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What does Brian mean?

Brian Pronunciation of Brian 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.


ASSOCIATED WITH irish, noble, strength, warrior, king, heroes


VARIANTS Brain, Bri, Briano, Briant, Brien, Brion, Bryan, Bryant, Bryent, Brye, Bryen, Bryent, Bryon, O'Brien


FEMININE FORMS Brianda, Brianna, Brie

(male) Brine, ..

(female) Brine, ..

Brian Malek (B.M.), ..

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)

Brian was first listed in 1910-1919 and reached its peak rank of #8 in the U.S. during 1970-1979, and is presently at #235. (TOP 2000 NAMES, 2018)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Brian name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Brian outside U.S.

Which version is better?

Bryan (#232 THE PREVIOUS YEAR), Bryant (#684), Brain, Brien, Briley, Brion and Bryon are the popular alternative forms of Brian (#235). These forms of Brian were at the apex of their popularity during the years 1970-1979 (USAGE OF 2.5%) and are now much less common (USAGE 0.2%, 91.9% LESS).

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Brian, Brain, Brien, Briley, Brion in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Bryan, Bryant, Bryon in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Brian outside U.S.

Similar Names

Brian is alike in pronunciation to Bran, Brann, Bren, Brenn, Bron, Brown, Bruin and Bryn. Other suggested similar-sounding names are Abrian, Adrian, Aran, Ardian, Arian, Arlan, Arman, Arnan, Arran, Bain, Ban, Bevan, Bivian, Boban, Brad, Bradan, Brae, Bram, Brand, Brant, Bray, Brenan, Brice, Brick, Brigg, Brik, Brily (see Briley), Brit, Briton, Britt, Brittan, Brogan, Byran, Cian, Darian, Dorian, Edrian, Eian, Eirian, Elian, Eran, Erman, Ernan, Evian, Fran, Frean, Gian, Jian, Jorian, Jurian, Kian, Oran, Orjan, Orlan, Orman, Orran, Rian, Stian and Urban. These names tend to be less commonly used than Brian.

See names
in meaning and etymology.