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Gender: Male Meaning of Ian: "the Lord is gracious" Origin of Ian: Scottish version of John Ian's Popularity in 2017: #76

The name Ian is a boy's name of Scottish origin meaning "the Lord is gracious". Ian is ranked #76 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Best Boy Names Starting with Vowels and discussed in our forums with posts like "Septuplet Game - boy edition!".

From the experts:

This Scottish form of John was rather late making inroads on our shores--it was already the seventh most popular name in England in 1975. But then after being introduced to Americans by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, it's been on a steady path in the Top 100 ever since, thanks to its jaunty charm. Today, Ian flies in formation with fellow classic British RAF pilot names, like Derek and Miles and Colin, all now certified U.S. citizens, packing considerable punch and panache into its three short letters. So though it may not be the newest name on the block, it's still a recommended choice.

Notable namesakes include actor Ian McKellan and novelist Ian McEwan. Actor Ian Ziering pronounces his name EYE-an, rather than the traditional EE-an.

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

Famous People Named Ian

Ian Joseph Somerhalder, American actor
Ian Anthony Dale, American actor
Ian Lancaster Fleming, English novelist
Ian Russell McEwan, English novelist
Ian McDiarmid, Scottish actor
Ian Murray McKellen, English actor
Ian Harding, American actor
Ian Andrew Hecox, American comedian of duo Smosh
Ian Edward Wright, British footballer
Ian Murray, American fashion designer
Ian Michael Nelson, American actor
Ian Williams, American football player
Ian Andrew Ziering, American actor (pronounces it eye-an)
Ian Michael Smith, American actor
Ian James Rankin, Scottish novelist
Ian Michael Kinsler, American baseball player
Ian Kevin Curtis, English lead singer of band Joy Division
Ian David Lithgow, American actor; son of actor John Lithgow
Ian Brown, English musician
Ian McCormack, Christian missionary and subject of film 'The Perfect Wave'
Thomas Ian Nicholas, American actor
Ian Marcus Stapleton aka SSundee, American YouTuber
Ian Bohen, American actor
Ian Myles Crawford, American musician and vocalist
Ian Carter, American comedian called idubbbz

Pop Culture References for the name Ian

Ian Doyle, character on TV's "Criminal Minds"
Ian Malcolm, character in "Jurassic Park" series
Ian, brother pig in the "Olivia the Pig" series
Ian Clayton Gallagher, character on TV's "Shameless"
Ian Thomas, character on TV's "Pretty Little Liars"
Ian O'Shea, character in Stephenie Meyer's "The Host"
Ian Miller, character in movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
Ian Duncan, character on TV's "Community"
Ian Hawthorne, character in "Star of Babylon" by Barbara Wood
Ian Dietrich, character in "Attack on Titan"
Ian Boothby, character in Marvel Universe
Ian Banks, minor villain on "One Tree Hill"
Ian Kabra, character in the 39 Clues book series
Ian Chesterton, companion on TV's Doctor Who 1963-65

Iann, Iaian, Ean, Eann, Eion, Eon, Iaian, Iain, Iann, Ion


TechnoKitten Says:


my favorite 3 letter names after Lea and Ria.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I say it the first way. I think most people do, but could be wrong.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Quite nice, was overused for my own generation but doesn't seem as popular nowadays for babies and children, at least not here in the UK, sounds better now that it is less common

maibritt Says:


is it pronounced Ee-yin or Ai-yen? I have heard Ee-yin a lot of times, ,but I swear that someone I used to know was called Ai-yen (like with the beginning of Ivy).

hufflepuff Says:


Even though this name was popular in 1975, something about it feels distinctly modern. I really like Ian.

EleanorAll1 Says:


I loved this name when I was in elementary school and I still really like it.

Becca Fäye Says:


My 6 month old son's name 😊 I call him ianny meany for a nickname. I think it's such a beautiful, romantic yet handsome and masculine name, kind of sing-songy the way the syllables fluctuate.

Zelliew Says:


Simple & straight forward name

itsybitsyspider Says:


This is my name and my favorite part of it is that it is practically impossible to coin a nickname off of it, so I can go around giving people nicknames without fear of getting one back.

sarah Says:


I know an Ian. He hates it, everybody always called him "peein Ian"

onlythingbetterthanhairspray Says:


Ian is my brother Daniel's middle name and I love it. I'd probably use it if my parents hadn't used it for him.

rabia_chrisden Says:


although this name is super popular I still like it. I usually don't care too much for really popular names but this one is great.