Here’s another one from Brian Boru’s family tree, with colorful and cross-cultural associations, too.

Thanks to Urban Angel for suggesting Cian as Baby Name of the Day.

I’d like to open up by clarifying Cian’s pronunciation.

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What do you think?


  1. A few years late to the comments party on this one. ….LOL But wanted to add: Kian with a k is actually a Persian name meaning king or royalty. (Or related to this theme-don’t recall exactly off-hand.) We have Persian friends and this is their son’s name.

    1. Oh- should add that the persian pronunciation of Kian is something like key ahn emphasis on both syllables equally is how I would describe it. Sort of french sounding to me as well.

  2. I don’t see the hard “c” as being confusing … but then again, we named our daughter Sorcha (authentic spelling) and have gotten no end of grief over the pronunciation outside of Irish circles.

    Honestly, though, people can get Lucia (“Loo-CHEE-a” versus “Loo-see-a”), so why not Cian?

    BTW, with the addition of the traditional dimunitive “an” (sorry, there should be a fada on the a), Cian becomes Cianan – Keenan. Might be more usable, but also more in line with trendy sibs Keegan and Kaden.

  3. I forgot that Cian was going to be NOTD today! Anyway, thank you for making him one and you did a great job as always 🙂
    This is how Cian/Kian is said or (both are the same, except the one is said by an Irishwoman)
    I’m not in love with Cian/Kian, but I do like him a lot and it is something that I would consider for a future child of mine. He seems like a great alternative to Ciaran/Kieran and Keegan. While I generally much prefer original spellings, I’d spell it as Kian (I also opt for Kieran) as it makes the pronunciation more obvious (in my mind) and ‘k’ is often the natural letter for many names/words for be due to the influences of the languages spoken around me.Aside from that, I’m outnumbered by people with names like Jacques,De Klerk,Mpho and Nthlanthla etc — Cian isn’t that much of a stretch.
    I also like how it means ‘ancient’ . That meaning might put some off, but the visual it creates in my (mind is a positive one).
    The first time that I came across him was in the Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts have also come across one SA Cian — technically ( I saw him on tv).
    Overall, it’s something that I could seriously imagine using and it can grow on me a lot more, though it isn’t a first choice at all
    P.S. I do also like Keane a lot 🙂

  4. The C-as-K phoneme in Irish really confuses me. I would pronounce this as See-an or Sy-an (to rhyme with Ian or Brian).

    Honestly, the use of original Irish spelling is as ridiculous to me as tryndee spelling. Why saddle your child with that kind of lifelong grief?

  5. I’ve never come across Cian before. To be honest, when I first saw it I wanted to pronounce it “chien”, like the French word for dog.

      1. Brit group.

        We briefly considered Keane or Keen as a middle.

        for me, Cian is too confusing – I can’t even decide how to say it!

  6. I think Kian qualifies as a valid Anglicization, sort of like Maeve instead of Medb. I know a (very Irish American) couple with a son with this name, spelled with a K.

    They wanted something Irish, but less expected that Aidan.

    And I agree – Kian seems like the more intuitive spelling, even if Cian is the more authentic version.

    1. I like valid Anglicizations then! 🙂

      Did not know that Maeve came from Medb! I really like Maeve, but hubby does not.

  7. I was like “See-an? Sy-an? Is that a boy or girl name?”

    Then I started reading and remembered that a high school friend has a sister with a son named Kian. That’s easier for me to figure out – like Ian, but with a K. Key-an. It’s not a name I’d heard of until I saw the little boy’s picture on Facebook.

    I guess the K would count as a respelling? Which I’m not usually keen on, but I think I do prefer in this case.

    Oh and I’d definitely say Kyan like Ryan.