If you're a follower of the most recent baby girl name trends, the top ones are all over the map. Olivia — the most popular baby girl name in the United States, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), which keeps track of baby names — is of Latin origin. Emma, the next on the list, is German, while No. 3 Charlotte is French. And while you'll find names of English, Spanish and Italian origin in the top 10, one thing you won't find is an Irish baby name. (Contrast with the trendiest boy's name — Liam — which is very Irish.)
That means that, right now, Irish girl names are experiencing that sweet spot, where they're still under-the-radar enough to be unique, since choosing a name that's too common is often a source of baby-name regret.
But which one to choose? "The generation of women with names like Erin, Caitlin, Shannon and Kelly are now expecting their own babies, and many are turning to the latest set of fashionable Irish girl names for their daughters," says Sophie Kihm, the editor-in-chief of the baby-name site Nameberry. "Maeve is the stand-out Irish girl name. It’s the top girl name on Nameberry and rising quickly up the national charts. Look for it in the Top 100 soon!"
Choosing unisex or gender-neutral names is also a trend, Kihm adds, especially when it comes to last names as first names. "Fallon, Lennon, Collins, Darcy, Rory and Sloane are currently red-hot," she says. "Some Irish names with traditional spellings are getting a boost from pop culture, notably Saoirse, as in Saoirse Ronan, or Siobhan from Succession."
If you're looking for more names from the Emerald Isle, try one of these Irish girl names on for size.
These are the most popular baby girl names in Ireland.
So, which names are actually trending over in Ireland? The Central Statistics Office (CSO) keeps track, and these are the current most popular names for girls. Granted, they may not be all of Irish origin, but they are Ireland's top baby names.
It's interesting to see how this deviates from the most popular baby girl names in the United States. The top-rated names in the U.S. — Olivia and Emma — are on the list, but not really in the top spots. Instead, you have Fiadh (pronounced FEE-ah, similar to Thea), Grace (a name of Latin origin) and Emily (which has been losing favor here since the year 2000). This list is a good mix of popular, trendy and totally unusual.
These are the most popular baby names in the United States that are of Irish origin.
According to the SSA, these are the most popular girl names of Irish origin, listed in the order of their popularity.
Even though they're the most popular names of Irish origin, you're not going to see all of them on every lunchbox and cubby. Harper is only No. 10 on the list of most-used names of last year, and Sloane is way down at No. 174. But Riley and Rylee (along with Ryleigh down at 164) is currently taking up lots of spots on the SSA list, and is certainly a name to watch.
These Irish girl names are rising.
The SSA also keeps track of the names that are growing in popularity, so these names, which are just bubbling under, might overtake the Harpers and the Noras.
Kihm wasn't kidding when she said last-names-as-first-names are huge in this area. The first name, Murphy, jumped 262 places in rank in the last year, and Fallon also made an impressive 137-place climb, likely due to the trend of using last names as first names. Two other fast-climbers, Clover, which rose 203 places in rank, and Emerald, which jumped 37, aren't of Irish origin, but they do have that Irish connection.
These are unusual Irish names for girls.
Irish Central has come up with its own list of names, and if you're looking for something unique and original, they've got you covered. None of these names selected from their list made the SSA's top 1,000.
- Aine (awn-ye)
- Aoibhinn (ee-van)
- Blathnaid (blaw-nid)
- Bronagh (brona)
- Caoimhe (kwee-va)
- Clodagh (cloda)
- Dearbhla (durv-la)
- Eimear (ee-mur)
- Fionnuala (fi-noola)
- Grainne (grawn-ye)
- Niamh (neev)
- Laoise (lee-sha)
- Mairead (mi-rade)
- Muireann (mweer-in)
- Nessa (nessa)
- Orla (or-la)
- Oonagh (una)
- Roisin (ro-sheen)
- Sadhbh (sive)
- Sile (shee-la)
If you choose one of these, they'll probably be the only one in the class with their name. Whether or not their teachers will be able to pronounce it on the first try is another question.
These Irish names are getting trendier.
BabyCenter keeps track of the names its users pick for their kiddos. According to the site, these are the most popular Irish girl names among its users that haven't been mentioned already, in order of their popularity. Look for these to start hitting popular lists in a couple of years.
And, in addition to the ones Kihm mentions above, Nameberry says that these are names to consider if you're looking for an Irish name.
Looking for more baby girl name inspiration? Check out our list of top Indian/Hindu girl names, long girl names and Hispanic girl names, along with baby boy names and unisex names for good measure.
Marisa (she/her) has covered all things parenting, from the postpartum period through the empty nest, for Good Housekeeping since 2018; she previously wrote about parents and families at Parents and Working Mother. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, where she can be found dominating the audio round at her local bar trivia night or tweeting about movies.