The Boys’ Name Alan

Before being brought to Scotland in the 11th century by the Bretons, the male name Alan means “for a fox” and refers to dexterity and grace, comparing the attribute of the fox to the graceful fleetness of the swift fox or deer. It is a name dappled with the energies of sunshine and yet also seemingly neutral in tone. It is not that common a name for 2013, which makes it appealing for those wishing, intentionally to buck trends, and honor traditional western energies.

The name also is a commonly used botanic term, a reference, actually, to the plant elecampane, which is known colloquially as coltsfoot. As mentioned above, in Breton, the name literally was the name for the animal known as fox itself, and later more connotations were added, extending the name to reflect the myriad energies of other animals like that of the deer. Additionally, the root of the name Alan also harkens back to the names Elanus, Elaesus, or Ela, all traditional in the mythologies for gods.

Useful Resources

Our comprehensive list of Scottish boys names.

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