Irish Names

By: Donnchadh Ó Corráin

(5 customer reviews)

‘This splendid work encapsulates Irish history.’ – The Irish Times

Irish Names contains just under a thousand names selected from the enormous wealth of historical sources – annals, genealogies, myth, legend and epic poetry – that make up the literature of early medieval Ireland. Of the extraordinary variety of names available to the early Irish – some twelve thousand are recorded – only a handful are in current use. This classic work of reference explains the background and meaning of these names, and provides a fascinating insight into the society in which they had their origin.

DONNCHADH O CORRAIN is Professor of Irish History at University College Cork. He specialises in early medieval history, and has published numerous articles on the subject.

FIDELMA MAGUIRE is a graduate of University College Galway. She teaches history at Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Cork.

Also available as an ebook

5 reviews for Irish Names

  1. Lilliput Press

    “A great reference text for understanding the origins of Irish names, this work is commonly used by the Celtic Resurgence movement in the SCA and by those who watched too much Riverdance and need a new baby name.
    And by those of us wanting to trace back historical names of our ancestors into the parish directories and family records buildings of our homeland across the puddle.
    Whatever your purpose, this is a great book!” DAVID STABLER

  2. Lilliput Press

    “The 4 out of five rating is based on a few things:
    Firstly, as explained in its introduction, almost all newer names are omitted. Their justification is fine, but at the same time they purport usage for modern naming purposes.
    Secondly, the positioning of older forms first and modern versions second is in my opinion, entirely wrongheaded. It poises the book on the verge of total irrelevance for anything other than historical research. This is emblematic in the greatest problem to my eye: the lack of a ‘buailte’ (the little dot) over certain consonants and the lack of a following ‘h’ to indicate the same thing. For those new to the language, this is widely misleading. No one should see “dub” as the translation of ‘black’ when the modern spelling, “dubh,” actually aids in pronunciation, understanding, transliteration to English, and overall relevance.
    The strength of the book is its breadth. If you already understand the manners of Irish naming custom, and certainly you’ll need exposure to pronunciation, you will make much use of this book. Further, it draws from a number of the best quality sources.
    This is certainly not a baby-naming book. Nor is it relevant for anything regarding modern naming conventions. For these subjects I would recommend the small but very dense but less than perfectly accurate, ‘Irish First Names,’ by Ronan Coghlan and any sources which draw strongly from or rewrite/edit the works of Father Patrick Woulfe such as the one by Gerard Slevin.” Domhnall O’Donnchadha

  3. Lilliput Press

    “If you’ve ever wondered what some of the popular “Irish” names looked like in the original language, if you want to know what an Irish name means, if you want the history behind the name, this is the book for you.” MAVEN

  4. Lilliput Press

    “I used this book to help me choose names for my children many years ago and have just bought it for my niece who is expecting my first great niece/nephew. It’s an interesting book in it’s own right even if the patter of little feet is not anticipated. The names included are the original Irish names rather than the Americanized versions you find on the internet and in many baby name books.”

  5. Lilliput Press

    “I ordered this book as im expecting and we would like an irish babys name.
    its a great little book with some fantastic names and also the true meaning of the names.
    we had googled irish baby names in the past but we found that many of then were modernised or americanised and not names that we would ever associate with being irish ( im irish and live in ireland) .
    this book is great! :)” MORGAN

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Weight 0.25 kg



215x136mm, 188pp