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Declan Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Declan Overview

  • Meaning: Full of goodness, a man of prayer
  • Gender: Mostly male
  • Origin: Irish
  • Pronunciation: Dek-lin
  • Popularity: #100 in the United States
  • Nicknames: Deck, Dee, Dex, Lan
  • Variations: Decklynn, Deaglean, Deklan, Declann
  • Namesakes: Declan O’Brien, Declan Desmond, Declan McManus

What Does Declan Mean?

Declan is a traditional Irish name with two main meanings: “full of goodness” and “man of prayer.” The variations depend on whether you believe the name came from the traditional Gaelic language or a holy priest bringing Christianity to Ireland.

What Is the Origin of the Name Declan?

There are two main theories for the origin of the name Declan. The first is that Declan grew in popularity in Ireland after a Welsh priest came over to Ireland. Saint Declan of Ardmore allegedly brought Catholicism to Ireland before the famed Saint Patrick (1).

However, the name could also have a linguistic origin. Two Gaelic words, “Deagh” and “lan” together mean full of goodness. For those who are less religiously bent, this is a great explanation for the meaning of the name Declan.

In reality, it was probably a little bit of both. While the name might have originated from the Gaelic language spoken in Ireland, it certainly became more popular with the rise of Catholicism and Christian naming traditions.

How Popular Is the Name Declan?

Declan has risen in popularity in the last few decades, although it’s been around for centuries. For the past few years, it’s hovered around the #100 spot in America’s most popular baby names.

You might know quite a few Declans, or you might only know one or two. However, Declan is usually in the top 100 names (if only barely some years). In 2020, Declan ranked #102, although it’s rising in popularity and could get in the 90s this year (2).

How Do I Pronounce Declan?

Declan is generally pronounced “Deh-Klin.” Some variations or accents pronounce the second syllable differently, “klun” instead of “klin.” However, they are all usually acceptable. If you’re worried, ask your friend named Declan and see how they pronounce it!

Is Declan a Boy or Girl Name?

Declan is traditionally a boy’s name. However, it’s just uncommon enough that it has been used for all genders and is easily swappable. Declan would also make an adorable little girl’s name–it’s up to you what name best fits your child!

Variations of Declan

Declan is a pretty unique name and doesn’t have many variations. While there might be some differences in spelling, there aren’t a lot of similar names.

  • Deklan
  • Deklann
  • Declann
  • Decklann
  • Decklynn
  • Deaglean (original Irish name)

Nicknames for Declan

Declan is a relatively short name, so there aren’t a ton of nicknames associated with it. However, humans love shortening names, and even Declan’s got some nicknames. Here are some of the most common:

  • Dec
  • Deck
  • Dex
  • Lan
  • Dee

Similar Names to Declan

There are two types of names that have similarities to the name Declan. First, some names just sound similar. If you like the sound of Declan but want a name with a different meaning or a different ending (depending on your last name), check out some of these alternatives:

The second type of similarity is classic Irish names. If you have Irish heritage or love the Emerald Isle, choose Declan or a similarly Irish name for your new baby. Here are some of the most popular:

Middle Names for Declan

Of course, the first name is not the only name you’ll pick for your child. Although you can’t pick your last name (well, you can, but it’s a hassle), a middle name is a great way to make Declan stand out. Here are some middle names that go great with Declan:

Sibling Names for Declan

If Declan is your first child and you’re expecting another, you want their names to sound good together. Although any two names will sound perfect after a while, some simply roll off the tongue easier. Here are some boy and girl names that sound good with Declan:

Famous People Named Declan

Declan has only become popular outside of Ireland in the past few years. However, there are a few Declans you might have heard of. From musicians to television characters to sportsmen, these Declans have risen to a certain level of fame.

  • Declan Patrick McManus: The non-stage name of musician Elvis Costello.
  • Declan Hughes: A poet and playwright.
  • Declan McEnna: Singer/songwriter.
  • Declan Donnelly: TV show host.
  • Saint Declan of Ardmore: Catholic priest and saint.
  • Declan O’Brien: Writer and director.

Declan in Popular Culture

Declan is not a very popular name in literature or television, but many side characters are named Declan. These characters are almost always men and range from side love interests to recurring villains. Here are some people named Declan in pop culture:

  • Declan Desmond: A character on the Simpsons.
  • Declan: A character from Breaking Bad.
  • Declan Rand: A recurring character on Psych.
  • Declan Napier: A character from Neighbors.
  • Declan Porter: A character from Revenge.
  • Declan: A character from the Zom-B novel series.

Declan FAQs

We hope that this article gave you all the information you need about the name Declan. However, if you have any more questions about the name Declan, here are some of the most frequently asked ones.

Is Declan a Biblical Name?

While Declan is the name of a relatively well-known saint in the United Kingdom and Ireland, it does not originate from the Bible. Instead, it’s a traditional Gaelic name.

How Do You Spell Declan in Irish?

In Irish, Declan is spelled Deaglean. However, most Irish parents and American immigrants use the English version for their children. It’s simpler to spell and more commonly known.

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