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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Niamh

Number of Babies Named Niamh

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Niamh

Top Blog Posts of 2014; Suggestions for 2015?

Happy New Year!

Wondering which NBN posts got the most traffic last year? Here’s the official list:

  1. Names People Have Given Their Cars
  2. How to Pronounce Popular Irish Names – Aoife, Cian, Niamh, Oisin
  3. The Name Your Car Formula, for Name Your Car Day
  4. Hailey, Haleigh, Haylee… Which Spelling Is Best?
  5. Is ABCDE Really a Baby Name?
  6. Avery – Girl Name or Boy Name?
  7. Car Names as Baby Names
  8. 110+ Hidden Gems: Rare Baby Girl Names
  9. Baby Name Needed – Botanical Name for Baby Boy
  10. What Are the Most Pretentious Baby Names?

And which NBN posts published in 2014 specifically got the most traffic last year?

  1. Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013
  2. Top Baby Girl Name Debuts of 2013
  3. Siblings Named Tonsillitis, Meningitis, Appendicitis…
  4. List of Female Names from 1888
  5. Popular Baby Names in Poland, 2013
  6. Popular Baby Names in Estonia, 2013
  7. Baby Name Trends in South Korea
  8. 40 Pairs of Baby Names for Girl-Boy Twins
  9. Names Popular During the Victorian Era
  10. Kilcher Names – Atz, Farenorth, Jewel, Q’orianka

Thanks so much for reading along year after year, everyone. Your comments and emails mean a lot to me. :)

Is there anything in particular you’d like to see a post about in 2015? Please comment below or send me a note.

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.

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, 2012

Most popular baby names in Ireland, 2012
The most popular baby names in Ireland came out a few days ago.

According to the Central Statistics Office, the country’s top names are Jack for boys and Emily for girls.

Here are the top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2012:

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

New to the top 100 list are Isaac, Danny and Logan for boys and Evie, Amelie, Hanna, Maisie and Rose for girls.

Some of the specifically Irish names in the top 100 are…

  • Girls: Aoife, Caoime, Saoirse, Roisin, Ciara, Niamh, Aisling, Aine, Clodagh, Aoibhinn, Aoibheann, Sadhbh, Eabha, Aoibhe, Eimear, Meabh, Ailbhe, Laoise, Maeve
  • Boys: Liam, Oisin, Cian, Darragh, Cillian, Fionn, Rian, Eoin, Tadhg, Finn, Callum, Rory, Ronan, Eoghan, Cathal, Ciaran, Senan, Cormac, Donnacha, Ruairi, Odhran, Niall

Sources: Jack and Emily most popular baby names, Irish Babies’ Names – CSO

Baby Name Needed – Irish-Italian Name Combo for Baby Girl

Elisa is expecting a baby girl and would like some input on names:

I’m Italian and the dad is Irish, so the last name will be Dillon. As for first name I would like a first pretty Irish name and a middle Italian name (with the Italian spelling), but no matter what I try it never sounds good.

Since I received Elisa’s e-mail, I’ve been experimenting with random combinations of Irish and Italian names…and mostly running into the same problem. I think I’ve found a few pairings that do sound nice, though.

Here’s the (very scientific!) process I ended up using. First I came up with ten distinctly Irish names that I thought sounded nice with Dillon:


Next I brainstormed for ten distinctly Italian names–not worrying about how they’d sound with Dillon or any of the Irish names:


And now, the great match-up! There are 100 possible combinations here…surely something will sound good, right? :)

Aoife [ee-fuh] paired with Francesca becomes a bit of a tongue-twister, and the vowel-sound at the end would blend with one at the start of Alessa, so those two middles won’t work. But I like Aoife Piera and Aoife Ginevra.

Brígh [bree] blends with Alessa, and pairing it with Francesca makes it sound like the word “brief.” But I like the assonance in Brigh Letizia, and I think Brigh Vittoria sounds nice as well.

Ciara [kee-ra; kee-ar-a] probably won’t work with Cinzia because of the confusing hard-C/soft-C thing. The combination Ciara Piera could be confusing as well. If we stick with the pronunciation KEE-ra, I think this one sounds good with Donatella, Francesa and Vincenza.

Grainne [grawn-ya] might not work with Ginevra (hard/soft) or Alessa (blending), but Grainne Rosella and Grainne Piera are nice.

Maeve [mayv] won’t work with F- or V-names. But if the V-sounds are spaced out a bit, as with Maeve Ginevra, I think the consonance sounds good. I also think one-syllable first names sound great with middles that start on a down-beat, as with Maeve Alessa.

Niamh [neev], like Maeve, would blend with F- or V-names. But I like it with Ginevra and Alessa (for the same reasons I like Maeve with Ginevra and Alessa) and with Letizia (for the same reason I like Brigh with Letizia).

Orlagh [or-la] wouldn’t sound right with Alessa, and with Donatella would give rise to the initials ODD. But I like Orlagh Rosella, and the matching or-sounds in Orlagh Vittoria. (That might be too sing-songy for others, though.)

Síle [shee-la] starts with an sh-sound that I think could sound nice near the ch-sounds in Francesca and Vincenza. I also like it with Cinzia and Piera.

Sínead [shi-nayd] I like with Alessa and Francesca. (I almost don’t like it with Dillon, though…nearly left this one off the list for that reason. Those dueling D-sounds could be a problem.)

Siobhan [shi-vawn] ends with some of the same sounds that Vincenza and Donatella begin with…I think that’s too much of an echo, but others might really like the effect. I think Siobhan Alessa and Siobhan Rosella sound good.

So there we have it. I think there are a few dozen good combinations in there–but I’d love to hear what you guys think.

Also, what other names would you throw into the mix?

P.S. I just noticed (about 5 minutes after publishing the post) that some of the combos above produce the initials MAD and SAD. Hm…that might not be so good. Then again…girls named Madison and Madeleine are often called “Mad” and “Maddie” for short, so MAD might not actually be a bad set of initials, depending on how you spin it.

Edit: Scroll down to the last comment to see which name Elisa chose!

How to Pronounce Popular Irish Names – Aoife, Cian, Niamh, Oisin

pronounce irish names

Most of the names popular in Ireland today — names like Jack, Sarah, Adam and Emma — are easy to pronounce. But others can be tricky for non-Irish-speakers to decipher. So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s how to pronounce popular Irish names like Aoife, Cian, Niamh and Cillian.

Irish Girl Names:

  • Aoife is pronounced EE-fa.
  • Caoimhe is pronounced KEE-va or KWEE-va.*
  • Ciara is pronounced KEE-ar-a or KEE-ra.*
  • Maeve is pronounced MAYV.
  • Niamh is pronounced NEE-av or NEEV.
  • Saoirse is pronounced SEER-sha or SAIR-sha.
  • Sinead (Sinéad) is pronounced shi-NAYD.

Irish Boy Names:

  • Cian is pronounced KEE-an or KEEN.*
  • Cillian is pronounced KIL-ee-an.*
  • Daithi (Dáithí) is pronounced DAH-hee.
  • Eoin is pronounced O-in.
  • Oisin (Oisín) is pronounced UH-sheen or O-sheen.
  • Seamus (Séamus) is pronounced SHAY-mus.
  • Sean (Seán) is pronounced SHAWN.

*Remember, all C’s are hard in Irish.

Keep in mind that these pronunciations may not cover all dialects of Irish.

What other Irish names do you have a hard time pronouncing?

One-Syllable Girl Names – Bree, Hope, Jill, Paige, Tess

Want a baby name that’s short & sweet? Here are over 100 one-syllable girl names:

Anne, Ann
Blair, Blaire
Blake, Blayke
Bree, Brie
Brooke, Brook
Brynn, Bryn, Brynne
Claire, Clare, Clair
Drew, Dru
Faith, Fayth
Faye, Fay, Fae
Gail, Gayle, Gale
Grace, Grayce
Jade, Jayde, Jaide
Jane, Jayne
Jean, Jeanne
Jen, Jenn
Joy, Joi, Joie
Kay, Kaye
Laine, Lane, Layne
Leigh, Lee
Lynn, Lynne, Lyn
Mae, May
Maude, Maud
Nelle, Nell
Neve, Niamh
Noor, Nour
Paige, Payge
Reece, Reese
Rayne, Rain, Raine
Sage, Saige
Shea, Shae, Shay
Skye, Sky
Sloane, Sloan
Star, Starr
True, Tru

See any you like?

P.S. Here are the most popular 1-syllable girl names of 2012, 2011 and 2010.