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Gender: F Pronunciation: JILL-ee-an Meaning of Gillian: "youthful" Origin of Gillian: Feminine variation of Julian

Popularity: this week.

Gillian is a name in common usage in Great Britain (where it's often pronounced with a hard "G.) but until recently had not crossed the Atlantic in significant numbers, except in the short form Jill.

In medieval England, the name Gillian was so common that it was used as a generic name for a girl, just as Jack was for a boy, hence the nursery rhyme Jack and J(G)ill and the expression "every Jack has his Jill." The high profile of actress Gillian (em) The X Files (/em) Anderson did a lot to publicize the name in the US--where it is more often spelled the phonetic Jillian.

Another noteworthy bearer is Australian film director Gillian Armstrong. Gillian Boardman is a key character in Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.

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Famous People Named Gillian

Gillian Leigh Anderson, American actress
Gillian Armstrong, Australian film director
Gillian Welch, American musician
Gillian McLaren Jacobs, American actress (pronounced "GILL-ian")
Gillian Blakeney, Australian actress; twin sister Gayle Blakeney
Gillian Murphy, American ballerina
Gillian Wearing, English conceptual artist
Gillian Flynn, American Author

Pop Culture References for the Name Gillian

Gillian Hewley, character in the game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Gillian, from TV show "Hannah Montana"
Gillian Stevens, from the movie "Hollywood North"
Gillian Boardman, character in "Stranger in a Strange Land"
Gillian MacAllister, character from Gillian, by Frank Yerby

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