These Celtic-inspired options would make your ancestors proud.

By Maddie Topliff
February 15, 2021
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Looking for a Gaelic-inspired name for your new pup? You might be surprised to learn there's actually no one official language of Ireland. While English is widely spoken across the island nation, the Irish people celebrate their heritage by promoting the use of historic languages, like the Celtic-based Irish language.

Many scholars believe that the Irish language made its way to the mainland over 2,500 years ago, and while its popularity has ebbed and flowed, the historic tongue is preserved all around the world by modern-day learners of the language. In Ireland, as of April 2016, 39.8% of the population said that they were able to speak Irish, especially in the county of Galway.

Proudly representing your family heritage with your dog's name is a wonderful way to incorporate your pup into your pack. Or maybe you just want to honor the history of a country you love, or celebrate a holiday like St. Patrick's Day. This list of some of the loveliest Irish dog names and their meanings can help you select a name worthy of your brilliant canine companion.

Irish Female Dog Names and Their Meanings

We have no doubt your little lass will be the prettiest hound this side of Dublin.

  • Aisling (pronounced ‘Ashleen’): a dream
  • Bríghid (pronounced ‘Brigid’): strength
  • Caoimhe (pronounced ‘kee-va’): gentleness, beauty, grace
  • Dearbháil (pronounced ‘Dearmid’): true, desire
  • Máiréad (pronounced ‘mi-rade): a pearl
  • Nuala (pronounced ‘noo-la’): fair-shouldered
  • Róisín (pronounced ‘Rosheen’): little black rose
  • Sorcha (pronounced ‘sur-ka’): clear, bright
  • Niamh (pronounced ‘neev’): dazzling light
  • Eibhlín (pronounced ‘Eileen’): sunlight

Irish Male Dog Names and Their Meanings

These common Irish boy names are both powerful and historic.

  • Árdghal (pronounced ‘Ardal’): high valor
  • Breandán (pronounced ‘Brendan’): brown raven
  • Cathal (pronounced ‘Ka-ha’l): battle-mighty
  • Conchobhar (pronounced ‘Connor’): high will
  • Eoghan (pronounced ‘Oh-an’): youthful warrior
  • Niall (pronounced ‘Nile’): noble knight or champion
  • Oisín (pronounced ‘Osh-een’): deer
  • Pádrick (pronounced ‘Paah-rick’): the name of the National Apostle of Ireland
Portrait of bulldog wearing a mini leprechaun hat
Credit: jenchew / Getty

Cutest Irish Dog Names

Did you know that Collin means 'cub or puppy'? If that's not the cutest thing, I don't know what is.

  • Ronan: a seal
  • Odhran (pronounced ‘Orin’): little pale green one
  • Darren: little oak
  • Colm (pronounced ‘Collum’): dove
  • Collin: cub or puppy
  • Senan (pronounced ‘sennin’): little wise person
  • Tiernan: little lord
  • Aidan: little fiery one
  • Oscar: deer lover
  • Rian (pronounced ‘ree-an’): little king

Badass Irish Dog Names

Here are some fierce names for your furry friend.

  • Aodh (pronounced ‘Aidan’): fiery
  • Fiadh (pronounced ‘fee-a’): wild
  • Eimear (pronounced ‘ee-mur’): swift
  • Meabh (pronounced ‘Maeve’): the warrior queen of Connacht
  • Nessa: rough, not gentle
  • Cillian (pronounced ‘kill-ee-an’): war, strife
  • Shay: hawk
  • Donnacha (pronounced ‘done-acka’): brown-haired warrior
  • Lorcan: silent or fierce
  • Conan: hound or wolf, swift-footed warrior

Irish Names for Black Dogs

We know your pup is proud of their dark coat. Pay tribute with a matching name.

  • Ciara/Ciarán (pronounced ‘kee-ra’): dark
  • Aiobhinn (pronounced ‘ee-van’): pleasant, beautiful sheen of radiant beauty
  • Aine (pronounced ‘awn-ye’): radiance, splendor, brilliance
  • Laoise (pronounced ‘lee-sha’): radiant girl
  • Darragh (pronounced ‘darra’): dark oak

City-Inspired Irish Dog Names

Catching the travel bug? Name your pup using one of these popular destinations in Ireland to remind you of the wonderful experiences you've had there (or hope to have there someday!).

  • Dublin
  • Belfast
  • Doolin
  • Galway
  • Kinsale
  • Adare
  • Cork
  • Limerick
  • Carrickfergus
  • Derry
  • Sligo
  • Killarney
  • Greystones
  • Blarney

Dive even deeper into Irish canine history by learning about native Irish dog breeds like the Irish wolfhound or the Irish setter, upon whom any one of these names would make the perfect moniker.