If you have an interest in Irish names or are searching for Irish names beginning with A, then you’ll love our pick of the top Irish female and male names beginning with A. You might also like this shortlist if you are searching for Irish names that start with A if you are expecting a baby and looking to narrow down your search.
A guide to the best Irish names beginning with A
Top Irish girls names beginning with A
Whether you are looking for traditional Irish girl names beginning with A or not, here are some of the top Irish female names starting with A.
Meaning beautiful, radiant, and joyful, the name Aoife comes from the Irish word “Aoibh” which means radiance/beauty. Pronounced Ee-fa, this is one of the most popular Irish girls names beginning with A. In Irish legends and history, Aoife was one of the greatest female warriors and was the mother of the son of Cúchulainn, Connlach. The name Aoife also appears in other Irish legends including in the ‘Children of Lir’ as Lir’s jealous third wife, as well as in other stories.
Arguably the most common Irish girls name is Áine. Áine comes from the ancient Irish noun aine meaning “splendor, radiance or brilliance” and is often connected with prosperity and fruitfulness. Áine can often prove difficult to pronounce for non-natives of Ireland. It is pronounced Awn-ye or Awn-ya. Another name found in Irish history, Áine was the queen of the Munster fairies who was a wife of Fionn MacCool (see this post about Irish mythological creatures), and the name was also that of an Irish folklore goddess of summer and wealth. During the British rule in Ireland in the 17th century, it was translated to Ann in an effort to stamp out the use of traditional Irish names.
Another one of the pretty Irish names for girls is Aisling. Coming from the Irish word aislinge meaning “a vision” or “a dream”, it has several spelling versions including Ashling and Aishlinn, but most will be pronounced Ash-ling or Ash-linn. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was the name given to a poetic genre and its popularity rose from there. Despite its popularity though, it wasn’t used as a first name until the 20th century.
If you are looking for other Irish names starting with A for girls or unusual Irish girls names, then you should read my post about Irish names for a girl starting with A.
Top Irish boys names beginning with A
If you are looking for some Irish names that start with A for boys, then you’ll enjoy our top picks for Irish boys names beginning with A.
Coming from the Irish word aedan meaning “fire”, Aidan and its different forms of Aodhan, Aiden, and rarely, Ayden mean “little fire”. Pronounced Aid-en, this is a popular Irish name for boys beginning with A. Some forms can be pronounced Aid-on depending on whether there is the last O instead of the last A, or the part of the Emerald Isle the person is from. The name became popular when a monk, St Aidan of Iona took the name in the 7th century. St Aidan founded the famous monastery on the island of Lindisfarne which he used as a base to evangelise the North of England.
With other forms such as Aonghus and Oengus, this Irish boys name beginning with A comes from the words aon meaning “excellent” and gus meaning “strength or vigor”, so it means “excellent strength”. Pronounced Eng-iss, in English this old Gaelic name is anglicised to Angus. In medieval Irish mythology, Aengus was the god of love, summer, youth and poetry, who fell deeply in love with a beautiful girl he saw in a dream. He passed many trials in order to win her love including being turned into a swan. This was immortalised in a WB Yeats poem, “The Song of Wandering Aengus”.
Pronounced Ard-dahl, this old Irish name means “fierce as a bear”. It can also mean “high valor”. It is not often heard but of all the Irish male names beginning with A, it is one of the most popular. It can also be written as Ardghal.
If you are looking for other Irish names starting with A for boys or unusual Irish boys names, then you should read my post about Irish names for boys starting with A.
I hope you enjoyed our top picks of Irish names beginning with A. These are the names beginning with A that top the list of names beginning with A given to Irish babies in recent years. The female names are more often heard than some of the male ones. Do you know anyone called Aoife or Aidan?
Cath is an Irish expat now living in Portugal. She regularly returns to Ireland to explore more of the wonderful island with her family.