Gender: Male Meaning of Sullivan: "black-eyed one" Origin of Sullivan: Irish surname Sullivan's Popularity in 2018: #387

Sullivan Origin and Meaning

The name Sullivan is a boy's name of Irish origin meaning "black-eyed one".

Sullivan is a jaunty Celtic three-syllable name, with a real twinkle in its eye. It was immortalized in the 1930s classic film Sullivan's Travels and was chosen for one of Patrick Dempsey's twin boys. Nickname Sully is equally jaunty.

The third most common surname in Ireland, Sullivan's heritage dates back to the third century. Countless distinguished surnamed Sullivans include Sir Arthur, half of composing team Gilbert & Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher Annie, Chicago architect Louis, early boxer John L. and dour columnist/TV emcee Ed.

Other celebs with boys named Sullivan: singer Tom Waits and actor James Marsters. Heroic pilot Chesley Sullenberger is known as Sully, and a featured character in Pixar's Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University was Sullivan.

16 names similar to Sullivan

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Sullivan. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Sullivan, 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 Sullivan using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #387

- this week

Famous People Named Sullivan

Pop Culture References for the name Sullivan

Sullavan, Sullevan, Sullie, Sully


TechnoKitten Says:


Great name,love it.

littletealeaf Says:


My second son's name - and not one I'd ever considered until someone on Nameberry suggested it! He generally goes by "Sully" and it's just the perfect name for him.

Ironically, considering it means "dark-eyed one", he has he most incredible, bright blue eyes!

Eliza1303 Says:


This name is so cool to me. I love the nn Sully too. I think Sullivan Ryder has a nice sound to it.

EW314 Says:


Sully from Monsters Inc. actually makes me like this name more!

In full, Sullivan feels lively but respectable, and the nicknames Sully and Van are both great. I see Sully as more of a fun, laid-back kind of a guy, and Van as quite polished and masculine. I think it could suit anyone!

snowsbeloved Says:


Oh...this name. I WANTED to like this name. It's unusual. I liked the nickname Sully, although I like Van better. And most of all, I love the "dark eyes/black eyes" meaning. Unfortunately Monsters Inc. ruined it for me. All I see now is a goofy, quirky name.