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PronunciationEnglish: /ˈkɪərən, -rɔːn/ KEER-ən, -⁠awn
Irish: [ˈciəɾˠaːn̪ˠ, ciəˈɾˠaːn̪ˠ]
Scottish Gaelic: [ˈkʲʰiəɾan]
Language(s)Irish, Scottish Gaelic, English
Meaning"little dark one"
Region of originIreland and Scotland
Other names
Alternative spellingCiaran
Variant form(s)
  • Ciarian
  • Ciaron
  • Cieran
  • Crain
  • Kieran
  • Keiran
  • Keiron
  • Kieron
  • Kiran
  • Keiren
  • Kieren
  • Kyran
  • Kyron
  • Keeran
  • Kairan
  • Ceiren[1]
Related namesCiara

Ciarán (Irish spelling) or Ciaran (Scottish Gaelic spelling)[2][3] is a traditionally male given name of Irish origin. It means "little dark one"[4] or "little dark-haired one", produced by appending a diminutive suffix to ciar ("black", "dark").[5] It is the masculine version of the name Ciara.

The name became common in reference to Ciar, son of Fergus mac Róich,[6] who gave his name to the Ciarraige and County Kerry,[7] and two early Irish saints both counted among the Twelve Apostles of Ireland: Ciarán the Elder and Ciarán the Younger.

It is anglicised in various ways: Ciaran, Kieran, Keiran, Keiron, Keiren, Keerun, Kiran, etc.

According to historian C. Thomas Cairney, the O'Kierans were the chiefly family of the Cíarraige tribe who in turn were from the Dumnonii or Laigin who were the third wave of Celts to settle in Ireland during the first century BC.[8]

The name can also be found in the Irish surname of O'Keiran, meaning "descendant of Ciarán".

Notable people[edit]


People with the given name Keiren[edit]

People with the given name Kieran[edit]

People with the given name Kieren[edit]

People with the given name Kieron[edit]

People with the given name Kyran[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

  • Ciaran McCarthy, a character from the British soap opera, Coronation Street
  • King Ciaran of Venallis, one of the main characters in the Song of Souls trilogy by Christen Stovall
  • Lord's Blade Ciaran, from the video game Dark Souls
  • Kieran, from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare, a Wild Hunter and Mark Blackthorn's boyfriend
  • Kieran is the son of Lord Donnán, who appears in the seventh episode of psychological horror adventure game, The Last Door
  • Lena Kieran Luthor, a character from the CW series Supergirl, played by Katie McGrath
  • Kieran Northrup, the main character of the novel Don't Call Me Ishmael
  • Kieran, a playable character in “Fire Emblem-Path of Radiance” and “Fire Emblem-Radiant Dawn”
  • Ciaran, a mysterious character in "1899" by Netflix
  • Kieran Duffy, fictional character from Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Ciaran, Sarah McCool's love interest in the Channel 4 sitcom, Derry Girls

Other cultures[edit]

  • Cioran is a Romanian surname. A notable individual with the name was nihilist philosopher Emil Cioran.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Keeran - Meaning of Keeran, What does Keeran mean?".
  2. ^ Akerbeltz Gaelic Resources Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Iain Mac an Tàilleir: Ainmean Pearsanta, retrieved from SMO website
  4. ^ "Ireland". Irish Boys Names. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  5. ^ "Southern Methodist University". Kira's Name. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  6. ^ "RootsWeb". County Kerry. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  7. ^ "Live views from Ireland: Kerry". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  8. ^ Cairney, C. Thomas (1989). Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland. Jefferson, North Carolina, United States, and London: McFarland & Company. pp. 78–82. ISBN 0899503624.