James and Grace were the most popular baby names given to children whose births were registered in Northern Ireland in 2022. The popularity of baby names in Northern Ireland has evolved over the years, with cultural influences and historical events playing a significant role.

In the past, traditional Irish names like Mary, Bridget, and Patrick were the most commonly used names for girls and boys respectively. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards more modern names influenced by popular culture, including films, TV shows, and celebrities.

Grace has been the most popular girls’ name since 2018, and Emily and Fiadh take second and third place. Other popular names for girls in Northern Ireland include Olivia, Isla, Aoife, Lily, Annie, and Evie/Freya. Pippa, Nevaeh, and Lucia saw the biggest increase in popularity in the girls’ top 100 between 2021 and 2022. Some of the less common names given to baby girls in 2022 were North, Angel, and Pearl.

For boys, James was last number one in 2020, and has appeared in the top three most popular boys’ names since 2000. Jack was a close second, followed by Noah in third position. Other popular names for boys in Northern Ireland include Theo, Charlie, Oliver, Oisin, Harry, Cillian, and Thomas. Hugo, Luca, and Hudson were the biggest climbers in the boys’ top 100 between 2021 and 2022. King, Great, and Art were some of the less common names given to baby boys in 2022.

It’s clear that the evolution of baby names in Northern Ireland is influenced by a range of factors, from traditions to popular culture. While some parents prefer to stick with traditional names, others are increasingly choosing more unique names for their children.

Correct pronunciation of some typical Irish names:

  1. Aoife – “ee-fa”
  2. Cian – “kee-an”
  3. Saoirse – “seer-sha”
  4. Niamh – “neev”
  5. Aisling – “ash-ling”
  6. Eoghan – “oh-in”
  7. Caoimhe – “kee-va”
  8. Tadhg – “tie-g”
  9. Oisín – “uh-sheen”
  10. Siobhán – “shi-vawn”

It’s worth noting that Irish names often have diacritic marks, such as fadas (accent marks), which indicate the correct pronunciation of vowels. Additionally, some Irish names have regional variations in pronunciation, so the above pronunciations may not be universal!

Image Source:

  • Photo by Sergiu Vălenaș: instant images
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