Boy Names baby nameTristan

What does the name Tristan mean?

The different meanings of the name Tristan are:
  • American meaning: Bold
  • Celtic - Gaelic meaning: Sad
  • French meaning: Bold
  • Scottish meaning: Bold
  • Latin meaning: Laborer
The meaning of the name “Tristan” is different in several languages, countries and cultures and has more than one possibly same or different meanings available.

Additional information: Tristan is a masculine name of both Welsh and French origin. In Welsh it has the meaning ‘noise of arms’ or ‘clanking sword’, and in French it holds the meaning ‘sorrowful’, and is an Old French form of Drustan, a diminutive of the the Celtic – Gaelic name Drust, from Drest (tumult, a riot). The name was popularized in the middle ages by the Arthurian legend of the dragon-slaying hero Tristan and his doomed affair with Queen Isolde. This, in turn, was turned into the opera Tristan und Isolde by Wagner. Similar names to Tristan are Tristen, Tristin, Triston, and Tristam – all of these are English spellings. Foreign language variants for Tristan include Drystan (Welsh), Tristão (Portuguese), and Tristán (Spanish). Diminutives for Tristan usually involve shortening the name to Tris, and the feminine form of Tristan is Trista. Tristan is commonly misspelled as ‘Tristin’, ‘Tristian’, and ‘Trsitan’.

Other spellings of Tristan are: Trestan, Trestin, Treston, Trestton, Trisan, Trisden, Trist, Tristain, Tristam, Tristan, Triste, Tristen, Tristian, Tristin, Triston, Tristram, Tristran, Tristrand, Tristyn, Trys, Tryst, Trysten, Trystian, Trystin, Trystn, Tryston, and Trystram.

Although Tristan only entered the top thousand names in the USA in 1971, its popularity as a boy’s name quickly spiked – it had reached the top hundred names for boys by 1996, and has been in the top 150 names up until 2014. Tristan has seen brief interludes of relative popularity as a girl’s name in the USA, but these periods have never lasted longer than five years. Tristan is less popular as a name in England and Wales, and struggles to reach the top 150 names – it was the 163rd most popular name for boys in 2014.

Famous people with the name Tristan include Tristan Bernard (French playwright and novelist), Tristan Murail (French composer), and Tristan Tzara (Romanian-French avant-garde poet). Fictional characters named Tristan include Tristan Ludlow from Legends of the Fall, Tristan Milligan from Degrassi, and Tristan Thorne from the film adaption of the Neil Gaiman novel Stardust (in the original novel, this character was named Tristran).