Skip to main content


Origin: Irish

Meaning: a Gaelic name meaning "ancient".

In Irish mythology, Cian was a man who owned a magical cow that never ran out of milk. It was stolen from him by Balor and in an attempt to get her back, Cian meets Eithne, the daughter of Balor, who was locked up in a glass tower due to a prophecy that Balor would be killed by his grandchild. Eithne and Cian fell in love and made love in the tower, but Cian was forced away from the tower leaving her behind. However, Eithne gave birth to a son, Lugh. When Balor found out he ordered the child to be killed by casting it into the water, however the baby was saved by the druid Birog, who had also been responsible for Cian and Eithne's meeting, and brought him to Cian, who was delighted to have his son back and raised him to be the best man and warrior who would eventually fulfill the prophecy and kill Balor.

The name is pronounced kee-an or keen.

  • Kian
  • Cianán (a diminutive of Cian)
  • Keenan
  • Keane
  • Kean

Feminine forms:
  • Ciannait (Irish)