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Rowan Name Meaning

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


  • Meaning:  Rowan means “little redhead.” Rowan is also the name of a type of tree known as mountain ash.
  • Gender: Rowan is commonly used as a girl name.
  • Origin: The name Rowan is a name of Gaelic origin. It comes from the Irish word ruadh, which means “red.”
  • Pronunciation: Rowan is pronounced ROW-an. The name Rowan can also be pronounced as roh-uhn.
  • Popularity: The name Rowan is reasonably popular in the United States.
  • Nicknames: Roeie, Roe, Ro, Roo, Row, Rowe, Rowenis, Rowrow, Roxy
  • Variations: Rowana, Rowena, Rowina, Rowynn, Rowanne, Rowen, Rowyn, Roy, Ruadhán, Roan, and Rohan.
  • Namesakes: Rowan Atkinson, English actor, comedian, and screenwriter.

What Does Rowan Mean?

The name Rowan means “little redhead.” Rowan is also the name of a type of tree known as mountain ash. The Rowan tree is native to Europe and Asia and has long been associated with magic and mystery. The Rowan was thought to be a sacred tree and was often used in magical rituals in ancient times. The Rowan is also the national tree of Scotland (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Rowan?

The name Rowan is a name of Gaelic origin (source). It comes from the Irish word ruadh, which means “red.” (source) The Rowan is a tree known for its red berries, and as such, it is sometimes referred to as the mountain ash tree.

The name most likely refers to the red color of the Rowan’s berries. An alternative meaning of the name Rowan is “little redhead.”

Rowan was initially used as a surname and as a nickname. As a surname, it was adopted by families who lived near Rowan trees, harvested the wood or harvested the fruit for its health benefits. The name eventually came to be used by people who had red hair. It eventually evolved into a given name.

How Popular Is the Name Rowan?

The name Rowan is fairly popular in the United States. It has been in the top 1,000 names for girls since 2000, and it reached its highest point in popularity in 2018 when it was ranked number 211 (2). Rowan is also a popular name in other English-speaking countries, such as Australia and Canada.

Before the 20th Century, Rowan was typically only used as a surname. However, the name began to gain popularity in the early 1900s, most likely due to its “little redhead” meaning. As a result, Rowan began to be used more frequently as a given name in the mid-20th Century. It has been steadily increasing in popularity ever since.

How Do I Pronounce Rowan?

Rowan is pronounced ROW-an. The “R” is pronounced with a long vowel sound, as in the word “row.” The name Rowan can also be pronounced as roh-uhn. Rowan is often mispronounced as “Rowin.”

Is Rowan a Boy or Girl Name?

Rowan is commonly used as a girl’s name. However, it can also be used as a boy name. Rowan is most popular as a girl’s name in the United States. Still, it appears as a boy’s name in other English-speaking countries such as Australia and Canada.

Variations for Rowan

The name Rowan has many variations across languages. Some of the common include:

  • Rowana (Welsh)
  • Rowena (Welsh)
  • Rowina (German)
  • Rowynn (English)
  • Rowanne (English)
  • Rowen (French)
  • Rowyn (Gaelic)
  • Roy (Scottish)
  • Ruadhán (Irish)
  • Roan (Irish)
  • Rohan (French, Irish)

Nicknames for Rowan

There are many nicknames for the name Rowan. Some common nicknames include:

  • Roeie
  • Roe
  • Ro
  • Roo
  • Row
  • Rowe
  • Rowenis
  • Rowi
  • Rowie
  • Rowrow
  • Rowster
  • Rowy
  • Roxy

Similar Names to Rowan

There are a few names that have a similar meaning to Rowan. Some of these names include:

Middle Names for Rowan

If your child’s first name is Rowan, you might be wondering what some good middle names for Rowan would be. Here are a few suggestions:

Sibling Names for Rowan

If you are looking for a name for your child that goes well with Rowan, here are a few sibling names for Rowan:

For brother:

For sister:

Famous People Named Rowan

Many people have used the name Rowan throughout history. Here are some famous people who share the name Rowan:

  • Rowan Atkinson: English actor, comedian, and screenwriter.
  • Rowan Blanchard: American actress.
  • Rowan Hamilton: Irish mathematician.
  • Rowan Jacobsen: American author and journalist.
  • Rowan Williams: Welsh Anglican bishop, theologian, and poet.
  • Rowan Crothers: Australian swimmer.
  • Rowan Vine: English footballer.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives you some idea of the range of people who have gone by the name of Rowan throughout history.

Rowan in Popular Culture

The name Rowan has also appeared in many different forms of popular culture. Here are some examples:

  • Rowan North: A character in the 2016 film “Ghostbusters.”
  • Rowan Freemaker: Character from the TV show “Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures.”
  • Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: American television comedy variety show.
  • Rowan Blackshaw: Character from TV series “The Returned.”
  • Rowan Whitethorn: Character in the book series “Throne of Glass.”

Rowan FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the name Rowan:

Is Rowan a Viking Name?

Rowan is a Celtic name, not a Viking name. A few years back, Rowan was a relatively obscure name, but then it started to jump up the charts. We wouldn’t be surprised if all the Lego Star Wars fans have something to do with that.

Is Rowan a Biblical Name?

Rowan is not a biblical name. However, it is popular among Christians as it is the name of a saint. St. Ruadhán was a monk who founded a monastery in Ireland in the 6th Century. He was known for his love of nature and his gift of healing.

Is Rowan a Popular Name?

The name Rowan is becoming increasingly popular. In 2020, Rowan was the 255th most popular name for girls in the United States.