The name can either be a diminutive form of the Breton male name Judicaël or taken from the name of the group of ancient Celts who settled in Ireland and Scotland. In the latter case, it would be derived from the Celtic element geal meaning “white.” It has also been suggested to be comprised of the Breton elements gwen (white) and maël (prince).
The name is currently the 90th most popular male name in Mexico, (2010). Its sudden popularity in Mexico may be due to the fame of Mexican actor Gael García Bernal (b.1978). In France, it is the 159th most popular male name (2009) and in the United States it is the 407th most popular name, (2010).
Its feminine form is Gaëlle which is the 381st most popular female name in France, (2009).
Other feminine forms include the Breton Gaela, Gaele and Gaelig.