Irish Names Beginning with S

Irish names, with their distinctive charm and enchanting sound, have been capturing the hearts of parents and name enthusiasts alike. One particular standout when it comes to Irish names is those beginning with the letter “S.” Ranging from time-honored classics to unique modern options, this collection of names offers a wealth of inspiration for those looking to honor their Irish heritage in a stylish and memorable way.

In this article, we’ll delve into some of our favorite Irish names that start with “S,” touching on their meanings, pronunciations, and cultural significance. So, whether you’re on the hunt for a beautiful baby name or simply want to expand your knowledge of Irish culture and language, read on to discover some fascinating options from the land of leprechauns, shamrocks, and Irish fiddling.

Popular Irish Names Starting with S

Seamus and Sean

Seamus and Sean are both popular and traditional Irish names that start with ‘S’. Seamus, derived from the Irish “Séamus,” is the Gaelic version of the name James, which means ‘supplanter’ or ‘one who follows’. On the other hand, Sean is an Irish variant of the name John, which means ‘God is gracious’. While both names have similar origins and are common in Ireland, they provide a distinct and unmistakeable Irish flair.

Shane and Shannon

Another pair of popular Irish names are Shane and Shannon. Shane, sometimes spelled as Shan or Shaun, is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name Seán — or, as we know it, John. Much like Sean, Shane also means ‘God is gracious’ and remains a popular choice for boys in Ireland.

Shannon, on the other hand, is a gender-neutral name, deriving from the name of Ireland’s longest river, the River Shannon. The name means ‘wise river’ or ‘river of knowledge’, adding a touch of historical significance and beauty to this Irish name.

Siobhan and Saoirse

Siobhan and Saoirse are two beautiful and melodic Irish girl’s names starting with ‘S’. Siobhan, pronounced as “shiv + awn,” is the Irish equivalent of the name Joan or Jane, which means ‘God is gracious’. Just like Seamus and Sean, Siobhan is widely popular in Ireland and carries an authentic Irish feel.

Saoirse, on the other hand, is a relatively newer name that has gained popularity over the years. Saoirse, pronounced as “SEER-sha” or “SARE-sha,” is an Irish name that means ‘freedom’ or ‘liberty’. The name Saoirse has become particularly popular due to Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, who has brought the name to international attention.

In summary, popular Irish names starting with ‘S’ like Seamus, Sean, Shane, Shannon, Siobhan, and Saoirse carry unique meanings and provide an authentic Irish charm. These names continue to captivate hearts in Ireland and beyond.

Irish Boys Names Beginning with S

Ireland has a rich history of unique and captivating names. In this section, we’ll explore some popular Irish boys names that start with the letter S: Sullivan and Senan, Shamus and Shay. These names are steeped in Irish culture and folklore, making them both meaningful and memorable.


Sullivan is a name with a strong Gaelic origin, derived from the Irish Ó Súilleabháin which means “descendant of the little dark-eyed one.” This name has a deep-rooted history in Ireland, connecting it to the ancient Gaelic chiefs and families. Notable people named Sullivan include:

  • John L. Sullivan, an Irish-American boxer
  • Louis Sullivan, a renowned American architect

Some variations of Sullivan include Sully, Sul, and Sulien.


Senan is an Irish boy’s name originating from the old Gaelic name Senán, with “sen” meaning “ancient” or “wise.” The name is connected to Saint Senán, a 6th-century Irish monk who founded monastic settlements and is the patron saint of County Clare. Some anglicized versions of Senan include Shannan and Senon. Famous Irish individuals named Senan include:

  • Senan O’Shea, an Irish rugby player
  • Senan Kilbride, a Gaelic footballer


Shamus is the Irish variant of the popular name Seamus or James, meaning “supplanter.” The name can be traced back to the Hebrew name Yaakov. It is a common name in Irish literature, often used as a playful character in Irish plays and novels. Some famous Shamuses include:

  • Shamus Culhane, an Irish-American animator
  • Shamus Young, a video game developer


Shay is an anglicized version of the Irish name Sé or Séaghdha, meaning “hawk-like” or “stately.” It is a popular name in contemporary Irish culture and has connections to kinship and nobility. Some famous Shays include:

  • Shay Given, an Irish goalkeeper
  • Shay Mitchell, a Canadian actress of Irish descent

Other S names for boys you might like are:

  • Sionn: Derived from the Irish name Senán, meaning “ancient,” Sionn is associated with wisdom and deep roots in Irish history.
  • Shea: Shea is derived from the Gaelic name Séaghdha and shares similar meanings as Shay. It is connected to nobility and strength, making it a popular choice for Irish boys.

These Irish S names provide a window into the rich cultural history of Ireland and make for beautiful and meaningful choices for boys today.

Irish Girls Names Beginning with S

Sinead and Shauna

Sinead is a popular Irish girl name that represents the Irish Gaelic form of the more common name Jane. Its meaning is “God is gracious.” This name has gained popularity in several countries, thanks to Irish singer Sinead O’Connor.

Shauna is the feminine form of the Irish name Sean, which is derived from the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning “God is gracious.” This name is popular among Irish-speaking families and has also gained popularity in English-speaking countries.

Sadhbh and Sive

Sadhbh (pronounced as “Sive” or “Saoibh”) is a traditional Irish girl’s name with an interesting origin story. It comes from the Old Irish word “sadb,” meaning “sweet” or “good-natured.” In Irish mythology, Sadhbh was the name of a princess who was turned into a deer by an evil druid, but later transformed back into a human by the legendary hero, Fionn mac Cumhaill.

Sive is another variation of the name Sadhbh, with the same meaning and pronunciation. Both Sadhbh and Sive have been used interchangeably in Irish-speaking families for centuries.

Some other Irish girl names starting with “S” include:

  • Shann: A short form of the name Shannon, which comes from the Irish name of the longest river in Ireland
  • Shaw: Derived from the Gaelic name “Sadb,” this name is a less common variation of Sadhbh
  • Saibh: A variant of the name Sadhbh, with a slightly different spelling
  • Saoibh: Another alternative to Sadhbh, with a unique spelling
  • Saraid: This name means “excellent” or “noble” in Irish Gaelic, and it’s the Irish form of the name Sarah
  • Aoife: A popular Irish name meaning “beautiful” and “radiant”
  • Senan: The feminine form of the name Senán, it is derived from the Gaelic word “sen,” meaning “old” or “wise”

Historical and Literary S Names

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney, a renowned Irish poet and playwright, was born in Northern Ireland in April 1939. He was one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century and is known for his contributions to the Irish literary canon. Throughout his career, Heaney wrote numerous collections of poems, essays, and even translations. Some of his most famous works include Death of a NaturalistNorth, and The Spirit Level.

Seamus Heaney’s poetry often explores the themes of Irish identity, history, and the rural landscape. His unique writing style and frequent use of colloquial language in his works have made him popular among readers of all ages. In 1995, Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his contributions to the world of poetry.


Richard Brinsley Sheridan, an Irish playwright and poet, was born in Dublin in 1751. He is known for his witty plays, particularly The Rivals and The School for Scandal. These two works established him as one of the leading figures of the 18th-century British stage.

  • The Rivals, first performed in 1775, is a comedy play that revolves around the mishaps and misunderstandings of the love affairs of its characters, featuring witty banter and humor.
  • The School for Scandal, premiered in 1777, is a satirical play that exposes the hypocrisy and deceitful behavior of fashionable high society in London.

Sheridan was also a member of the British Parliament, representing various constituencies over a 32-year period. As a result, he played a significant role in shaping the political and literary landscape of 18th-century Ireland and Britain.

Unique and Rare S Names

Sadbh and Saeran

Sadbh (pronounced “sive”) is a beautiful and unique Irish girl’s name with a rich history. Sadbh is linked to Irish mythology, where she was the mother of legendary hero Fionn Mac Cumhaill’s son, by being turned into a deer. The name means “sweet” or “goodness” in Irish.

Saeran is a rare and distinctive Irish boy’s name, meaning “noble” or “reasonable.” This strong S name is not as well known, making it an excellent choice for parents seeking an original and meaningful name for their child.

Seanan and Scanlon

Seanan is an uncommon Irish boy’s name meaning “wise” or “old.” It’s a diminutive form of Seán, which is the Irish form of John. Interesting variations of Seanan include:

  • Shai
  • Shawnn
  • Shayan
  • Shaye
  • Shaine
  • Shain
  • Shayn

Scanlon is another unique and rare Irish name option, originally a surname, now gaining popularity as a given name. Scanlon means “little trapper” in Irish and is perfect for those seeking a charming and less common S name. Other names with rich Irish roots to consider include:

  • Sweeney
  • Shone
  • Sina
  • Shandon
  • Siany
  • Shena
  • Sadbh (alternate spelling of Sadbh)
  • Saibh
  • Senan
  • Sybil (also spelled Sibyl)

Remember to always consider the meaning of an Irish name and its pronunciation to truly appreciate its uniqueness and beauty.

S Names and their Meanings

In this section, we’ll explore some Irish names that begin with the letter ‘S,’ focusing on the meanings of the names Siofra and Scanlan, Sheela, and Sherry.

Meaning of Siofra and Scanlan

Siofra is a lovely Irish name that means ‘elf’ or ‘sprite.’ It is often associated with mischievous and playful spirits in Irish folklore. Siofra is typically a female name, and it represents a lighthearted and charismatic personality.

Scanlan (also known as Scanlon or Scannalan) is an Irish name originating from the old Gaelic name Ó Scannláin, which means ‘descendant of the little bold one.’ This name is typically given to boys, and it conveys a sense of bravery and confidence.

Sheela and Sherry

Sheela is an Irish name derived from the name Síle, which, in turn, originates from the Latin name Caelia. Sheela means ‘heavenly,’ ‘divine,’ or ‘musical.’ This name is usually given to girls and represents a graceful, angelic personality.

Sherry is a unisex name with Irish origins, and it’s derived from the name Séarlas. Sherry means ‘a free man’ or ‘a freeholder.’ People with this name are often believed to be independent and free-spirited.

Other notable Irish names starting with ‘S’ include:

  • Shawn (a variation of Sean, meaning ‘God is gracious’)
  • Scolaighe (a name that evolved into Scully, meaning ‘scholar’)
  • Seafra (a variation of Siofra, meaning ‘elf’ or ‘sprite’)
  • Seafraid (meaning ‘peaceful’)
  • Seanachan (meaning ‘wise, old’)
  • Seanlaoch (meaning ‘old hero’)
  • Searlas (meaning ‘free man’)
  • Seireadan (meaning ‘free spirit’)
  • Shae (a variation of Shea, meaning ‘admirable’)
  • Shanahan (meaning ‘little wise one’)
  • Shanley (meaning ‘hero’)
  • Shauden (a variation of Séadán, meaning ‘little jewel’)
  • Shaundre (meaning ‘little wise one’)
  • Shayne (a variation of Sean, meaning ‘God is gracious’)
  • Sheary (meaning ‘peaceful and poetic’)
  • Sadhbh (pronounced Sive, meaning ‘sweet, goodly’)
  • Sherin (meaning ‘searcher of wisdom’)
  • Siodhachan (meaning ‘peaceful’)
  • Skelly (meaning ‘scholar’)
  • Sloan (meaning ‘warrior’)
  • Sorley (meaning ‘summer sailor’)
  • Suileabhan (meaning ‘little dark-eyed one’)

Names related to places:

  • St Saeran Church (a church in Wales named after the Irish saint, Saeran)
  • Saint Saeran (an Irish saint, whose name means ‘noble’ or ‘prince’)

Frequently Asked Questions

Popular Irish S girl names?

Siobhan is a popular Irish girl’s name that begins with ‘S.’ It is derived from the name Joan, meaning “God is gracious.” Another popular Irish girl’s name starting with ‘S’ is Sadhbh, which means “sweet” or “goodness.” These names are often anglicized and have various spellings.

S starting Irish boy names?

Some common Irish boy names beginning with ‘S’ are Seamus, which is an Irish form of James, and Sean, which is the Irish form of John. Seamus means “supplanter,” while Sean means “God is gracious.” Other Irish boy names starting with ‘S’ include Shane, which means “God is gracious,” and Sullivan, meaning “dark-eyed.”

Unique Irish names with S?

Among unique Irish names starting with ‘S’, we have Saeran, meaning “noble,” “wright,” or “carpenter,” and Siofra, which signifies “elf” or “sprite.” These are less common and can be interesting choices if you’re looking for something different.

Irish surnames starting with S?

Some common Irish surnames that begin with ‘S’ include Sullivan, Sweeney, and Sheehan. Sullivan is derived from the Gaelic name Ó Súileabháin, which means “descendant of the dark-eyed one.” Sweeney comes from the Gaelic name Mac Suibhne, meaning “descendant of the pleasant one.” Sheehan is derived from the Gaelic name Ó Siodhacháin, meaning “descendant of the peaceful one.”

Irish names starting with Sh?

Irish names starting with ‘Sh’ are often pronounced with a ‘hw’ sound, like in Siobhan. Examples of these names include Shea, meaning “hawk-like” or “admirable,” and Sheamus, an alternate spelling of Seamus.

Common Irish names with S?

Common Irish names starting with ‘S’ include Sean and Seamus for boys and Siobhan and Sadhbh for girls. These names have deep roots in Irish culture and are often used in both Ireland and among Irish communities around the world.

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