Gaelic Names were used by the Celtic people who lived in Ireland. These people moved to Britain in the 5th century. These names are usually based on the Gaelic language and are commonly used by Scottish, Irish, and Celtic people. Celtic and Gaelic people have numerous cultural similarities. However, the Gaelic language is more prominent in Scotland. The word “Gaelic” is derived from the word ‘Gaels’. Gaelic is a language used by a number of people in Ireland. Gaelic people typically follow the Christian faith. However, they’re naming customs were earlier associated with the Celts or Pagan cultures, as well. They followed the custom of burying food, ornaments, and weapons along with the body as they believed in life after death. Scotland was introduced to the Gaelic language by people from Ireland who settled there in the 4th century. This language developed into the Scottish Gaelic language after the 12th century. Scottish Gaelic replaced traditional Scottish languages, such as Cumbric, Old English, and Pictish. Scottish Gaelic is rich in both oral and written traditions. This language dominated in the Bardic culture of the Highland clans for many years. The Scottish Gaelic language suffered a nearly fatal blow after the battle of Culloden in 1746. The final confrontation took place in 1745 when all Hanoverian power was handed over to Britain. English was enforced as a compulsory language. Scottish Gaelic literature lost its charm and dominant influence following this development. However, the modern generations seem to be returning to their Gaelic roots, as a number of novels, movies, and theatrical presentations indicate a resurgence in the language. The educational system in Scotland largely ignored the Gaelic language and was one of the main reasons the use of the language diminished over the years. Later, the language was banned in public schools, and any person caught speaking Gaelic was beaten, further reducing its usage throughout the country. This linguistic intolerance led to the establishment of schools focused on Gaelic ensuring the survival of the language. Gaelic-medium education has become increasingly popular in Scotland with the number of Gaelic schools increasing from 24 in 1985, to 2312 by 2010. Traditional Gaelic names are very different from English names and are regarded as old-fashioned. These names are rarely used today, mainly due to the pronunciation being quite difficult and often very confusing. A few Gaelic names remain popular however, primarily due to their English variations. Gaelic names have their own version of English or European names which are used in modern naming. These names include Murchadh (Alan, Angus, Donald, Duncan, Kenneth, Murdo), Cairistìona (Christina), Anna (Ann), Màiri (Mary), Seumas (James), Pàdraig (Patrick), and Tòmas (Thomas) and are usually influenced greatly by the Bible. Gaelic surnames usually begin with Mac which means “son” in Gaelic or Nic which stands for “daughter”. Colours also play a huge role in influencing Gaelic surnames. Common surnames include “Ban” which means “white”, “Dubh” which means “black”, and “Don” which means “brown”. Gaelic actor, Simon MacKenzie, was a famous Gaelic personality who lived in the Highland capital. He studied Celtic and also worked as a Gaelic broadcaster for the British Broadcasting Channel, BBC. He was immensely talented being well-known for his singing and theatrical performances and associated with the National Gaelic Theatre Company. A trust in his name provides financial support to aspiring young Gaelic talent. Simon MacKenzie spent a huge portion of his life working with Gaelic people and visiting schools to teach students drama and art. Maggie MacInnes is another famous personality with Gaelic connections. She was a famous Gaelic singer and is known for composing songs describing her hometown. Other famous Gaelic singers include, Jessie MacLachlan, Flora MacNeil, Catherine-Ann MacPhee, Karen Matheson, Donnie Munro and Fiona J. Mackenzie. Gaelic names are pronounced very differently from their spelling making them incredibly difficult for non-Gaelic speakers to correctly pronounce.
Common Gaelic Girl Names Beathag – (pronounced as ‘Beh ak’) This name means “offspring of life”. It’s closely associated to the English names, Bethia or Sophia. Caoimhe – (pronounced as ‘Kuy vu’) means “kind or tender”. This name is associated with the English name, Keavy. Eithne – (pronounced as ‘Ae nyuh’) means a “grain or kernel”. This name is associated with the English name, Anna. Gormal – (pronounced as ‘Gau rum ul’) means “one who has deep blue eyes”. Gormelia is the English variation of this name. Sorcha – (pronounced as ‘Soh ruh chuh’) means “bright light”. The English names, Clara and Claire are variations.
Common Gaelic Boy Names Ailean – (pronounced as ‘A lun or E lun’) is derived from the old Celtic language and means “noble”. It’s associated with the English name, Alan. Brandubh – (pronounced as ‘Bran doow’) means black raven. It’s associated with the English name Branduff. Conall – (pronounced as ‘Kon all’) It stands for “powerful or high”. It’s associated with the English name Connell. Earnan – (pronounced as ‘Ern an’) stands for “someone with deep knowledge.” This name is associated with the English name, Ernest. Gillechriosd – (pronounced as ‘gil luh chree ust) means “servant of Christ.” This name is associated with the English name, Gilchrist.