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Origin of the Name Farrell


Choosing a name for your child is a big decision, and many parents look to their heritage and culture for inspiration. One popular choice for those with Irish or Gaelic roots is the name Farrell. This name has a long and fascinating history, with deep roots in Irish mythology and folklore. In this article, we'll explore the origins and meaning of the name Farrell, as well as its popularity and variations over time.

Etymology and Meaning

The name Farrell is derived from the Irish Gaelic name O'Fearghail, which means 'man of valor' or 'man of courage'. The prefix O' indicates 'descendant of', so the name can be translated as 'descendant of Fearghal'. Fearghal is a common Irish name that means 'man of valor' or 'man of courage', and was often given to warriors and heroes in Irish mythology. The name Farrell is also sometimes spelled Farel or Ferrell, but these variations are less common.

History and Popularity

The name Farrell has a long and rich history in Ireland, dating back to ancient times. The O'Fearghail clan was one of the most powerful and influential families in medieval Ireland, and many prominent figures throughout Irish history have borne the name Farrell. Today, the name is still popular in Ireland and among the Irish diaspora, although it is less common than some other Irish names like Liam or Aiden. In the United States, the name Farrell peaked in popularity in the 1920s and 30s, but has since declined in use.

Famous Farrells

Throughout history, many notable figures have borne the name Farrell. One of the most famous is actor Colin Farrell, who was born in Dublin in 1976. Other notable Farrells include Irish politician Eamon Farrell, American football player Tom Farrell, and Australian cricketer John Farrell. In addition, there are many fictional characters with the name Farrell, including the protagonist of James Joyce's novel 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'.

Variations and Nicknames

Like many Irish names, Farrell has several variations and nicknames. Some common variations include Farel, Ferrell, and O'Farrell. Nicknames for Farrell include Far, Farry, and Fergie. In addition, the name can be combined with other names to create unique combinations, such as Farrell Liam or Farrell Maeve.


The name Farrell has a rich and fascinating history, rooted in Irish mythology and folklore. Its meaning of 'man of valor' or 'man of courage' makes it a popular choice for parents looking for a strong and meaningful name for their child. Whether you choose to use the traditional spelling or a variation, the name Farrell is sure to be a unique and memorable choice for your little one.