Many people around the world can trace their heritage back to the shores of Ireland. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many new parents want to celebrate their Irish history with an Irish name from that tradition. Thankfully for many parents, there a great many gender-neutral options that also happen to be of Irish or Celtic origin.
An Irish gender-neutral baby name is a versatile moniker that parents will love because these appellations offer so much promise and possibility. While some of these Irish names have been traditionally for one sex or the other, many have been seen as unisex options since their inception. Whether it’s an old Irish name that’s been given new life or a name that’s always been open to interpretation, these gender-neutral Irish baby names are ripe for your consideration.
Shea is a traditional Irish surname that’s now given as a name for both baby boys and girls. The gender-neutral name means “admirable.” Shea and its variety of spelling including Shai and Shay have all been popular in the US.
Kieran is a boys’ name that could cross over, as an update of outmoded Karen or a variation on trendy Kiera. Less than 10% of girls were given the name in the US as it is still primarily seen as a name for boys. We think it works as a unisex name. Kieran has an excellent meaning: “little dark one.”
Regan briefly entered the top 1000 names for boys in the US in the 1960s but hasn’t rejoined the list since. We think this amazing gender-neutral baby name has a lot going for it. For starters, the name means “little king.” In literature, Regan was one of the faithless daughters in Shakespeare’s King Lear.
Devan is more commonly seen spelled as Devin, but both work for both genders! Devan has Irish origins, of course, and means “poet.” While this name is still heavily given to baby boys, we find it has a playful quality as a name for a girl.
The city name Dublin ultimately derived from Irish elements dubh, meaning “dark,” and lind, “pool.” The dark pool in question was a tidal pool behind Dublin Castle. As with many city names like Brooklyn, Paris, and London, they work very well as gender-neutral names and sound very distinguished.
Eire is another unisex name that refers to the isle of Ireland itself and literally means “from the Island to the West.” The name was derived from the Gaelic goddess Ériu who also brings us the beloved name, Erin. Eire is pronounced Ay-ra.
Cory is often spelled Corey and both were hugely popular in the US until they started to decline in the 1990s. We still love this gender-neutral Irish name. Cory was popular for girls as well and kept up with older popular companions of the day Tori and Lori. The charmer means “from the hollow.”
Keir has traditionally been reserved for baby boys, but thanks to its history as a surname, we feel it should also be a popular option for girls. Like others, Regan, Kennedy, and Kerry, this surname name brings gravitas. Keir or Kier means “black.”
Since we mentioned Kennedy, we thought it appropriate to include this handsome gender-neutral name that is currently one of the most popular in the US for girls. Kennedy means “misshapen head.” That’s not stopping parents from choosing this stately moniker for their babies. If you’d like to spice it up with an alternative spelling you can choose from Kennedi, Kenady, or Kenadee.
Niall is pronounced nye-al, which is similar to Neil but sounds much fresher. This is an ancient name borne by several of the high kings of Tara, the most famous of whom was the powerful semi-mythological fifth century king known as Niall of the Nine Hostages, ancestor of all the O’Neills and MacNeills that followed. While this name has traditionally been given to boys, we think it works as a unisex option. The name means “cloud.”
Tyran is an alternative form of another Irish name, Tyrone. Tyran sounds a touch softer making it appropriate for both genders. Tyran means “from the land of Eoghen” or “from the land of Owen.” Tyran has never been popular in the US and we think that should change, new parents.
Quinn is the Anglicized version of the Irish patronymic surname Ó Cuinn, meaning “descendent of Conn.” Conn has two possible derivations: the Old Irish cond, meaning “intellect,” or cenn, meaning “chief.” Quinn has been a gender-neutral option for a long time and today, it is one of the fastest growing names in that category.
In Irish mythology, Miach was a son of Dian Cecht of the Tuatha Dé Danann. This gender-neutral, traditional Irish name is wonderful if you have the patience to correct people mispronouncing it. The name is pronounced Miy-AACH. The name means “honorable.”
One of the original unisex Irish surname names, energetic Casey bounced onto the scene in the 1960s, then peaked in the 1980s for both boys and girls. There’s no denying this names casual, easy charm. Casey means “brave in battle.”
Kiley is one of the more reasonable of the Kylie variations, which also include Kilea, Kilee, Kileigh, Kili, Kilie, Kylee, Kyley, Kyli, ad infinitum. The Kiley spelling of the name was favored for decades with babies of both genders receiving the name and propelling this moniker into the top 500. Kiley has been seen as an alternative to Kyle for boys. Kiley can mean “gracious” or “a narrow spit of land.”
Kiley adjacent, Rylie (also spelled Riley) is a great name for both boys and girls that means “descendant of Roghallach.” It’s currently a top 500 name in the Rylie spelling. Rylie is also interpreted to mean “courageous.” So, you’re sealing the deal in a couple of ways with an excellent name like Rylie.
Tierney is a Celtic surname with a definite Irish twinkle, a name just waiting to be discovered. Though now sometimes used for girls (in the US, not Ireland), as in jazz singer Tierney Sutton, it still has plenty of punch. From the Irish name, Tigernach which is pronounced TEER-nee. Tierney means “descendant of a lord.”
Callen is a unisex Gaelic name growing in popularity here. This gentle name means “rock” and that’s appropriate if you’re looking to bring some strength to a moniker. From the Gaelic name Caolán, Callen is perfectly gender-neutral and balanced.
Though Darra, also spelled Dara in the US, would be considered mainly a girls’ name, the most recent count is 10 times as many girls given the name last year than boys. It’s mainly a boys’ name in Ireland, where it’s in the top 100 along with variations Daire and Darragh. The name can mean “oak” or “fertile” or “wise.”
Ryan’s use as a given name was inspired by the surname Ryan, a variation of the Irish O’Riain meaning “son of Rían.” Rían is composed of the Irish-Gaelic elements rí, meaning “king” and an, a diminutive suffix. Ryan is considered a unisex name in the US, where variant spellings Ryann and Ryanne are also valid for girls. This name means “little king.”
Rory is a light, spirited name for a redhead with Celtic roots. The name Rory is getting more popular overall, but for the past few years has been trending decidedly toward the boys’ side. However, it’s been rising to new heights for girls in recent years. Rory means “red king.”
Kellen is an Irish name that means “descendant of the bright-headed one.” The gender-neutral name has slipped in popularity in recent years, but we still see a place for it as it sounds like many other popular names like Kieran, Kian, Helen, Ellen, and Kelly.
Carey is from an Irish surname, Ó Ciardha, meaning from the family of Ciardha. The name was trendy in the US in the 1970s but it has since fallen from use. Bring back the good Carey name which means “dark, black” or “from the fort.”
Gael is a gender-neutral Gaelic name that simply means “a Gaelic person.” It’s a cross-cultural name that you will find in a number of naming traditions. This short, yet sweet, name is one of our very favorites for any baby.
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Sheridan is one surname-name that hasn’t come into style for either gender in the US, though it was lightly used for boys around the turn of the 20th century and girls 100 years later. This beautiful name means “to seek” or “searcher.”
There you go! 25 Irish gender-neutral baby names that we love. We hope you feel inspired to honor your Irish heritage. Even if you do not, these names are truly beautiful, unisex options.
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Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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