Edited by Azizi Powell
This is Part II of a two part series on famous Black people with an Irish first name and/or middle name. A few additional Irish names are given because of their popularity among African Americans.
Part II provides information about names beginning with M-Z.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/07/famous-black-people-with-irish-first.html for Part I . Part I provides information about names beginning with A-L.
This isn't meant to be a comprehensive listing of Irish names or of Black people with Irish names.
Some of these names have other etymologies besides their Irish origins/meanings.
Most of the people included in this list are African Americans. This post includes other Black people who are known in the United States because of their historical, cultural, professional, and/or political activities.
The content of this post is presented for etymological and cultural information.
Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
This is part of an ongoing pancocojams series on names and nicknames.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/02/famous-black-people-name-origins_26.html "Famous Black People Name Origins, Part I (A-L). The links to the other posts in that particular series are given in that post.
Other pancocojams posts on names and nicknames can be found by clicking the tabs that are given below.
FAMOUS BLACK PEOPLE WITH IRISH FIRST OR MIDDLE NAMES (M-Z)
Information about the meaning of the Irish name is given before the information about the Black person with that name.
Some names on this list are also used as surnames (last names).
"Morris is a surname of various origins though mostly of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh origin. The name in some cases can be of German origin and even an Americanization of several Jewish surnames.
...Morris (Ó Muiris in Irish) was introduced to Ireland by the Normans, along with the variant Fitzmaurice (Mac Muiris). A branch of these Morrises moved to Galway in 1485 and later became one of the Tribes of Galway. The name may also have been an abbreviation of Morrissey (Ó Muireasa), a branch of the Uí Fiachrach clan.
Famous Black person with that name - Morris Day
"Morris E. Day (born 1957) is an American musician, composer, and actor. He is best known as the lead singer of The Time."
"Nelson... was first adopted through the straightforward patronymic method: son of Neil.
Name etymologists clash over whether Nelson is essentially an Irish or Anglo-Scandinavian name. If Nelson came from the Gaelic name Neal, it originated as a patronymic name in medieval times from the names: Nell, Niall or Neal.
Others contest that Scandinavians adopted the Gaelic name Niall in the form Njal or Nyall, and it was Norse settlers who introduced the name to northern England and East Anglia, rather than it being taken directly from Gaelic. It also took the form ‘Ni(h)el’, often Latinised as ‘Nigellus’ through an incorrect association with ‘Niger’, meaning black or dark."
Famous Black person with this name - Nelson Mandela
"Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela... 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election."
"Nelson - This name was given to him on his first day at school by his teacher, Miss Mdingane. Giving African children English names was a custom among Africans in those days and was influenced by British colonials who could not easily, and often would not, pronounce African names. It is unclear why Miss Mdingane chose the name “Nelson” for Mr Mandela."
...Meaning & History
"Probably derived from the old Celtic name Rigantona meaning "great queen". It is speculated that this was the name of an otherwise unattested Celtic goddess of fertility and the moon. The name Rhiannon appears later in Welsh legend in the Mabinogion, borne by the wife of Pwyll and the mother of Pryderi.
As an English name, it became popular due to the Fleetwood Mac song 'Rhiannon' (1976).
Famous Black person with this name - Rhiannon Giddens
"Rhiannon Giddens is an American musician. She is known as the lead singer, violinist, banjo player and a founding member of the Grammy-winning country, blues and old-time music Carolina Chocolate Drops."
Famous Black person with a variant form of this name - Rihanna [singer]
"Robyn Rihanna Fenty (born February 20, 1988), known professionally as Rihanna (/riˈænə/ ree-AN-ə), is a Barbadian singer, actress, songwriter and fashion designer. …
Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados. Her mother, Monica Braithwaite, is a retired accountant of Afro-Guyanese background, and her father, Ronald Fenty, is a warehouse supervisor of Barbadian and Irish descent."
GENDER: Masculine & Feminine
USAGE: Irish, English (Modern)
PRONOUNCED: RO-ən (English)
Meaning & History
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin meaning "descendent of RUADHÁN". This name can also be given in reference to the rowan tree."
"Rowan is an Irish given name and surname. Variants of the name include Roan, Ruadhán (Irish), Ruadh (Irish). The name comes from the Irish surname Ó Ruadháin. It is also an Arabic feminine name referring to a river in Paradise"...
[Irish] Meaning - little red one*
*"Little red one" probably referred to the person's hair.
Famous Black person with this name - Rowan Corbett
[paraphrased] - Rowan Corbett is a new member of the band Carolina Chocolate Drops (beginning in 2014).
Seán or Seaghán (in its pre-1950s Irish form) is an Irish language masculine given name. It is an Irish borrowing of the Norman French Jehan (see Jean). Anglicisations of the name include Séan, Sean, Shane, Shayne, Shaine, Shon, Shaun, and Shawn. The name Shane comes from the Ulster English pronunciation of the name, whereas the names Shaun, Shawn, or Sean come from the way it is pronounced in Munster, Leinster, and Connacht....
Seaghán, Seón, Shaun, Shawn, Seann, Seaghán, Eóin, Shaine, Shayne, Shane, Shon, Shauen Shawnel, Shawnell...
Female version: Shawna, Shauna, Seána, Shonna Siobhán
The French name "Jehan" (Jean) is a form of the name "John".
"John ... is a masculine given name in the English language. The name is derived from the Latin Ioannes and Iohannes, which are forms of the Greek name Iōannēs (Ἰωάννης), originally borne by Hellenized Jews transliterating the Hebrew name Yohanan (יוֹחָנָן), "Graced by God", or Yehohanan (יְהוֹחָנָן), "God is Gracious"."
USAGE: Irish, English
Meaning & History
Anglicized form of SEÁN
...VARIANTS: Seán, Shane (Irish), Shane, Shaun, Shawn, Shayne (English)
FEMININE FORMS: Shauna, Shawna, Seanna (English)
OTHER LANGUAGES: Deshaun, Deshawn, Keshaun, Keshawn, Rashaun, Rashawn (African American)..."
A famous Black person with the name "Sean" - Sean Combs
"Sean John Combs (born November 4, 1969), also known by his stage names Puff Daddy, Diddy, and P. Diddy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur."
Another famous Black person with the name "Sean" - Sean Paul
"Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques (born 9 January 1973), known by his stage name Sean Paul, is a Jamaican dancehall rapper, musician, singer, producer and actor...
Sean Paul was born in Kingston, Jamaica to parents Garth and Frances, both of whom were talented athletes. His mother is a well-known painter. His paternal grandfather had Sephardi Jewish ancestry, from a family that had emigrated from Portugal, and his paternal grandmother was Afro-Caribbean; his mother is of English and Chinese Jamaican descent. "
Here are three examples of the numerous Black variants of the name "Sean":
"Da'Shawn Hand (born November 14, 1995) is an American football defensive end for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Hand was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, fathered by Sharif Hand, who was a junior in high school when Da'Shawn was born. Hand's uncle, Damone Boone, was a Parade All-American running back at West Springfield in Virginia in the mid-1990s." ...
"DeSean William Jackson (born December 1, 1986) is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of California, Berkeley, and was recognized as a consensus All-American. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft."
"Shontelle Layne (born 4 October 1985), known professionally as Shontelle, is a Barbadian singer-songwriter. She released her debut album Shontelligence in November 2008. Her second album, No Gravity, was released in September 2010. Her singles, "T-Shirt", and "Impossible", achieved modest international success."
An Irish variant of the male name "Sean" is found immediately below.
"Sioban" is an Irish feminine form of the name "Sean". From the online reading that I've done, variants of the Irish female name "Sioban" appear to be increasingly popular among African Americans and Jamaicans.
PRONOUCE: “shiv + awn”
ENGLISH: Shevaun, Shavon, Chevonne
DESCRIPTION: Siobhan is another Irish form of Joan meaning “God is gracious.” A popular name in Ireland where the anglicised versions are often used."
Siobhán (English pronunciation: /ʃɨˈvɔːn/ shi-VAWN; Irish pronunciation or is a feminine Irish name.
It is derived from the Anglo-Norman Jehane and Jehanne, which were introduced into Ireland by the Anglo-Normans in the Middle Ages. The name is thus a cognate of the English Joan, and ultimately derived from the Latin Ioanna and Iohanna, which are in turn from the Greek Iōanna. This Greek name is a feminine form of the Greek Iōannēs, which is in turn a shortened form of the Hebrew Johanan, meaning "God is gracious"...
"The Scottish Gaelic form of the name is Siubhan (which is usually Anglicised Judith). Alternative spellings of Siobhán include: Siobhan, Siobhain, Siobhann, Siobhin, Siobhon, Siobahn, Shivon, Siavon, Siovhan, Shivaune, Shivaun, Shavon, Sioban, Siobain, Shivonne, Shvaugn, Shivaughn, Shivaughne, Shievonne, Shavaughn, Shavaughne, Shavaughan, Shavaugn, Shavaugne, Shavaun, Shavaune, Sheavaughn, Shevaun, Shevawn, Shavone, Shavonne, Shevonne, Chevonne, Chevone, Chivonne, Chevon and Shivan, and Chivoun and Ciobhinne and Shavorn."
Here's an example of a prominent-if not famous-person with a variant form of the name "Sioban":
"Commissioner Mike Aresco has announced the hiring of Chevonne Mansfield as Director of Communications at the American Athletic Conference.
Mansfield will be involved with all aspects of the communications and media relations initiatives for the conference's 21 sports, with an emphasis on women's basketball and men's soccer. She will serve as the media coordinator for the American Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Championship and will be responsible for developing and implementing season-long communication plans in concert with the conference's overall strategic branding efforts."
"Tyrone is a name of Irish origin, from the Gaelic “Tír Eoghain” meaning "land of Eoghan". Many etymologists speculate that Eoghan comes from the Irish-Gaelic meaning “born of the yew tree”, while others assume it’s the Irish equivalent of the English Eugene, a name brought to England in the 11th century by way of the Norman-French from the Greek Eugenios (Ευγενιος) meaning “well born, noble”. According to Irish history, Eóghan mac Néill was the 5th century son of Niall of the Nine Hostages (one of the High Kings of Ireland). This clearly predates the presence of the Normans in Ireland, so we like to think the name does indeed mean “born of the yew tree.”
The yew tree was sacred to the ancient Celts and revered almost as highly as the oak. They believed the yew symbolized immortality and had certain mystical powers (which is why the ancient Celtic Druids used wood from the yew tree in the construction of their “magic” wands). Eóghan also became an Irish King in his own right and founded the “Tír Eoghain” (present day County Tyrone, Northern Ireland). Tír Eoghain would eventually be anglicized to Tirowen or Tyrowen which is how we arrived at Tyrone.
It was a relatively unknown name outside the Irish borders until a handsome Irish-American actor named Tyrone Power achieved fame in the gilded age of Hollywood (1930s-50s). Americans went gangbusters over this name starting in the late 1930s thanks to the matinee idol and romantic star of the silver screen. Later on the name was embraced among African-Americans who maintained its popularity in the 1970s. Today, sadly, Tyrone is largely a forgotten name. Although it still does remarkably well in New Zealand and Australia."
This quote was reformatted for this post for reading clarity.
A famous Black person with this name - Tyrone Davis
Tyrone Davis (born Tyrone Fettson; May 4, 1938 – February 9, 2005) was a leading American blues and soul singer with a distinctive style, recording a long list of hit records over a period of more than 20 years. He had three no. 1 hits on the Billboard R&B chart: "Can I Change My Mind" (1968), "Turn Back The Hands Of Time" (1970), and "Turning Point" (1975).
For whatever reason/s, many Americans consider "Tyrone" to be a "Black" name. The belief that "Tyrone" is a "Black" name becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in that a number of White people have a tendency to stop using names that they consider to be "Black" names, based on what they consider to be a certain level of Black use of those particular names.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/07/cultural-influences-on-perception-that.html "Cultural Influences On The Perception That "Tyrone" Is A "Black Name""
This concludes Part II of this series.
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.
Please add other examples of famous Black people with Irish names to this list.
Visitor comments are welcome.