Anglicized spelling of Seán (pronounced ‘shawn’), Irish equivalent of John. The name has always been common in Ireland, but since the 1960s has frequently been chosen (usually without the accent) by parents who have no Irish connections. One influence on its popularity has been the actor Sean Connery (b. 1930), of James Bond fame.
Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Ceallaigh ‘descendant of Ceallach’, an ancient Irish personal name, originally a byname meaning ‘bright-headed’, later understood as ‘frequenting churches’ (Irish ceall). There are several early Irish saints who bore this name. Kelly is now the most common of all Irish family names in Ireland.