Ian Name Meaning

A name with a seriously cool look, Ian has been nestled high on the charts since the 1970s. He’s never reached ridiculous heights of popularity, allowing him to fall into the sweet spot territory, a range of names that are common but not at all overused.

A clever way to honor a John in your life, Ian is the Scottish form of the name. He has deep roots spanning back years, yet has a modern air about him that wears well alongside the familiar Liam and Aiden. He’s also part of the vowel name trend that’s ushered in favorites like Oliver and Elijah.

Little Ian is short and sweet, free of pesky nicknames. He has more than enough style in his three short letters, an interesting pick for a lively child. Distinct in his look from most of the top names, Ian will always feel special. Also immune from feeling too youthful or mature, he’s great on a boy of any age.

He’s a popular name among actors like Sir Ian McKellen and Ian Richardson and also appears across the sports world with standouts like Ian Wright and Ian Desmond. You can also look to fiction for some famous Ian inspiration with the name appearing in hits like Doctor Who and Jurassic Park.

Infographic of Ian name meaning, which is A Scottish variant of John, Ian means God is gracious.
Ask your friends & family about Ian…

Ian Name Popularity

How popular is the name Ian? Here’s everything we know.

  • In 2018 Ian was the 78th most popular boys name, representing 0.3398% of boy births in the U.S.

  • Since 1910 Ian has been the 156th most popular boys name, representing 0.1504% of boy births in the U.S.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 0 0%
1911 0 0%
1912 0 0%
1913 0 0%
1914 0 0%
1915 1,452 5 0.0006%
1916 0 0%
1917 0 0%
1918 0 0%
1919 0 0%
1920 0 0%
1921 0 0%
1922 0 0%
1923 1,575 5 0.0004%
1924 1,493 6 0.0005%
1925 1,330 7 0.0006%
1926 1,177 11 0.001%
1927 1,568 5 0.0005%
1928 1,058 16 0.0015%
1929 1,038 15 0.0014%
1930 855 25 0.0024%
1931 1,186 10 0.001%
1932 1,028 14 0.0014%
1933 1,270 6 0.0006%
1934 1,188 8 0.0008%
1935 900 19 0.002%
1936 975 14 0.0015%
1937 862 20 0.002%
1938 817 25 0.0024%
1939 690 39 0.0038%
1940 840 23 0.0022%
1941 727 36 0.0032%
1942 677 51 0.004%
1943 815 30 0.0023%
1944 710 39 0.0031%
1945 784 28 0.0023%
1946 653 58 0.0039%
1947 645 73 0.0044%
1948 729 47 0.0029%
1949 668 63 0.0039%
1950 609 82 0.0051%
1951 698 59 0.0035%
1952 630 78 0.0045%
1953 560 117 0.0066%
1954 577 118 0.0065%
1955 579 119 0.0065%
1956 546 147 0.0078%
1957 540 159 0.0083%
1958 536 167 0.0088%
1959 544 165 0.0087%
1960 515 192 0.0101%
1961 512 196 0.0104%
1962 481 230 0.0125%
1963 442 281 0.0157%
1964 381 394 0.0224%
1965 350 435 0.0266%
1966 306 559 0.0358%
1967 266 716 0.0472%
1968 278 664 0.0442%
1969 254 788 0.0511%
1970 221 1,078 0.0677%
1971 203 1,165 0.0775%
1972 189 1,218 0.0894%
1973 179 1,283 0.099%
1974 148 1,639 0.1261%
1975 143 1,713 0.1333%
1976 135 1,921 0.149%
1977 116 2,287 0.1697%
1978 117 2,159 0.1606%
1979 107 2,543 0.1804%
1980 104 2,905 0.1987%
1981 101 2,932 0.1995%
1982 83 3,581 0.2396%
1983 76 3,670 0.2487%
1984 78 3,792 0.2549%
1985 78 3,994 0.2631%
1986 85 3,713 0.246%
1987 80 3,924 0.2571%
1988 76 4,314 0.2768%
1989 68 4,947 0.3066%
1990 70 5,459 0.3294%
1991 72 5,321 0.3265%
1992 68 5,533 0.3466%
1993 70 5,398 0.3462%
1994 74 5,267 0.3432%
1995 67 5,594 0.3712%
1996 70 5,410 0.3613%
1997 70 5,207 0.3521%
1998 73 5,351 0.3575%
1999 72 5,451 0.364%
2000 73 5,886 0.3853%
2001 70 6,083 0.4037%
2002 66 6,361 0.4245%
2003 65 6,466 0.425%
2004 69 6,504 0.4267%
2005 67 6,684 0.4372%
2006 80 6,152 0.3929%
2007 75 6,249 0.3961%
2008 80 5,721 0.3702%
2009 73 5,803 0.3883%
2010 72 5,554 0.3854%
2011 72 5,616 0.3942%
2012 78 5,686 0.399%
2013 80 5,420 0.3807%
2014 77 5,452 0.3742%
2015 76 5,316 0.3654%
2016 78 5,056 0.3507%
2017 76 4,994 0.3578%
2018 78 4,669 0.3398%

Alaska (AK)

Alabama (AL)

Arkansas (AR)

Arizona (AZ)

California (CA)

Colorado (CO)

Connecticut (CT)

District of Columbia (DC)

Delaware (DE)

Florida (FL)

Georgia (GA)

Hawaii (HI)

Iowa (IA)

Idaho (ID)

Illinois (IL)

Indiana (IN)

Kansas (KS)

Kentucky (KY)

Louisiana (LA)

Massachusetts (MA)

Maryland (MD)

Maine (ME)

Michigan (MI)

Minnesota (MN)

Missouri (MO)

Mississippi (MS)

Montana (MT)

North Carolina (NC)

North Dakota (ND)

Nebraska (NE)

New Hampshire (NH)

New Jersey (NJ)

New Mexico (NM)

Nevada (NV)

New York (NY)

Ohio (OH)

Oklahoma (OK)

Oregon (OR)

Pennsylvania (PA)

Rhode Island (RI)

South Carolina (SC)

South Dakota (SD)

Tennessee (TN)

Texas (TX)

Utah (UT)

Virginia (VA)

Vermont (VT)

Washington (WA)

Wisconsin (WI)

West Virginia (WV)

Wyoming (WY)

Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Ian

If you like Ian, you’ll love these other names like Ian.


What names are variants of Ian?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Ian.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Ean

God is gracious

Scottish

#1,070 (0.0081%)  
Eann

God is gracious

Scottish

Eion

God is gracious

Scottish

Eoin

God is gracious

Irish

#2,280 (0.0008%)  
Eon

God is gracious

Scottish

Evian

American

Iain

God is gracious

Scottish

#2,750 (0.0004%)  
Ion

Greek

Iwan

God is gracious

Slavic

Jan

God is gracious

Slavic

#1,368 (0.0044%)  
John

God is gracious

Hebrew

#27 (0.6637%)  
Jon

French

#700 (0.0205%)  
Sean

God is gracious

Irish

#267 (0.0935%)  
Shaun

God is gracious

Irish

#1,017 (0.0094%)  
Shawn

God is gracious

Irish

#386 (0.0562%)  

What names sound like Ian?

If you like how Ian sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Ian.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Eamon

Wealthy protector

Irish

#1,140 (0.0071%)  
Edan

Fire

Scottish

#2,393 (0.0007%)  
Eden

Place of pleasure

Hebrew

#483 (0.0401%)  
Eli

Ascension

Hebrew

#58 (0.4387%)  
Elia

The Lord is my God

Hebrew

Ely

High

Hebrew

#1,635 (0.0025%)  
Etan

Firmness, long-lived

Hebrew

Ethan

Enduring and strong

Hebrew

#12 (0.8628%)  
Iago

A Spanish form of Jacob and James.

Welsh

Idris

Fiery leader; prophet

Welsh

#877 (0.0127%)  
Owen

Noble born

Welsh

#25 (0.676%)  

What names are similar to Ian?

Find a name that’s like Ian, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Aaron

High mountain

Hebrew

#60 (0.4326%)  
Aiden

Little fire

Irish

#19 (0.7263%)  
Callum

Dove

Scottish

#545 (0.0335%)  
Campbell

Crooked mouth

Scottish

#1,088 (0.0077%)  
Conner

Dog lover

Irish

#359 (0.0637%)  
Dylan

Great tide

Welsh

#31 (0.6215%)  
Finley

Fair warrior

Scottish

#270 (0.0922%)  
Greer

Watchful, vigilant

Greek

#2,812 (0.0004%)  
Liam

Helmet of will

Irish

#1 (1.4439%)  
Ross

Headland, cape

Scottish

#1,156 (0.0068%)  

Lists With Ian

Find inspiration in these baby boy name lists featuring the name Ian.


Siblings of Ian

Mamas with kids named Ian also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Reilly

Courageous

Irish

#2,366 (0.0013%)  
Ariyah

Air or solo melody

English

Eli

Ascension

Hebrew

#58 (0.4387%)  
Kai

Sea

Polynesian

#113 (0.2484%)  

6 Comments

  1. Wondelful but hard at the same time

  2. Wanted a three letter name

  3. We chose the name Ian because it means God is gracious. We prayed for this child for 8 years and God miraculously and generously gifted us Ian. We are overfilled with gratitude.

  4. We choose names based on meaning. Ian means “gift from God”.

  5. I chose the name Ian because it’s always been a favorite of mine! Their is a actor named Ian Somerholden (plays Damon on vampire diaries) ever since I heard that name I fell in love with it!

  6. Ian means “gift from God.” We liked that it was a common name and easy to spell… but not so popular that there will be a ton of other Ians in school. Short and sweet!


Share your thoughts on the name Ian

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required *

*