Monthly Archives: September 2015

Whats in a name

What’s In a Name? My Origins, My Culture & Maybe Even My Destiny!
If my reddish brown hair, green eyes and pale skin with slight freckles, don’t give my identity away, my name most certainly would! My name is Alana (ah-lah-na) which means beautiful/peaceful/serene or “fair /beautiful maiden”! It is also derived from the common term of endearment ‘a leanbh’, which means “my baby/darling”. Yes I am Irish and proud to be so!
It’s interesting how I was named Alana! When my mom was pregnant with me she lost her grandmother to whom she was very close. She was very upset and would cry for hours. One day while napping my mom dreamt of my grandmother and was assured of her return. She had called my mom by the name ‘Alana’ (intending to mean, my beautiful dear child).This happened several times later till my birth! As soon as my mom held me for the first time she named me Alana!
I cherish and take pride in Irish baby names! They are pregnant with meaning, spirit, values and rich history. Most of the names are derived from Gaelic and Celtic words, traditions and folklore. Names are derived from popular Legends like those of Niamh & Oisin, Fianna, Nial of the Nine Hostages, Fionn MacCool, The Pursuit of Diarmuid & Gráinne, King Conor & Cuchulainn, Brian Boru etc.
The names have been anglicized and are popular world over! Heard of ‘Aidan’? It is the Anglicization of the Gaelic word Aodhán, meaning “little fire”. Ryan is derived from the Irish surname Ó Ríain, meaning “little king”. Siobhan(shiv-awn) (girl)/Sean (boy) means “God is gracious”. Ciara is the feminine form of Ciaran (dark) implying “dark hair and brown eyes”. My sister’s son’s name is Dylan derived from the word ‘dealan’ meaning a flash of lightning or another interpretation is “faithful or loyal”.
If you are a family of dog lovers consider the name Conor/Connor for it is a modern version of the Irish name Conchobhar, meaning “ a lover of hounds”; Conchobhar MacNessa reigned in Ulster and who according to fable, was born on the day Christ had descended. If you think your boy will have rebellious streaks consider Emmet which is a popular name given as mark of respect to the great Irish speaker and nationalist Robert Emmet who led the 1798 rebellion against the British.
If you want your daughter to have noble traits consider Caitlin or Cathleen, a name based on the Irish folktale where Cathleen convinces Satan to take her soul in exchange of food. If you want your girl to win the battles of life name her Fianna after the legendary Irish band of warriors which embodied strength, bravery, courage.
The frog that turned into a prince when kissed by a princess has a parallel in the Irish legend of Niall where he earned the throne by passing a test of kissing a hideous ugly lady. I am sure your baby girl brightens up your life, consider Sorcha meaning bright/radiant. You could also name your little fairy Oona/Una after the Queen of fairies in the legend of Oonagh!
Choose from mystical, exquisite, time-less Irish names for your loved ones!