"handsome, cheerful"

Alan Origin and Meaning

The name Alan is a boy's name of Irish origin meaning "handsome, cheerful".

In its three most popular spellings -- Alan along with Allen and Allan -- this midcentury favorite has tended to skew older. It was a Top 100 name from 1938 to 1971, peaking at Number 40 in 1951. Alan has had leading roles on recent TV, in shows like Two and a Half Men, 24 and Boston Legal.

Current bearers include Alan Alda, Alan Cummings, and writers Alan Bennett and Alan Ayckbourn. Alan is a venerable Celtic name, first used in England in the Middle Ages. We like the Welsh spelling Alun.

# 168 in the US

Alan Rank in US Top 1000

# 742 on Nameberry

Alan Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Alan Popularity

Famous People Named Alan

  • Alan Sidney Patrick RickmanEnglish actor
  • Alan CummingScottish actor
  • Alan DaviesEnglish comedian
  • Alan Irwin MenkenAmerican composer and pianist
  • Alan Erwin BallAmerican screenwriter, producer, and director
  • Alan Wray TudykAmerican actor
  • Alan LaddAmerican actor
  • A[lan] A[lexander] MilneEnglish author
  • Alan SillitoeBritish novelist, short,story writer and poet
  • Alan WattsEnglish philosopher
  • Alan TamCantonese pop singer
  • Alan CarrEnglish comedian and television personality
  • Alan J. HeegerAmerican physicist and Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry
  • Alan ShepardAmerican astronaut
  • Alan L. BeanAmerican astronaut
  • Alan Ashbyguitarist of American band Of Mice And Men
  • Alan TuringBritish cryptographer and father of computer science
  • Alan ArkinAmerican actor
  • Alan RitchsonAmerican actor and contestant on NBC show "I Can Do That"
  • Alan PowellAmerican actor/singer
  • Alan Olav WalkerNorwegian record producer and DJ
  • Alan van SpringCanadian actor
  • Cody Alan Williamsson of actor/comedian Robin Williams
  • Mason Alan Dyeson of actors Cameron Dye and Laura San Giacomo
  • Brooks Alan Stuber (b. 2012)son of model Molly Sims and Scott Stuber
  • Alan O'DayAmerican singer/songwriter
  • Alan George LongmuirScottish guitarist (Bay City Rollers)
  • Alan KeithEnglish radio broadcaster

Alan in Pop Culture

  • Alan Shepard Tracyyoungest Tracy son from "The Thunderbirds" series
  • Alan Grantcharacter from "Jurassic Park"
  • Alan Harpercharacter from "Two and a Half Men"
  • Alan Matthewsdad from the TV show "Boy Meets World"
  • Alan Shorecharacter from TV show "Boston Legal" played by James Spader
  • Alan Wilsoncharacter from the TV series "24"
  • Alan "The Brain" Powerscharacter from kids show "Arthur"
  • Alan Frogcharacter in the hit film "The Lost Boys"
  • Alancharacter on Freeform's "Recovery Road"
  • Alan Parrishlead character in "Jumanji," portrayed by Robin Williams
  • Alan Diazcharacter on TV's "Mighty Med"
  • Alan Rikkincharacter in the film "Assassin's Creed"
  • "Alan" song by Perfume Genius
  • Alan Lowensteincharacter on TV's "Young & Hungry"
  • Alancharacter on "Sesame Street"
  • Alan Draculamain character in the animated series “Infinity Train”