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Ronan Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Ronan including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Ronan Overview

  • Meaning: Ronan means “little seal” in Irish.
  • Gender: Ronan is a boy’s name because of its masculine roots in Ireland.
  • Origin: The name Ronan comes from Irish and Breton origins.
  • Pronunciation: “ROW-nuhn.”
  • Popularity: Ronan is a popular name currently ranking #274 on the list of names for baby boys.
  • Nicknames: Ro, RoRo, Rory, Row, Nan, and Nani.
  • Variations: O’Ronan (Irish), Ronanye (Irish and Gaelic), Ronen (Hebrew), and Ronin (Japanese).
  • Namesakes: Ronan Farrow, Ronan Harris, Ronan Keating, Ronan Rafferty, Ronan Parke, Ronan Tynan.

What Does Ronan Mean?

Ronan means “little seal” in Irish. The name stems primarily from a mythology story which makes it an interesting name choice for a baby.

What Is the Origin of the Name Ronan?

The name Ronan is of Breton and Irish origins. Rónán was the name used in Anglo-Saxon times. It was later written as Ronan in modern English without the accents above the letters O and A. It was the name of 12 saints from Ireland.

In Celtic mythology, a seal mothers the children of a fisherman. Her children are called “little seals” or “ronans” in the Anglo-Saxon language. She originally dwelled in the sea, but she came too close to dry land. When she came to land, she transformed from a seal into a human. She became considered a “Selkie”, otherwise known as a seal maiden.

In the end, she returns to the sea because she missed her life in that environment. However, legend says that she still swims close to shore to watch over her husband, children, and their descendants.

How Popular Is the Name Ronan?

Ronan is a popular name for boys currently ranking at #274 on the highest-ranking baby boy names list from the Social Security Administration. It is a modern name that rose in popularity starting in 2001 when it hit rank #861 on the 1000 best baby names for little boys (1).

The name Ronan was at its highest popularity ranking at #268 in 2019. It has maintained its popularity within the 200s ranking the last couple of years.

How Do I Pronounce Ronan?

You pronounce Ronan by saying “ROW-nuhn” in American and British English.

Is Ronan a Boy or Girl Name?

Ronan is a boy’s name because of its Irish roots as a masculine name. The Social Security Administration does not have any ranking information for Ronan as a girl name.

Variations of Ronan

Ronan stems from families with these surnames in Ireland. O’Ronan and Ronanye mean that the individuals in the family descended from the man Ronan. Here are the name variations for Ronan that we think you will like as well:

  • O’Ronan (Irish)
  • Ronayne (Irish and Gaelic)
  • Ronen (Hebrew)
  • Ronin (Japanese)

Nicknames for Ronan

Ronan is a spunky name with short nickname options. Here are the nicknames we picked out for Ronan:

  • Ro
  • RoRo
  • Rory
  • Row
  • Nan
  • Nani

Similar Names to Ronan

Because of its one-syllable nature, Ronan has many similar name options you can choose from. These are the similar names for Ronan we have highlighted for you below:

Middle Names for Ronan

Ronan flows wells with longer middle names because it is a shorter given name. These are the middle names that we love for the name Ronan:

Sibling Names for Ronan

If you have a child named Ronan, it is time to choose a name for his sibling. These are the sibling names below that we handpicked for you to consider:

For a Brother:

For a Sister:

Famous People Named Ronan

While some famous people are born with the name Ronan in America, it continues to be highly popular from its original origins in Ireland. Here are some famous individuals with the given name Ronan:

  • Ronan Farrow: American lawyer, journalist, and human rights activist.
  • Ronan Harris: Irish songwriter.
  • Ronan Keating: Irish singer.
  • Ronan Rafferty: Northern Irish professional golfer.
  • Ronan Parke: English singer.
  • Ronan Tynan: Irish tenor.

Ronan in Popular Culture

As Ronan climbs in popularity, it is becoming a name more so used for television, cartoon, and video game characters. These are the pop culture references where characters have the name, Ronan:

  • “Ronan”: The name of a song Taylor Swift released in 2021.
  • Ronan: Centaur in the Forbidden Forest in the “Harry Potter” franchise.
  • Ronan Lynch: Book character in “The Raven Cycle” authored by Maggie Stiefvater.
  • Ronan O’Connor: Fictional character in the video game “Murdered: Soul Suspect.”
  • Ronan the Accuser: Character in the “Marvel” comic books.

Ronan FAQs

Ronan may be one of your baby name choices, but we know you still have options to consider before you make your final decision. These are the answers to some of your frequently asked questions about the name Ronan:

Is Ronan a Good Baby Name?

Because of the name’s popularity in Ireland for many years, Ronan is a good baby name. It has maintained a spot within the 100 highest-ranking names for little boys in Ireland.

Is There a Saint Ronan?

Saint Ronan lived in the 6th century B.C. He was an Irish pilgrim saint. Saint Ronan was also a hermit that originally came from Brittany. Saint Berach was his father. Later in life, Saint Ronan founded the Locronan, which is a commune located in France.

Can Ronan Be a Female Name?

While Ronan is primarily a male-given name, some parents consider the name if they give birth to a baby girl. However, it is not as popular as it is among the highest-ranking names for males in America. Currently, Ronan as a girl name is in the 3000s on the most popular baby girl names in the United States.

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