Saoirse

Saoirse Ronan

Origin: Irish
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Freedom"
Pronunciation: SIR-sha, SAIR-sha, SEER-sha
Other Forms: N/A

I have been a fan of Saoirse Ronan's since I very first saw her in "Atonement" as Briony Tallis, where I was blown away by her talent. Now she's definitely having her moment, and I couldn't be happier but I'm honestly a little surprised her name hasn't gotten the same reaction.

She pronounces it "SIR-sha" like "inertia", her words, but the other two pronunciations seem to be as legitimate as the first, all being used and accepted in Ireland. I think that's the only thing holding this name back - pronunciation. However in 2018 it actually made the top 1000 for the US, ranking in at just #829. Not surprisingly in England and Wales it ranked #370, and ranks the same in both Ireland and Northern Ireland - #20. Saoirse has the wonderful meaning of "freedom", and it became popular in Ireland in the 1920's, and I don't think it takes a huge leap of logic to assume it had something to with the Irish Revolution. There is even an Irish Republican newspaper called "Saoirse Irish Freedom".

Besides Ronan there are a few other namesakes - Saoirse-Monica Scott, who plays Erin on the popular "Derry Girls" show, and Saoirse Kennedy Hill, Granddaughter of Robert F. who tragically took her own life in 2019.

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