Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Shannon

Shannon is the name of Ireland’s longest river. Apropos of this fact, the name is derived from the Gaelic elements “sean” meaning “old, wise one” and “abhann” meaning “river”. The River Shannon runs over 200 miles dividing the west of Ireland as it flows southwesterly toward the Atlantic Ocean. According to some legends, the river was named after a mortal woman Sinann who went searching for the Well of Knowledge said to contain magical hazel nuts fallen from nearby trees (The Celts believed the hazel nut provided infinite knowledge and inspiration for art and poetry). When she found the Well of Knowledge, Sinann was so eager to enhance her wisdom and creativity that she uncovered the lid without following the proper rites. The angry and powerful waters broke loose and formed the River Shannon, overwhelming the woman and leaving her to die on its shores. She was henceforth transformed into the Celtic goddess of the River Shannon (Sinann). It’s unclear when Shannon came into use as a forename, but it was probably created in the United States by Irish immigrants in the late 19th century as a nod to the Mother Land. The name gained broad appeal among all English speaking nations in the 20th century but has since seen diminishing returns. Today, Shannon is a Top 100 choice in Northern Ireland only. And that is, after all, where the River Shannon begins her journey!

All About the Baby Name – Shannon

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME SHANNON

The number Four personality is marked by stability and discipline. This is the personality that follows the rules and is conservative by nature.  They have an earth-bound energy that prefers to build things methodically on top of firm foundations; they don't cut corners. Fours take their time and don't like to be hurried. But the outcome of their endeavors is likely to result in some strong and useful structure, which makes them great engineers and inventors. Fours are anything but frivolous or controversial. This is a trustworthy, straight-forward personality that embodies dedication and organization. They are the backbone and anchor in their relationships, careers and communities. They are tidy, punctual, and full of integrity. Hard-work comes naturally to a Four and they are immensely reliable. This is the personality you can always count on.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME SHANNON

Shannon has a tradition of being a unisex name in the United States. The name dates farther back on the masculine naming charts since it first appeared as a boy’s name sporadically in the late 1880s; it really wasn’t taken up for girls until the late 1930s. At this point, the name co-existed on the charts for both boys and girls for about 70 straight years, but the girls always enjoyed the lead. Many people still consider Shannon a gender-neutral name and we would totally agree, but it hasn’t been in circulation for boys since 2006. In terms of 21st century usage, Shannon has become more distinctly female. In fact, over the course of her history as a female name, Shannon enjoyed Top 100 status for 30 consecutive years (1968-1997) and even reached as high as position #17 on the charts (1976). In other words, Shannon was a pretty trendy choice back in the 1970s and 80s. Since the late 1990s, though, the name has seen dramatic drops in popularity and is now very rarely used. Like Erin and Kelly, this quintessential Irish girl’s name is both unpretentious and charming. And like Erin and Kelly, Shannon still retains that unisex equality. Always a great choice for Irish-Americans proud of their heritage.

Quick Facts

ON SHANNON

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Celtic

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

922

PRONUNCIATION:

SHAN-әn

SIMPLE MEANING:

Old Wise River

Characteristics

OF SHANNON

Dependable

Solid

Practical

Hard-working

Industrious

Studious

Conservative

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Shannon

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME SHANNON

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Shannon

Popular Songs

ON SHANNON

The Broad Majestic Shannon
a song by the Pogues

Shannon Said
a song by Brandtson

Shannon
a song by Henry Gross

Famous People

NAMED SHANNON

Shannen Doherty (actress)
Shannon Elizabeth (actress)
Shannon Sharpe (football player)
Shannon Brown (basketball player)
Shannon Tweed (reality TV/partner of Gene Simmons from KISS)
Shannon Miller (gymnast)
Shannon Hoon (b. Richard Shannon Hoon, front man for Blind Melon)
Shannon Bruce Snaith (aka Shane West, actor)

Children of Famous People

NAMED SHANNON

Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME SHANNON

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