Morgan (given name)

Morgan (given name)

Morgan, or Morgen, is a given name related to the modern Irish word móraigeanta, meaning magnanimous.[1] One source gives the meaning of the feminine name as "great queen" and relates the name to the Morrígan, a goddess of war.[2] It can be straightforwardly interpreted as "great queen" (Old Irish mór, great;[3] rígan, queen,[4] deriving from a hypothetical Proto-Celtic *Māra Rīganī-s.[5] However it often lacks the diacritic over the o in the texts. Alternatively, mor (without diacritic) may derive from an Indo-European root connoting terror or monstrousness, cognate with the Old English maere (which survives in the modern English word "nightmare") and the Scandinavian mara.[6] This can be reconstructed in Proto-Celtic as *Moro-rīganī-s.[7] Current scholarship mostly holds to Morrígan, often translated as "Phantom Queen" being the older, more accurate form.[8]

In Wales, Morgan is traditionally a male name. In the United States it is currently more commonly used for girls, though it has more recently started to became used more for boys than girls. It was the 43rd most popular name for girls born in the United States in 2007 and the 405th most popular name for boys born there in 2007. The name is also used for both sexes in other English-speaking countries, including Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Australia, and New Zealand.[9]. It is also frequently used in the Celtic region of Brittany in France where it is traditionally a male name.



See also


  1. ^ Todd (1998), p. 141
  2. ^ Todd (1998), p. 60
  3. ^ Dictionary of the Irish Language (DIL), Compact Edition, Royal Irish Academy, 1990, pp. 467-468
  4. ^ DIL pp. 507
  5. ^ Alexander McBain, An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, 1911: mór, ribhinn
  6. ^ DIL pp. 468
  7. ^ Proto-Celtic – English wordlist; EtymologyOnline: "nightmare"
  8. ^ Rosalind Clark (1990) The Great Queens: Irish Goddesses from the Morrígan to Cathleen Ní Houlihan (Irish Literary Studies, Book 34) ISBN 0-389-20928-7
  9. ^ Behind the Name


  • Todd, Loreto (1998). Celtic Names for Children. Irish American Book Company. ISBN 0-86278-556-1.

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