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What are some traditional Irish female names?

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Quick Answer

Some traditional Irish names for females are Aoife, Brigid, Ciara, Niamh and Siobhan. Other traditional Irish names are Ashling, Caoimhe, Maebh, Oonagh and Roisin. Some traditional Irish names for males are Aodhan, Brion, Lochlann Niall and Sean. Many Irish names have English forms that are common in the United States, such as Catherine for Catriona, Jane for Sinead, Mary for Maire and Margaret for Mairead.

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Full Answer

Many traditional Irish names have pronunciations that are not intuitive for English speakers. For example, the female name Aoife is pronounced "eefa" and means "beautiful, radiant." The name comes from Aoife Dearg, who was the greatest female warrior according to legend. The name Roisin, pronounced "ro-sheen," comes from the Latin and means "little rose." The name first appeared in Ireland sometime in the 16th century and became a symbol of the country after the publication of the poem "Roisin Dubh" in 1835. In English-speaking countries, the name is recognized as Rosaleen.

Another traditional name is Ciara, which is pronounced "keera." The name is the feminine form of Ciaran and means "dark haired." "Ciara" traces back to the seventh century, when Saint Ciara established a monastery at Kilkeary. Other pronunciations that may be difficult for non-Irish speakers include "Caoimhe," pronounced as "keeva," "Niamh," pronounced as "neev," "Maebh," pronounced as "mayv," and "Siobhan," pronounced as "shiv-awn."

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