We all know that vowels are big these days. And boys’ names ending in -n? There’s nothing hotter. So we were surprised to learn that this choice has never cracked the US Top 1000.
Thanks to Laney for suggesting our Name of the Day: Eamon.
We had to think about how to pronounce Eamon, but it turns out our initial hunch was correct: he’s AY man or AY mon. If we only had a Scottish accent, I suspect the latter would sound better, but since all we can offer is a bland, Mid-Atlantic approach, we’re favoring something closer to AY man.
Either way, Éamonn is the Irish version of Edmund. We like Edward and Edwin, but Edmund feels a bit dour. Eamon offers an intriguing means to revive the name with a lot of modern style and spirit. We think the spelling variant with just one “n” is more accessible in the US – and seems to appear more often in the census records, too.
His roots are Old English. All the Ed- names derive from the element ead, meaning rich. The ending mund is usually translated as protector. Back in the day, Edmund was worn by kings and saints, and it’s never really gone out of use. But it has declined rather dramatically, disappearing from the US Top 1000 entirely after 1997.
Famous Eamons are many, but they tend to hail from the other side of the Atlantic, including:
- Éamonn Ceannt, an Irish nationalist known for his role in the 1916 Easter Rising and a colleague of Éamon de Valera;
- Eamonn Andrews, a radio host who made the leap to television early in its development in Ireland;
- Eamonn Holmes, a well-known UK television presenter currently active;
- The Italian-Irish, Staten Island-born pop rap one-hit-wonder Eamon Doyle, whose 2004 single boasts a name too R-rated for inclusion here;
- Golfer Eamonn Darcy;
- Swimmer Eamon Sullivan;
- Most famously, American-born Irish president Eamon de Valera, born Edward.
The name is still used sparingly in Canada and Scotland, along with variant spelling Eamonn.
While we suspect it would strike a more familiar note on the other side of the Atlantic, even in the US, it has a ring of authenticity about it that recent innovations like Drayton and Braven lack.
Eamon was also the name of an early adventure game written for Apple computers in 1980. Unlike today’s flashy, graphics-intensive productions, Eamon felt more like a Choose Your Own Adventure story. But it was one of the first interactive games to encourage users to write expansion modules and had a faithful following for many years. While today Eamon is mostly a memory, it holds an interesting place in gaming history.
We think Eamon works as an authentic Irish heritage name, though choices like Ronan might be easier to pronounce and even spell. Still, when compared with the tired Aidan, Eamon seems incredibly fresh – and not at all difficult to love.