Bye Bye, Bridget – Irish Names Dropped to Minimize Prejudice

A recent study found that the Irish Catholic names Bridget and Patrick were used much less often among second-generation Irish than among first-generation Irish in late 19th-century England and Wales.

English Protestant names like George and William, on the other hand, were used much more often by these second-generation Irish.


Researchers Malcolm Smith and Donald MacRaild believe that, during this “Irish Need Not Apply” era, English names were adopted as a way to minimize discrimination. They say the same trend can be seen today among other immigrant communities, such as the Turks in Germany and the Indians in Australia.

Source: Biddy (104) parties in style as name slowly vanishes

One thought on “Bye Bye, Bridget – Irish Names Dropped to Minimize Prejudice

  1. My great-grandmother wouldn’t call me Bridgett growing up because it was a maid’s name. And she was 3rd generation…interesting about the english names because my family tree is chock full of second and third generation Edwards and Richards even though their fathers were Patricks and mothers were Bridgets and Ellens.

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