Angus is the Anglicized form of an Old Gaelic name Aonghus, a name traditionally used among the Irish and Scottish Gaels, particularly the Scots. The name means “one force” or “one strength” or “one of excellence” depending on the translation. It is also sometimes said to mean “one choice.” In its original form, Aonghus is made up of the Celtic components *oyno- “one” and *gustu- variably meaning “strength, force, energy, excellence.”
According to Irish mythology, Áengus (also referred to as Óengus and Aonghus) was the god of love, youth and poetic inspiration. As a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann (Tribe of Danu), the god Áengus predated Celtic Christianity and is therefore quite ancient. Áengus’ was said to be borne of the Dagda (the “all-father” Irish god) and a river goddess Boanna. In order to conceal the affair, Dagda made the sun stand still for nine months so that Áengus could be conceived, carried and born in one day. He lived on the River Boyne in the Kingdom of Meath, Ireland and was often depicted with four birds flying above his head, a symbol of the god’s kisses which, once released, would sing in the hearts of young lovers. One night Áengus dreamed of a woman so beautiful he became inconsolably heartsick. His mother and father searched all of Ireland for this fair maiden to no avail. After soliciting the aid of Bodb the Red (king of the gods of Munster) it was soon declared that the lovely maiden had been found at the Lake of the Dragon’s Mouth, along with 150 other girls chained together in pairs. Áengus dream-girl stood a head taller than the other maidens and was soon identified as Caer, a princess of the gods of Connacht. Áengus was instructed to return to the lake at the harvest festival when the maidens would be turned into swans. If he could single out Caer in swan form, then he would be granted permission to marry her. At the appointed time, Áengus arrives at the lake and calls out to Caer, “Oh come and speak to me!” – at once he is transformed into a swan and the two lovers fly away to his fortress on the River Boyne, singing a music so lovely that all listeners were lulled to sleep for three days and nights.
Áengus and Óengus are also names shared by several early High Kings of Ireland and Kings of the Picts (Scotland), as well as a notable 9th century Irish saint. In other words, this is a name of historical Celtic flavor. It is also the name of a county in Scotland, from whence a breed of cattle was named.