Friday, September 23, 2011


Today's name: Rowan (unisex)

Visit for the story of the Rowan Tree Fairy

Pronunciation: ROW-an

Potential nicknames: Rowe, Rowy, Roan

Variants: Rowen

Origin: (1) Gaelic, meaning "little red-head." (2) A flowering tree with red berries, also known as the Mountain Ash and Lady of the Mountain, thus the name means "red berry tree." (3) Rowan was a surname in Scotland after the 1500s, and as some surnames do, it turned into a given name around the 1900s.

Popularity: Rowan's popularity in the U.S. in 2011 was #309 for boys and #535 for girls. In 2010 it was #327 for boys and #493 for girls. There were 947 baby boys born in 2010 named Rowan, and 197 Rowen's. There were even 8 spelled Rowin, and 20 spelled Rowyn. For girls, there were 606 Rowan's, 60 Rowen's, and 50 Rowyn's. This name is generally considered unisex, because the numbers of boys and girls given this name are never too far apart. Also, its last ranking in Scotland was #190 for boys and #143 for girls.

Fun facts: (1) In European lore, the Rowan tree is believed to be a tree with magical properties that protects people. In the British Isles people make charms out of it for protection and good luck. (2) Rowan Mayfair was a lead female character in Anne Rice's Mayfair Witch novels. More recently it has been used for a female character, Rowan Redfern, in an L. J. Smith novel series. (3) Rowan was the name of a 6th century Irish saint, male. (4) Rowan Oak is the name of William Faulkner's residence, which you can now tour.

Note: Rowena is not the female variant of Rowan.

Visit for all things Rowan, including "The Bonny Rowan," a poem.


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