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Dylan Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Dylan Overview

  • Meaning: The name Dylan means son of the sea.
  • Gender: Dylan is a unisex name with slightly higher popularity among boys.
  • Origin: Dylan is of Welsh origin.
  • Pronunciation: DILL-an.
  • Popularity: Very popular.
  • Nicknames: Dill, Dill Pickle, Dilly.
  • Variations: Dillon, Dillan, Dyllan.
  • Namesakes: Dylan O’Brien, Dylan Sprouse, Dylan Ail Don.

What Does Dylan Mean?

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

In the Welsh language, Dylan is a name meaning ‘born from the ocean’ or ‘son of the sea’. Dylan combines two Welsh words, dy and llanw, which mean ‘your tide’ when put together.

What is the Origin of the Name Dylan?

Dylan originates from Welsh, and the use of the name can be traced back to Welsh mythology.

In the old Celtic tale, Dylan Ail Don was a sea god who was killed by his uncle and, after his death, was said to be the reason why the ocean roughly beats along the shore (1).

How Popular is the Name Dylan?

In Wales, Dylan steadily ranks among the top 50 most common baby names for most years. The popularity of the name is not too different in the United States either.

In the year 2021, Dylan was the 44th most commonly used given name for baby boys in the United States (2).

Starting in the late 1960s, Dylan entered the top 1000 most popular names for a boy in the United States, and most years after that, it continued to rise in popularity. The years when Dylan was most popular were 2003 and 2004 when Dylan was the 19th most popular name (3).

For girls, on the other hand, the name is less common though still fairly popular. Consistently fluctuating between the 600th and 300th most popular slots, Dylan reached its highest popularity for girls in 2017 when it ranked 353rd (4).

How Do I Pronounce Dylan?

Because Dylan originates from Wales, it originally had a Welsh pronunciation. Mostly, Welsh people still use this pronunciation: dull-AHN.

More commonly, in the United States and other anglicized regions, the name is pronounced: DILL-an.

Is Dylan a Boy or Girl Name?

Dylan is a unisex name with popularity among mamas of both boys and girls. It is true the name is more commonly used for baby boys, though.

Variations of Dylan

Dylan is certainly the most popular spelling of the name, but many other variations are in use:

  • Dillan (Welsh, Gaelic)
  • Dillen (Irish)
  • Dillon (Irish)
  • Dyllan (Welsh)
  • Dyllen (Welsh)
  • Dyllon (Welsh)

Nicknames for Dylan

Dylan is also a great name for either your baby boy or baby girl because it makes lots of cute and fun nicknames:

  • Dyl or Dill
  • Dill Pickle
  • Dilly
  • D
  • Dyla
  • Lil’ Dil
  • Dee dee
  • Bob Dylan

Similar Names to Dylan

In many cases, you like the sound or idea of a name, but you know it’s just not quite right for you. We know how that feels, so we’ve compiled some awesome lists of the best alternative names to Dylan for both boys and girls!

If you want to name your baby boy something that looks and sounds like Dylan, you could consider:

And if you love the D-beginning names for a girl, here are some beautiful options:

Middle Names for Dylan

We know it’s also important to have a nice-sounding, flowing middle name to go with baby Dylan’s first name, so we’ve made these lists of the best middle names for baby boy Dylans and baby girls Dylans:

For a boy:

  • Dylan Andrew
  • Dylan Edward
  • Dylan Henry
  • Dylan Jackson
  • Dylan Lewis
  • Dylan Matthew
  • Dylan Michael
  • Dylan Oliver
  • Dylan Ryder
  • Dylan Wyatt

For a girl:

  • Dylan Avery
  • Dylan Blaire
  • Dylan Caroline
  • Dylan Daisy
  • Dylan Harper
  • Dylan Jean
  • Dylan Nicole
  • Dylan Parker

Sibling Names for Dylan

Do you already have a sweet baby Dylan? Then maybe you’re looking for names that will sound nice when paired with Dylan. In that case, we have the best options for you:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Dylan

You won’t be surprised to know that there are many famous people with the name Dylan, and here are some of the most notable:

  • Dylan Baker: American actor.
  • Bob Dylan: American singer-songwriter.
  • Dylan McDermott: American actor.
  • Dylan Minnette: American actor, singer, and musician.
  • Dylan O’Brien: American actor and occasional musician.
  • Dylan Sprouse: American actor.
  • Dylan Thomas: Welsh poet.

Dylan in Popular Culture

You can also find many Dylans in popular culture as fictional characters. We’ve listed some of the most well-loved here:

  • Dylan Ail Don: Celtic mythological figure in Wales.
  • Dylan Sanders: Character in “Charlie’s Angels”.
  • Dylan “Dil” Pickles: Cartoon character in “Rugrats”.
  • Dylan Mayfair: Character from “Desperate Housewives”.
  • Dylan Rhodes: Character in “Now You See Me”.
  • Dylan McKay: Character in “Beverly Hills 90210”.
  • Dylan Michalchuk: Character in TV series “Degrassi: The Next Generation”.

Dylan FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the name Dylan.

Is the Name Dylan in the Bible?

No, the name Dylan does not show up in the Bible. It is of Welsh origin and therefore came into use after the Bible was written.

What Year Was Dylan a Popular Name?

The year that Dylan was the most popular for baby boys in the United States was 2004 when it ranked at number 19.

The year that Dylan was the most popular for baby girls in the United States was 2017 when it ranked at number 353.

Is Dylan a God Name?

While not in the Bible, Dylan is a significant figure in Welsh mythology. Dylan was the name of a sea god who was legendary for his command over the waters of Britain and Ireland.

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