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Gender: male
Pronunciation: AL-an
Meaning: rock, handsome, harmony, precious
Related Names: Ailean, Alaine, Aland, Alann, Allin, Allon, Allyn, Alun

Length: 4 Gender: {{#if male



Rank in 2000s: 134


Name: alan Origin: Kurdish,,, Irish,,, Breton,,, Scottish,,, [[Origin::origin:Breton]], [[Category:origin:Breton Names]], [[Category:origin:Breton Given Names]], Welsh,,, English,,, Croatian,, Meaning (no case): rock, handsome, harmony, precious

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Perhaps the only certainty surrounding the origins of the modern name Alan is that it surfaced in England after the Norman Invasion in 1066 AD. Most believe the name to be of Celtic origin coming over with Bretons that made up a contingent of the army William the Conqueror lead in his conquest of the British Isles. The proposition is supported by the fact that four dukes of Brittany were named Alan, starting with Alan the Great who reigned as Duke from 877 to 888, and then as the only legitimate king of Brittany until 907. [1]

However, there is also support for a Germanic origin, either as a name derived from the old German word 'precious' or taken directly from the name of a people that once populated the regions around the Black Sea. The Alans were driven from their home lands by the Huns and dispersed. Some of the western tribes eventually settled in Gaul and were absorbed by the Franks of Normandy. The Franks made up the largest portion of William's Norman invasion force.

Alan's original meaning, especially if you do not subscribe to a Germanic origin, is just as elusive as the name's origin, but each of the potential meanings bequest attributes on a son that would make a father proud. The most likely meaning is the Breton word for 'rock' suggesting a man with integrity and strength. A possible Celtic origin could be the word for 'harmony', perhaps referring to a man that was at peace with himself or one that was gifted in creating harmony and not excessively argumentative. Another Breton word that might be the basis of the name is the word for 'handsome' and would be yet another successful moniker to give to a male child as attractive people seem to benefit in any society.[1]


There are several popular variants of the name: Allen, Alan and Allan. Of the three, 'Allen' had been the most popular until 'Alan' had recent surge in usage starting in 1940. There are several other English spellings most notably 'Allyn', the Gaelic and Irish spellings of 'Ailean' and 'Ailin respectively, and the Welsh 'Alun'. The French equivalent is 'Alain' and the Spanish have 'Alano'

In 2006, Alan was ranked 122nd in the 1000 U.S. Names, which is an upward movement or 42 places in the charts since 1999 when it was ranked 164th. This compared to Allen, dropping from 245th to 283rd, and Allan, also declining in popularity falling from 446th to 507th, in the same time period.[1]

Alan is also a known name in Kurdish. A valley in Kurdistan (Kurdistan Region - Iraq) is also named as "Doli Alaneh" (in English means: The Alan's Valley). The famous story of Memi Alan and Khato Zin is also known in Kurdish Culture. This story in Kurdish is famous as Romio and Joliet in English.


  • Allan Quatermain was the Indiana Jones of the Victorian Age. Quatermain was the fictional creation of H. Ryder Haggard and popularized in his 1885 novel King Solomon's Mines. The character recently resurrected in the Alan Moore's comic adventure The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and in the film of the same title.
  • In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys captured Fort Ticonderoga, delivering the first piece of British real estate in to hands of the Contental Army and securing cannon and powder that assisted George Washington in driving the redcoats from Boston.
  • In 1961, Alan Shepherd became the first American, and the second man, in space when he travel 304 miles in Mercury 3. Ten years later, as part of the Apollo 14 mission, he became the fifth man to walk on the moon.


  • Alan Alda actor made famous for playing Haweye Pierce in the long running Television Series MASH
  • Alan Ladd actor, became famous for his protrayal of a gunfighter trying to give up his life in the classic western Shane.
  • Alan Rickman actor, famous for playing Professor Snape in the popular Harry Potter files and Die Hard fans will recognize him as the villian in the first film, Hans Gruber.
  • Alan Thicke actor who played the father in the successful TV seriers Growing Pains.
  • Alan Jackson country musician responsible for such hits as Don't Rock the Jukebox, She's Got the Rhythm (And I got the Blues) and Gone Country.



Alan Barrett, Alan Boyce, Alan Davis, Alan Kane, Alan McManus, Alan Spinks, Alan Smith, Alan Johnson, Alan Williams, Alan Jones, Alan Brown, Alan Miller, Alan Wilson, Alan Moore, Alan Taylor, Alan Aaberg, Alan Aagaard, Alan Aagard, Alan Aakre, Alan Aana, Alan Aanenson, Alan Aanonsen, Alan Aanstad, Alan Aarhus, Alan Aarons, Alan Abair, Alan Abajian, Alan Abando, Alan Abangan, Alan Abarbanell, Alan Abarca, Alan Abarquez, Alan Abda, Alan Abercrombie, Alan Aberg, Alan Abromovitz, Alan Adabi, Alan Adel, Alan Aipperspach, Alan Akams, Alan Akiona, Alan Allmaras, Alan Amir, Alan Anastos, Alan Ankers, Alan Araullo, Alan Arbgast, Alan Arentsen, Alan Arenz, Alan Areola, More results

Author: Allen Mercer

Facts about AlanRDF feed
Gender male  +
Length 4  +
Meaning rock, handsome, harmony, precious  +
Meaningnc rock, handsome, harmony, precious  +
Name alan  +
Origin Kurdish  +, Irish  +, Breton  +, Scottish  +, Welsh  +, English  +, and Croatian  +
Popularity 2  +
Pronunciation AL-an  +
Rank in 2000s 134  +
Related Ailean  +, Alaine  +, Aland  +, Alann  +, Allin  +, Allon  +, Allyn  +, and Alun  +
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