Dorian Name Meaning

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What Does Dorian Mean?

The name Dorian is of Greek origin. The Dorians were an ancient Greek tribe, one of four major ethnic groups into which the Hellenes of Classical Greece were divided. Dorian literally means “of Doris,” a Greek district, or “of Doros,” referring to the son of Helen of Sparta.

Dorian is also derived from the Greek word doron, meaning “gift.” The earliest literary mention of the Dorian people group is in "The Odyssey," where they are found inhabiting the island of Crete.

Dorian is also used as a surname, as well as a given name for boys and girls. However, it is most popular as a boy name.

Origin: The name Dorian is of Greek origin meaning “descendant of Doris” or “gift”

Gender: Dorian is most commonly used as a boy name although it is also used as a girl name

Pronunciation: daw-ree-uhn

Although baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It's important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular is the Name Dorian?

Dorian first appeared in the Social Security Administration list of top 1,000 boy names in 1946 as No. 845. It then dropped in and out of the list until 1961. Dorian re-entered the list as No. 940 that year and has stayed in the top 1,000 boy names list ever since.

The name Dorian broke the top 500 in 1973 as No. 456 but has hovered in the 500’s and 600’s ever since. Between 1999 and 2000, it jumped over 100 spots to reach its peak at No. 398. It has since started trending downward but remains solidly in the middle of the list. Dorian ranks at No. 511 as of the latest data from 2020.

The name Dorian might have first made its way onto the top 1,000 list as a result of the 1945 American horror-drama film “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” based on Oscar Wilde's novel of the same name.

Though Dorian is sometimes used as a girl name, it has never made the top 1,000 as a girl name.

Similar Names

Similar sounding names to Dorian:

  • Adrian
  • Damian
  • Darian
  • Darren
  • Gordon
  • Julian
  • Morgan
  • Soren
  • Warren

Other Greek boy names:

  • Dion
  • Eros
  • Homer
  • Leander
  • Myron
  • Phoenix
  • Ulysses
  • Xander

Other boy names that start with D:

  • Dale
  • Daniel
  • Dante
  • Daryl 
  • Derrick
  • David 
  • DeMarco
  • Dennis
  • Dominic
  • Douglas 
  • Dwight

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for a sibling name for Dorian? Here are some popular options:

  • Adan
  • Astrid
  • Cassius
  • Daphne
  • Donovan
  • Doris
  • Dylan
  • Eden
  • Leona
  • Leonidas
  • Zariah

Famous People Named Dorian

Although Dorian is most popular as a name for boys, there are also girls named Dorian. Our list of famous Dorians includes both males and females.

The most well-known Dorian is likely the main character of Oscar Wilde’s 1890 novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray." The story is about a narcissistic character who, despite the passage of time, retains his youthful good looks while a portrait of him ages in the attic.

Even though the character had many flaws, the mystery and allure of the name Dorian consistently kept it on the most popular list for baby boy names in the United States. As a result, it has spawned a variety of famous Dorians.

Famous Dorians

  • Dorian Wood, American singer, composer, performance artist, visual artist, and writer
  • Dorian Harewood, American film and television actor  
  • Dorian Trevor Thompson-Robinson, also known by his initials DTR, is an American NFL football quarterback  
  • Dorian Gregory, American actor and host of the musical variety show "Soul Train"
  • Dorian Elizabeth Leigh Parker, famous cover girl of the 1940s
  • Dorian Lawrence Finney-Smith, American professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association
  • Dorian Brown Pham, American actress

Fictional Dorians

  • Dorian Gray, the protagonist of the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde
  • Dorian Lord, a character on the American soap opera “One Life to Live”
  • Dorian Pavus, a character in the video game “Dragon Age: Inquisition”
  • Dorian Havilliard, a character in the book series “Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas

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. Popularity of name.

By Vicky Yip
Vicky is a freelance writer specializing on topics relating to prenatal care, motherhood, parenting, family, and home life. She is also a Senior Contributor for HoustonMoms (City Mom Collective).