Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Killian

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, Gaelic, Irish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 766
KIL-e-әn; KEE-lee-ahn
Simple meaning:
Little church or Little war

Characteristics of Killian

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Killian

Killian is the anglicized form of the Irish masculine name Cillian from the Gaelic “cill” meaning “church, monastery” paired with the diminutive “an” and so means “little church” or “associated with the church”. Alternately, Cillian is sometimes considered a diminutive of the Irish-Gaelic “ceallach” meaning “conflict, strife, war” and would therefore be given the etymology “little war”. The name garnered Western European attention in the Middle Ages thanks to the 7th century Saint Cillian, an Irish missionary who travelled to Franconia (the modern-day region of Bavaria in Germany) converting many to Christianity, including the local Duke. While preaching the gospel to the Duke, Saint Kilian (as he’s known in Germany) informed the lord that his marriage to his brother’s widow went against scripture. When the wife of the Duke heard how the bishop spoke critically of her marriage, she had Saint Kilian and two of his fellow missionaries beheaded in the town square in Würzburg as they preached to the people. The relics of these three martyrs (i.e., their skulls) have been preserved to this day and are paraded through the streets on Kilian’s feast day (July 8). For some unknown reason, Saint Kilian is also the patron saint to rheumatism sufferers. The traditional Irish spelling of Cillian is still quite popular in both Ireland and Northern Ireland, but the Irish also use Killian with a “K”. Kilian with one “L” is used with some frequency in Austria and France today, but Killian with two “L”s is preferred among English speakers.

Popularity of the Name Killian

Although ancient in origin, Killian was only first used in the United States in the mid-1990s. The name appeared on the charts in 1995 but could barely manage to carve out and hold a spot. The name would disappear in 1999 for eight straight years before reemerging in 2007. Killian is faring a little bit better today but still pretty uncommon compared to other Irish favorites. We also think this name is too closely associated with George Killian's Irish Red Beer, a lager brewed by Coors. There is definitely an Irish sound to the name Killian – it’s upbeat and friendly (although some people are turned off by the “Kill” part). It also sounds a lot like Jillian perhaps feminizing Killian to the distaste of some parents looking for a more masculine sounding name. In any case, this Irish lad is charming and not heavily used. A name to consider for parents who are drawn to Irish names or those who just want to celebrate their Irish heritage. Cillian/Killian is popular throughout Ireland, but in the United States it’s still a little hidden gem.
Popularity of the Boy Name Killian
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Killian

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Killian

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Killian

    Killian We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Killian.

  • Popular Songs on Killian

    Popular Songs on Killian

    Killian - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Killian.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Killian

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Killian

    Killian and the Dragons (Paula Franklin) - Young Prince Killian sets off to rescue a princess from a dragon, only to find the dragon quite friendly and the princess visiting by choice. Recommended for ages 5-8.

  • Famous People Named Killian

    Famous People Named Killian

    Famous People Named Killian - Killian Brennan (Irish footballer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Killian

    Children of Famous People Named Killian

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Killian - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Killian.

  • Historic Figures

    Killian - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Killian - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Killian.

Personality of the Boy Name Killian

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Killian

  • No Variations Found.
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