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Megan Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Megan Overview

  • Meaning: Megan comes from the Latin word that means “pearl.”
  • Gender: Megan is a female name popular in Welsh, English, and American cultures.
  • Origin: Megan originated from Margaret, which has its root in Latin and Welsh culture.
  • Pronunciation: Megan can is pronounced “MEEG-an,” “MAY-gan,” or “MEG-an,” depending on the spelling and the region. “MEG-an” is the most common pronunciation.
  • Popularity: Megan shot to the top 20 rankings of names about three decades ago but, at present, sits in the top 700 for girl names in the United States.
  • Nicknames: Eggie, Meg, Meggie, Meggy, Megs, Megsy, Mugg.
  • Variations: Maigen, Maigan, Maygen, Maygan, Meigan, Meigen, Meagan, Meagen, Meagyn, Megen, Meggan, Meggen, Meghan, Meghen, Megyn.
  • Namesakes: Megan Fox (American actress), Megan Thee Stallion (American rapper), and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (American actress and royal).

What Does Megan Mean?

Megan is a derivative of other popular names, like Meg and Margaret, that carry the same meaning of “pearl.” The name Margaret, in turn, is derived from the Greek word “margarítēs.” (1) In Irish culture, Megan is often spelled Meghan and translates as “strong warrior.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Megan?

Megan comes from Margaret. Margaret was an anglicization of the names Marguerite (French) and Margarita (Latin). All came from the Greek word “margarítēs,” meaning “pearl.”

Megan was first a pet name for Margaret before it became its name. The Welsh were likely to be the first culture to use Megan as a standalone name, but the root of the word Megan is derived from Latin.

How Popular Is the Name Megan?

Megan is a popular name because it is a classic name, but is also an alternative to Margaret. It is one of the most popular Welsh girl names in England and has become a more popular name in the United States.

The name started to be used in the United States around the 1950s but jumped into the mainstream by the 1970s. It was most popular in the 1990s with about 20,000 children being given this name and being ranked the 18th most popular name in 2000. It ranked 638th most popular name for girls in 2020 (2).

How Do I Pronounce Megan?

Megan is a disyllabic name that is pronounced similarly to its spelling. The phonetic pronunciation is “MEG-an.”

In some countries, it is pronounced “MEEG-an” or “MAY-gen.” Spelling does play a role in the pronunciation of the name. Another factor is the dialect of the country you are in. Regardless of spelling, it is always a disyllabic name, emphasizing the first syllable.

Is Megan a Boy or Girl Name?

Megan is a girl’s name more often than not. There is not much evidence that suggests it is gaining popularity as a boy’s name. Since it is a derivative of Margaret, Meg, and Maggie, using it as a female name is most common.

Variations of Megan

As mentioned, Megan itself is a variation of Margaret.

Here are a few other shortened versions and variations on Megan:

  • Maigen (Welsh)
  • Maigan (Welsh)
  • Maygen (Welsh)
  • Maygan (Welsh)
  • Meigan (Welsh)
  • Meigen (Welsh)
  • Meagan (Welsh)
  • Meagen (Welsh)
  • Meagyn (Welsh)
  • Megen (Welsh)
  • Meggan (Welsh)
  • Meggen (Welsh)
  • Meghan (Welsh)
  • Meghen (Welsh)
  • Megyn (Welsh)

Nicknames for Megan

Megan is unique because it is already a nickname acting as a full name. However, there are still common nicknames for Megan that you should know:

  • Eggie
  • Meg
  • Meggie
  • Meggy
  • Megs
  • Megsy
  • Mugg

Similar Names to Megan

There are many names similar to Megan if you like the name but want something a little different. Here are a few name ideas that are similar to Megan:

Middle Names for Megan

Megan is a classic name that lends itself to being paired with many monikers. Since it is shorter, it is aesthetically pleasing with names of any length. Here are some ideas for middle names:

Sibling Names for Megan

Whether it is the same number of syllables, the same roots, or the same letter, finding commonality is crucial in coming up with a sibling name. The name Megan pairs well with:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Megan

There are more famous people named Megan than you might think! With the name gaining popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, you might recognize the following:

  • Meghan, Duchess of Sussex: American actress and member of the British Royal Family.
  • Megan Cunningham: Scottish soccer player.
  • Megan Fearon: British politician.
  • Megan Fox: American actress.
  • Megan Lloyd George: Welsh politician.
  • Megan Rapinoe: American soccer player.
  • Megan Thee Stallion: American rapper and singer-songwriter.

Megan in Popular Culture

Since the name shot to stardom in the 1980s and 1990s, there are plenty of characters from popular culture named Megan. Take a look at the characters you know and the ones you might have missed.:

  • Megan “Meg” Griffin: Character in the television series “Family Guy.”
  • Megan Parker: Character in the television series “Drake & Josh.”
  • Megan the Monday Fairy: Character in the “Rainbow Magic”book franchise
  • Megan Voorhees: Character in the film “Scary Movie 2.”
  • Megan Williams: Character from the television series “My Little Pony.”

Megan FAQs

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about the name Megan.

Is Megan an Irish Name?

Megan is very popular in Welsh culture. The variation Meghan is more prevalent in Irish culture. The Irish meaning is said to be “brave warrior”.

How Old Is the Name Megan?

Megan is a derivative of Margaret, but the first usage of Megan as its name dates back to the 16th Century in Welsh records (3). The name is spelled Megen in these records.

Why Is Megan Sometimes Spelled With an “H”?

Megan is sometimes spelled with an “h” because it is a holdover from when Welsh names needed to be distinguishable from Irish names.

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