Quick Facts on Shannon
- Celtic, Gaelic, Irish
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Old Wise River
Characteristics of Shannon
Etymology & Historical Origin - 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!
Popularity of the 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.
Popularity of the Girl Name Shannon
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Shannon
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Shannon
Shannon We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Shannon.
Popular Songs on Shannon
Shannon - a song by Henry Gross
Shannon Said - a song by Brandtson
The Broad Majestic Shannon - a song by the Pogues
Children's Books on the Baby Name Shannon
Shannon the Ocean Fairy (Daisy Meadows) - With three stories in this brand-new Rainbow Magic Special Edition, readers can enjoy more fairy fun than ever! It’s an ocean commotion! What’s a fairy to do? Jack Frost has stolen three enchanted pearls that control the magic of the oceans. Without them, the tides are all wrong, the sea creatures are confused, and even daytime and nighttime have gotten mixed up! When Shannon the Ocean Fairy asks Rachel and Kirsty for help, they set off on a magical adventure to an underwater world. But will they find the pearls in time…or will the girls be lost at sea? Recommended for ages 6-9.
Shannon: A Novel of Ireland (Frank Delaney) - In the summer of 1922, Robert Shannon, a Marine chaplain and a young American hero of the Great War, lands in Ireland. He still suffers from shell shock, and his mentor hopes that a journey Robert had always wanted to make—to find his family roots along the banks of the River Shannon—will restore his equilibrium and his vocation. But there is more to the story: On his return from the war, Robert had witnessed startling corruption in the Archdiocese of Boston. He has been sent to Ireland to secure his silence—permanently. As Robert faces the dangers of a strife-torn Ireland roiling in civil war, the nation’s myths and people, its beliefs and traditions, unfurl healingly before him. And the River Shannon gives comfort to the young man who is inspired by the words of his mentor: “Find your soul and you’ll live.” Recommended for age young adult and older.
Famous People Named Shannon
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
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Shannon - Bruce Lee (martial artist, daughter named Shannon); Glen Campbell (country musician, son named Shannon); Richard Dawson (game show host, daughter named Shannon)
Shannon - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Shannon - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first 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.
Variations of the Baby Name - Shannon