Here’s a name that should be on your radar: Florian.
Florian comes from Florianus, the name of a short-lived Roman emperor who reigned in 276 C.E. More famously, his contemporary St. Florian is the patron saint of Upper Austria, Poland, and firefighters.
Florian fits into so many categories that are trendy for U.S. baby names in 2023:
- International: Probably in part thanks to St. Florian, it’s a popular choice for baby boys in Austria, Poland, and Germany. If you love imports like Luca, Florian should be next on your list.
- Nature / Floral: Florian ultimately derives from Florus, a Roman men’s name which comes from the same root as Flora (a goddess representing flowers and the Spring). Florian is one of only a handful of boys’ names that’s strongly associated with flowers! It works well if you want to honor a Flora or Florence, so I think we can add it to another category: men’s names that honor women. And if you like positive associations, besides the floral aspects names like Florence and Florian often take on an additional, related meaning: “flourishing.”
- Vintage: Besides originating in the Roman era, Florian was briefly popular in the early 20th century United States. According to data from the Social Security Administration, its highest-ever rank was #525 in 1917. Florian’s been out of the top 1000 since 1941, though you can still usually find a few born each year.
- “-N” ending: Think Nolan, Owen, Jackson, and other boys’ names ending with the letter N that are sweeping today’s playgrounds.
- Soft boy names: Gentle, rounded, vowel-heavy boys’ names like Liam and Rowan are all the rage right now. Nameberry actually included Florian in their post on the trend.
- Unique: Less than 50 babies per year in the U.S. are being named Florian! At last count in 2021, just 29 boys were named Florian across the country.
Florian also appears across pop culture throughout the past 50 years!
- Pokemon: Florian is the main male character of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet (Juliana is his female counterpart). The games released in 2022, so maybe we should expect an uptick in the next data release!
- Dido: The singer Dido’s real first name is Florian, giving us an unusual example of a woman Florian.
- Kraftwerk: Music fans may also recall Florian Schneider, a core and original member of German electronic band Kraftwerk. If you think you’ve never heard Kraftwerk’s music, you’re likely wrong; the Coldplay song “Talk” samples Kraftwerk’s “Computer Love.”
- Harry Potter: Florean Fortescue (yes, different spelling) was the owner of a popular ice cream parlor in Diagon Alley. Although he was a minor character, the books were the first place I ever encountered the name.
- Attack on Titan: The manga contains a character named Florian. While I suspect anime has much wider-reaching effects than manga on U.S. baby naming, this is a popular series and I won’t be surprised if someone finds inspiration here.
Ryan, Ian, and Ori are probably the most accessible nicknames, though Florri is cool because it sounds like a Viking or a dwarf in a Tolkien novel! Florian is also an isogram, which means it has no repeating letters.
What do you think about the name Florian? Would you use it? Do you prefer it as a men’s name or think it’s more gender-neutral? Let me know!