He sounds like a Roman solider, but his roots are more recent.

Thanks to Melissa for suggesting Varian as our Baby Name of the Day.

I expected to find a few historical figures called Varian, all dating to the days of Roman Empire.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. It makes me think of variance. Not exactly a negative association but it does make it feel less name-like.

  2. I’m loving the air sound in Claire, Adair, Ariel and now Varian. The V makes the stigmatized Aryan usable again.

  3. I absolutely LOVE Varian! I am a gamer at heart, so to me it is heavily tied with a major character in “World of Warcraft.” Varian Wrynn is the human king and the name suits him incredibly well – he is a strong, noble character who has been through many tragedies, but always makes it through the fire. Varian, to me, is an incredibly strong name – just like the character. It just sounds like the name of a hero.

    1. Oh man. I was going to say I liked the name, but I’d forgotten about the WoW connection. I can’t do it. We named our daughter Coraline before we knew there was a movie version coming out, and every time someone brightly asks “Oh, after the movie?” we either come across like snobs because we correct the assumption, or grind our teeth and look like the kind of parents who’d name a kid after a movie character.

      I have enough friends who still play WoW that the question would be inevitable.

      1. I have heard of babies named Sylvanas, so why not Varian? 😛 I really think the only WoW name that would be “safe” would be Jaina, just because there are so many names like it already. I like Varian, too. And Alleria, and Tirion (which also has the Song of Ice and Fire connection, Tyrion) and a few others–but the connection to the game is just too powerful.

        I wouldn’t worry about telling people you named your daughter after the book rather than the movie; the movie wasn’t a terrible adaptation so it’s nothing to worry about, and you could inspire them to read it and fall in love with Neil Gaiman! (I LOVE the name Coraline, and if I didn’t have a friend named Cora, I would use it!)

      1. I’m Horde too, LOL! But I still have always been really fascinated by Varian’s name, even if I can’t remember any of the other Alliance leaders without a Wikipedia visits. Really, I think WoW has a lot of amazing names. I have a soft spot for Kael, from my favorite character Kael’thas.

      2. @Whitney, I literally met my fiance in a pug Naxx 25. We just tiotally clicked and turned out to be local so we met up 3 days later and have been together ever (2.5 years, engaged for a year, living together about 18 months). Ironically we both got bored of WoW in Cataclysm and switched over to playing League of Legends.

        I think I can guarantee ONE WoW ruler name that won’t make it into general circulation anytime soon: Thrall!

  4. If I were to use this name, having such a heroic guy like Varian Fry wear it would be a bonus.
    I like the sound. Maybe an up date of Victor and Vincent for someone wanting a V name.

  5. I like Varian. It’s strong, and I’m a sucker for anything with a ‘V’. Only problem is, I find Varian to be too close to the word ovarian. It would be great as a middle name, though.

  6. Phooey to the meaning, because I love the sound of this appellation! Our last name’s Irish too. . .

    I’ll keep it on the backburner for now. It could potentially work as a way to honour a grandmother Vera when naming a little boy.

  7. Varian is also a female character who appears in several fantasy novels by Anne McCaffrey (that’s my first association with the name). The Dinosaur Planet series for the curious 😉