Alternate spellings: Tristen, Triston, Tristin, Tristian, Trystan, Tristram
One of the downers of the baby name set, Tristan’s meaning cannot be confirmed, but many associate it with the Latin word tristis, which means “sad.” On top of that, the Celtic legend of Tristan and Isolde is a heartbreaker. Tristan is sent to Ireland to fetch Isolde so she can marry a king. They fall in love instead, and Tristan goes off to fight the king, dies in battle, and she perishes of grief beside his body. (We did warn you.)
But the name does have charm, so much so that it first made the charts in 1971 at #861 and has been steadily working its way up since then. Some of its recent popularity is probably due to a 2006 movie Tristan + Isolde about the tragic duo.
Tristan has spurred a variety of spellings, including: Tristen, Triston, Tristin, Tristian, and Trystan.
By The Numbers
U.S. Rank by Year
Rank of Similar Names in 2008