Top 10 unusual Irish boy names

Let’s take a trip down ‘Irish name lane’ to find the top ten most unusual Irish boy names.

In Ireland, we have many first names, and even once you’ve finished with them, there will be new ones added to the list.

Years ago, a lot of the English names were translated into the Irish language, and they have stuck around all these years later.

There are probably quite a few Irish boy names that we are familiar with, such as Séan (John), Dáithí (David), or even Pádraig (Patrick), but what about all the names that have gone under the radar?

It is worth noting that there are many ways to spell each of these names, and the spellings have been altered over the years to make them even more unusual than they already are. The options to spell them a variety of ways are out there.

On our search, we have discovered some tremendous Irish names, each one just as unique as the next.

Some of them may seem daunting at first so to help you out, we have even added the pronunciation and English translation. So should you find yourself meeting someone with a name on this list, you’ll have us to thank.

Counting down from number ten, we will explain each one, and you won’t believe the number one most unusual Irish boy name on our list.

10. Eirnin – Ernest in English

First up on our list of unusual Irish boy names is Eirnin.

This has to be one of the rarest Irish names, but it is probably one the coolest considering it translates as ‘Iron’.

It is pronounced as air-nin.

9. Iollan – no English translation

Iollan hails from stories of the son of an Irish king.
Credit: / @Various-Photography

With very traditional Irish roots, this unusual Irish boy name has no English variation. However, it hails from the stories of the son of an Irish King from years past.

It is pronounced ul-an.

8. Ultan – an Ulsterman in English

Credit: @ulstersnapper / Instagram

Directly translated as ‘an Ulsterman’, this is a name you don’t often hear apart from various saints of the same name, but we think this unusual Irish boy name should come back into fashion.

It is pronounced ul-tan.

7. Aengus – Angus in English

You may recognise Aengus from Dun Aengus.

As well as being the name of the God of love and youth, you may also recognise the name Aengus from Dun Aengus, the best-known of the prehistoric hill forts on County Galway‘s Aran Islands.

This is a name commonly used in Ireland and has variations in spelling.

It is pronounced en-gus.

6. Odhran – means ‘dark-haired’ in English

Odhran is one of the most unusual Irish boy names.
Credit: / @Victoria_Borodinova

Although this name actually translates as ‘dark-haired’, it doesn’t stop people choosing this beautiful name for children with blonde or even red hair.

It is pronounced o-rin.

5. Tadhg – Timothy in English

Tadhg means poet.
Credit: / @andreas160578

This one may look a bit tricky to say, but looks can be deceiving.

This Irish name meaning ‘a poet’ is easily pronounced as ti-gue.

4. Proinsias – Francis in English

Next on our list of unusual Irish boy names is Proinsias.

Originally hailing from St Francis, this Irish version means ‘little French man’.

It is pronounced prun-shee-is.

3. Turlough – Terrence in English

Actor Turlough Convery is one of the most well-known people with the Irish name Turlough.
Credit: Instagram / @turlough_convery

The meaning of this unusual Irish name is ‘the one who assists’.

Actor Turlough Convery from Northern Ireland, who acted in Killing Eve and Sandition, is one of the most well-known people with the name Turlough.

It is translated as Terrence or Terry in English and is pronounced as tur-lock.

2. Ardan – means ‘high aspiration’ in English

Ardan is number two on our list of unusual Irish boy names.

Meaning ‘high aspiration’ or ‘valley of the eagle’, this name is very rare indeed, and it has that beautiful Irish sound to it.

It is pronounced ar-dawn.

1. Cannice – Kenneth in English

Cannice comes from St. Canice who founded churches in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Number one on our list of the top ten unusual Irish boy names is Cannice or Kenny/Kenneth.

Named after an Irish missionary with much history in Ireland, this name means ‘attractive or pleasant person’.

St. Canice Cathedral in Kilkenny is named after a missionary who founded churches in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

This Irish name is pronounced can-iss or co-in-ock.

Now that we have delved into the realm of unusual Irish boy names, we can start to see that there are names we have probably never heard of and never even knew existed. Am I right?

We could probably have made a list of 100 unusual Irish boy names, but we will leave that for another time.

Perhaps you know someone due to give birth to a baby boy, or maybe you are planning a baby yourself and are looking for an unusual Irish name for him. We have set you up with these ten unique options to chose from, and you can be sure that no one else will have the same name.

The thing with Irish names is that there is always a beautiful story, mythical tale, or quirky translation, which sets us apart from other nations.

We take a lot of names from our country’s history and the people who have helped shape the Emerald Isle we know and love today, so what better background for a name to have.

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