Meaning and Name Origin
Tristan \t-ris-tan, tr(i)-stan\ as a boys' name (also used less generally as girls' name Tristan) is pronounced TRISS-tan. It is of Celtic origin. From a Celtic name. In Arthurian legend, Tristan (sometimes called Tristram) was a Knight of the Round Table and the tragic hero of the medieval tale "Tristan and Isolde". The tale has been retold in many poems and operas. This ancient name may derive from a Pictish original, Drostan, but the form was probably influenced by the French term "triste", meaning "sad". The name is popular in Spain.
Tristan is a somewhat prominent first name for males (#778 out of 1220, Top 64%) and an even more prominent last name for both adults and children (#14730 out of 88799, Top 17%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Presented below is the birth name popularity of Tristan for boys. Tristan entered the list in 1970-1979 and reached its peak position of #68 in the U.S. in 1996, and is currently at #101. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Shown below is an analysis of the usage of Tristan and associated names. Tristen (#507 the previous year), Tristian (#878), Tristin, Triston (#856) and Trystan are the popular varying forms of Tristan (#101 the previous year). These boy names were at the top of their popularity in the year 1996 and have become significantly less popular since, with the forms Tristian, Tristin, Triston and Trystan becoming less trendy. Tristan (#101) and Tristen (#507) are two of the more trendy boy names in this compilation. (Top 1000 Baby Names Records, 2014)
A recommended similar baby name is Kristan. This name tends to be less frequently used than Tristan.