From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see List of people named Sean.
"Shaun" redirects here. For the villages in Iran, see Shaun, Iran.
Pronunciation /ˈʃɔːn/
Irish: [ˈʃɔːnʸ] or [ˈʃeːnʸ] or [ˈʃeɪn]
Gender Male
Language(s) Irish language
Region of origin Irish cognate of John, which is of Hebrew origins
Other names
Variant form(s) Seaghán, Seón, Shaun, Shawn
Related names

Ian Jean

Female version: Shawna, Shauna, Seána, Siobhán

Seán (Ulster dialect spelling Séan) is an Irish language name.[1] It is Irish borrowing of the Norman French Jehan (see Jean). Anglicisations of the name include Sean, Shane, Shayne, Shaine, Shan, Shon, Shaun, and Shawn. The name Shane comes from the Ulster pronunciation of the name, whereas the names Shaun, Shawn, or Sean come from the way it is pronounced in Munster, Leinster, and Connacht.[2]


In 1066, the Norman duke, William the Conqueror conquered England, where the Norman French name Jehan / Johan (pronounced [dʒɛˈan]) came to be pronounced Jean, and spelled John. The Norman from the Welsh Marches, with the Norman King of England's mandate conquered Ireland in the 1170s. The Irish nobility was replaced by Norman nobles, some of whom bore the Norman French name Johan or the Anglicised name John. The Irish adapted the name to their own pronunciation and spelling, producing the name Seán. Sean is commonly pronounced Shawn (Seán), but in the northern parts of Ireland (owing to a northern dialect), it is pronounced "Shan", "Shen" or "Shayn" (Séan, with the accent on the e instead of the a), thus leading to the variant Shane.


  1. ^ "Sean | meaning of Sean | name Sean". Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  2. ^ "Meaning of Sean - What does the Name Sean mean?". Retrieved 2011-12-06.