According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland last year were Grace and James.
Here are the Northern Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:
Grace, 176 baby girls
Freya and Ella, 101 each (tie)
James, 190 baby boys
Finn, 112 (tie)
Theo, 112 (tie)
Harry, 111 (tie)
Cillian, 111 (tie)
In the girls’ top 10, Fiadh, Lucy and Freya replaced Anna and Evie.
In the boys’ top 10, Finn, Theo, and Cillian replaced Jacob, Daniel, and Alfie.
Now, Northern Ireland doesn’t technically release data on all baby names…but their downloadable tables do include two extra alphabetized sets of names below those that were given to 3 babies. My strong hunch is that these were the names given to 2 babies and 1 baby, respectively, and that the numbers/rankings were simply stripped out.
So, going with that theory, here are some of the names from the second alphabetized set (the names that I’m assuming were used just once in Northern Ireland last year):
According to data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were againEmily and Jack.
Here are Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:
Fiadh (pronounced fee-ah)
In the girls’ top 10, Ella, Ellie, and Fiadh replaced Hannah (now 11th), Lucy (13th), and Chloe (16th). The Irish name Fiadh* comes from the word fia, which means “wild” — in a “wild animal” or “wild deer” sense specifically. (Many sources oversimplify the definition by reducing it to “deer.”)
In the boys’ top 10, Charlie replaced Sean (now both 13th & 74th — see below for an explanation).
New entrants to the girls’ top 100 were Ada, Bella, Bonnie and Ivy. Ada and Ivy were the fastest climbers.
New entrants to the boys’ top 100 were Frankie, Freddie and Theodore. Theodore and Frankie were the fastest climbers.
Something else new to the rankings in 2018? The síneadh fada — an important Irish diacritic that indicates a long vowel. (In Irish, the word síneadh means “stretching” or “prolongation” and the word fada means “long.”) This is what pushed longtime top-five name Sean out of the top 10 entirely in 2018. “Sean” and “Seán” are now being counted as separate names. Currently, Seán ranks 13th while fada-less Sean is way down in 74th place.
Speaking of names with relatively low placement on the list, baby names bestowed just three times each in Ireland last year included…