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Meaning and name origin
Alan \a-lan\ as a boy's name is pronounced AL-an. It is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Alan is "precious". From Adal. Also possibly derived from the Gaelic "ailin" meaning "little rock". Introduced into England by Breton followers of William the Conqueror, such as Alan, Earl of Brittany, who was rewarded for his services with vast estates in the newly conquered kingdom. Popular in the Middle Ages, with a boom around the 1950s influenced by the popularity of actor Alan Ladd. In Russia, the name is linked to the ancient warrior tribe Alans that is the origin of the Ossetians. South African author Alan Paton; lyricist Alan Jay Lerner; playwright Alan Bennett; astronaut Alan Shepard; actors Alan Alda, Alan Cumming; poet Allen Ginsberg; basketball player Allen Iverson.
Alan has 25 variant forms: Ailean, Ailin, Al, Alain, Alair, Aland, Alann, Alano, Alanson, Alen, Alin, Allain, Allan, Allayne, Allen, Alley, Alleyn, Alleyne, Allie, Allin, Allon, Allyn, Alon, Alun and Alyn.
For more information, see also the related boy name Elwyn.
There is 1 feminine form of Alan: Alana.
Alan is a very popular first name for males (#91 out of 1220) and also a very popular surname or last name for all people (#23264 out of 88799) (2000 U.S. Census).
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of the name Alan for boys (2015 statistics).
Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the boy name Alan and its variant forms. Variation forms ranked in the Top 1000/100 are Al, Alan, Allan, Allen, Allie, Allyn and Elwyn. (2015 statistics).
Alan is also pronounced similarly to Aloin, Aluin, Alwin, Alwyn, Eilan, Elan, Elian, Elon, Ilan, Ilon, Olen, Olin, Olyn and Wylan. Other suggested similar baby names are Adan, Alban, Aldan, Alem, Alvan, Aman, Aran, Arlan and Aslan. These names tend to be less commonly used than Alan.
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