Short for the English name "William," Irish "Liam" is its charismatic, friendly cousin that just so happened to be the most popular boys' name of 2017, according to Nameberry. While it seems to be enjoying a resurgence, the name has been a popular British standby for a long time and counts several celebrities as namesakes, including actor Liam Neeson, former Oasis bandmember Liam Gallagher and One Direction member Liam Payne. While I think it's just distinctive enough to not be played out by being so in demand, there is a list of baby names if you like Liam from around the British Isles that hit the same round notes.
While most parents look for names that will set their babies apart, many don't seem to stray too far from popular name lists for fear of creating problems for their children. That's why taking a deeper look at traditional names in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales is a good idea, because they are likely to come up with something that is unique and familiar. Because English is derived from several languages like German, Latin, Gaelic, French, Welsh and more, we borrow from a variety of traditions that provide a deep well of names that have been used throughout the centuries. So if Liam is a favorite, but you want something less popular, here are 20 to think about.
Originally a pet name for the Irish moniker Aodh, the Celtic god of Fire, Aiden means "little and fiery," according to Nameberry.
If you're looking for a Celtic boy name that is accessible but distinctive like Liam, Brennan is a great choice that will set your little guy just a bit apart from the rest.
Irish for "dove," Colm is a gentle name for a boy you'd hope to impart his peaceful nature wherever he goes.
Talk about powerful. Conall means "strong as a wolf" and is a great alternative to all the little Connors your son will be running around with.
Cormac is a cheerful, rough-and-tumble choice that means "charioteer" and has a few illustrious members of its club, including author Cormac McCarthy and Cormac McLaggen, a classmate and fellow Gryffindor in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.
Wouldn't having a little Finn be adorable? Irish for "fair," Finnegan is a playful yet resolute choice for a boy.
Playful and melodic, Finnian is a variant of the above Finnegan and also offers Finn and Ian as pet names.
Looking for a name fit for a warrior? Garrett is a strong choice that means "spear strength" in Irish and has several spellings to make it even more interesting.
A name fit for a king, Niall (pronounced nye-all) recalls the royal Irish ancestor that spawned all the O'Neills and MacNeils that have followed. Maybe this would be a good choice for someone whose surname won't be passed to their son.
Attractive and distinctive, Tiernan has lent its authority to a whole spate of Celtic kings and saints over the centuries. It's perenially popular in Northen Ireland, perhaps due to meaning "little lord."
If you love the ethereal beauty of Guinevere but are afraid you won't be doing your baby girl any favors with such a long and storied moniker, cut it short with the cute Gwen. Meaning "white circle," this Welsh name will bestow the same glowing beauty as the former without twisting little tongues.
Scottish for "white and fair," Fiona is a lilting little beauty for your baby girl.
For something that's botanical but not full-out floral, Bryony is the name of a climbing vine that the Brits love to bestow on little sprouting girls.
Derived from the German language meaning "battle-ready," this name was introduced into the English language in the 11th century by the Flemish queen of William the Conquerer and has enjoyed a storied tenure in the culture ever since. "Waltzing Matilda," anyone?
A very popular choice in Britain that never made the jump across the pond, Nicola means "people of victory" and is a more distinctive choice than Nicole.
Like Nicola above, Philippa has been a British standard forever and counts royal sister-in-law Philippa Middleton and Geoffrey Chaucer's wife Phillipa Roet among its members.
Exorted by Shakespeare to be "blithe and bonny" in A Midsummer's Night Dream, girls with this name will undoubtedly be as happy and carefree as Blythe compels them to be.
Dainty and sweet, Cecily has graced several namesakes in history like the mother of King Richard III who was known as "the rose of Raby," the Beatrix Potter bunny Cecily Parsley, and actress Cecily Tyson.
Related to the rocky Scottish island Ailsa Craig, Nameberry suggests Ailsa might be a nice alternative to Ashley or Elsa. It means "elf victory" and would be great for your little pixie.
With a long literary history that includes Shakespeare, Dante, and ahem, Tarantino, "she who brings happiness" is sure to brighten your life upon her arrival. And think of all the nicknames!
In Welsh mythology, Bronwen was daughter to the god of the sea and has been the namesake of little girls throughout the country's history. It's dignified, a touch exotic, and you can have a cute little Winnie running around in a crowd of Emmas.