16 Alternatives to Dylan
Dylan is a literary-yet-relaxed name with the style of Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas. But if you want to explore baby boy names that are similar-yet-different, consider these.
Meaning:"young warrior; well-born"
Description:Owen was derived from two names—the Welsh Owain and the Celtic Eoghan. Each are connected to Eugene, which ultimately came from the Greek word eugenes, comprised of the elements eu, meaning good, and genes, “born.” Owen became a Welsh patronymic surname during the Renaissance. The legendary St. Owen was a Benedictine monk who was a follower of St. Chad.
Description:There's Rhys and there's Reese (now more popular for girls) and there's Reece, and we particularly like the traditional Welsh spelling, which entered the list in 2004, possibly influenced by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, of The Tudors, and Welsh-born actor Rhys Ifans.
Meaning:"son of the sea"
Description:Dylan was derived of the Welsh components dy and llanw, meaning "sea." In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a legendary sea god who prompted all the waters of Britain and Ireland to weep when he died. The name came to prominence via the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan adopted in tribute.
Description:A handsome Irish name for boys, very popular in that country, but in the US this traditional spelling might cause pronunciation problems. Still, whether Cian or Kian, it's simple and straightforward enough for the initiated. Cian is rising in the British popularity charts. This was the name of several legendary figures, including Cian, son of the god of medicine. His own son was Lugh, the sun god and father of the Ulster warrior Cuchulain and Cian is also the name of the son-in-law of the high king Brian Boru. So very well connected.
Origin:Welsh, variation of Griffith
Description:Griffin is one of the newer and most appealing of the two-syllable Celtic surnames. In English, griffin is the name of a mythological creature, half eagle, half lion. It re-entered the list in 1983 after an absence of 75+ years.
Origin:Diminutive of Dionysius, Greek
Meaning:"child of heaven and earth"
Description:In ancient Greece, a student of Plato; in modern America, a cool guy.
Origin:Irish, meaning unknown, possible "man of prayer"
Meaning:"man of prayer"
Description:Declan is the Anglicized form of the Irish name Deaglán. St. Declan was one of the first missionaries to bring Christianity to Ireland, preceding St. Patrick. Originally from Wales, he founded the monastery of Ardmore in Ireland.
Origin:English variation of Damian
Description:Damon is a name with a strong, pleasing aura (much like the persona of Matt D.) and extremely positive ancient associations. From the classical myth, Damon and Pythias have become symbols of true friendship, as Damon risked his life to save his friend from execution. And Damon of Athens was the fifth century philosopher who taught both Pericles and Socrates.
Origin:Welsh variation of John
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:Evan has a mellow nice-guy image that has kept it popular, while it has been widely used in Wales since the nineteenth century. And interestingly—and surprisingly—enough, Evan charts highly for boys in France.
Meaning:"war strife or church"
Description:Killian – aka Cillian – is a spirited yet resonant Gaelic name that was borne by several Irish saints and could make a distinctive replacement for the dated Kelly. Kylian is another spelling that's gaining traction, thanks to French soccer star Kylian Mbappé. Possible downsides: an unsavory first syllable and a connection to the trendy brew.
Meaning:"sea-born, sea-song or sea-circle"
Description:Morgan, once split evenly between the sexes, is a strong and attractive Welsh favorite, still a common boys’ name in Wales. Morgan is now more often a girls' name in the U.S. – about 2000 girls were given the name in one recent year, vs. 362 boys – though it's one of the most traditional unisex choices. Morgan was actually a Top 200 pick for boys in Victorian Britain!
Description:Gareth, the name of a modest and brave knight in King Arthur's court, makes a sensitive, gently appealing choice, used more in its native Wales than anywhere else.
Description:Different origin from the Welsh Dylan, but increasingly used as a variant spelling to honor Bob Dylan or Dylan Thomas. Still, the Dylan spelling is found 20 times as often as Dillon.
Origin:Variation of Darius
Description:The most popular spelling in a family of names including Darien and Darion, Darian has nonetheless been on the decline since it peaked in the 1990s.
Origin:Diminutive of Brandon
Description:A little heavy on the fiber content; we prefer Bram. But Bran is also the Celtic god of the underworld, whose symbol is the raven.
Meaning:"son of Dick"
Description:A relatively common surname, Dixon would be an inventive way to honor an ancestral Richard or Dick, the X form a lot livelier than the Dickson spelling, just as Dix is a more modern short form than Dick; it would be right at home alongside Dax and Jax.