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Quick Facts on Finnegan

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Celtic, Gaelic, Irish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 462
Simple meaning:
Little fair one

Characteristics of Finnegan

  • Mystical
  • Wise
  • Eccentric
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Philosophical
  • Solitary

Etymology & Historical Origin - 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”.

Popularity of the 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.
Popularity of the Boy Name Finnegan
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Finnegan

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Finnegan

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Finnegan

    Finnegans Wake (James Joyce) Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses, James Joyce set himself even greater challenges for his next book — the night. "A nocturnal state...That is what I want to convey: what goes on in a dream, during a dream." The work, which would exhaust two decades of his life and the odd resources of some sixty languages, culminated in the 1939 publication of Joyce's final and most revolutionary masterpiece, Finnegans Wake. A story with no real beginning or end (it ends in the middle of a sentence and begins in the middle of the same sentence), this "book of Doublends Jined" is as remarkable for its prose as for its circular structure. Written in a fantastic dream language, forged from polyglot puns and portmanteau words, the Wake features some of Joyce's most brilliant and inventive work. More than sixty years after its original publication, it remains, in Anthony Burgess's words, "a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page."

  • Popular Songs on Finnegan

    Popular Songs on Finnegan

    Finnegan's Wake - a song by The Dubliners

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Finnegan

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Finnegan

    Finnegan's Wind (John Wood) - The Smiths are traveling people and have been for generations. Throughout those generations a gift has been passed from grandparents to parents to children to grandchildren and that gift is the ability to talk to and understand pigs and mice. A magical new novel, tackling the theme of change in an original way. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Liam's Luck and Finnegan's Fortune (Tim Kiernan) - Is a four-leaf clover really lucky? That's what Finnegan tells Liam, and, boy, does his luck start to change. First, Liam catches more fish than ever before, and then he makes an unbelievable discovery. What Finnegan doesn't know is that a VIP knows about his new lucky clover and wants Finnegan to help him discover why the forest is changing. Can Liam's luck and Finnegan's fortune help save the forest and all of its creatures? Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Saving Finnegan (Sally Grindley) - When Holly wakes up and sees the whale on the beach she can hardly believe her eyes. Soon she is at the forefront of an island-wide movement to save the whale. But things are not as simple as the young girl would like and she has to deal with the ambitions of a wide group of people. Laced throughout with the important theme of death, this is a powerful and hugely enjoyable novel by Smarties Gold Medal winning author Sally Grindley. Recommended for ages 13+

    There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan (Mary Ann Hoberman) - Several books invite youngsters to join in the fun. There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan, adapted by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, is a silly song that instructs young singers to "begin-igan" at the end of each verse. On a vertical spread, "Michael played the violin-igan,/ Tucked it underneath his chin-igan,/ Played so loud it was a sin-igan,/ Noisy Michael Finnegan, begin-igan." Westcott illustrates each lively scene with humorous details; the baby and the cat look even more distressed than the rest of the family. Music and lyrics are included. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    When Finnegan Fell (Layla Presant) - An uplifting tale of life, love and loss, in which the reader plays an active role in the meaning of the story. Join Finnegan S. Wake and his garden companions in the jungles of Costa Rica. Together you will learn about the cyclical nature of life and how difficult experiences help you grow. The wisdom tales in When Finnegan Fell are inspired by proverbs and mythology from around the world. The story includes an interactive workbook, with discussion questions and activities designed to spark a conversation on embracing change as a natural part of life. Recommended for ages 6-9.

  • Famous People Named Finnegan

    Famous People Named Finnegan

    Famous People Named Finnegan - We cannot find any celebrities or significantly famous people with the first name Finnegan.

  • Children of Famous People Named Finnegan

    Children of Famous People Named Finnegan

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Finnegan - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Finnegan.

  • Historic Figures

    Finnegan - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Finnegan - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first 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.

Variations of the Baby Name - Finnegan

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