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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Brian

The baby name Brian is an Irish and Breton-originated name derived from an Old Celtic word brigā for “power” or “nobility.” The first half of the name is derived from the Old Irish term bre, which means hill or a high place. The name symbolizes inspirational qualities such as strength, eminence, bravery, power, intellectuality, empathy, virtuousness, and beauty.

The name Brian gained popularity in Ireland, thanks to the reign of the High King Brian Boru of Ireland, who ruled the kingdom in the 10th century. The warrior king is well known for his victory against several Viking conquests undertaken to conquer Ireland. The name got carried into other parts of the world during the Norman Conquest by the Bretons, who first learned of its bearer from the Norse-Gael settlers of northern England.

The initial variants of Brian used by the Irish and Bretons included Brion and Bryan, adapted by the English as Bryon, Briant, Bran, and Bryant. Brian is written as Brajan in Polish, Brjánn in Icelandic, and Brayan or Bruno (also known as brown) in Spanish and Latin American cultures. However, the pronunciations for all these variants remain as bree-an, brie-ən, or bryee-ən.

In addition to its use as a first name, it is also used as a surname by the English and Irish, including Bryan, Bryant, Ó Briain, O’Brian, and O’Brien. Breanna, Briana, Breann, Brianne, Bryana, Brie, Breena, Breonna, and Bria are the more feminine derivatives of the name.

Fictional characters who have popularized the name and its nobleness include the undercover cop-turned-street racer Brian O’Connor in “Fast & Furious” movie series, the respectful and brainy Brian Johnson from “The Breakfast Club,” the working-class scholarship student Brian Jackson from the novel “Starter for Ten,” and the romantic Brian Devis from the American comedy-drama TV series “What About Brian?”


heart image
A noble man from the hills
Celtic, Irish
 B..  Ba..  Bab..  Bah..  Bar..  Ber..  Bha.. 

How To Pronounce Brian?


Famous People With The Name Brian

  • Bryan Lee CranstonAmerican actor and director, best known for his portrayal of Walter White in “Breaking Bad”
  • Brian GreeneAmerican theoretical physicist and mathematician, well known for “superstring theory”
  • Brian BoitanoAmerican figure skater who won the Olympic gold in 1988
  • Brian ScalabrineAlso known as “White Mamba,” this former American professional basketball player is known to be the greatest player of all time.
  • Brian MayEnglish musician and astrophysicist, lead guitarist of the rock band “Queen”
  • Brian JohnsonEnglish singer and songwriter, the third lead singer of the Australian rock band AC/DC

Brian On The Popularity Chart

The name Brian on the popularity charts has not seen a great high. However, it is a name that is chosen by many parents. Let’s have a look at the graphs in detail.

Popularity Over Time

The name Brian has seen a consistent decline in popularity over the past four decades, starting from the mid-1980s. In 2021, 1,183 babies per million were given this moniker.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

The ranking of the name Brian kept falling until 2007, the year it touched a rank of 20,653. However, during the next 15 years, the name has seen a gradual improvement in ranking.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Brian

Do you like the sound of the name Brian and want to explore more such names? Look no further as we present similar ones.

Name Numerology For Brian

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