From Old Breton Alan, name of early Breton saints, of disputed origin and meaning; brought to England by Normans. It may have been the name of a Celtic deity, the brother of Bran, Welsh Alawn, Celtic Alun, ‘harmony’. As an early Irish name, perhaps connected with ail (“noble”). Compare French Alain.
Alan (plural Alans)
- A male given name from the Celtic languages.
- 1951, Geoffrey Chaucer; Nevill Coghill, transl., “The Reeve's Tale”, in The Canterbury Tales: Translated into Modern English (Penguin Classics), Penguin Books, published 1977:
- He grabbed at Alan by his Adam's apple,
And Alan grabbed him back in furious grapple
And clenched his fist and bashed him on the nose.
- 1910 P. G. Wodehouse, The Man Upstairs, and Other Stories, BiblioBazaar, LLC 2008, →ISBN, page 24:
- I could pose as an artist all right; so I took the studio. Also the name of Alan Beverley. My own is Bill Bates. I had often wondered what it would feel like to be called by some name like Alan Beverley or Cyril Trevelyan.
- (historical) A member of a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralists of the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language derived from Scytho-Sarmatian and which in turn evolved into modern Ossetian.
- Alan in Slovak dictionaries at slovnik.juls.savba.sk
- A male given name