Two of America’s most fashionable boys’ names have a lot in common. They’re trim, light, and Irish.
Liam, an Irish short form of William, has risen from rarity to mega-hit in the in the space of a single generation. It’s now America’s #1 boy’s name. What’s more, Liam’s popularity as a nickname has helped keep William near the top of the charts even as other boys’ classics have plummeted.
Finn, a Irish name meaning “fair” or “white,” didn’t even crack America’s top-1,000 name list in the 20th Century. Today it’s not only a hit on its own, but the engine behind the rise of names like Finley and Finnegan.
The quiet secret behind both names’ appeal is balance. They’re fresh, but rooted. They have a smooth, light sound, but are reliably masculine. They’re petite, but not cutesy or diminutive. They’re Celtic imports, but easy to spell and pronounce. Put that all together and you have a great recipe for success—one that has powered a steady stream of light Celtic favorites like Sean, Evan, Owen, Ian and Ryan.
If you’re looking for more names with that same feeling, we’ve rounded up all of your top options. None of the Irish, Scottish and Welsh names on our list rank among America’s top 100, and each has a spark of the light, contemporary-yet-timeless spirit that makes Liam and Finn shine.
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Light Celtic Boys’ Names