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What are some common Irish names for boys?

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Quick Answer

According to data from 2014, the five most popular names for boys born in Ireland are Jack, James, Daniel, Conor and Sean. In 2014, there were 34,785 male births in Ireland, and there were 1,870 different registered boys names with three or more occurrences. Of boys born in Ireland that year, 9.25 percent have one of the top five names.

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Full Answer

With the exception of Conor, Ireland's five most popular boys names all have Old Testament origins. "Jack" is a common variant of "John," which itself derives from the Hebrew name "Yohanon," meaning "God is gracious." Similarly, the name "Sean" is the Irish Gaelic version of "John." The name "James" is a variant of "Jacob," which likely comes from the Hebrew root word for "heel." This is because, in the Book of Genesis, Jacob is born holding onto his twin brother Esau's heel. "Daniel," from the protagonist of the Book of Daniel, means "God is my judge."

The name "Conor" is the anglicized version of the Irish Gaelic name "Conaire" or the Celtic name "Conchobhar," both meaning "lover of hounds." The name's popularity in Ireland likely stems from the semi-mythical ancient king of Ulster Conchobar mac Nessa, or Conaire Mór, a legendary high king of Ireland.

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