Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Finn

First and foremost, Finn is thought of as an Irish name. Fionn mac Cumhaill (anglicized to Finn MacCool) was a mythical hunter-warrior from Irish mythology and whose followers (the Fianna) lived apart from society as bandits and hunters called upon by kings in times of war. Essentially, the Fianna were the king’s bodyguards (the "special forces" of ancient Ireland, so to speak) and Finn was their captain. Finn MacCool was a hero of legendary proportions in Irish folklore. He was renowned as a warrior, but also glorified for his wisdom, bravery and handsomely fair good-looks. Legend has it that Finn acquired his wisdom by touching the “salmon of knowledge” and then sucking his thumb. This gave him the ability to see into the future so that he was able to defend against enemies, protect his homeland and bring great prominence to the Fianna. In fact, it is argued that Finn MacCool and his Fianna were the precursors to the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Finn is sometimes used for girls, but it is essentially a male name. Fiona is the female version of this name, invented by a Scottish poet. Aside from Finn’s clear connection to Ireland, it has two other possible etymological origins. It could be considered a Scandinavian name, from the Old Norse Finnr which meant ‘person from Finland’ (the male name Finn is currently the 15th most popular name in the Netherlands and Finn/Fynn is ranked #4 in Germany 2010). Lastly, Finn could also be used by parents in homage to one of the greatest (if not the greatest) American literary figures: Huckleberry Finn.

All About the Baby Name – Finn

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME FINN

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME FINN

Finn continues to maintain high rankings in Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland and Australia. It’s baffling to us that the name didn’t appear on the U.S. popularity charts until very recently in the year 2000. We guess that America just got the memo when it comes to this Irish charmer. Similarly, the diminutive of Finn, Finnegan, also did not debut on the U.S. popularity charts until 2005. In any case, we’re glad to see this Irish mythological classic finally hit the American list of boy names. Finn continues to climb the charts and has advanced about 700 positions in ten short years. This name is definitely underused which keeps it an original choice. Plus, it’s an excellent name for a boy of Irish descent or for parents of a fair-haired boy. Whether you’re a fan of Irish folklore, Finland or the irrepressible Huckleberry Finn – Finn is a multifaceted name of simplicity. A strong and confident one-syllable name, Finn has pocket-sized punch.

Quick Facts

ON FINN

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Gaelic

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

250

PRONUNCIATION:

FIN

SIMPLE MEANING:

Fair-haired, brilliant white, light-hued

Characteristics

OF FINN

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Finn

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME FINN

Huckleberry "Huck" Finn is one of the most beloved characters of American fiction and the title character of Mark Twain’s classic novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, published in 1885 as a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Even Ernest Hemingway so highly regarded this novel as to say: “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn...it’s the best book we've had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since." Starting life as the son of a lower class, illiterate ne’er-do-well, young Finn is the subject of a “civilizing” attempt by the Widow Douglas at the opening of the book, when he is 13 years old. The story takes place against the backdrop of the Mississippi River, where Huck (escaping both “civilization” and his drunken father), and the runaway slave, Jim, share an endless menu of hilarious adventures. Unlike his middle class friend, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn comes from a lower stratum of society, and is closer to Jim’s reality. With a keen logic for one so young, he figures out that he and Jim actually share a certain fate from which they are both running away. Jim is looked upon as someone’s property, and in that society therefore, helping him escape is a sin. Huck Finn, however, comes to understand the innate error of the institution of slavery and as he gets to know Jim and his story, his healthy inclination to question authority leads him to the realization of his and Jim’s common humanity. Yes, Huckleberry Finn needs a good bath and a grueling course in grammar, but his heart and soul are exactly right.

Popular Songs

ON FINN

The Youth of Finn Mac Cool
a sing by DoomSword

The Legend of Finn MacCumhail
a song by Dropkick Murphys

Famous People

NAMED FINN

Finn E. Kydland (Nobel Prize winner, economics)
Finn Dossing (soccer player)
Finn Seeman (soccer player)
Finn Willy Sorensen (soccer player)

Children of Famous People

NAMED FINN

Tori Spelling;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME FINN

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Finn