- this week

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

The name Gillian is a girl's name of English origin meaning "youthful". Gillian and is often added to lists like Unique Vintage Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Love, Like, Lose... Name Game- GIRLS".

From the experts:

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 The X Files Anderson did a lot to publicize the name in the US -- where it is more often spelled the phonetic Jillian.

Two other noteworthy bearers are Australian film director Gillian Armstrong and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. Gillian Boardman is a key character in Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.

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

Famous People Named Gillian

Gillian Leigh Anderson, American actress
Gillian May Armstrong, Australian film director
Gillian Howard Welch, American singer-songwriter
Gillian MacLaren Jacobs, American actress (pronounced "GILL-ian")
Gillian Blakeney, Australian actress; twin sister Gayle Blakeney
Gillian Murphy, American ballerina
Gillian Wearing, English conceptual artist
Gillian Schieber Flynn, American novelist
Gillian Vigman, American comic actress
Gillian McKeith, Scottish TV presenter
Gillian Chung (Yan-tung) (born Chung Dik-san), Hong Kong singer and actress

Pop Culture References for the name Gillian

Gillian Hewley, character in video game "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII"
Gillian, character on TV's "Hannah Montana"
Gillian Stevens, character in film "Hollywood North"
Gillian Boardman, character in "Stranger in a Strange Land" (1961)
Gillian MacAllister, character in "Gillian" by Frank Yerby
Gillian Owens, sister of Sally Owens, character in book/film "Practical Magic"
Gillian Buttershaw, character in BBC's "Last Tango in Halifax"
Gillian Redmond, character on TV's Call the midwife


Trephena March Says:


The male variant is Julian. Gillian is derived from Julia and even sounds fairly similar when pronounced CORRECTLY with the soft G

Trephena March Says:


The big clue here is American! I have yet to meet anyone using the hard G sound for this ENGLISH name. As for the so called 'expert' in the main explanation saying it s frequently pronounced with the hard G in the UK -they have obviously never visited the UK

connor Says:


Why is this only a feminine name?

xhart Says:


I've always thought it could be a really nice name for a boy if pronounced with a hard G. But for a girl I like it with the soft G.

Amber W Says:


I had never heard it with a hard G until I named my daughter this and found that the hard G seems to be everyone's go-to pronunciation. Nice to feel validated by everyone here, since sometimes it feels like I was just making the soft G version up in my own head.

Gillian H Says:


My name is Gillian, pronounced Jill, and people always pronounce it Gill.

Margot_86 Says:


Gillian Jacobs pronounces her fist name with a hard G. She's an actress on an American show called "Community." It always reminds me of Gilligan from "Gilligan's Island," though. Gillian with a hard G is definitely rare in America, too, (no matter how it's spelled).

TheLegitObesePanda Says:


I really love this name, if I ever have a girl, this is what I'll name her :p

AldabellaxWulfe Says:


A friend of mine pointed out that if you pronounced it as "Gill-ee-in" (instead of "Jill-ee-in"), it would make a viable option for a boy. I think I might agree with her...

indiefendi2 Says:


I like this for a boy too.

Saffron_Rice Says:


I'm British and I have never heard Gillian pronounced with a hard G.

ahoymccoy Says:


Gillian Owens is one of the protagonists in the book and movie Practical Magic.