn.

 

Deda

Earliest mention of a name: around 1st century BC.

Reference: Deda mac Sin, king of the Érainn of Ireland.

Name meaning: uncertain (may mean to cause).

Related names: Dedad, Deguth, Dedda, Dega, Degad.

 

Eithne

Earliest mention of a name: around 2nd century.

Reference: Eithne Ollamhdha, wife of Cormac mac Airt.

Name meaning: kernel (derived from Old Irish eithne).

Related names: Eithnn, Eithnie, Ethne.

 

Énna

Earliest mention of a name: around 2nd century BC.

Reference: Énna Aignech, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: vigorous, active.

Related names: Ena, Énne.

 

Eochaid

Earliest mention of a name: around 3rd century BC.

Reference: Eochaid Ailtlethan, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: wide blade.

Related names: Eochu, Eoched.

 

Éogan

Earliest mention of a name: around 3rd century.

Reference: Eoghan Mór, 3rd century king of Munster.

Name meaning: family (derived from Old Irish genos).

Related names: Eoghan.

 

Eterscél

Earliest mention of a name: around 1st century.

Reference: Eterscél Mór, son of Íar mac Dedad.

Name meaning: excellent, outstanding.

Related names: Eteskel, Eterskell.

 

Fer

Earliest mention of a name: around 3rd century BC.

Reference: Fer Corb, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: rider.

Related names: Ferr.

 

Fíachu

Earliest mention of a name: around 5th century BC.

Reference: Fíachu Tolgrach, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: raven.

Related names: Fiache.

 

Finn

Earliest mention of a name: around 6th century BC.

Reference: Finn mac Blatha, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: fair.

Related names: Fionn, Finne, Fionne.

 

Flidais

Earliest mention of a name: around 3rd century BC.

Reference: Flidais, goddess of fertility in Irish mythology.

Name meaning: glorious hair.

Related names: Fliodhas, Fliodhais, Flidas.

 

Grainne

Earliest mention of a name: around 3rd century.

Reference: Grainne Cormac, daughter of Cormac mac Airt.

Name meaning: shining, glaring.

Related names: Grayne, Grainn.

 

Íar

Earliest mention of a name: around 1st century BC.

Reference: Íar mac Dedad, son of Deda mac Sin.

Name meaning: after, beyond.

Related names: Ierr.

 

Lugaid

Earliest mention of a name: around 4th century BC.

Reference: Lugaid Loígde, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: scarlet, red king.

Related names: Lugeid, Lugeed.

 

Macha

Earliest mention of a name: around 5th century BC.

Reference: Macha, godess of fertility, land, and war in Irish mythology.

Name meaning: a plain.

Related names: Mache, Machia.

 

Mug

Earliest mention of a name: around 4th century BC.

Reference: Mug Corb, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: horseman, rider.

Related names: Meig.

 

Muiredach

Earliest mention of a name: around 5th century BC.

Reference: Muiredach Bolgrach, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: sea.

Related names: Mureedach.

 

Óengus

Earliest mention of a name: around 2nd century BC.

Reference: Óengus Tuirmech Temrach, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: one strength.

Related names: Aonghus, Oenghus.

 

Rechtaid

Earliest mention of a name: around 4th century BC.

Reference: Rechtaid Rígderg, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: furious (may also mean red king).

Related names: Richtaid.

 

Ruairí

Earliest mention of a name: around 2nd century BC.

Reference: Ruairí mac Sithrigi, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: red king, derived from Old Irish rúad (meaning red) and (meaning king).

Related names: Reiri, Rudraige.

 

Siomón

Earliest mention of a name: around 5th century BC.

Reference: Siomón Brecc, High King of Ireland.

Name meaning: ornamented.

Related names: Simon, Siomen.

 

Sources:

  1. Dictionary of the Irish Language based mainly on Old and Middle Irish materials, 1913
  2. The Book of the Taking of Ireland Part V, 1956
  3. The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, 1846

 

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