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Scottish Gaelic: [ˈiaɲ][1]
Word/nameScottish Gaelic, from Hebrew Yohanan
Other names
Related namesJohn, Evan, Giovanni, Hans, Juan, Hovhannes, Ioan, Ioane, Ivan, Iven, Ifan, Jack, Jackson, Jan, Jane, Janez, Jean, Jhon, Joan, João, Johan/Johann, Johanan, Johannes, Jonne, Jovan, Juhani, Sean, Shane, Siôn, Yahya, Yohannes

Ian or Iain is a name of Scottish Gaelic origin, derived from the Hebrew given name יוֹחָנָן‎ (Yohanan, Yôḥānān) and corresponding to the English name John. The spelling Ian is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic forename Iain. It is a popular name in the English-speaking world and in Scotland, where it originated.

The name has fallen out of the top 100 male baby names in the United Kingdom, having peaked in popularity as one of the top 10 names throughout the 1960s,[2]. In 1900, Ian was the 180th most popular male baby name in England and Wales.[3] In the United States, the name first appeared in the top 100 in 1982 and has been in the top 100 every year since then, peaking at 65 in 2003.[4]

Other Gaelic forms of "John" include "Seonaidh" ("Johnny" from Lowland Scots), "Seon" (from English), "Seathan", and "Seán" and "Eoin" (from Irish). Its Welsh counterpart is Ioan, its Cornish equivalent is Yowan and Breton equivalent is Yann.

Notable Ians[edit]

As a first name (alphabetical by family name)[edit]

As a middle name[edit]

As a surname[edit]

  • Janis Ian (born 1951), singer and songwriter
  • Scott Ian, stage name of Scott Ian Rosenfeld, guitarist with the metal band Anthrax

Notable Iains[edit]

Fictional Iains[edit]

Fictional Ians[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dictionary Detail – Iain". www.faclair.com. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Name: Ian". BabyNames.co.uk. Baby Names UK. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  3. ^ "Top 200 Most Popular Names in England and Wales in 1900". British Baby Names. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 2015-01-01.
  4. ^ "Popular Baby Names". Social Security Administration.