Irish Names Beginning with E

Irish names have a rich history and a unique charm that makes them an attractive choice for parents all over the world. Focusing on names beginning with the letter “E,” many of these monikers hold deep meanings and cultural significance, allowing parents to honor their Irish heritage or simply express their love for this enchanting language.

When searching for that perfect name, it’s important to understand the root meanings and pronunciations, as well as the potential nicknames that accompany these delightful choices. Some names beginning with the letter “E” offer an enchanting blend of traditional and modern Irish expressions, making them perfect for a little one joining the world today.

This article will explore Irish names beginning with the letter “E” and delve into their meanings and history. Whether you’re looking for an established favorite or seeking to discover a hidden gem, there’s no shortage of beautiful and meaningful Irish names that start with “E” to inspire your search.

Popular Irish Boy Names Beginning with E

Eamon and Eamonn

Eamon and Eamonn are both popular Irish boy names. They are derived from the Old English name Edmund, meaning “rich guardian”. Eamon de Valera, a prominent Irish political figure and the third President of Ireland, brought recognition to this name. Eamonn is simply an alternative spelling of Eamon, and both names are admired for their association with honor, iron, and vigor.


Eoghan is another cherished Irish name, which comes from the Gaelic word “Eoghan,” interpreted as “born of the yew” or “vigor.” This name has connections to both the old name Eoin and the Scottish term Euan. In history, Eoghan was a popular name for Irish kings, and Sixteen Irish Saints were named Eoghan. This name has an air of nobility, tying the bearer to a regal past.


Edmund, as previously mentioned, is the Old English source of the Irish name Eamon. With a rich meaning, “guardian of the riches,” this name conveys wealth, stability, and protection. Edmund has an elegant and timeless quality, admired by many for its classic charm.


Emmet is an Irish name with a fascinating backstory. It comes from the Irish word “eimear,” which means “swift.” This name also has ties to Germanic names such as Ermen, which means “universal” or “whole.” The unique combination of these origins brings attention to Emmet’s meaning: quickly encompassing everything.


Enda is a popular Irish name for boys, referring to the meaning “bird-like” or “freedom.” Believed to be derived from the Gaelic word “eun,” this name has a poetic quality. Enda also bears historical significance, as it was the name of a famous Irish prince and several Irish saints.


Ennis is an interesting Irish name with a touch of mystery. It stems from the Gaelic name “Inis,” which means “island.” This name has an aura of tranquility and isolation, reminiscent of Tory Island off the coast of Ireland. Ennis is a rare name choice that reflects a connection to nature and a sense of adventure.


Ernan is another beloved Irish boy name with a fascinating origin. Ernan comes from the Irish Gaelic term “eirnin,” meaning “iron.” This strong name connects to Ireland’s warrior culture and calls to mind the noble qualities of bravery, strength, and resilience. Ernan is an excellent choice for those seeking a name with a powerful and meaningful heritage.

Popular Irish Girl Names Beginning with E


Eabha is a beautiful Irish girl’s name meaning “life” or “breath.” It is the Irish version of the Hebrew name Eve. Eabha is quite popular in Ireland for its simple yet meaningful appeal.


Eimear is a classic Irish girl’s name, with a warrior significance. The name meaning is “swift,” and it originates from the Gaelic word Éimhear. Eimear was the wife of the legendary Irish warrior Cú Chulainn, making this a strong and bold choice for any little girl.


Eithne is a lovely Irish name that carries the meaning of “kernel” or “grain.” It is derived from the Old Irish word ethne. Eithne, pronounced as “Enya,” has a beautiful and soft sound, historically known as a name for princesses in ancient Ireland.


Eileen is an Irish girl’s name of Old English origin, meaning “bright” or “shining one.” A variation of the name Eibhlin in Gaelic, Eileen has a timeless and elegant appeal. It is also associated with a famous Irish love song, “Eibhlin a Ruan,” making it popular in Irish weddings.


Emer is an Irish name that derives from the ancient term Eriu, meaning “swift-moving, rapid.” It represents assertiveness and strength, making it a suitable choice for strong and independent girls.


Enya is an anglicized version of the Irish name Eithne. With the same meaning as Eithne, Enya has gained significant popularity worldwide, partly due to the famous Irish singer, Enya.


Ena is a short and sweet Irish girl’s name, meaning “fire.” The name shares its origin with the Celtic name Aine, and it symbolizes power and passion.


Eva is the Irish equivalent of the Hebrew name Eve, meaning “life” or “breath.” It’s a popular name choice in Ireland for its simplicity and biblical significance.


Evelyn is an anglicized form of the Irish name Aoibheann, meaning “pleasant,” “beautiful,” or “radiant.” It’s a classic and elegant name, popular in Ireland for centuries.


When choosing an Irish girl’s name that starts with E, consider its meaning, origin, and significance. Whether you prefer a name with a strong warrior association like Eimear or a name with soft and beautiful appeal like Eithne, these Irish names provide a wide range of options for your little girl.

Irish Names of Various Origins

Gaelic Names

Irish names originating from Gaelic have distinct characteristics, usually encompassing meanings related to nature or certain virtues. Some popular Gaelic Irish names starting with E are:

  • Eavan: A form of Aoibheann, meaning “fair radiance”
  • Eimear (pronunciation: EE-mer): Known for her beauty and strength, the name means “swift”

Hebrew Names

Hebrew names are not as common in Ireland, but there are several that have been adopted and embraced by the Irish culture. One prominent Hebrew name with the letter “E” is:

  • Edmond: Derived from the Hebrew name Ehud, meaning “riches”; its Old English form means “protector of wealth”

Old English Names

Although Ireland is predominantly known for its Celtic culture, some Irish names can be traced back to Old English origins. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Ennia: Means “rich” in Old English, symbolizing prosperity and abundance
  • Elaine: While also having Old French roots, it’s tied to the Old English name “Aileen”, meaning “ray of sunshine”

Germanic Names

Germanic names have also found their way into Irish culture, either from ancient times or through English influence. Here are two such examples:

  • Erin: A name with multiple origins, including Germanic roots; it’s derived from “eireann” which means “from Ireland”
  • Eithne (pronunciation: EN-ya): A name of both Gaelic and Germanic origins, meaning “grain” in the latter

History and Legends of Irish Names

Ireland has a rich history and legends associated with its names. This article will focus on Irish names beginning with the letter “E.” The various sub-sections discussed include Irish Saints, Historical Figures, Mythology, and Folklore.

Irish Saints

Many Irish names are derived from or inspired by saints. One example is Saint Fanchea, who was the sister of Saint Enda of Aran and the founder of a monastery on Tory Island. Another notable Irish saint is Saint Ciaran. Born in the 6th century, he was one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and the founder of the monastery at Clonmacnoise.

Historical Figures

Irish names have also been inspired by historical figures. One such figure is Eamon de Valera, an influential Irish politician who served as the President of Ireland and was considered a patriot. His leadership and fighting spirit during the Irish fight for independence earned him his honor.

Another historical Irish name is Eachna, derived from the Gaelic word “Ech” meaning “horse.” Eachna was an ancient Irish princess who was said to be skilled in horse riding and warfare. Additionally, an Irish name related to horses is Eachann, of both Irish and Scottish origin. This name means “keeper of horses” and has been anglicized to Hector.

Mythology and Folklore

In Irish mythology and folklore, names are often connected to nature and geographical landmarks. One such example is Eithne, derived from the Irish word for “yew tree.” Eithne is also associated with the River Fergus in County Clare and the Roe Valley in County Derry.

Another name inspired by nature is Eor, which is an anglicized form of the Irish name Ornan. This name is linked to the Old Norse word “jǫrð” meaning “iron” and the Germanic name element “arn” meaning “eagle.”

Difficult to Pronounce Names

Some Irish names can be challenging for non-native speakers to pronounce. For example, Éabha is an Irish name meaning “life,” which is pronounced as “Ava.” It’s important to learn and respect the original pronunciation when using or discussing Irish names.

To sum up, Irish names beginning with “E” have a rich history and are inspired by saints, historical figures, mythology, and folklore. By understanding and respecting these names and their origins, we can celebrate and honor the unique Irish culture and its contributions to our world.

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