Sunday, September 2, 2012


Actor Adrian Grenier from 'Entourage'
Today is Father's Day here in Australia so I thought I'd look at my own father's name, Adrian. Adrian is a Latin name meaning 'From Hadria'. Hadria was a town in Northern Italy, and is also purportedly the source of the name for the Adriatic Sea. It is also indirectly the source of the name of Hadrian's Wall, a wall that was built across Northern England during the reign of  Roman Emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus in the second century AD.

Adrian was first popular in Britain in the 1950's, but these days is popular in many countries. In fact, reports that Adrian is currently a top 100 name in Spain, Norway, Germany, Austria, Hungary, USA and Sweden. This means that Adrian would likely travel well and be easily recognised in many countries, if you are a parent who has to move to various countries and are looking for a name that would work well in many cultures.

Famous Adrian's are plentiful, and include:
  • several saints
  • six popes, including the only English pope (Adrian IV) and the only Dutch pope (Adrian VI)
  • Sir Adrian Cedric Boult, an English conductor
  • multiple American actors, such as Adrien Brody, and Adrian Grenier (pictured above)
  • several football players
  • Olympic athletes in athletics, baseball and table tennis
I like the name Adrian, and find it to be quite strong and masculine. This is despite the fact that Adrian has often been seen as a feminine name after the girlfriend in the 'Rocky' movies of the 70's and 80's bore this name. Or slightly wimpy if you were a reader of the 80's English young teen book "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole".

If you also like Adrian, but want a slightly less common variation for your son, great alternatives include Adrien, Hadrian or Adriano. Adrienne, Adrianna and Adria (my personal favourite!) are also good female alternatives, with the double benefits of being feminine but strong sounding names.

Happy Father's Day everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Adrian actually became popular in Australia before anywhere else - it was Top 100 during the 1930s in at least 2 states. So a very Aussie choice of name for your dad!

    I hope he had a great Father's Day!