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Adrian Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Adrian including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Adrian Overview

  • Meaning: The name Adrian means “of Adria” or “from Adria.”
  • Gender: The name Adrian is unisex.
  • Origin: Latin
  • Pronunciation: AY-dree-ehn
  • Popularity: The name is very popular.
  • Nicknames: Ad, Addy, Ade, Adey, Adri, Aris, Dri, Rain, Ren, Ri
  • Variations: Adorján, Adriaan, Adrián, Adriana/Adrianna, Adriano, Adrianus, Adrien/Adrienne, Adrijan, Arjan, Hadrian/Hadrien, Jadran/Jadranko
  • Namesakes: Adrian Dunbar, Adrian Edmondson, Adrian Ghenie, Adrian Holmes, Adrian Lyne, Adrian Owen, Adrian Pasdar, Adrián Ramos, Adrián Solano, Adrian Tchaikovsky: pen name of Adrian Czajkowski, Adrian Truss, Adrian von Ziegler, Adrian Wojnarowski, Adrian Yanez.

What Does Adrian Mean?

The name Adrian means “from Adria” or “of the Adriatic Sea.” It comes from the Venetic and Illyrian word “adur” meaning “sea” or “water,” so one could effectively argue that the name also means “sea/water” as well.

Some sources claim that the name can also mean “dark,” “dark one,” or “wealthy/rich.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Adrian?

The name Adrian is derived from the Latin boy names Hadrianus and Adrianus, both of which come from the river Adria that flowed by the town of the same name in northern Italy between the twelfth and first centuries BCE. The Adriatic Sea also gets its name from this river and town (1).

It is also heavily associated with the Roman emperor Hadrian (76 – 138 CE), who was famous for building Hadrian’s Wall on the northern border of the empire (2).

How Popular Is the Name Adrian?

The name Adrian has been in use since the Middle Ages but did not become popular until the twentieth century.

At the moment, the name Adrian is very popular. It is the sixty-first most popular name given to baby boys. The name is not currently in the one thousand most popular names given to baby girls (3).

How Do I Pronounce Adrian?

In English, the name Adrian is pronounced, “AY-dree-ehn.”

Is Adrian a Boy or Girl Name?

Adrian is most commonly used as a boy’s name but can be used as a girl’s name as well.

Variations of Adrian

Variations on the name Adrian include:

  • Adorján (Hungarian)
  • Adriaan (Dutch)
  • Adrián (Hungarian, Slovak, Spanish)
  • Adriana/Adrianna (Italian)
  • Adriano (Italian)
  • Adrianus (Dutch)
  • Adrien/Adrienne (French)
  • Adrijan (Croatian)
  • Arjan (Dutch)
  • Hadrian/Hadrien (Latin)
  • Jadran/Jadranko (Slavic)

Nicknames for Adrian

Some possible nicknames for a child named Adrian include:

  • Ad
  • Addy
  • Ade
  • Adey
  • Adri
  • Aris
  • Dri
  • Rain
  • Ren
  • Ri

Similar Names to Adrian

Names that are similar to Adrian include:

Middle Names for Adrian

Some middle names that would fit well for a child named Adrian include:

Sibling Names for Adrian

Some names that could fit the sibling of a child named Adrian include:

Famous People Named Adrian

Adrian is a popular name around the world. Celebrities and well-known public figures who share the name include:

  • Adreian Payne: American basketball player.
  • Adrian Dunbar: Northern Irish actor and director.
  • Adrian Edmondson: British actor.
  • Adrian Ghenie: Romanian painter.
  • Adrian Holmes: Welsh-Canadian actor.
  • Adrian Lyne: British film director.
  • Adrian Owen: British neuroscientist.
  • Adrian Pasdar: American actor.
  • Adrián Ramos: Colombian footballer.
  • Adrián Solano: Venezuelan skier.
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky: Pen name of Adrian Czajkowski, a British fantasy and science fiction author.
  • Adrian Truss: British-Canadian comedian and actor.
  • Adrian von Ziegler: Swiss composer.
  • Adrian Wojnarowski: American sports columnist.
  • Adrian Yanez: American mixed martial artist.
  • Adriana Lima: Brazilian model.
  • Adrianne Lenker: American musician.
  • Adrien Brody: American actor.
  • Adrien Broner: American professional boxer.
  • Adrien Sauvage: British fashion designer.
  • Adrienne Edwards: American author and art curator.

Adrian in Popular Culture

The name Adrian is seen often in popular culture. Characters and media that share the name include:

  • Adrian Adonis: ring name of American professional wrestler Keith Franke.
  • Adrien Agreste: character in the 2015 French children’s cartoon Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir.
  • Adrian Chase: character in several DC Comics series and The CW’s 2012 TV series Arrow.
  • Adrian Corbo: character in Marvel Comics’ Alpha Flight comics, also known as Flex.
  • Adrian Cronauer: a fictionalized version of radio DJ Adrian Cronauer portrayed by Robin Williams in the 1987 film Good Morning, Vietnam.
  • Adrian Fahrenheit Tepes: character in Konami’s Castlevania franchise, also known as Alucard.
  • Adrian Griffin: the villain of the 2020 horror film The Invisible Man.
  • Adrian Monk: the main character of the 2002 comedy crime drama series Monk.
  • Adrian Pennino-Balboa: character in the Rocky film franchise.
  • Adrian Toomes: character in Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man comics, also known as Vulture.
  • Adrian Veidt: character in the 1986 Watchmen graphic novel series, also known as Ozymandias.
  • Adrian Woodhouse: character in the 1967 horror novel Rosemary’s Baby and 1997 sequel Son of Rosemary by Ira Levin, named after additional unseen character Adrian Marcato.

Adrian FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the name Adrian:

Was There a Pope Adrian?

There have been five Popes in Christian history named Adrian, all serving between the eighth and thirteenth centuries.

Is There a Saint Adrian?

There are several Christian saints named Adrian. Notable Saint Adrians include Adrian of Batanea, who was martyred in 308 CE; Adrian of May, who built monasteries and hermitages on the Isle of May in Scotland; and Adrian of Ondrosov, whose monastery was endorsed by Tsar Ivan the Terrible in the sixteenth century.

Is Adrian a Dark Name?

While some claim that the name Adrian means “dark one,” and it is a name shared by several dark or villainous fictional characters, the name itself is not sinister or villainous. You do not need to worry that people will think badly of your family if you name your child Adrian.

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