Billie Eilish, whose full name is amazingly Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell, has steadily been building a following for her music career since 2016, when her debut single “Ocean Eyes” was released on SoundCloud and subsequently got so much attention that major record companies came calling. But we need to back up a little talk more about that name!
Talking to the BBC in 2017, Eilish explained the family connections (and one hilarious family squabble) behind her full, lengthy name.
“[Eilish] is my middle name. So I’m Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell. Pretty weird, right? Pirate was going to be my middle name, but then my uncle had a problem with it because pirates are bad. Then Baird is my mother’s name.”
So, to recap: Billie uses her mother’s maiden name as an extra middle name. On top of that, she’s got one of the coolest middle names ever! And for her stage name, she uses her middle name, Eilish (pronounced “eye-lish”), which she wouldn’t even have had as a name if her uncle hadn’t objected to “pirate” being her “main” middle name!
As her name suggests, Eilish is of Irish and Scottish descent, and you can see that in the names of her family, too: her mother is Maggie Baird, her father is Patrick O’Connell, and her brother is Finneas O’Connell. And although “Eilish” might sound like an unusual name to American ears, it’s actually just the Gaelic version of a very common English name: Elizabeth. Eilish’s unique name is just one of many unique things about her, and it’s also superspecial. Rather than being a name that’s unusual just because it’s trendy, every part of her name has some particular meaning related to her family, which makes it truly unique!