Quick Facts on Gael
- Celtic, Gaelic, Irish, Welsh
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Etymology & Historical Origin - Gael
Gael is a modern masculine name coined from the word Gael, a term used to describe a specific ethno-linguistic group of people descended from the Celtic tribes (the others being the Picts and the Brythons). Gael comes from the ancient Gaelic word “Goídel” meaning “Irishman”. The Gaelic people and language are now primarily restricted to Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Scottish Highlands (northwestern Scotland). The Scottish-Picts are now extinct, and the Brythonic descendents are concentrated in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany today. Therefore, the Gaelic people are most commonly associated with the Irish, but the Gaelic language is also spoken in parts of Scotland and the Isle of Man. In the Welsh language (a Celtic language but a different branch than Gaelic), Gael is believed to come from Gwynhael, an ancient name meaning “blessed and generous”. The use of the name Gael for little boys appears to be inspired by Irish-pride. It’s similar to naming a son Scott (for Scotland), Brett (for Breton) and Erin (for Ireland). Gaël is also a masculine name used in France (although there remains a Celtic stronghold in the northwest of France), and Gael is used among Spanish speakers (not coincidentally, evidence of early Celtic people who were ancestors to the Gaelic people has been recovered on the Iberian Peninsula). In today’s world, only a little more than 200,000 people speak Gaelic as their native tongue (while almost two million have a “working knowledge” of the language). In the United States, about 25,000 people know Gaelic but they tend to be concentrated in areas where the Irish-American community has remained strong (Boston, Chicago, New York City and San Francisco).
Popularity of the Name Gael
Gael first appeared on the male naming charts in the United States in 2002, so this is a pretty new name for Americans. What’s remarkable is that the sudden interest in this name is owed to Hispanic-Americans rather than Irish-Americans. It’s no coincidence that Gael’s quick ascent on the charts was instigated by the growing popularity of a very handsome Mexican actor named Gael García Bernal. It was his 2001 film “Y Tu Mamá También” that garnered him international notice – and after the movie’s 2002 release to American audiences, his name suddenly appeared on the U.S. male naming charts. Then 2004’s “The Motorcycle Diaries” sealed the deal for this talented actor and the success of his name. Usage of Gael has declined a bit in the past couple of years, yet in the barely 10 years of its existence, the name has done remarkably well nonetheless. Because of the similar sounding female names Gayle and Gail, Gael is not a super masculine choice for a little boy. But it is loaded with meaning and interest, particularly for parents of Gaelic descent who take pride in their heritage. It’s a cool idea and we give it two enthusiastic thumbs up for creativity and originality.
Popularity of the Boy Name Gael
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Gael
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Gael
Gael We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Gael.
Popular Songs on Gael
The Gael - a song by Cruachan
Children's Books on the Baby Name Gael
The Harp of the Gael (Anne Turner) - In 1812, with Ireland oppressed by British rule and cruel taxes, six-year-old Thomas Marshall and his family leave their little farm in County Armagh to sail for the new land of America. What they did not leave behind were the two ties to Thomas's destiny: his father's harp, and his own small book of Psalms-with the tiny harp and willow on the cover. That destiny was challenged often-by orphanhood, adversity, side trips including the army and the Gold Rush, and Thomas's own doubts. Certain "divine appointments" pointed the way like signposts: the Methodist preacher in Bloomington, Illinois, who saw his gift; the little Welshman who was Jonathan to his David; and the feisty Italian tenor whose singing was pure revelation to Thomas's soul. His longing to return at last to his green homeland is dashed, but two surprises wait, and he must choose-despair or fulfillment. Recommended for ages 7-10.
Famous People Named Gael
Famous People Named Gael - Gael García Bernal (Mexican actor/filmmaker); Gaël Monfils (French tennis player); Gael Baudino (author); Gael Turnbull (Scottish poet); Gael Greene (restaurant critic and author); Gaël Morel (French film director)
Children of Famous People Named Gael
Famous People Who Named Their Son Gael - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Gael.
Gael - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures
Gael - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Gael.
Personality of the Boy Name Gael
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 - Gael