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20th Dec 2016

The Top Irish Baby Names In 1916 Were VERY Different To What They Are Today


We wrote earlier on about these seriously interesting statistics behind 1916, which have just been released by the CSO.

One of the most fascinating parts of all, though, was the analysis of most popular boy and girl names from 1911 and 2014. 

In short, we’ve become a lot more diverse – ie, we no longer have a crippling reliance on the names John and Mary – and we have a much greater fondness for Irish names.



Among the girls, the shift hasn’t just been in the style of the name, but also the distribution – in 1911, the top 10 names accounted for 41% of girls’ names, while in 2014 they accounted for just 12%. 

Much of that concentration is in the top three, where Mary, Bridget and Margaret occupied nearly a QUARTER of all names. 

On top of that, eight of the top 40 names in 2014 are of Irish origin –  Aoife, Saoirse, Caoimhe, Ciara, Niamh, Cara, Róisín and Erin – and none of these even appear in 1911. Shows just how much an impact 1916 had on the cultural revolution…



It’s much the same story for the boys, where the top 10 in 1911 accounted for a whopping 51% of all names, compared to just 15% in 2014. 

And again, the modern top 40 contains 10 Irish names – Conor, Seán, Oisín, Liam, Cian, Cillian, Darragh, Fionn, Finn and Rian – while 1911’s list contains none.

With the names John, Patrick and James accounting for a whopping 27% of names, it basically just sounds like a very confusing time to have been alive.

You can delve into all the info, and the full lists, here.