Meaning and name origin
Merlin \m(e)-rlin, mer-lin\ as a boy's name is pronounced MER-lin. It is of Welsh origin, and the meaning of Merlin is "sea fortress". Mythology: Arthurian tales describe Merlin as the wizard who was King Arthur's mentor. Myrddin, the wizard who tutored King Arthur in British legend was known as Myrddin Emrys. Writers translated this into Latin as Merlin Ambrosius, and into English as Mervyn. It was a mistake as the first part of the name was a Welsh place name for the seacoast town of Carmarthen. Emrys was the personal name and a Welsh version of Ambrose. So Merlin probably means "Ambrose of Carmarthen", and is only vaguely related to Mervyn and its variants. Football player Merlin Olsen.
Merlin is a somewhat popular first name for males (#725 out of 1220, Top 59%) and an even more popular surname or last name for all people (#16824 out of 88799, Top 19%) (2000 U.S. Census).
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of the name Merlin for boys. Merlin reached its highest rank of #320 in the U.S. in 1920-1929. (2014 statistics).
Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the boy name Merlin and its variant forms. Popular variation forms ranked in the Top 1000/100 are Marvin (#492), Marlon (#747), Mervin, Mervyn, Merlyn, Merle, Marlin, Ambrose and Merlin. (2014 statistics).