Legendary MGM costume designer Adrian Adolph Greenburg (1903–1959), known simply as Adrian
I absolutely adore the name Adrian, whether it’s pronounced with long As in the European and Latin American style, or the more common Anglo way AY-dree-yan. It derives from the equally-awesome Latin name Hadrian, which in turn derives from the Latin term Hadrianus, “from Hadria.” Hadria was a Northern Italian town from whence the Adriatic Sea derives its name.
Adrian is used in English, Polish, Russian, Romanian, German, and the Scandinavian languages. The alternate form Adrián is Hungarian, Spanish, Slovakian, Czech, Catalan, and Galician. Adrían is Icelandic.
Pope Adrian VI (1459–1523), painted circa 1625
Though the name has been used in the Anglophone world since the Middle Ages, and was borne by the only English Pope to date, it only became popular fairly recently. It was #403 in the U.S. in 1880, the first year name popularity records were kept, and remained fluctuating among the 300s, 400s, and 500s until 1959, when it began a slow and steady rise from #354 to a respectable high of #56 in 2008, 2010, and 2019. It’s gone up and down in rank since entering the Top 100 in 1985, at #93, but hasn’t been out of the Top 100 since 1989.
Adrian is also currently popular in Spain (#13), Sweden (#24), Galicia (#25), Croatia (#37), Norway (#40), Mexico (#41), Basque County, Spain (#43), Austria (#53), Catalonia (#56), Poland (#59), Canada (#70 in 2019), the Czech Republic (#78 in 2016), Hungary (#82), Switzerland (#92), and Slovenia (#96).
German artist Adrian Ludwig Richter (1803–1884), painted 1836 by Wilhelm von Kügelgen
Other forms of the name include:
1. Adriano is Portuguese and Italian.
2. Adrians is Latvian.
3. Adriaan is Dutch.
4. Adrien is French.
5. Adrijan is Macedonian and Croatian.
6. Adrianus is the more formal Dutch form, though almost no one in The Netherlands goes by a Latin form of their name in everyday life.
7. Arjan, also spelt Arian and Ariaan, is Dutch. This started as a short form of Adriaan, but has become very popular as a given name in its own right. Originally, Arian was the most popular spelling, but now Arjan has eclipsed it.
8. Jadran is Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian.
9. Jadranko is also Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian.
10. Adrià is Catalan.
Flemish composer Adriaan Willaert (circa 1490–1562)
11. Adrao is a rare Galician form.
12. Adriam is Brazilian–Portuguese.
13. Adrianas is Lithuanian.
14. Adrianos is Greek.
15. Adrianu is Corsican, Sicilian, and Sardinian.
16. Adrión is Kashubian.
17. Aidrian is Irish.
18. Atrianu is Sicilian.
19. Adriyan is Russian and Bulgarian.
20. Entěrian is Chuvash.
21. Adorján is Hungarian.
Italian composer Adriana Basile (circa 1580–1640), drawn by Nicolas Perrey
Adriana is probably the most common feminine form. It’s used in English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bulgarian, Czech, Slovakian, Polish, Galician, Albanian, Occitan, Ukrainian, Kashubian, Gascon, Provençal, Swedish, Dutch, and Armenian. The alternate form Adriána is Hungarian and Slovakian; Adriāna is Latvian; and Adríana is Icelandic.
The name enjoys popularity in Armenia (#18), Spain (#33), the Czech Republic (#37 in 2016), Galicia (#42), Catalonia (#68), Latvia (#77), Mexico (#82), and Portugal (#87 in 2018).
Other forms include:
1. Adrienne is French.
2. Adriene is Brazilian–Portuguese.
3. Adrianna is Polish.
4. Adrijana is Serbian, Slovenian, Macedonian, and Croatian.
5. Adrienn is Hungarian.
6. Hadriana is Latin.
7. Adriena is Slovakian.
8. Adriyana is Bulgarian and Russian.
9. Adriane is a rare German form.
10. Adirane is Basque.
French actor Adrienne Lecouvreur, 1692–1730
11. Adryyana is Belarusian.
12. Akaliana, or Akaliane, is Hawaiian.
13. Atriana is Sicilian.
14. Odriana is Medieval Flemish.