Gender: Male Pronunciation: KILL-ee-un Meaning of Cillian: "war strife or church" Origin of Cillian: Irish

Cillian Origin and Meaning

The name Cillian is a boy's name of Irish origin meaning "war strife or church".

This classic Irish name , which is better known in this country by its phonetic form Killian, is one of several newer recommended Gaelic choices that have entered the American name pool. Killian now stands at Number 516 in the US, while Cillian is 22 in its Irish homeland.

There are several Saint Cillians, including one who was sent to Bavaria to convert the natives and was martyred for his trouble. The best known contemporary bearer of the name in versatile actor Cillian Murphy.

Patrick Woulfe, a Catholic priest who was instrumental in reviving native Irish names in that country after the war for independence from England in the 1920s, theorized that Cillian might also be related to a Gaelic name meaning war.

16 names similar to Cillian

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Famous People Named Cillian

Pop Culture References for the name Cillian

Killian, Cillín, Kilian


aleksa__yusupovcrow Says:


I think it is spelled as Killian in Once Upon A Time

sunshinexoxo Says:


I like it spelled better with a K. This spelling looks like it would be pronounced Silly-an

TEMlovesbantams Says:


When I first saw it I pronounced it as Silly-an. I like it, but would change it to Killian or maybe Kilyan, since Killian looks a little too much like 'Kill Ian.'

athenamay24 Says:


I agree! For some reason it just seems weird to me to pronounce this with a hard C. I first heard this because its the last name of a character on the show The Librarians, and until I did a little more reseech I thought her last name was spelled with a K.

clairelaliberte Says:


I just think people would pronounce it Sillian in the US, but other than that it's a lovely name.

vintageluvs Says:


Once Upon a Time introduced me to this Irish beauty. Love the name now! I don't mind that it has the word "kill" in it phonetically. All together, the name is beautiful and doesn't remind me of "kill" at all.

MaryKathryn Says:


I actually prefer this over "Killian"