- Brian mIrish and English: perhaps from an Old Celtic word meaning ‘high’ or ‘noble’. The name has been perennially popular in Ireland, largely on account of the fame of Brian Boru (Gaelic Brian Bóroimhe), a roth-century high king of Ireland. In the Middle Ages it was relatively common in East Anglia, to which it was introduced by Breton settlers, and in north-west England, to which it was introduced by Scandinavians from Ireland. In Gaelic Scotland it was at first borne exclusively by members of certain professional families of Irish origin.Variant: Bryan.
First names dictionary. 2012.