Brian – Meaning and Origin

The name Brian is of Irish origin and is derived from the Old Celtic word “brig”, which means “high” or “noble”. It is also related to the Latin word “brios”, meaning “strength”. The name Brian has been popular in Ireland since the Middle Ages and was borne by several kings of Ireland.


Brian is a very popular name in the United States, ranking as the 44th most popular male name in 2019. It has been consistently popular since the 1950s, when it first entered the top 100 names for boys. It is also popular in other English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Famous People Named Brian

There are many famous people who have been given the name Brian, including actors Brian Dennehy and Brian Cox; musicians Brian Wilson and Brian May; athletes Brian Urlacher and Brian O’Driscoll; writers Brian Jacques and Brian K. Vaughan; politicians Brian Mulroney and Brian Cowen; and scientists Brian Greene and Brian Schmidt.

Variations of the Name

The name Brian can be shortened to Bri or Brie. Other variations include Bryan, Bryon, Brion, Bryen, Brynn, Bryonn, Bryson, Brison, Brien, Briar, Breon, Brenn, Bronn, Bronte, Branon, Brannon, Branston, Brantley and Branford.

By Ava Isabella Hartley

Ava Isabella Hartley is a renowned expert in the field of onomastics, the study of names and their meanings, with a particular focus on baby names. She holds a Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge and has over 15 years of experience in the study of etymology, name trends, and cultural naming practices.

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