Real Estate Agent with Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage

This is a reblog of a post I wrote on the 9th March 2011.  To see the original post and comments, click here


8 more days to get your Irish on!

Did you ever wonder which Irish names are the most popular?

Here's your Top Eight . . .

8. O'Connor - patrons of warriors

They might not be warriors themselves, but at least O'Connors descend from them! They trace their heritage and name from the Irish "Ua Conchobhair," meaning from Conchobhar,  and is considered to be historically the most important of all Irish surnames. It represents the last of the true Irish monarchy.

7. Ryan - the little kings

The meaning of the Irish name Ryan comes from the old Gaelic word "righ" and the old Irish diminutive of "an," which together form the meaning of "little king." The Ryan family motto is 'Malo More Quam Foedari', which, when translated, means 'I would Rather Die than be Disgraced'.

6. Byrne - the ravens

Byrne, originally O'Byrne, is an Irish surname of great antiquity and comes from the Gaelic O'Broin meaning "descended from Bran," an 11th century King of Leinster. The O'Byrnes were chieftains of what is now County Kildare until the Norman invasion when they were driven from their lands and migrated into the mountains of Wicklow.

5. O'Brien - the noblemen

O'Briens are pretty lucky - they are descended from one of the greatest and most famous Irish kings - Brian Boru, the celebrated High King of Ireland.(941 - 1014) who was killed at the Battle of Clontarf.  The name O'Brien, also spelled O'Bryan or O'Brian, gives them leave to call themselves "high" and "noble."

4. Walsh - the Welshmen

The meaning of this "Welsh" name is pretty straightforward. The name Walsh is one of the most common of the Norman associated names found in Ireland. This famous national locational and descriptive nickname surname derives from the pre 7th Century Olde English and Anglo-Saxon word "waelisc", meaning "foreigner".  it is one of the ironies of history that the invaders from North Germany and even the later Vikings, should apparently refer to the people that they conquered or at least drove from their original homes, as 'The Foreigner" and even more so that the name should have stuck.

3. O'Sullivan - the hawkeyed ones

The O'Sullivans or Sullivans are one of the most populous of the Munster families. The surname is an anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Suileabhan". The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname Suileabhan, variously interpreted as "hawk-eyed" or "one-eyed".

2. Kelly - the bright-headed ones

The Kellys are all over Ireland; the name originates from at around 10 different and unrelated ancient clans or septs. This interesting surname, with variant spellings Kelley and Kellie is an Anglicized form of the great Old Gaelic name "O'Ceallaigh".  It is an ancient first name that is no longer used as a first name in Ireland. However, Kelly is a popular first name for women in the U.S.

1. Murphy - the sea battlers

Murphys - you win the prize for most common and widespread name in Ireland, especially in County Cork. The name was first anglicized to MacMurphy and then to Murphy in the early 19th century.  It is said to derive from the pre 9th century Gaelic name O' Murchadha, meaning the male descendant of the Sea Warrior. As Ireland, the Isle of Man and parts of northern England were for several centuries under Viking control, the association between a name meaning 'sea warrior', and the Vikings is surely more than coincidence. John Murphy (1700 - 1770), better known as Sean O' Murchadha na Raithineach, was the last chief of the famous bards of Blarney Castle.

So regardless of your last name, you have 8 more days to get your Irish on !!


Previous in The Countdown to St Paddy's Day:

14 Days to St Paddy's - The Shamrock Shake

13 Days to St Paddy's - Irish Wheaten Bread

12 Days to St Paddy's - Potato and Cabbage Soup

11 Days to St Paddy's - Pot Roast with Guinness Gravy 

10 Days to St Paddy's - 10 Facts about Guinness

9 Days to St Paddy's - 9 Irish Toasts


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If you're thinking about selling, I'd love to meet with you and provide a Market Analysis and go over my Marketing Plan - it is the little things that make the difference.**

 Susan Emo
Sales Representative,
Sotheby's International Realty Canada, Brokerage*
Kingston, Ontario


 Serving the Kingston, Gananoque and the 1000 Islands Region
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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Susan... this was a fun read (especially as I never saw your first post on the topic!). Learned something new, as I do each day in the Rain.

Mar 09, 2019 05:16 AM #1
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Susan Emo even this Armenian will get her Irish on.... and I have a grandson with the name Ryan... and a great grandson with a middle name of Ryan.... 

Mar 09, 2019 05:25 AM #2
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Susan. I see you figured out the reblog question. Very interesting. I hope you have a great one.

Mar 09, 2019 05:39 AM #3
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Hi Susan Emo ! I think this year, I will celebrate St. Patrick's Day by eating potato gnocchi and chase it with a Guiness!

Mar 09, 2019 06:07 AM #4
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Cooney didn't make the cut! We had a little irish in our ancestry - my sisters and I wound up with the names Kathleen, Coleen and Maureen Cooney.  Sorta Irish.

Mar 09, 2019 06:10 AM #5
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Very interesting Susan. My son's name is Ryan. He'll always be my "little king". I'm going to forward this to him and get his royal take on it.

Mar 09, 2019 12:21 PM #6
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Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area
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