Ian Name Meaning, Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Ian Name Meaning and Origin

Ian is a variant of the English name John that comes from the Medieval Latin name Johannes. It is derived from the Hebrew given name Yohanan, meaning ‘the Lord is gracious.’ Mainly used in Scotland in the late nineteenth century, the popularity of Ian soon spread throughout the English-speaking world with the spelling as Ian, which is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic forename Iain.

What Does Ian Mean?

Ian is a Scottish version of John from the Hebrew name Yohanan, meaning “God is benevolent” or “the Lord is gracious.” It is also a variant of the Greek and Classical Latin variants Ioannes mainly used in the Greek-speaking countries of Europe. As per its Greek and Classical Latin variant Ioannes, the meaning of Ian stands at “Yahweh is gracious.”


Ian is a masculine name of Scottish origin, meaning ‘God is Gracious’ or ‘Gift of God.’ After initially trending in England, Ian was exported to the US. It has made a rare leap from being a successful suffix to a successful baby first name over the years. The sheer simplicity of this name, with two vowels and a sturdy N, makes it a popular name of choice for modern parents. As per the etymological and historical origin of the baby name Ian, its corresponding John was one of King David’s mighty men in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible.




  • EE-an
  • EYE-an
  • EE-uhn


 2 syllables


 3 letters

Name Variations/Spellings

Name variations or alternatives match the style and impact of a cool and unique name like Ian. Here are some Ian name variations from different origins that parents can consider if they want to go for other spellings for Ian:

Name Origin
Ean Scottish
Eann Scottish
Eion Scottish
Eoin Irish
Eon Scottish
Evian American
Iain Scottish
Ion Greek
Iwan Slavic
Jan Slavic
John Hebrew
Jon English
Sean Irish
Shaun Irish
Shawn Irish

How Popular Is the Name Ian?

According to the name’s trendline, Ian’s popularity ranking has fallen out of favor among the top 100 baby names for boys in the United Kingdom after having peaked in popularity as one of the top 10 names in the 1960s. After entering the top 100 name squad in the US in 1982, it claimed the 65th position in 2003, 78th position in 2018, 81st position in 2019, until the Ian baby name ranking settled at 83 in 2020. There are 93,631 people in the US with the first name Ian while more than 99.9 percent of the male population has Ian as the first name.

Interest in Ian – Worldwide

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Interest for the name Ian shows a consistent search value of over 70, reaching 100 in July 2012 and July 2014. The lowest value of 45 was registered on the popularity scale in March 2020.

Interest in Ian – US

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Search trends for the name Ian show a search value of over 60 for four years, reaching 100 in July 2014. It scored the lowest value of 49 in October 2019.

Popularity of name Ian

URL: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi

Where Is the Name Most Searched?

Search trends of Ian Worldwide

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The worldwide trend shows interest for ‘Ian’ has recorded the highest value in Trinidad and Tobago in the past ten years. Countries like United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand follow close behind. With the advent of the British, Christianity gained a foothold in various forms, with 63.2 percent of the population of Trinidad and Tobago practicing it and contributing to the popularity of a religious name like Ian.

Search trends of Ian in the US

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Ian’s name shows the highest interest in the sub-region of the District of Columbia in the US over the last ten years. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Massachusetts follow to be in the top five positions.

Middle Names That Go With Ian

Middle names help to ‘personalize’ a child’s name by giving a lesser important name representing the person or an idea important to the parents. Here are some of the best double names with Ian that may be deserving contenders as the notable namesake for your child:

Benjamin Connor
Kingston Spencer
Hunter Patterson
David Joseph
Nicolai Demetrius
Tyler Abraham
Luther Paul
Hawthorn Grant
Macintire Jude
Carter Blake
Grady Everett

Famous People Named Ian

Celebrity names get immortalized after reaching the heights of stardom. Here are some of the most popular personalities named Ian who can influence your name selection process:

Celebrity Name Profession/Famous For
Ian Agol American Mathematician
Ian Anderson Musician
Ian Astbury Singer of Band Cult
Ian MacEwan English Author
Ian Bell English Cricketer
Ian Bohen American Actor
Ian Callaghan Liverpool Footballer
Ian Fleming British Novelist
Ian Clyde Canadian Boxer
Ian Cole Hockey Player

Similar Names & Last Names

Baby names like Ian can offer possibilities with or without representing its specific meaning. Family names for Ian can be creatively combined and become an essential part of a child’s identity. Here are some of the other names for Ian that signify the greatness of its meaning.

Other Baby Names Suitable Family Names
Stephan Chapell
Nils Frazier
Iain Davidson
Johan Davis
Jean Froman
Ali Flynn
Nat Ferguson
Loc Clyde
Ebo Dunn
Geb Greig
Wis Edmond

Names That Sound Like Ian

It’s hard to find more creative inspiration for names that rhyme with Ian. Here are some names that pay homage to the sound of Ian:

Eamon Edan
Eli Elia
Ely Etan
Iago Osian
Owen Nathan
Connor Kieran
Gavin Logan
Ewan Liam
Joshua Florian
Dylan Brian
Julian Damian

Sibling Names Related to Ian

Sibling names complement each other to strike a balance of coordination. Here are some of the best sibling names that go with Ian and exude the same feelings and emotions:

Sister Names for Ian Brother Names for Ian
Adelaide Malcolm
Evie Clive
Evelyn Alec
Gemma Lane
Nora Noel
Siena Niles
Ramona Peter
Ellis Penn
Blaire Brennan
Corinne Leah
Farrah Douglas

Nicknames for Ian

Nicknames are shortened forms of a given name and can be used to signify belonging. Here are some funny and adorable nicknames for Ian that can last a lifetime:

Ean Eoin
Iain Iwan
Eann Ianchu
Big E Ebo
Kian Brother Ian
The king Ian Iany Boi
Eye-an Ian Legend
Yan Ianlindo
Iandiana Jones Iany Boo
Kettle Chip El ian
Kettle Corn Ianustring

Since babies are a blessing from God, parents who want to honor this miracle can select an appropriate name like Ian that means ‘a gift from God’. Although it has deep roots spanning back years, the modern air about Ian may flatter your child’s personality and make him proud of your choice.


Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi
Ian Name Popularity in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-09-24&geo=US&q=Ian
Ian Name Popularity Across The World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-09-24&q=Ian
Ian Name Interest in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-09-24&geo=US&q=Ian
Ian Name Interest Across The World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-09-24&q=Ian

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