The baby name Brian is a noble and rich Irish option. King Brian Boru of the eleventh century made this name what it is today. Even now, though centuries old, Brian is still a top 300 name for boys.

Meaning of the name Brian:

Irish: strong, virtuous, honorable, high, noble

Origin of the name Brian:

Not much is known about the origins of the baby name Brian. Some say that it comes from the Celtic word for “hill” which is “bre.” The popularity of the name began after the rule of the Irish king Brian Boru. He was known for defeating the Vikings who invaded Ireland in the eleventh century. The name spread into the United Kingdom via the Bretons in the Middle Ages.

Symbolism of the name Brian:

If Brian came from the word “bre,” it is because a hill would be “high” or “noble” in Irish culture. The meanings of “strong,” “virtuous,” and “honorable” are probably because these were qualities seen in King Brian Boru.

Style of the name Brian:


Gender of the name Brian:

Brian is a name for boys.

Pronunciation of the name Brian:


Number of syllables in the name Brian:


Emotion evoked from the name Brian:

Brian feels noble, wholesome, and strong. It is a simple name that is still full of pride and honor.

Alternative spellings for the name Brian:

Nicknames for the name Brian:

  • Bri
  • Brye
  • Brain
  • B
  • BB
  • Ryan 
  • Rye

Popularity of the name Brian:

Brian has been a top 1,000 name in America since 1925 at number 873. It was a top 100 name from 1947 to 2009, a top 50 name from 1954 to 2001, and a top 10 name from 1967 to 1979. As of 2020, the name is not quite as popular as it ranks at number 270.

Related names for the name Brian:

Great middle names for Brian and their meanings:

  • Tristan (sad, sorrowful)
  • Cameron (bent nose)
  • Kevin (handsome, beautiful)
  • Dean (valley)
  • Michael (gift from God)
  • Patrick (patrician, noble)
  • Laurent (bright one, shining one)
  • Luke (the bright one, born at dawn)
  • Douglas (black river)

Famous people with the name Brian:

  • Brian Boru (famous former king of Ireland)
  • Brian de Palma (film director, “Scarface”)
  • Brian Dennehy (actor, “First Blood”)
  • Brian Boitano (professional figure skater)
  • Brian McKnight (singer, “Back at One”)
  • Brian Green (actor, “Beverly Hills, 90210”)
  • Brian Epstein (manager for The Beatles)
  • Brian Gottfried (professional tennis player)

Brians in popular culture:

  • Sir Brian de Bois (character from “Ivanhoe”)
  • Brian Griffin (character from “Family Guy”)
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (character from “Tom Jones”)
  • Brian Finn (character from “Keeping the Faith”)
  • Brian O'Conner (character from “Fast and the Furious”)
  • Brian Johnson (character from “The Breakfast Club”)