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What Does the Name Bryan Mean?

By Life, Family Fun Team


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Bryan is a name that is for the vast majority of the time used for boys. It has a mixed heritage with origins in both Irish and English.

Its Irish origin comes from the word ‘brigh’, which is where Bryan gets its meaning of strong and virtuous. It is also believed to have English roots where the meaning high and noble come from.

What Does the Name Bryan Mean?

The name Brian has strong associations with aristocracy from both Ireland and England. Many linguists believe that the name comes from its Celtic meaning of hill. Which also portrays the idea of nobility and high standing in society.

A less favorable origin is found in the early romance language Old Occitan as a surname that means maggot – this may make you think a little more carefully about the name you choose for your baby boy.

  • Bryan Name Meaning: Means noble, strong, or High.
  • Origin of the name Bryan: Mixed origin of Irish and English heritage.
  • Pronunciation: BRY-in
  • Gender: Definitely used as a boy’s name, unheard of use as a female name.

Brian vs Bryan

It is not uncommon for there to be spelling variations in many names and Bryan is no different. The one letter difference is simply a personal choice as it does not impact the meaning or pronunciation of the name.

Brian is more commonly found in use in Ireland while Bryan has become the more popular spelling option in the US.

No matter which spelling you choose Bryan or Brian the origin and meaning do not change.

Popularity of the Name Bryan

When thinking of a name for your little one Bryan may not be the first one that comes to mind. But the name is more popular than you would imagine. The name rocketed in popularity during the baby boom of the 20th century. Hitting its peak position of number 8 from 1972 to 1977.

Nowadays the name may be considered a bit of an uncool and unfashionable option but it does still remain in the top 300 baby names in the US.

Variations of Bryan

Even though Bryan may not be the coolest and most popular name choice at the moment, it’s not as unpopular as you may think. The name has old roots meaning it has found a home in a wide range of cultures. This has brought about some variations in the spelling of Bryan. Here are a few:

  • Brion
  • Brjaan
  • Bryen
  • Brien

Other Noble Irish Boy’s Names

If you are wanting a name that has noble meaning but also have your heart set on an Irish name. Bryan may just not be hitting the right button. Here are a few names that may be a little cooler:

  • Patrik
  • Allan
  • Nolan
  • Albert
  • Arthur

Alternative Boy Names Starting with ‘B’

If you feel Bryan is still not quite the right name for your little one but want a name that begins with ‘B’. Here are a few other options that you may adore.

  • Benjamin
  • Bruce
  • Brandon
  • Bradley
  • Brixton
  • Baker
  • Bjorn
  • Brodie
  • Bear
  • Boden

Famous People Named Bryan

Is your little man going to grow up to be the next President then you are going to want to make sure that his name has all the right qualities to lead a country, right? Bryan is an amazing name that has Celtic roots and although not as popular as it once was, there are plenty of famous people called Bryan who have gone before.

  • Bryan Adams – Canadian singer.
  • Bryan Lanning – American vlogger.
  • Bryan Le – Youtube star.
  • Bryan Singer – American film Director.