What does Brian mean?
Brian /bri-an/ [2 sylls.] as a boys' name is pronounced BRY-en. It is of Celtic, Irish and Gaelic origin, and the meaning of Brian is "high, noble".
Could also mean "strength". Historical: Brian Boru (10th century) was a warrior who became high king of Ireland and one of its greatest national heroes. He liberated the country from the Danes in 1014. Actor Brian Dennehy; film director Brian De Palma.
Affiliated boy name: Briley.more]
How popular is Brian?
Brian is a very popular first name for men (#20 out of 1220, Top 2%) and also a very popular last name for all people (#7327 out of 150436, Top 5%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of Brian for boys. Brian was first listed in 1930-1939 and reached its peak rank of #8 in the U.S. during 1970-1979, and is presently at #168. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)
Displayed below is a comparison of the usage of the boy name Brian and corresponding names. Bryan (#148 the previous year), Bryant (#581), Bryon, Brien and Brain are the popular alternative forms of Brian (#168 the previous year). These boy names were at the apex of their popularity during the years 1970-1979 (usage of 0.5872%) and are now much less popular (usage 0.3505%, 40.3% less), with the versions Bryant, Brain and Bryon becoming less trendy. Bryan (#148) and Brian (#168) are two of the more contemporarily stylish baby names in this list. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)
Brian▲ is alike in pronunciation to Bran, Brann, Bren, Brenn, Bron, Brown▼, Bruin and Bryn. Other suggested similar baby names are Arian▲, Bram and Byran. These names tend to be less commonly used than Brian.