Tristan Name Meaning

Tristan, Tristan, Tristan. This name is sure to make you think of a romantic and chivalrous knight. But what’s the story behind this boy’s name? Let’s dive into the history, origin, meaning, and popularity of Tristan.

The History of Tristan

The name Tristan is of Celtic origin and it’s a legendary character in the medieval Arthurian romance Tristan and Iseult. The story tells of the tragic love affair between Tristan, a knight of King Mark of Cornwall, and Iseult, the queen of Ireland. Tristan is also known as Tristram, the name is derived from the Celtic name “Drustanus” which is composed of two elements “drust” means “sadness” and “anus” means “fierce.”

The Meaning of Tristan

The meaning of the name Tristan is “sadness” and “fierce” in Celtic. It carries with it a sense of love and tragedy. It’s also a name that’s been associated with romance and chivalry.

The Popularity of Tristan

The name Tristan was relatively uncommon as a first name until the 1990s, when it became popular in the United States, Canada, and Australia. It was a top 100 name in the United States in the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, it has dropped in popularity over the past decade. In 2020, it was the 243rd most popular boy’s name in the United States.

Final Thoughts

Tristan is a romantic and chivalrous name with a legendary history. It’s a name that carries with it a sense of love and tragedy, as well as being associated with romance and chivalry. The name was relatively uncommon as a first name until the 1990s, when it became popular in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

It’s a name that’s been associated with legendary and adventurous types, maybe because of the popular medieval Arthurian romance Tristan and Iseult.

Overall, Tristan is a great choice for parents looking for a unique name that’s easy to pronounce and spell. It’s a name that’s sure to stand out and make a statement. So, if you’re looking for a name that’s a bit more unique, Tristan might just be the perfect choice for you.

Infographic of Tristan name meaning, which is Meaning sadness, Tristan is a Welsh name.
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Tristan Name Popularity

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

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 0 0%
1911 0 0%
1912 0 0%
1913 0 0%
1914 0 0%
1915 0 0%
1916 0 0%
1917 0 0%
1918 0 0%
1919 0 0%
1920 0 0%
1921 0 0%
1922 0 0%
1923 0 0%
1924 0 0%
1925 0 0%
1926 0 0%
1927 0 0%
1928 0 0%
1929 0 0%
1930 0 0%
1931 0 0%
1932 0 0%
1933 0 0%
1934 0 0%
1935 0 0%
1936 0 0%
1937 0 0%
1938 0 0%
1939 0 0%
1940 0 0%
1941 0 0%
1942 0 0%
1943 0 0%
1944 0 0%
1945 0 0%
1946 0 0%
1947 0 0%
1948 0 0%
1949 0 0%
1950 0 0%
1951 0 0%
1952 0 0%
1953 0 0%
1954 0 0%
1955 0 0%
1956 0 0%
1957 0 0%
1958 0 0%
1959 0 0%
1960 0 0%
1961 0 0%
1962 1,428 6 0.0003%
1963 1,587 5 0.0003%
1964 0 0%
1965 0 0%
1966 1,421 6 0.0004%
1967 1,204 10 0.0007%
1968 1,200 12 0.0008%
1969 1,182 14 0.0009%
1970 1,109 21 0.0013%
1971 926 37 0.0025%
1972 906 38 0.0028%
1973 1,003 27 0.0021%
1974 966 33 0.0025%
1975 886 46 0.0036%
1976 924 41 0.0032%
1977 901 48 0.0036%
1978 799 69 0.0051%
1979 691 106 0.0075%
1980 645 137 0.0094%
1981 414 355 0.0242%
1982 273 728 0.0487%
1983 246 840 0.0569%
1984 249 849 0.0571%
1985 220 1,052 0.0693%
1986 243 900 0.0596%
1987 246 911 0.0597%
1988 287 770 0.0494%
1989 313 731 0.0453%
1990 328 718 0.0433%
1991 339 691 0.0424%
1992 371 591 0.037%
1993 413 522 0.0335%
1994 454 441 0.0287%
1995 121 3,085 0.2047%
1996 67 5,458 0.3645%
1997 92 4,187 0.2831%
1998 92 4,167 0.2784%
1999 99 3,839 0.2564%
2000 105 3,523 0.2306%
2001 108 3,567 0.2367%
2002 103 3,720 0.2482%
2003 112 3,634 0.2389%
2004 115 3,475 0.228%
2005 113 3,586 0.2345%
2006 86 5,408 0.3454%
2007 87 5,334 0.3381%
2008 81 5,656 0.3659%
2009 80 5,347 0.3577%
2010 84 4,891 0.3394%
2011 86 4,724 0.3316%
2012 88 4,427 0.3107%
2013 96 4,007 0.2814%
2014 98 3,903 0.2679%
2015 101 3,911 0.2688%
2016 108 3,617 0.2509%
2017 121 3,278 0.2349%
2018 123 3,189 0.2321%
2019 150 2,543 0.1879%
2020 181 2,057 0.1616%
2021 207 1,797 0.147%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Tristan

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


What names are variants of Tristan?

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

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Tris

Celtic

Tristam

A variant spelling of Tristan.

Celtic

Tristen

Noise

Celtic

Tristian

Noise

Celtic

Tristin

Noise

Celtic

Triston

Noise

Celtic

Tristram

“A blustering fellow,” based on the Celtic drest, a tumult.

Celtic

Tristyn

Noise

Celtic

Trystan

Noise

Celtic


What names sound like Tristan?

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

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Thorstan

Thor's stone

English

Thurstan

Thor's stone

English

Torsten

Thor's stone

English

Torston

Thor's stone

English


Lists With Tristan

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


Siblings of Tristan

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

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Melanie

Black

Greek

Giselle

Pledge

French

Andrew

Manly and powerful

Greek

Tyron

Owen's county

Gaelic

Treyton

Town near trees.

Unknown

10 Comments

  1. Named him after my grandfather

  2. First name we could agree on

  3. It is one of those names that needs to be growing on you as it’s not very usual. So when I first heard it, I wasn’t sure if I liked it as much to give it my son. It totally grew on me and when I was pregnant the second time I knew I wanted a Tristan. And I love this name more and more.

  4. My husband actually chose it. It meant slot to me that he would care so much about the name. So we went for it. I had always liked the name Christian (all the way back when I was a preteen) and Tristan is pretty close. I also don’t know many Tristans so it makes it more unique.

  5. His Father name is Trenton and he chose the name Tristan for our precious little boy.

  6. Tristan does not mean sad. Some people think this because it sounds like the Spanish word. Tristan is the diminutive of an old Pictish or Scottish name that could only be given to kings, so the meaning on the internet should be changed to little king. My son loves his name and it’s very popular. I named him after the opera Tristan y Isolde and he turned out to be an opera singer and a very blessed child. Girls love his name – I didn’t foresee this when he was a baby lol but his girl classmates always mention this.

  7. He is a junior

  8. I was looking around at baby boy names, since this was my second one. I asked my oldest and my husband on what they thought. They were given 2 different options, Carter, or Tristan.We chose the name Tristan because it was a good strong name. Tristan’s middle name is James, he has 2 uncles named James. Tristan is a very good baby, he loves to cuddle with his momma.

  9. I love names that aren’t on the most popular list!

  10. Every day I am happy I chose the name Tristan for my son. It is a strong masculine name, but I also feel that it is gentle on the tongue. It is a classic name but not overly popular. I just love this name!


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