Brandon Name Meaning

baby sleeping

Kevin Liu / Getty Images

If you’re looking for a traditional masculine name with Anglo-Saxon or Celtic roots, Brandon may be the name for you. The name Brandon comes from multiple sources, with different meanings in Old English and Old Irish.

In Old English, Brandon was originally a place-name meaning “gorse-hill.” There are at least four different towns and villages in England called Brandon. The place-name was used first as a surname, and later as a given name.

The Old Irish form of the name, Bréanainn, probably derives from the Old Welsh word “breenhin”, meaning “prince” or “chieftain.”

  • Origin: The name Brandon comes from the Old English words “brōm” (gorse-bush) and “dūn” (hill).
  • Gender: Brandon is traditionally the masculine form of the name. Feminine variants include Brandy, Branwen, and Brenda (although Brenda is the only one that shares its origins with Brandon).
  • Pronunciation: BRAN-dun

Although baby names are often separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex need not play any role in your name selection process. It’s important to select the name that you feel is best suited for your new baby.

How Popular Is the Name Brandon?

The name Brandon has been a popular name in America for half a century. It ranked among the top 100 boy names in the U.S. for the first time in 1971, and by the early '90s, it had climbed to the top 10. Brandon reached its peak at No. 6, where it stayed from 1992 to 1994. Its popularity has declined somewhat in recent years, but it remains a fairly common name. In 2020, Brandon was ranked No. 166 for boy names in America.

Although the name Brandon is typically used as a masculine name, it can certainly be used however you see fit, as sex doesn't have to be a part of your name selection process.

Similar Names

Brandon may be shortened to Bran; Bran (from "brân", the Welsh word for “crow”) may also be used as a name in its own right. Sometimes alternate spellings are used, such as Brandan, Branden, or Brandin. There is also the name Brendan, which has a different spelling and pronunciation but derives from the same Old Welsh word breenhin (“prince”).

Other boy names starting with B:

  • Beckett
  • Benjamin
  • Bernard
  • Blake
  • Boyd
  • Bradley
  • Branson
  • Brent
  • Brian
  • Bryce

Other boy names with Celtic roots:

  • Aiden
  • Callum
  • Campbell
  • Connor
  • Finnian
  • Kieran
  • Quinn
  • Roy
  • Rhys
  • Wynn

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Cara
  • Christopher
  • Fiona
  • Joseph
  • Kayleigh
  • Nicholas
  • Ryan
  • Shannon
  • William
  • Zara

Famous People Named Brandon

Though the name Brandon was relatively rare in the U.S. prior to the 1970s, there were some notable exceptions. Among them were TV executive Brandon Tartikoff (1949–1997), who was president of NBC in the 1980s, and Brandon Lee (1965–1993), the actor and martial artist who was the son of Bruce Lee.

In the 1990s, as the name reached the peak of its popularity, the popular TV show “Beverly Hills 90210” featured the fictitious Brandon Walsh, portrayed by Jason Priestley, as its protagonist. Other notable Brandons include:

  • Brandon Boyd (born 1976), American singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer for the rock band Incubus
  • Brandon Buddy (born 1985), American actor known for his role in the soap opera “One Life to Live”
  • Brandon Choi (born 1990), American comic book writer known as a co-creator of the comic book series “Gen”
  • Brandon deWilde (1942–1972), American actor best known for his role in the film “Shane”
  • Brandon DiCamillo (born 1976), American actor, stunt performer, and gamer
  • Brandon Flowers (born 1981), American musician, best known as the lead singer for the rock band The Killers
  • Brandon Inge (born 1977), an American baseball player who played for the Detroit Tigers
  • Brandon T. Jackson (born 1984), American actor, comedian, and rapper known for his roles in the film “Tropic Thunder” and the “Percy Jackson” film series
  • Brandon Lewis (born 1971), an English politician who currently serves as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • Brandon Marshall (born 1984), American former football player and current co-host of “Inside the NFL”
  • Brandon Jay McLaren (born 1982), a Canadian American actor known for his roles in films such as “She’s the Man” and “Dead Before Dawn”
  • Brandon Ríos (born 1986), American boxer who held the WBA lightweight title in 2011
  • Brandon Routh (born 1979), American actor who played the title role in the 2006 film “Superman Returns”
  • Brandon Sanderson (born 1975), American author known for fantasy novels such as the “Mistborn” series and “The Stormlight Archive”
  • Brandon Scott (born 1981), American actor known for his roles in the TV series “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Dead to Me,” and “13 Reasons Why”
  • Brandon Mychal Smith (born 1989), American actor known for his roles in the films “The Ron Clark Story” and “Get on Up,” and the TV series “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
  • Brandon Teena (1972–1993), an American trans man whose life was the subject of the 1999 film “Boys Don’t Cry”

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names.

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.