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Ian or Iain is a name of Scottish Gaelic origin, derived from the Hebrew given name יוֹחָנָן (Yohanan, Yôḥānān) and corresponding to the English name John. The spelling Ian is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic forename Iain. It is a very popular name in much of the English-speaking world and especially in Scotland, where it originated.

The name has now fallen out of the top 100 male baby names in the United Kingdom, having peaked in popularity as one of the top 10 names throughout the 1960s,[2] while remaining roughly constant in popularity in the United States. Back in 1900, Ian was the 180th most popular male baby name in England and Wales.[3]

Other Gaelic forms of "John" include "Seonaidh" ("Johnny" from Lowland Scots), "Seon" (from English), "Seathan", and "Seán" and "Eoin" (from Irish). Its Welsh counterpart is Ioan and Breton equivalent is Yann.

Notable Ians


  • Janis Ian (born 1951), singer and songwriter
  • Scott Ian, stage name of Scott Ian Rosenfeld, guitarist with the metal band Anthrax

Notable Iains


Fictional Iains


Fictional Ians


See also


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