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When you hear the baby name Marian, you may first think of a cute girl's name similar to Maid Marian from Robin Hood. This baby name option is actually a unisex choice, however, depending on where it comes from. Though off the top 1,000 list for 20 years, there is a chance the baby name may make a return.

Meaning and Origin of the Name Marian:

The baby name Marian became popular in England after the spread of the legend of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. For females, the name is the French form of the baby name Marie, which actually comes from Maria. In eastern European cultures, like Romania and Poland, the name Marian is for boys. It comes from the baby name Marianus, which is a Roman family name from the first name Marius. The name means “drop of the sea, bitter, beloved” in French, and “devoted to Mars” in Polish and Romanian.

Symbolism of the Name Marian:

In French, the baby name Marian means “drop of the sea,” “bitter,” or “beloved” because it has the same meaning as Marie and Maria. In Poland and Romania, the name means “devoted to Mars” because it comes from the Roman name Marianus, which comes from Marius.

Nicknames for the Name Marian:

Being a unisex name, Marian has both feminine and masculine nicknames. Check out these great options:

Style of the Name Marian:


Gender of the Name Marian:

Marian is a name for boys or girls depending on the country of origin represented.

Pronunciation of the Name Marian:

MEHR-ee-en or MAR-ee-en

Number of Syllables in the Name Marian:


Emotion Evoked From the Name Marian:

Marian feels formal and kind. It is a simple name for boys or girls.

Alternative Spellings for the Name Marian:

  • Marien
  • Mariann
  • Marienn
  • Marrian
  • Marrien
  • Merian
  • Merien

Popularity of the Name Marian:

Marian was a top 200 name until 1911 and a top 100 name until 1934. It moved back to the top 200 list until 1949, appearing again at number 104 in 1954. The baby name continued to decline until it got to 1992 at rank 906. This was the last year Marian was on the top 1,000 list in America until 2000, at rank 735 for girls. Marian for boys has not appeared on the top 1,000 list at any point.

Great Middle Names for Marian and Their Meanings:

  • Everly (wild boar in woodland clearing)
  • Leta (gladly)
  • Isla (island)
  • Elena (shining light)
  • Xander (defender of men)
  • Luis (fighter, warrior)
  • Albert (noble, bright, famous)
  • Pietro (rock)

Famous People with the Name Marian:

  • Marian Hossa (hockey player)
  • Marian Gold (lead singer from Alphaville band)
  • Marian Anderson (opera singer)
  • Marian Keyes (novelist)
  • Marian Rivera (actress, “One True Love”)
  • Marian Robinson (mother of Michelle Obama)
  • Marian Bergeron (Miss America from 1933)
  • Marian McKnight (Miss America from 1957)
  • Marian Mercer (actress, “A Touch of Grace”)
  • Marian Freeman (character from “Snobs”)
  • Maid Marian (character from “Robin Hood”)
  • Marian the Librarian (character from “The Music Man”)
  • “Marian” (song title by Sisters of Mercy)
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