"noise or sorrowful"

Tristan Origin and Meaning

The name Tristan is a boy's name of Celtic origin meaning "noise or sorrowful".

Tristan -- known through medieval legend and Wagnerian opera -- has a slightly wistful, touching air. This, combined with the name's popular "an" ending, makes Tristan very appealing to parents seeking a more original alternative to Christian.

One influence was the character Tristan Ludlow played by Brad Pitt in the 1994 movie Legends of the Fall, based on a Jim Harrison novel.

Tristan is a dragon-slaying hero of Celtic legend, whose story was incorporated into Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, in which Tristan is one of the Knights of the Round Table, consumed by his doomed love affair with Queen Isolde. Wagner set the story to music in his opera Tristan und Isolde.

Tristan and its alternate form Tristram have been found in later lit as well. Tristram Shandy is a famous early comic novel by Laurence Sterne (in which the hero's father calls Tristram the worst name in the universe); Tristan is a major character in James Herriott's All Creatures Great and Small, and there is an eponymous novella by Thomas Mann.

Particularly popular in Canada, Tristan was chosen for their sons by Travis Tritt, Wayne Gretzky, Natasha Henstridge and, most recently, by Elsa Pataky and Chris Hemsworth. Basketball player Tristan Thompson hails from Canada.

Other variants of Tristan include Tristen, Tristin, Triston and Tristian.

# 253 in the US

Tristan Rank in US Top 1000

# 153 on Nameberry

Tristan Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Tristan Popularity

Famous People Named Tristan

  • Tristan Tzara (born Samuel Rosenstock)Romanian,French avant,garde artist
  • Tristan Trevor James ThompsonCanadian basketball player
  • Tristan Paul Mack WildsAmerican actor
  • Tristan BowenAmerican soccer player
  • Tristan John GemmillEnglish actor
  • Tristan Somchai DoThai footballer
  • Tristan ThomasAustralian Olympic hurdler
  • Tristan GommendyFrench racing driver
  • Tristan MacManusIrish dancer on TV's "Dancing with the Stars"
  • Tristan Oliver Vance Evansdrummer for British band The Vamps
  • Tristan VautierFrench racing driver
  • Tristan RogersAustralian,American actor
  • Tristan BernardFrench playwright
  • Tristan Dean ResnickAmerican child model
  • Tristan TalesAmerican YouTuber
  • Jared Tristan PadaleckiAmerican actor
  • Tristan Bates (b. 1971)son of actors Alan Bates and Victoria Ward; twin brother of actor Benedick Bates
  • Tristan James Tritt (b. 1999)son of singer Travis Tritt
  • Tristan Blackley (b. 2005)son of baseball player Travis Blackley
  • Tristan Wohlert (b. 2006)son of singers Johan Wohlert of Mew and Pernille Rosendahl of Swan Lee
  • Tristan Cousins (b. 2007)son of skaters Elena Berezhnaya and Steven Cousins
  • Tristan Ayley (b. 2010)son of bassist Mike Ayley of Marianas Trench
  • Tristan Milos Trump (b. 2011)son of Don Trump, Jr.; grandson of U.S. President Donald Trump
  • Tristan Blaise Lagle (b. 2011)son of TV personalities Hope Harbert and Ben Lagle of "16 and Pregnant"
  • Tristan Hemsworth (b. 2014)son of actor Chris Hemsworth; twin of brother Sasha

Tristan in Pop Culture

  • Nikolaj Tristan Johan von Henningsen de Brettevillemain male character in Scarlett Avery’s book “Undeniable Seduction”.
  • TristanCornish knight in the 12th century legend "Tristan and Isolde"
  • Tristan Thorncharacter in Neil Gaiman's "Stardust"
  • Tristan Ludlowcharacter in movie "Legends of the Fall"
  • Tristan DuGraycharacter on TV's "Gilmore Girls"
  • Tristan Farnona main character in James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small" series
  • Tristan Milligancharacter on TV's "Degrassi: The Next Generation"
  • Tristan McLeancharacter in the Heroes of Olympus series
  • Tristan Berkeleycharacter in The Mother,Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
  • Lord Tristan Kentcharacter in Karen Lynch's Relentless Series
  • Tristan Mckiecharacter in the YouTube series "Most Popular Girls in School"
  • Tristan de Martelcharacter on TV's "The Originals"
  • "Tristan"song by Patrick Wolf

Tristan in Nameberry Blog Posts