"Ian", "Iain" (/ˈiː.ən/; ) is a name of Gaelic origin, corresponding to English John. It is a very common name in much of the English-speaking world. In the United Kingdom, Ian was the 19th most common male name, taking account of the whole population (over 300,000 Ians in total).
The name has now fallen out of the top 100 male baby names in the UK, having peaked in popularity as one of the top 10 names throughout the 1960s, while remaining roughly constant in popularity in the USA.
The original form of the name ‘Eóin’ originated in the Irish Gaelic language. Ian is an anglisation of the Scottish Gaelic version of the name ‘Iain’.
|Popularity of the name 'Ian' in the USA|
Other Gaelic forms of "John" include "Seonaidh" ("Johnny" from Lowland Scots), "Seon" (from English), "Seathan", and "Seán" and "Eoin" (from Irish). In Greek 'Yanis' or 'Ianis' or 'Ioannis' is a particularly common name. Its Welsh counterpart is Ioan, the Breton equivalent is Yann, and Slavic is Ivan.
Many Armenian surnames end in -ian (such as Kardashian), as "ian" (or "yan") means "son of" in Armenian.