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Dylan - The Meaning, Origin And Other Facts About The Name

14/08/2014 17:02 | Updated 20 May 2015

Bronze statue of Dylan Thomas in the Swansea Marina south Wales, with the Dylan Thomas Theatre Theater behind

The name Dylan comes from a combination of the Welsh words 'dy', meaning 'great' and 'llanw' which means 'tide'. It can also be a variant of the surname Dillon.

In Wales, where it is pronounced 'Dull-an' rather than the English pronunciation 'Dill-an', it remains a highly popular choice - as recently as 2010, it was the most popular name given to baby boys.

In England and Wales combined, it has increased in popularity over the years - rising from 57th place in 1996 to become the 28th most common name for boys in 2012, although it is on the decline from its 2008 peak of 17th place.

Famous people called Dylan:

Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and playwright

Dylan Mills, better known as Dizzee Rascal, British grime MC and producer

Dylan Moran, Irish comedian and actor

Dylan Sprouse, half of Disney child star duo the Sprouse brothers

Can also be spelt:

Dillon, Dillan

Surnames to avoid Dylan with:

Surnames beginning with an 'I' sound, ie. Norman or Newton, might cause problems as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one. Similar names:

Names with a similar meaning include Hurley (Irish for 'sea tide') and Guinn (Irish for 'white wave') Similar sounding names include Dion, Devin and Dixon.

Female variations:

Dylan can be used as a girl's name. Other names with a similar meaning include Jennifer (Cornish form of Guinevere meaning 'white wave'), Genevieve (French form of Guinevere), Gaynor (English form of Guinevere) and Gwendoline (Welsh form of Guinevere).

Celebrities who named their baby Dylan:

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Pierce Brosnan, Pamela Anderson, Sean Penn

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