Boy Names baby nameIan

What does the name Ian mean?

The meaning of the name “Ian” is: “God is forgiving; Gift of God”.

Additional information: Ian is a masculine name of Scottish origin, meaning ‘God is Gracious,’ or ‘Gift of God,’ and is the name of Actor and Civil Rights Activist Sir Ian McKellen, famous for roles such as Gandolf in The Lord of the Rings film franchise, and Magneto in the X-Men film franchise. It was not used in Scotland until the late nineteenth century, though it has since become quite popular throughout the English-speaking world.

Eoin and Iain are popular alternative spellings of the name, and ‘Johnna’ (Johna) are popular feminine forms of the name. ‘E’ is a popular diminutive of the name. The name is typically pronounced and spelled the same in different languages, however, some pronounce the name ‘EYE-AN' as is the case with Actor Ian Ziering.

The name Ian has not fallen out of the top hundred names for boys since 1982, but it saw particular popularity during 2003, peaking at 65th position. The name saw heights in popularity in the United Kingdom during 1996, 1997, and 1998. The name remained in the top 500 names in the United Kingdom until 2011. Ian has seen high popularity in Canada since 1915 where it was listed in the top hundred names and still remains in the top hundred names for boys today.

Famous people named Ian include Ian Somerhalder (American TV Actor), Ian Bell (English Athlete), Ian Harding (German TV Actor), Sir Ian McKellen (Actor and Civil Rights Activist), Ian McEwan (English Author), who wrote the popular novel Atonement, which was later adapted into a film of the same name. Ian Flemming is a famous English Author, and was the creator of the James Bond spy novel series and the popular children’s novel Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. Famous fictional characters named Ian are Ian Hawke the main antagonist in Alvin and the Chipmunks films, Ian Kelly of the TV series Being Ian, Ian the Deer from the children’s film Open Season, and Ian Murray of the Outlander novels and the adapted television show.

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