Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Finnegan

Finnegan is the transferred use of a well-known Irish surname. It is the anglicized version of Ó Fionnagán which comes from the Gaelic “finn/fionn” meaning “fair, white”. The “-án” is a diminutive suffix so Fionnagán essentially means “little fair one”. Fionn mac Cumhail (anglicized: Finn MacCool) was a mythical hunter-warrior from Irish mythology and whose followers (the Fianna) lived apart from society as bandits and hunters who could be called upon by kings in times of war. Essentially, the Fianna were the king’s bodyguards (the military elite of ancient Ireland) 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 “fair” good-looks (hence the name Fionn). 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 Roundtable. The Finnegan septs may all believe they are ultimately descended from this illustrious Irish hero. Finnegan could also be considered a literary name due to the well-known (though highly complex) novel written by James Joyce in 1939 called “Finnegans Wake”. Joyce was inspired by an old Irish ditty called “Finnegan’s Wake” wherein Finnegan drinks too much whiskey and falls from a ladder, hits his head and dies. At his wake, the funeral-goers accidentally spill whiskey on the corpse and Finnegan “wakes” from the dead. In other words, whiskey is the cause of both his death and his resurrection. Indeed the Irish “water of life”.

All About the Baby Name – Finnegan

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME FINNEGAN

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 FINNEGAN

As an American masculine forename, Finnegan has only been around for a brief while. It first appeared on the charts in 2005, so this name doesn't even have a 10 year history in America yet. Finnegan has been increasing year over year during his short time on the charts suggesting that parents are finding this surname-turned-first-name an appealing choice. As a name of Irish/Gaelic origin, Finnegan can’t help but to sound upbeat and friendly. It's a classic Irish surname like Kelly, Sullivan or Murphy. Apparently, some American parents are also interested in Finnegan for their daughters, but we say go with Finola or Fiona instead for the “fair” baby girls out there. Finnegan just conjures up an old rabblerousing, whiskey-drinking, limerick-singing Irishman. As such, it just doesn’t seem fitting for a little girl. Yet Finn and Finney are cute gender-neutral nicknames if you want to shorten the three-syllable Finnegan. This name has a lot going for it. It harkens back to brave warriors of Irish mythology, it’s erudite with its connection to James Joyce’s brilliant but nearly inaccessible novel, and it’s a fun-loving, approachable Irish name. Always a great choice for a little fair haired and handsome baby boy showing early signs of that loveable yet feisty Irish personality.

Quick Facts

ON FINNEGAN

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Celtic

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

462

PRONUNCIATION:

FIN-ə-gən

SIMPLE MEANING:

Little fair one

Characteristics

OF FINNEGAN

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Finnegan

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME FINNEGAN

Popular Songs

ON FINNEGAN

Finnegan's Wake
a song by The Dubliners

Famous People

NAMED FINNEGAN

We cannot find any celebrities or significantly famous people with the first name Finnegan.

Children of Famous People

NAMED FINNEGAN

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Finnegan

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME FINNEGAN

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