Celtic Baby Names for Girls

Name Origins and Meanings

There is a vast selection of baby names with a Celtic flair. Image (c) Getty Images

Do you want your baby girl to have a name that reflects Celtic heritage? These Celtic and Gaelic names come from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, and areas of northern Spain. Pronunciation and spelling can be tricky with Celtic names. While some have been fairly common, such as Erin, others are more exotic. Many  Celtic boy names are also used for girls, such as Sean and Quinn. Learn the meaning behind the name as you consider what to name your daughter.

  • Aine: Radiance. Originally found as the name of a faerie queen in Irish legend.
  • Aislinn: Dream or vision. Alternate spelling sometimes seen as Aisling.
  • Alys: A noble and dependable person. Variations include Alyce, Alice, or even Alyssa.
  • Avalon: From the Welsh afel, which means "apple." In Arthurian legend, Avalon is the name of the island upon which King Arthur is buried.
  • Brianna: One who is honorable and noble. Variations include Breanna and Briana.
  • Brighid: Exalted one. The goddess Brighid is a protector of hearth and home in Celtic myth. Other spellings include Bridget, Brigid, or Bridgette.
  • Bronwen: Fair and blessed. In "The Mabinogion," Bronwyn is the daughter of Llyr, the sea god. Alternate spelling is Bronwyn, although this is traditionally a masculine variation because it ends in "wyn" rather than "wen."
  • Bryn: Has come to mean protector, although originally the word meant "hill fort." Variations include Brina, Brynne, or Bryn.
  • Caitlin: Purity. This is a variation on the Irish Cathleen, and other forms include Caitriona, Catlin, and Caitrin.
  • Caoimhe: Beauty and gentleness.
  • Cerridwen: In Celtic myth, Cerridwen is the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge and inspiration. She was also the mother of Taliesen the bard, so her name is often associated with poetry.
  • Deidre: Sorrow and longing. The name also translates to "young girl" in some Celtic languages.
  • Doirean: Brooding, sorrowful. This is actually a variant of Doreen.
  • Dunla: Variation of Daniela, which means "judged by God."
  • Erin: Child of Ireland. Some variations are Aryn, Eirinn, and Eireanne.
  • Fiona: Fair and lovely. Alternate spellings include Fionna and Fionha.
  • Fionnula: Originally means "white of shoulder," and is connected with the legend of the swans. In Irish mythology, Fionnula, or Fionnaghuala, is one of the daughters of Llyr who is turned into a swan for 900 years.
  • Ghaoithe: Wind. Sometimes spelled Ghaoitha.
  • Glenys: Refers to someone who lives in a glen, the female form of "Glenn." Alternate spellings include Glynis and Glennis.
  • Grainne: The Irish Gaelic variation of "Grace." Traditionally associated with harvest legends and grain. In mythology, Grainne (pronounced Gran-ya) was the daughter of Cormac mac Airt.
  • Guennola: Fair and soft. This is a variation on Guinevere.
  • Gwyneth: Happiness. Some alternate spellings are Gweneth, Gwynedd, and Gwenyth.
  • Ianna: Lovely flower.
  • Idelle: Bountiful, abundant. Variations include Adelle and Odelle.
  • Iorwyn: Variant of Erin, also spelled Eirwynn.
  • Isolde: Fair and lovely. Variations include Iseulde and Yseult.
  • Keely: Strife or war.
  • Kiera: Variant of Greek word for "lady." Variations include Keira, Kirya, Kera, and Kieran.
  • Kyleigh: Graceful. A variant of Kylie.
  • Laisrian: Romantic and strong.
  • Leine: Torch-bearer. Alternate versions include Laine and Lainie.
  • Liadain: In the ninth-century poem "The Meeting of Liadain and Curithir," Liadain is a doomed heroine.
  • Luighseach: Pronounced "Lee-shock," this is a version of "Lucy" that means a bringer of light, or torch-bearer.
  • Maeve: Entrancing or intoxicating. Maeve, or Medb, is the queen of the faeries.
  • Moira: Star of the sea. Other versions include Maire, Moire, and Maura.
  • Morag: Scottish variation of Moira.
  • Muadhnata: Little noble one, from the Gaelic.
  • Murainn: Born of the sea. Variations include Maureen and Moirean.
  • Niamh: Beauty and brightness. Niamh was the daughter of an Irish sea god.
  • Nimue: Remembrance. In Arthurian legend, Nimue was the sorceress who stole Lancelot away as an infant. The name is believed to come from the Greek menem, which means memory.
  • Nuala: White of shoulders, a variant on Fionnula.
  • Onora: Honorable, regal. A variation of the Latin name Honore.
  • Reaghann: Originally used as a surname rather than a first name, Regan was the name given to one of two princesses in Shakespeare's "King Lear."
  • Rhona: From the Scottish term for "rough island."
  • Roisinn: Diminutive of rose, which translates to "little rose." Pronounced "roy-shin."
  • Rowena: Slender and fair. Rowena was one of the heroines in the story of "Ivanhoe," by Sir Walter Scott.
  • Saiorse: Freedom, independence.
  • Sciath: Wing. Pronounced "sky-ah."
  • Shannon: Old or ancient. Shannon was originally a boy's name. Alternate spellings include Shannan and Shannyn.
  • Siobhan: The grace of God. Pronounced "shi-vahn."
  • Siomha: Child of the elves.
  • Uaithne: A female variant of Aidan, this name means "fire." Alternate versions include Aithne and Eithne.
  • Ula: Gift of the sea, or jewel.
  • Unna: Probably derived from the Irish Gaelic word for famine, or hunger.
  • Voadicia: Victory. This is a later variation on Boadica or Boudicca.
  • Wynn: Holy or blessed. Also a boy's name.
  • Ygraine: In Arthurian legend, Ygraine is the mother of Arthur by King Uther Pendragon. Variants include Igraine and Igrayne.
  • Yseult: Fair and lovely. Variations include ​Iseulde and Isolde.

The Celts

The Celts were European tribes who occupied much of Europe north of the Alps in the Iron Age and settled in the British Isles in the fourth to second centuries B.C. Their Celtic languages, including Gaelic, survived the invasions of the Romans, Germanic tribes, and Anglo-Saxons longer in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. But Celtic heritage might be celebrated by anyone with ancestors from much of Europe from the Danube to the Rhine and Douro Rivers.