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Martin Name Meaning (Origin, Popularity & Nicknames)

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

Martin Overview

  • Meaning: When based on the Latin Martinus, Martin means “warlike,” “god of war,” “martial,” or “of Mars.”
  • Gender: Martin is primarily a boy’s name.
  • Origin: Originating with the Latin Martinus, Martin became synonymous with the Roman god of war, Mars. It also grew in popularity among European Catholic and Protestant populations and was an English surname.
  • Pronunciation: Martin is pronounced “MAAR-Tahn” (English), “Maar-TIHN” (Bulgarian), “Maer-TEHN” (French), “MAAR-Tihn” (German), and “MAOR-Tiyn” (Hungarian).
  • Popularity: Martin is currently the number one boys’ name in France and ranks in the high 200s for U.S. boys.
  • Nicknames: Art, Arty, Marcin, Mars, Marti, Martine, Martinko, Marto, Marty, Maťko, Maťo, Matt, Tiinny, Tin.
  • Variations: Maarten, Mairtin, Máirtín, Marcilki, Marcin, Martainn, Mårten, Martez, Martien, Martijn, Martinas, Martinek, Martinez, Martinho, Martino, Martinos, Martins, Martinus, Márton, Martoni.
  • Namesakes: Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights leader known for his “I Have a Dream” speech. Martin Short, Canadian-American comedian appearing on SCTV.

What Does Martin Mean?

In Latin, Martin means “dedicated to Mars” and “god of war.” It’s based on the ancient Roman Martinus, inspired by the Roman god Mars. Due to this history, Martin can also mean “of Mars” or “of war/warlike.” Martin is also linked to the similar meanings of “warrior” or “famous counsel.”

Martin also appears as a patronymic surname, which means “son or descendent of Martin.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Martin?

Martin began with the Roman Martinus to honor Mars, the Roman God of war and fertility. It’s also associated with the Proto-Germanic “mar,” meaning “famous,” and “tank,” meaning “counsel.”

Martin was rare in England before the Norman conquest of 1066. It was then considered a Catholic favorite because of the French Saint Martin of Tours. Protestants followed suit by being inspired by Martin Luther. In the U.S., African American populations began naming their children Martin, after Martin Luther King Jr.

In England and elsewhere in Europe, Martin and Martins were surnames used for families descended from someone named Martin. Martin is still one of the most common surnames in France and Belgium.

How Popular Is the Name Martin?

During the last few years, Martin ranked between the high 200s and 300s for U.S. boys. It peaked in the U.S. in 1963 due to the popularity of Martin Luther King Jr., when Martin represented about 29% of male births.

Martin ranked 16th for U.S. boys in 1990 and has remained somewhat popular even today. It was generally common in Bulgaria and Estonia during the 1990s and ranked number one in France in 2008.

How Do I Pronounce Martin?

Martin is pronounced “MAAR-Tahn” in English, “Maar-TIHN” in Bulgarian, “Maer-TEHN” in French, “MAAR-Tihn” in German, and “MAOR-Tiyn” in Hungarian.

Is Martin a Boy or Girl Name?

Martin is a boy’s name and is not used for girls, who usually choose Martina.

Variations of Martin

Discover the unique variations for Martin in the world.

  • Maarten (Dutch and German)
  • Mairtin (Irish)
  • Máirtín (Irish)
  • Marcilki (Hungarian)
  • Marcin (Polish)
  • Martainn (Gaelic)
  • Mårten (Scandinavian)
  • Martez (Spanish)
  • Martien (Dutch)
  • Martijn (Dutch)
  • Martinas (Lithuanian)
  • Martinek (Czech)
  • Martinez (Spanish)
  • Martinho (Portuguese)
  • Martino (Italian)
  • Martinos (Greek)
  • Martins (Latvian)
  • Martinus (Dutch)
  • Márton (Hungarian)
  • Martoni (Hungarian)

Nicknames for Martin

Some obvious nicknames for Martin are joined by less common ones.

  • Art
  • Arty
  • Marcin
  • Mars
  • Marti
  • Martine
  • Martinko
  • Marto
  • Marty
  • Matt
  • Maťko
  • Maťo
  • Tiinny
  • Tin

Similar Names to Martin

You’ll love these cool names, which feel as powerful as Martin.

Middle Names for Martin

You’ve got plenty of choices for middle names that work well alongside Martin.

Sibling Names for Martin

Martin’s little sister or brother will shine with these interesting sibling name choices.

Famous People Named Martin

There are more than a few famous people named Martin throughout history.

  • Martin Ahlgren: Swedish cinematographer.
  • Martin Atkins: English drummer.
  • Martín Dihigo: Cuban baseball player.
  • Martin Erat: Czech ice hockey player.
  • Martin Freeman: English actor.
  • Martin Heinrich: American senator from New Mexico.
  • Martin Horntveth: Norwegian musician.
  • Martin Kaalma: Estonian footballer.
  • Martin Kippenberger: German painter.
  • Martin Lawrence: American actor.
  • Martin O’Hagan: Irish journalist.
  • Martín Mondragón: Mexican long-distance runner.
  • Martin Roach: Canadian actor.
  • Martín Rodríguez: Argentine Olympic sailor.
  • Martin Schulz: German politician
  • Martin Solveig: French DJ and record producer.
  • Martin Tešovič: Slovak weightlifter
  • Martin Viiask: Estonian basketball player.
  • Martin Walsh: English film editor.
  • Martin Zijlstra: Dutch politician.

Martin in Popular Culture

Martin is quite popular as a character’s name in TV, film, and the world of comics.

  • Captain Martin Walker: Protagonist of the video game Spec Ops: The Line.
  • Dr. Martin Heiss: Character appearing in the 2016 reboot of “Ghostbusters.”
  • Martin: Character appearing in the 1759 Voltaire novel “Candide.”
  • Martin: Character in the 1983 miniseries “V.”
  • Martin Brody: Chief of Police and lead character in the “Jaws” films.
  • Martin Chuzzlewit: Character and title character from the novel by Charles Dickens.
  • Martin Crane: Character in the American sitcom “Frasier.”
  • Martin Fitzgerald: Character in the soap opera “Passions.”
  • Martin Fowler: Character in the English soap opera “Eastenders.”
  • Martin Goodman: Character in the British sitcom “Friday Night Dinner.”
  • Martin Li: Secret identity of the Marvel Comics supervillain Mister Negative.
  • Martin Prince: Character in the animated TV series “The Simpsons.”
  • Martin Septim: Character from the role-play video game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
  • Martin Stein: Character appearing in multiple stories published by DC Comics.
  • Martin Tanley: Character from the 1997 film “Beverly Hills Ninja.”
  • Martin Walker: Character in the 2013 action film “White House Down.”
  • Marty McFly: Lead character of the “Back to the Future” film franchise.
  • Sergeant Martin Riggs: Character from the 1987 American film “Lethal Weapon.”
  • Theo Martin: Character in the Power Rangers series “Jungle Fury.”
  • Uncle Martin: Title character from the American sitcom “My Favorite Martian.”

Martin FAQs

Martin has so many distinct aspects you can find out more about here.

What Does Martin Mean in Irish?

Martin is a popular name for Irish boys, which ranked 72nd in 2023. Its origins are Irish, Scottish, and Gaelic. Martin was originally a surname linked to a Gaelic clan called Mac Giolla Mhártain, meaning “devotee of Saint Martin.” Saint Martin was a famous Hungarian saint who is beloved in Ireland. Another possible related surname is Mac Gille Mhártainn.

What Is the Feminine Form of Martin?

Boys named Martin are equivalent to girls named Martina. It’s technically an Italian variation of Martino with the same Latin origins as Martin. Martina also comes from Martinus, the Roman god of war. In Greek, Martina means “combative” and “the one who is loved.” In Italy, Martina is associated with La Martina, a name Martina France, located in Italy.

What Clan Does Martin Belong To?

The Martin, Martins, and MacMartin clans are linked to the Clan Donald (or Clan MacDonald), also known as the Tribe of the Mairtine. These ancient Celtic clans originated in Iberia as part of the Pictish, Celtic, and Gaelic tribes that migrated across Europe. Martin and Martins are also Irish surnames that occur most in Galway.

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.