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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Fintan


Posts that Mention the Name Fintan

Some Manx First Names

flag, Isle of Man

The last native speaker of Manx Gaelic — a fisherman named Ned — died in the mid-1970s.

Since then, one of the ways the Isle of Man has attempted to keep the Manx language alive is through baby names.

In mid-2003, the government released a short booklet, “Some Manx First Names” (pdf), to encourage expectant parents to give their babies traditional Manx names.

In recent years there has been an increase in the use of Manx names but often prospective parents were only aware of the more common names. The booklet includes the more popular names, for example Juan (well born) for a boy and Breeshey (shining) for a girl and less commonly used names for example Fintan (a little fair one) for a boy and Blaa (flower) for a girl.

I have yet to see any Manx names at the top of the Isle of Man rankings (e.g., 2020), but perhaps they’ll get there one day.

In the meanwhile, here’s a sampling of names from the booklet. The booklet’s original definitions are in quotes, and I’ve added some extra info in parentheses.

Male Manx Names

  • Austeyn, “venerable” (form of Augustine)
  • Conylt/Conal, “love” (form of Conall, “strong wolf”)
  • Finlo, “fair Scandinavian” (form of Finlugh, possibly “fair Lugh“)
  • Gilno/Dilno, “saint’s servant” (from the Manx words for “servant,” guilley, and “saint,” noo)
  • Mayl, “like God [Michael]”
  • Ramsey, “place name” (Ramsey is the Isle of Man’s second-largest town; “wild garlic island” in Old English)
  • Stoill, “with a will” (I can’t figure out the derivation here)

Female Manx Names

  • Aalid/Aelid, “beauty” (from the Manx word for “beauty,” aalid)
  • Ailstreena, “feminine of Alister” (both come from Alexander, “defending men”)
  • Creena, “wise” (from the Manx word for “wise,” creeney)
  • Malane, “magnificent [Madeline]” (form of Magdalene, “of Magdala“)
  • Onnee, “grace [Annie]”
  • Renny, “a fern” (from the Manx word for “fern,” rhennee)
  • Vorana, “great” (I can’t figure out the derivation here either)

Do you like any of these names?

Sources: A Manx name for your baby (2005), Behind the Name

12 Rare Irish Boy Names

rare irish boy names

We’re all familiar with Irish boy names like Aidan (Aodhán), Brendan (Breandán), and Kieran (Ciarán).

What if you like the sound of these names, but want something a little less common?

Here are a dozen legit Irish names that are barely being used right now — and all of them have that popular two-syllable, ends-with-N structure that American parents tend to like for boy names (think Mason, Ethan, Jackson, Logan, Owen, Jayden, Dylan, Justin…and countless others).

Which of these would you be most likely to use for your own baby boy?

Cammán
Historical example: Cammán mac Amlaíb, 10th-century viking.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Colmán
Historical example: Colmán mac Báetáin, 6th-century monarch.
Current usage: Colman is rare.

Crónán
Historical example: Crónán mac Bécáin, 7th-century saint.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Dallán
Historical example: Dallán Forgaill, 6th-century poet.
Current usage: Dallan is rare.

Donnán
Historical example: Donnán of Eigg, 7th-century priest.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Fintán
Historical example: Fintán of Taghmon, 7th-century saint.
Current usage: Fintan is rare.

Flannán
Historical example: Flannán mac Toirrdelbaig, 7th-century saint.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Garbán
Historical example: Garbán mac Éndai, 6th-century monarch.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Lommán
Historical example: Lommán mac Dalláin, 6th-century saint.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Lorcán
Historical example: Lorcán mac Cellaig, 9th-century monarch.
Current usage: Lorcan is rare.

Marcán
Historical example: Marcán mac Tommáin, 7th-century monarch.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Mongán
Historical example: Mongán mac Fiachnai, 7th-century prince.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

60 Unique Male Saint Names: Ariston, Cassian, Conon, Fintan…

You’re looking for a cool, uncommon saint name…but you haven’t had much luck.

Augustine’s not up your alley. Francis is too old fashioned. And how many people are really going to get “Aloysius” right on the first try?

I scoured the Roman Martyrology for 60 male saint names that might appeal to modern parents.

Because nearly all of the names refer to multiple saints, I didn’t bother with extra details like feast days. I did throw in a few nickname ideas, though.

  1. St. Alban.
  2. St. Amand, also known as Amandus.
  3. St. Ammon.
  4. St. Ananias.
  5. St. Ariston. Riston, Aris, Ari.
  6. St. Attalus.
  7. St. Audax, which means “daring, bold” in Latin. Dax, Audy.
  8. St. Azarias.
  9. St. Bretannio. Bret, Bretan.
  10. St. Cassian. Cash.
  11. St. Colman. Cole.
  12. St. Columban.
  13. St. Conon
  14. St. Corebus. Cory.
  15. St. Cyrion.
  16. St. Damasus.
  17. St. Davinus. Dave, Davy, Davin.
  18. St. Domitian. Dom.
  19. St. Emilian. Emil.
  20. St. Fintan. Fin.
  21. St. Galdinus, or the Italian form Galdino.
  22. St. Gavinus. Gavin.
  23. St. Gereon. Gerry.
  24. St. Gerinus. Gerry, Gerin.
  25. St. Gordian. Gordy.
  26. St. Hadrian…nope, not the Roman Emperor. Different guy.
  27. St. Ignatius. Nate, Iggy.
  28. St. Kilian, also spelled Killian.
  29. St. Leander. Andy, Lee.
  30. St. Leontius. Leon, Leo.
  31. St. Macarius. Mac.
  32. St. Magnus.
  33. St. Malchus. Mal.
  34. St. Marcellin. Marcel, Marce.
  35. St. Marcellus. Marcel, Marce.
  36. St. Maxentius. Max.
  37. St. Maximian. Max.
  38. St. Mellitus. Mel.
  39. St. Nazarius. Naz.
  40. St. Nicander. Nic, Andy.
  41. St. Nicanor. Nic.
  42. St. Nilus.
  43. St. Octavian. Tavian, Tave, Tavy.
  44. St. Remigius, or the French form Rémy. Remi.
  45. St. Romulus, or the Italian form Romolo. Rom, Romy.
  46. St. Sabbas, also spelled Sabas.
  47. St. Sennen.
  48. St. Sergius, or the more familiar form Sergio. Serge.
  49. St. Severin. Sev.
  50. St. Straton.
  51. St. Swithin.
  52. St. Theonas. Theo.
  53. St. Thrason.
  54. St. Thyrsus.
  55. St. Timon. Tim, Timmy.
  56. St. Tryphon.
  57. St. Tychon.
  58. St. Valens. Val.
  59. St. Verian.
  60. St. Zenas. Zen.

Killian is the only saint name on the list that has ranked among the top 1,000 baby names in the nation within the last 100 years. (The single-L version has never ranked, though.)

Did you see any names you liked?

And, do you know of any good ones that I missed?

Update, June 2014: Just posted about another unique male saint name, Cono.

Baby Name Needed: Boy Name for Cian’s Little Brother

A reader named Jamie writes:

Cian Joseph is two years old, and will be welcoming a little brother in May. My husband is Irish, and so we’re sticking with names from that region. We know the middle name will be James, but we’re hitting a road block on first names. So far the only name we both like is Declan, but our super-Irish last name includes 2 K-sounds and ends in -lin. They sound a little funny together.

My first thoughts were Desmond and Diarmaid (Dermot), which are both similar to Declan. There’s also a saint named Donnan. Speaking of saints, how about:

Brendan
Brogan
Eoghan
Ernan
Faolan
Fergus
Fintan
Flannan
Finnian
Garbhan
Grellan
Loman
Manchan
Mel
Murtagh
Odhran
Ronan
Ruadhan
Senan
Ultan

Most of the above are spelled other ways as well, which is convenient (as some versions are easier to pronounce in English, while others are closer to the original Irish).

Historical Irish kings had names like Niall (Neil), Domnall (Donald) and Ruaidri (Rory).

Looking to surnames, there are options like Brady, Grady, Murphy and Nolan.

Do you think any of the above sound particularly good with James? What other names would you suggest?

Update, 6/07: Scroll down to the last comment to find out which name Jamie chose…