Gender: Male Meaning of Alan: "handsome, cheerful" Origin of Alan: Irish Alan's Popularity in 2019: #181

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.

16 names similar to Alan

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Alan. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Alan, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Alan using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #181

- this week

Famous People Named Alan

Pop Culture References for the name Alan

Alan's International Variations

Ailean (Scottish) Alao (Portuguese) Allyn, Aland, Alun (Welsh) Ailin (Irish) Alain (French) Alano (Spanish)


ridgebell0 Says:


My dad's name....handsome & cheerful? Really?

paulapuddephatt Says:


I love this name, with Al for short.

ListenUpButtercup Says:


I think it's a lovely name for a boy

headintheclouds Says:


I much prefer the variant Allen to Alan- gives it a fresher vibe while Alan seems more dated. But I still really like Alan- it brings to mind a quiet intelligent young man (I just realized I probably associate it with Alan Turing- partly off of his real-life pictures and Benedict Cumberbatch's performance of him!). It's a strong and handsome name with roots and a wonderful meaning- who doesn't want their son to be handsome and cheerful? I definitely think Alan deserves more popularity, and its variants (esp. Allen) too.

Catastroffy Says:


This is one of my favourite boys' names!

Margaret Ashton Says:


Love it! This is my favorite spelling.

raevynstar Says:


I'd like to hear everyone's opinion on Alan!