How popular is the baby name Caoimhe in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Caoimhe and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Caoimhe.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Caoimhe

Number of Babies Named Caoimhe

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Caoimhe

St. Quivox?

A comment from The Mrs. last month prompted me to search for people named Grizabella, and I found several — one of whom was born in a curiously named parish in Ayrshire, Scotland: St. Quivox.

St. Quivox? Was there really a Scottish saint named Quivox?

Here’s an explanation from the St. Quivox parish website:

It has long been recognised by historians that the name “St Quivox” is somewhat obscure. The original name of the church was “Sanchar-in-Kyle” and was dedicated to St Kevoca or Sancta Kevoca, Patroness of Kyle, who lived in the eleventh century and was distinguished for her zeal in promoting monastic institutions. The name changed several times and appears as St Kenockis, St Cavocks and St Evox which name persisted until at least the 18th century.

But here’s the problem: it’s doubtful that a female saint named Kevoca ever existed.

She’s probably based on a male saint from Ireland called Caemhog (pron. “keevog”) or Mochaemhog (the prefix mo- is an honorific).

I’m not sure about the etymology of Caemhog, but it does remind me of the name Caoimhe, which is based on the Gaelic word caomh, meaning “gentle” or “kind.”

What do you think of the name Quivox? Do you think it’s usable as a baby name?

Source: Mackinlay, James Murray. Influence of the Pre-reformation Church on Scottish Place-names. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1904.


Common Names on First Passports in Ireland, 2014

The top baby names in Ireland aren’t out yet, but in the meanwhile here are the most common names on first passports for children under the age of three:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 456 passports
2. Sophie, 376
3. Emma, 367
4. Grace, 357
5. Ella, 355
6. Aoife, 337
7. Amelia, 316
8. Lily, 295
9. Ava, 293
10. Sarah, 279
11. Hannah, 278
12. Lucy, 276
13. Sophia, 274
14. Mia, 272
15. Anna, 270
16. Olivia, 246
17. Ruby, 238
18. Saoirse, 237
19. Caoimhe, 231
20. Kate, 225
1. Jack, 574 passports
2. James, 533
3. Daniel, 525
4. Conor, 475
5. Adam, 423
6. Ryan, 348
7. Harry, 343
8. Liam, 322
9. Luke, 320
10. Charlie, 313
11. Cian, 299
12. Noah, 291
13. Michael, 285
14. Oisín, 265
15. Thomas, 265
16. Alex, 264
17. Matthew, 261
18. Darragh, 260
19. Sean, 253
20. Jamie, 252

Not too different from the 2013 list. Big rises/falls within the top 20 include Olivia (+7 spots), Anna (-7), Cian (+6) and Dylan (-11, now ranked 21st).

Sources: So, what were the most-popular baby names in Ireland last year?, Passports Issued 2014 – 3 Years of Age or Under (pdf)

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Ireland’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a few days ago.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office, the most popular baby names are Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily
2. Emma
3. Sophie
4. Ella
5. Amelia
6. Aoife
7. Ava
8. Lucy
9. Grace
10. Sarah
11. Mia
12. Anna
13. Chloe
14. Hannah
15. Kate
16. Ruby
17. Lily
18. Katie
19. Caoimhe
20. Sophia
21. Lauren
22. Saoirse
23. Ellie
24. Holly
25. Leah
26. Amy
27. Olivia
28. Jessica
29. Ciara
30. Zoe
31. Isabelle
32. Niamh
33. Molly
34. Julia
35. Robyn
36. Erin
37. Roisin
38. Freya
39. Laura
40. Cara
41. Sofia
42. Eva
43. Rachel
44. Isabella
45. Kayla
46. Abbie
47. Charlotte [tie]
47. Millie [tie]
49. Faye
50. Clodagh
51. Aisling
52. Alice [tie]
52. Eabha [tie]
54. Abigail
55. Ellen
56. Lexi
57. Aoibhinn
58. Layla
59. Eve [tie]
59. Zara [tie]
61. Alannah
62. Aine
63. Maria [tie]
63. Megan [tie]
65. Rebecca
66. Nicole
67. Sadhbh
68. Clara
69. Elizabeth
70. Maya
71. Maja
72. Emilia
73. Caitlin
74. Rose
75. Isabel
76. Aoibheann
77. Sadie
78. Lena
79. Hollie
80. Sienna
81. Mary
82. Fiadh
83. Zuzanna
84. Aimee [tie]
84. Tara [tie]
86. Hanna [tie]
86. Katelyn [tie]
86. Lilly [tie]
86. Ruth [tie]
90. Alexandra [tie]
90. Poppy [tie]
92. Amber [tie]
92. Mollie [tie]
92. Victoria [tie]
95. Lara
96. Sara
97. Brooke
98. Aoibhe [tie]
98. Laoise [tie]
100. Kayleigh
1. Jack
2. James
3. Daniel
4. Conor
5. Sean
6. Adam
7. Ryan
8. Michael
9. Harry
10. Noah
11. Thomas
12. Alex
13. Luke
14. Oisin
15. Charlie
16. Patrick
17. Cian
18. Liam [tie]
18. Darragh [tie]
20. Dylan
21. Jamie
22. Matthew
23. Cillian
24. Aaron
25. Fionn
26. Jake
27. John
28. David
29. Ben
30. Finn
31. Nathan
32. Kyle
33. Samuel
34. Evan
35. Max
36. Ethan
37. Rian
38. Joseph
39. Alexander
40. Mason
41. Oliver
42. Joshua
43. William
44. Eoin
45. Jayden
46. Oscar
47. Callum
48. Aidan
49. Tom
50. Robert
51. Sam [tie]
51. Tadhg [tie]
53. Jacob
54. Cathal
55. Shane
56. Leon
57. Mark
58. Senan
59. Bobby
60. Ronan [tie]
60. Andrew [tie]
62. Eoghan
63. Leo
64. Lucas
65. Rory
66. Alfie
67. Tyler
68. Benjamin [tie]
68. Cormac [tie]
70. Scott
71. Christopher
72. Odhran
73. Kevin
74. Ciaran
75. Dara
76. Shay [tie]
76. Alan [tie]
78. Tommy
79. Logan [tie]
79. Anthony [tie]
81. Jakub
82. Rhys
83. Tomas
84. Donnacha
85. Kai
86. Stephen
87. Killian
88. Niall
89. Jason
90. Josh
91. Kayden
92. Martin [tie]
92. Ruairi [tie]
92. Brian [tie]
95. Isaac
96. Danny [tie]
96. Edward [tie]
98. Oran [tie]
98. Sebastian [tie]
98. Hugh [tie]

New to the top 100 are Sadie, Sienna, Fiadh and Poppy for girls and Kai and Kayden for boys.

(Names that were new on the 2012 list but that have since dropped out of the top 100 are Amelie, Evie and Maisie.)

Of all the girl names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Fiadh, +64 (146th to 82nd)
  2. Sadie, +62 (139th to 77th)
  3. Poppy, +46 (136th to 90th)
  4. Lexi, +33 (89th to 56th)
  5. Sienna, +32 (112th to 80th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Anna, +56 (296 babies to 352 babies)
  2. Lexi, +54 (127 babies to 73 babies)
  3. Sofia, +50 (155 babies to 105 babies)
  4. Sadie, +42 (84 babies to 42 babies)
  5. Fiadh, +39 (78 babies to 39 babies)

Of all the boy names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Kayden, +44 (135th to 91st)
  2. Shay, +27 (103rd to 76th)
  3. Kai, +24 (109th to 85th)
  4. Leo, +21 (84th to 63rd)
  5. Anthony, +20 (99th to 79th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Oliver, +44 (199 babies to 155 babies)
  2. Mason, +42 (201 babies to 159 babies)
  3. Alexander, +41 (202 babies to 161 babies)
  4. Leo, +35 (131 babies to 96 babies)
  5. Shay, +35 (104 babies to 69 babies)

Source: Irish Babies’ Names 2013
Image: Adapted from Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Ireland by Giuseppe Milo under CC BY 2.0.

Top Names on First Passports in Ireland, 2013

While we wait to see Ireland’s top baby names of 2013, here’s a list of the most common names on first passports for children under the age of three in Ireland:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 455 passports
2. Emma, 404
3. Aoife, 397
4. Sophie, 392
5. Grace, 363
6. Ella, 350
7. Lucy, 336
8. Anna, 314
9. Ava, 307
10. Sarah, 296
11. Mia, 285
12. Amelia, 278
13. Caoimhe, 275
14. Lily, 268
15. Hannah, 268
16. Chloe, 255
17. Sophia, 230
18. Ruby, 229
19. Katie, 226
20. Kate, 220
1. Jack, 600 passports
2. James, 534
3. Daniel, 529
4. Conor, 508
5. Adam, 418
6. Ryan, 358
7. Harry, 347
8. Charlie, 344
9. Liam, 344
10. Dylan, 334
11. Luke, 325
12. Thomas, 313
13. Michael, 296
14. Noah, 291
15. Cillian, 287
16. Alex, 284
17. Cian, 277
18. Oisín, 265
19. Jamie, 265
20. Darragh, 262

Some of the differences between this list and the top baby names in Ireland in 2012:

  • Sean, 4th in births, is 23rd in passports
  • Lily, 5th in births, is 14th in passports
  • Aoife, 11th in births, is 3rd in passports
  • Anna, 22nd in births, is 8th in passports
  • Cillian, 23rd in births, is 15th on passports

Do you think these differences speak to socioeconomic status? For instance, do a higher proportion of low SES families opt for the baby names Sean and Lily — is that why these names aren’t as high as we’d expect on the passport list? (Families with less money to spare probably aren’t travelling internationally as often as other families.)

Sources: Which baby names are most common on first passports?, Passports Issued 2013 – 3 Years of Age or Under (pdf)

The Revival of Irish Names in Ireland

ireland satelite imageI discovered the RTÉ Radio 1 documentary One Hundred Years of Names (2009) a long time ago. Finally I’ve had a chance to listen to the entire 40-minute program.

It’s pretty good — I like how it tells the story of how Irish names have been revived in Ireland.

Because, back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Irish names were not being used in Ireland, at least not officially. I think this fact would surprise a lot of people. The vast majority of children were given non-Irish names (e.g., Katherine, Rose, John) though some did use the Irish versions of their names in everyday life.

Around the 1930s, a handful Irish names (e.g., Seán, Séamus) began gaining traction. This was thanks to the efforts of those trying to revive Irish such as Éamon de Valera, who later became president of Ireland. (Éamon’s wife, born in 1878, went by Sinéad but was officially a Jane.)

The use of Irish names increased, little by little, over the next few decades.

With the 1970s came a lot more name variety, thanks to Gerard Slevin’s 1974 revision of Rev. Patrick Woulfe’s 1923 book Irish Names for Children. An Irish genealogist interviewed in the documentary said this revision was “quite influential, it was probably the only book on bookshelves at that time on Irish names.”

Since the 1990s, both the popularity and the variety of Irish names in Ireland have continued to increased. The narrator of the documentary summed it up well when she said that, nowadays, “names like Deirdre, Róisín, Gráinne are so familiar, we’d nearly forget they’re revived names.”

Interesting stuff, no?

The documentary is worth a listen if you’re a fan of Irish names. Or if you simply want to hear some Irish name pronunciations, as a bunch of Irish names — Cian (kee-an), Aoife (ee-fa), Ciara (kee-ra), Caoimhe (kwee-va), Niamh (nee-av), Saoirse (sir-sha), Sadhbh (sive), Róisín (ro-sheen), Aoibhinn/Aoibheann (ee-veen), etc. — are mentioned about 10 minutes in.

If you listen, let me know how you like it!

Most Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2011

Jack and Emily were the most popular baby names in Ireland in 2011.

Here are the full top-20 lists for each gender:

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Jack – 2.4% of all baby boys
2. James
3. Sean [SHAWN]
4. Daniel
5. Connor
6. Ryan
7. Adam
8. Harry
9. Michael
10. Alex (tie)
10. Dylan (tie)
12. Luke
13. Cian [KEE-an or KEEN]
14. Jamie
15. Oisin [UH-sheen or O-sheen]
16. Aaron
17. Liam
18. Thomas
19. Darragh
20. Charlie
1. Emily – 1.6% of all baby girls
2. Sophie
3. Emma
4. Grace
5. Lily
6. Sarah
7. Lucy
8. Ava
9. Chloe
10. Katie
11. Ella
12. Mia
13. Aoife [EE-fa]
14. Caoimhe [KEE-va or KWEE-va]
15. Kate
16. Leah
17. Hannah
18. Anna
19. Saoirse [SEER-sha or SAIR-sha]
20. Ruby

(And here are the 2010 rankings, if you’d like to compare.)

The names that increased the most in popularity from 2010 to 2011 were…

Boy Names Girl Names
By rank: Tommy – 160th to 88th
Mason – 128th to 70th
Hugh – 126th to 99th
Donnacha – 102nd to 76th
Leo – 94th to 79th
Michaela – 164th to 78th
Muireann – 120th to 87th
Sofia – 80th to 58th
Kayla – 41st to 21st
Eve (tie) – 60th to 45th
Maebh (tie) – 107th to 92nd
By number of babies: Harry – 364 to 499
Adam – 581 to 637
Mason – 59 to 115
Thomas – 347 to 403
Rian – 161 to 213
Lily – 371 to 496
Kayla – 186 to 306
Caoimhe – 323 to 398
Mia – 344 to 400
Ella – 380 to 434

Tommy’s rise can be attributed to Tommy Moon, a fictional baby who was “born” (read: introduced) on the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders at the very end of 2010.

And we already know why Mason is so popular

Sources: Irish Babies’ Names 2011 [pdf], Jack and Emily top baby names list

Baby Names Needed for Quintuplets

A reader named Allison and her husband Dawson are expecting 5 (!) little ones. Three will be boys, two will be girls, and their surname will sound a lot like “Barber.” Here’s more from Allison:

We have twins Holden Patrick (Holden is from Catcher In the Rye and Patrick is my father’s middle name) and Theo Drummey (Theo because we liked it and Drummey is a family name.) I’m Irish and my husband is Canadian but doesn’t really have a name preference (other then if he had his wish our first daughter would be Jasmine Atlanta). As you can see I like to have my heritage in the names but I know from my family that names spelled in Gaelic form don’t usually go over well with the western way we pronounce things. At the same time I really like simple classy names and names with meaning… We have a large mix of name choices the only thing we knew is we don’t want any Winifreds or Paulinas or Alfreds or Richards, we also would like to stay away from Liam, Aidan, Maeve, Finn, Brigid all family names that have been taken. We are stuck! Here is our list of names so far, completely mixed up…

Tadgh- pronounced Tighe
Cian- pro. Keean
Callum- pro. Kaylum
Caelum
Rory
Christian
Samuel
Benjamin
Maxwell
Emmett

Ryann
Cecelia/Cecilia
Auden
Caoimhe- pro. Keevah
Kate
Jillian
Rosalie
Thea (I know we can’t use this because of Theo but I love it!)
Jasmine

Family Names: (we would use these as middle names)
Drummey
Patrick
Marie
Jeremy
Brian
Patricia
Bryanna
Pearl

Thank you! Any help is appreciated! :)

First of all, congratulations!

I think Holden and Theo have great names. Of the options listed, the five I like best with Holden and Theo are Benjamin, Christian, Maxwell, Kate and Cecilia, though I like many of the others as well.

I’d be wary about using names like Tadgh and Caoimhe because, where I am, names like these require explanation. Things will probably be tricky enough with quints…why add extra complication? :) But perhaps Allison and her family live in a place where Irish names are common and this isn’t an issue.

Here are some other ideas:

Conor
Cormac
Henry
Hugh
Kevin
Lucas
Neil
Nolan
Owen
Ronan
Ryan
Sean
Sebastian
Thomas
William
Abigail
Adele
Charlotte
Clara
Dorothy
Hannah
Lucy
Michelle
Molly
Nicole
Nola
Nora
Orla
Una/Oona
Willa

It’s hard to talk about middles before the first names are in place. I’d probably use short middles with long firsts and vice versa (e.g. Cecilia Pearl, Kate Patricia), just for balance. And I’d avoid the combo Jasmine Pearl, as that’s a type of tea. It’s delicious, but still.

Which of the above (3 boy names, 2 girl names) do you like best with Holden and Theo? What other names would you suggest to Allison?

UPDATE – Allison has just learned that there will actually be 3 girls and 2 boys!