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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Muireann

Number of Babies Named Muireann

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Muireann

Myrna Loy, Named for a Whistle Stop

Myrna Loy

Myrna Loy, popular film actress of the 1930s and 1940s, was born Myrna Adele Williams in Montana in 1905. She tells the story of how her father came up with the name Myrna in her 1987 autobiography:

One of my father’s duties was taking the cattle to market in Chicago, traveling in stock cars, sleeping in the caboose. I was on the way in 1905 when he happened to stop near Broken Bow, Nebraska, on the Burlington Railroad. It wasn’t a proper station, really, just a whistle-stop where you got water or fuel for the coal-burning engines. Sometimes they had classical names left by itinerant scholars, and this one was called “Myrna.” The expectant father decided then and there, if the child was a girl, that would be her name.

He had to fight for it, though:

When I was born, on August 2nd, there were great battles between him and my mother and grandmother. The ladies wanted Annabel, a composite of my grandmothers’ names, but for once my father held out against the strong women of the family. He gained considerable leverage from the appearance of my mother on the cover of Field and Stream. During his absence, while nearly seven months pregnant with me, she had become the first woman to pack through the highest point of the Tetons in the Southern Rockies. My father supposedly blew his stack when he saw it.

So they named me Myrna Adele Williams, because my father liked the sound of it. The Welsh in him probably thought Myrna was a pretty name. All Welshmen are like that, you know, they have a certain amount of poetry in them.

(Myrna’s mom sounds awesome, doesn’t she? I did my best to find that Field and Stream cover online, but no luck.)

So where does the name Myrna come from? Like Murna and Morna, it’s an Anglicized form of the Irish name Muirne [pron. MUR-nah]. Looks like you can define Muirne two different ways:

  • The mother of legendary Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn McCool) was named Muirenn/Muireann, but is often called Muirne or Murna in English. Most sources agree that Muirenn/Muireann comes from the Gaelic words muir, meaning “sea,” and fionn, meaning “white, fair.”
  • Muirne also coincides with the (perhaps archaic?) Gaelic word mùirn/mùirne. Old dictionaries define the word various ways: “cheerfulness, joy”; “delicateness, tenderness”; “natural affection, love, regard”; “respect.”

Do you like the name Myrna?

Source: Kotsilibas-Davis, James, and Myrna Loy. Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming. New York: Knopf, 1987.


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