Meaning and Origin of the Name Gillian

The name Gillian has been used in the United Kingdom for hundreds of years. It is an old name and is the Medieval English form of the male name Julian.


At one point it was as common as the name Jack for boys and it is where the commonly heard nursery rhyme Jack and Gill comes from. It has lost some of its popularity and was not in the top 100 English names in 2014.

How to Pronounce Gillian

Gillian pronunciation is that the ‘G’ sounds like a ‘J’. It is commonly shortened to the pet name Gill. The meaning of Gillian is youthful and people with this name are said to have a happy, joyful spirit.

Famous People with the Name

Notable people with this name are Emmy award winning actress Gillian Anderson from TV’s The X-Files. Best-selling author Gillian Flynn, who has written the very popular novel Gone Girl, as well as Sharp Objects, and Dark Places.

The British author Gillian Cross who wrote The Demon Headmaster series which was turned into a television series on the BBC.

Useful Resources

Discover the meaning and origin of other English girl’s names on our website.

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