The Name Hadrian

Hadrian's_wall_at_Greenhead_Lough

Hadrian is a lovely, strong, rare, and ancient alternative to Adrian.  The feminine form is HadrianaMost commonly associated with Hadrian’s Wall, Hadrian was the name of an early 2nd-century Roman emperor.  29 boys given this name in 2015, down from 40 in 2014 and 34 in 2013.  Still, it’s more popular than it was 15 years ago, and it fits within with all the other Greek and Roman names that are currently trending!

Possible nicknames include Harry, Hades, and Ryan.  In some types of Harry Potter fanfiction, writers will often make Harry short for Hadrian, more so than they will for Henry or Harrison.  The ones I’ve read from this particular sub-genre usually depict Hadrian “Harry” Potter as a extremely powerful boy-wizard who breaks free from Dumbledore and Dursley control and realizes his inheritance.  There are yet plots, but that’s at least the motif I remember…I haven’t read fan-fiction for quite a while, unless you count communal Skype readings of the dreaded “My Immortal.”  If you don’t believe me about Hadrian and Harry Potter, google it – the search term “harry potter fanfiction hadrian” yields almost 27,000 results.

Of course, the Roman emperor remains the common association.  That does not mean it’s all marble statues and ruins (even though I myself studied Classics in college and ruins are my personal Disney World).  If hilarity and absurdity are your pursuits, I recommend watching a Japanese movie called Thermae Romae.  It regards a Roman bath architect named Lucius who time-travels to modern Japan and finds inspiration for Roman bath designs in Japanese bath culture.  Meanwhile, Hadrian is the current emperor and he hires Lucius to build him spectacular baths.  If this isn’t weird or awesome enough for you, guess what: there’s a sequel!  But yes, that’s another association with the name.

What do you think of the name Hadrian

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3 thoughts on “The Name Hadrian

  1. I love the name Hadrian and its feminine counterpart Hadriana. I don’t know why it’s never been a very popular name. I’ve never associated it with a nickname though since I’ve always preferred the full name, though if I had to pick a nickname, it would be Hadie.

    That’s interesting about the Harry-Hadrian fanfic. I’m not into it myself. There’s something odd about reading a series and getting to know the characters and world, and then reading their own interpretation of the characters.

    That movie you mentioned sounds like something I’d like. I’ll have to look it up and see it for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: What rare names come to mind first? (Boys) | The Well-Informed Namer

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