(Viewing Irish Girl Names O – Z)
Oonagh, Oona, Una
PRONOUCE: “ou + na”
DESCRIPTION: From the Irish word uan “a lamb” or may come from the Latin unameaning “one,” hence it is sometimes translated as “Unity.” In legend Oonagh was “Queen of the Fairies” who had long golden hair which reached to the ground and she was also the wife of Fionn Mac Cool (read the legend).
PRONOUCE: “or + la”
DESCRIPTION: orlaith means “golden princess.” The name was shared by both a sister and a daughter of the most famous of the high kings, Brian Boru (read the legend).
PRONOUCE: “row + a”
DESCRIPTION: From radharc meaning “a vision.”
DESCRIPTION: Comes from ri “sovereign, king” and the diminutive -in and means “the king’s child” or may come from riogach “impulsive, furious.” Regan may be used for a boy or a girl.
PRONOUCE: “ree + in + ock”
DESCRIPTION: From rionach meaning “queenly.” In legend Rionach was the wife of “Niall of the Nine Hostages” (read the legend) and as such is the maternal ancestor of many of the great Irish family dynasties.
PRONOUCE: “ro + sheen”
DESCRIPTION: From the Latin name Rosa and means “little rose.” Records show that the name has been in use in Ireland since the sixteenth century. When the expression of Irish patriotic poetry and song was outlawed during Ireland’s troubled and turbulent past, the Irish bards would disguise their nationalistic verse as love songs. In the figure of Roisin Dubh (“Dark Rosaleen”), a Gaelic poem translated by James Clarence Mangan in 1835, the name became a poetic symbol of Ireland, reflecting the Irish tradition of disguising outlawed patriotic verse as love songs where she is told not to be downhearted for her friends are returning from abroad to come to her aid.
PRONOUCE: “ro + ree”
DESCRIPTION: From rua + ri “red-headed king” it is often used as the feminine of the name Rory.
PRONOUCE: “rye + an”
DESCRIPTION: From ri + the diminutive -in meaning “little king” and has become a female form of Ryan.
PRONOUCE: “sear + sha”
DESCRIPTION: Irish word saoirse “freedom, liberty.” It has only been used since the 1920s and has strong patriotic overtones. It has become a very popular baby girl name in Ireland in recent years.
PRONOUCE: “shaw + na”
DESCRIPTION: The feminine form of Sean. It is currently a very popular name in Ireland.
PRONOUCE: “she + na”
DESCRIPTION: An Irish form of Jane “God is gracious” and may be a shortened form of Sinead.
PRONOUCE: “shib + ale”
DESCRIPTION: Form of Isabel which is a Spanish form of the Hebrew nameElisheba, meaning “God is my oath.” Forms of Elizabeth have always been popular throughout the Celtic world.
PRONOUCE: “she + la”
DESCRIPTION: The Irish form of the Latin name Cecilia, the patron saint of music and implies “pure and musical.”
PRONOUCE: “shin + aid”
DESCRIPTION: Irish form of Jane “God is gracious.”
PRONOUCE: “shiv + awn”
DESCRIPTION: Siobhan is another Irish form of Joan meaning “God is gracious.” A popular name in Ireland where the anglicised versions are often used. Siobhan McKenna, an Irish actress who died in 1986, was considered by many as a woman who personified all that was good about being Irish.
PRONOUCE: “sor + aka” or “surk + ha”
DESCRIPTION: From sorcha meaning “bright, radiant, light.” Popular in the Middle Ages, the name has become popular again in recent years partly due to the success of the Irish actress Sorcha Cusack in Britain. Incidentally, her actor sisters are named Sinead and Niamh.
DESCRIPTION: The Irish form of the Welsh name Tegwin which means “beautiful.”
PRONOUCE: “ul + ta + na”
DESCRIPTION: Has been used mainly in Northern Ireland as a female form ofUltach “an Ulsterman.” There have been eighteen saints named Ultan. St. Ultan of Ardbraccan, c. 650 AD, noted for his care of the poor, orphans and the sick is considered the patron saint of children and a hospital for sick children in Dublin is named after him.