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Gender: Male Meaning of Tristan: "noise or sorrowful" Origin of Tristan: Celtic Tristan's Popularity in 2017: #121

The name Tristan is a boy's name of Celtic origin meaning "noise or sorrowful". Tristan is ranked #121 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Vintage Baby Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "Which would you choose?".

From the experts:

Tristan -- known through medieval legend and Wagnerian opera -- has a slightly wistful, touching air. This, combined with the name's popular "an" ending, makes Tristan very appealing to parents seeking a more original alternative to Christian.

One influence was the character Tristan Ludlow played by Brad Pitt in the 1994 movie Legends of the Fall, based on a Jim Harrison novel.

Tristan is a dragon-slaying hero of Celtic legend, whose story was incorporated into Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, in which Tristan is one of the Knights of the Round Table, consumed by his doomed love affair with Queen Isolde. Wagner set the story to music in his opera Tristan und Isolde.

Tristan and its alternate form Tristram have been found in later lit as well. Tristram Shandy is a famous early comic novel by Laurence Sterne (in which the hero's father calls Tristram the worst name in the universe); Tristan is a major character in James Herriott's All Creatures Great and Small, and there is an eponymous novella by Thomas Mann.

Particularly popular in Canada, Tristan was chosen for their sons by Travis Tritt, Wayne Gretzky, Natasha Henstridge and, most recently, by Elsa Pataky and Chris Hemsworth. Basketball player Tristan Thompson hails from Canada.

Other variants of Tristan include Tristen, Tristin, Triston and Tristian.

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

Famous People Named Tristan

Tristan Tzara (born Samuel Rosenstock), Romanian-French avant-garde artist
Tristan Trevor James Thompson, Canadian basketball player
Tristan Paul Mack Wilds, American actor
Tristan Bowen, American soccer player
Tristan John Gemmill, English actor
Tristan Somchai Do, Thai footballer
Tristan Thomas, Australian Olympic hurdler
Tristan Gommendy, French racing driver
Tristan MacManus, Irish dancer on TV's "Dancing with the Stars"
Tristan Oliver Vance Evans, drummer for British band The Vamps
Tristan Vautier, French racing driver
Tristan Rogers, Australian-American actor
Tristan Bernard, French playwright
Tristan Dean Resnick, American child model
Tristan Tales, American YouTuber
Jared Tristan Padalecki, American actor
Tristan Bates (b. 1971), son of actors Alan Bates and Victoria Ward; twin brother of actor Benedick Bates
Tristan James Tritt (b. 1999), son of singer Travis Tritt
Tristan Blackley (b. 2005), son of baseball player Travis Blackley
Tristan Wohlert (b. 2006), son of singers Johan Wohlert of Mew and Pernille Rosendahl of Swan Lee
Tristan Cousins (b. 2007), son of skaters Elena Berezhnaya and Steven Cousins
Tristan Ayley (b. 2010), son of bassist Mike Ayley of Marianas Trench
Tristan Milos Trump (b. 2011), son of Don Trump, Jr.; grandson of U.S. President Donald Trump
Tristan Blaise Lagle (b. 2011), son of TV personalities Hope Harbert and Ben Lagle of "16 and Pregnant"
Tristan Hemsworth (b. 2014), son of actor Chris Hemsworth; twin of brother Sasha

Pop Culture References for the name Tristan

Tristan, Cornish knight in the 12th century legend "Tristan and Isolde"
Tristan Thorn, character in Neil Gaiman's "Stardust"
Tristan Ludlow, character in movie "Legends of the Fall"
Tristan DuGray, character on TV's "Gilmore Girls"
Tristan Farnon, a main character in James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small" series
Tristan Milligan, character on TV's "Degrassi: The Next Generation"
Tristan McLean, character in the Heroes of Olympus series
Tristan Berkeley, character in The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
Lord Tristan Kent, character in Karen Lynch's Relentless Series
Tristan Mckie, character in the YouTube series "Most Popular Girls in School"
Tristan de Martel, character on TV's "The Originals"
"Tristan", song by Patrick Wolf