Brian is a male forename of Celtic Irish origin. Its original meaning is not known for certain but it is possibly related to the Old Celtic element bre, meaning hill, or by extension high and/or noble.
One of the earliest persons to bring fame to this name was Brian Boru, an ancient Irish high king who thwarted Viking attempts to conquer Ireland in the 11th century. His army was victorious in the Battle of Clontarf, but he himself was slain. The Irish O'Brien clan, one of the most common surnames in Ireland, takes their name from him.
Some famous people and characters known as Brian include: