Brendan is an Irish masculine given name in the English language. It is derived from the Gaelic name Breandán, which is in turn derived from the earlier Old Irish Brénainn. The Old Welsh breenhin is the root of the name, meaning prince or king.[2] The mediaeval Latin form of the name, Brendanus, has also influenced the modern English and Irish forms. Variant spellings are Brendon and Brenden. In some cases it is possible that the given name Brandon is also a variant of Brendan. A variant spelling of the Irish Breandán is Breanndán.

Brendan
Breandán in a Gaelic type
PronunciationBREN-dan[1]
GenderMale
Language(s)English
Origin
Language(s)Irish
Word/nameBreandán
Other names
Cognate(s)Brandon, Breanndán, Brénainn, Brendanus, Brendon
See alsoBrenda, Brennan

Etymology edit

The English Brendan is an Anglicised form of the Irish Breandán, in turn derived from the Old Irish Brénainn.[3] This Old Irish personal name (pronounced [br'ēn-in']) is derived from a borrowing of the Old Welsh word breenhín, meaning 'a prince'.[4] Both the English form and the modern Irish form, Breandán, are based upon the mediaeval Latin form Brendanus.[5] According to one old Irish text there are 17 saints with the name.[4] When used in an Irish sentence it can mutate to take the form Bhreandán, for example A Bhreandán or ..do Bhreandán. Variations of the Irish Breandán are Breanndán, Bhreandán and Bhreandáin.[1]

There is no etymological link between Brendan and Brenda. This feminine given name, pronounced /ˈbrɛndə/,[6] is thought to be derived from the Old Norse element brand, meaning '(flaming) sword'.[7] In most cases, the masculine given name Brandon,[8] pronounced /ˈbrændən/,[9] is considered to be derived from the surname Brandon, which is in turn derived from two Old English elements.

Variants, cognates edit

Popularity and use edit

In some cases, the masculine given name Brennan may be used as a contracted form of Brendan, although it is etymologically unrelated. It is derived from the surname Brennan, an Anglicised form of the Irish Ó Braonáin. The popularity of (forms of) Brendan in Gaelic-speaking countries is thought to have influenced the use and popularity of the etymologically unrelated feminine name Brenda.[7]

In 2008,[note 1] the name was not in the top 100 given names for babies in the United States. However, it ranked within the top 100 given names for babies in New England with 2.60 occurrences per 1,000.[11] During the decades spanning 1900–1940 the name wasn't among the top 1,000 given names recorded for babies in the United States. However, in the 1950s it ranked 679; in the 1960s 448; in the 1970s 293; in the 1980s 190; and in the 1990s 133.[12] In recent years in the United States, the name has fallen in the ranking of names for babies.[note 2] In 2000 it ranked 101; in 2001 115; in 2002 124; in 2003 141; in 2004 149; in 2005 175; in 2006 185; in 2007 205; and in 2008 207.[13]

People named Brendan edit

Fictional characters named Brendan edit

  • Brendan Filone, major character in the first season of The Sopranos
  • Brendan Frye, lead character in the movie Brick
  • Brendan Jones, from Australian television program A Country Practice
  • Brendan (Pokémon), the main male character of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
  • Brendan Brady, from Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks
  • Brendan, supporting character in the film The Darjeeling Limited
  • Brendan Richards, from the short-lived Doctor Who spinoff K-9 and Company
  • Brendan, the main character of the animated fantasy movie The Secret of Kells
  • Brendan Conlon, one of the lead characters in the 2011 movie Warrior, played by Joel Edgerton

People named Breandán edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Schwegel doesn't specifically give her sources or the precise dates for the info given in this part of the book. She states "Part 1, The Top Names, starts with lists of the 100 most popular first names for babies born recently in all of the United States and Canada and in particular regions of those countries".[10]
  2. ^ According to data from Social Security card applications for births that occurred in the United States.[13]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Norman, Teresa (2003). A World of Baby Names (Revised ed.). Perigee. p. 282. ISBN 978-0-399-52894-1.
  2. ^ "Bran Vran". oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.co.uk.[self-published source]
  3. ^ a b c d Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 38, 342, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1
  4. ^ a b Ó Corráin, Donnchadh; Maguire, Fidelma (1981). Gaelic personal names. Academy Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-906187-39-5.
  5. ^ a b "Concise Dictionary of First Names: Brendan". AskOxford.com. Retrieved 31 October 2009.[dead link]
  6. ^ Brenda, Dictionary.com, retrieved 17 November 2010 which cited: Dictionary.com Unabridged, Random House
  7. ^ a b Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 38, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1
  8. ^ a b Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 37, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1
  9. ^ Brandon, Dictionary.com, retrieved 17 November 2010 which cited: Dictionary.com Unabridged, Random House
  10. ^ Schwegel, Janet (2008). The Baby Name Countdown (PDF). Da Capo Press. p. x. ISBN 978-1-60094-036-1.
  11. ^ Schwegel, Janet (2008). The Baby Name Countdown (PDF). Da Capo Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-60094-036-1.
  12. ^ Schwegel, Janet (2008). The Baby Name Countdown (PDF). Da Capo Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-60094-036-1.
  13. ^ a b "Popular Baby Names". Social Security Online. Retrieved 11 October 2009.