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ADRIAN: A Comprehensive Guide to The Name Made Famous by Rocky

Updated on October 15, 2012
A Painting by renowned artist Adrian Ghenie
A Painting by renowned artist Adrian Ghenie | Source
Adrien Brody, the big nosed Hollywood actor.
Adrien Brody, the big nosed Hollywood actor.
Adrian Grenier, star of 'Entourage'
Adrian Grenier, star of 'Entourage'
Adrian Edmunson, famous British actor.
Adrian Edmunson, famous British actor.

Adrian!!! Yo Adrian!!!!

I'm sure there are many men with the English equivalent of this fascinating name who cringe upon hearing it when it is called out to them on the street. Whatever possessed parents to name their kids this name...post the second 'Rocky' movie is anybody's guess, it must have been the allure of naming their child on seeing the description that:

The name 'Adrian' (pronounced: Ay-dree-en) is of Latin origin, made famous by the Roman Emperor Hadrianus, who built Hadrian's wall in England during the British Roman era.

The name means 'From Hadria'. Which means it's...from Hadria...a small town in northern Italy.

This means the name has Latin and Roman origins...I guess to some people that would seem exotic.

Some baby books tend to really give the name zest to give expecting mothers that excited 'oooooh!' sound, when they are curled up on the couch, flicking through names to call their pride and joy. Plenty of baby books claims that the name 'Adrian' means 'exciting, dark, handsome and rich.' This is certainly most not the case, especially if the baby grows up to be 'dull, pasty, plain and poor.' It's named after a town in northern Italy...plain and simple.

Another meaning commonly read in baby books is that it translates from the phrase 'Man of the sea.' Considering that the town of Hadria is next to the Adriatic Sea, this tends to make more sense...

I think that's the phrase that convinced my own mum into giving me my name...seeing as my Dad grew up beside the Atlantic ocean, as did I...even though I get seasick just from looking at the ocean...I really don't think she saw Rocky 2 way back in 1983...in the year I was born...or maybe she did...and didn't care...

But hundreds upon thousands of other people have seen that movie...oh yes...which means that from an early age, it was called out to me in an extremely loud fashion, with a large dose of an extremely bad Sylvester Stallone impersonation mixed in for good measure...causing me to cringe with embarrassment, when passers by stop, look and smile at my reaction.

To this very day, I could be walking down the street minding my own business...when the shout comes from a friend...so loud it could be coming from the heavens. The worst time was when one of my friends was working in a petrol station...and upon seeing me walk by...proceeded to shout the phrase 'Yo Adrian...I did it!' Through a microphone, into very loud speakers...that boomed across the street, causing me to look up towards the sky in puzzlement..

A lot of people named Adrian tend to come back with the phrase 'Yeah good one'...when they hear their name Stallone style...I normally just walk up to the culprit...mockingly clapping my hands while I say, 'Wow...that was very good...I've never heard that one before...that was very original...where did ya hear that? Was that from the Rocky film? Unique man...unique...'

It is quite funny when women do it in a Stallone voice...I think it's just they way they throw their voice and squash their face into a certain way...like they're having a stroke...

This problem does not resonate to people with a foreign equivalent of the name. People called Dadrian, Adrevan, Adrion, Adron, Arien, Adva, Adreevan, Adrin and Adriano never have that problem...or at least I'm guessing they never do...especially people with the name Adriano...the 'o' really takes the emphasis out of it...Adriano is a cool name...

People with the name Adrian tend to have the nicknames 'Ady' or 'Ado' or 'Ade'...personally I never had a nickname...except for my dad...who calls me 'Adro,' a strange nickname but one I've grown accustomed to since I could walk, especially since he is the only person who calls me by that name.

Regardless of it being associated with one of the most popular films of the 20th century (for the wrong reasons...most notably since Adrian is a 'she' in the film) it has grown in popularity since the middle part of the last century.

It is ranked 56th in a list of the most popular names in America, 6th in Spain and 8th in Denmark, and is continuing to rise in popularity.

The cause of this may be to do with the fact that it is used more and more as characters in entertainment and by the ever growing list of celebrities who have 'Adrian' as their christian name. These...include...amongst others:

  • Adrien Brody: The Oscar winning actor with the big nose.
  • Adrian Mole: A fictitious character made famous by the author Sue Townsend, who wrote a collection of fictitious diaries penned by the neurotic self obsessed character, the most famous being 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 and 3 quarters.'
  • Adrian Edmunson: A famous British comedy actor, most famous for his roles in the British sitcoms 'Bottom' and 'The Young Ones.'
  • Adrian Monk: A famous Television Detective with O.C.D. played by Tony Shalhoub in the Emmy award winning T.V. show 'Monk.'
  • Adrian Grenier: Star of the hit T.V. show 'Entourage.'
  • Adrian Peterson: NFL player..
  • Adriano: Brazilian footballer.
  • Adrian Ghenie: Renowned artist.

On a parting note, to all expecting mothers out there who are thinking of calling their son (or daughter) Adrian, can hopefully come away after reading this, with the knowledge that Adrian is a great name, used by great people...just take into account the Rocky movies...it tends to sting when the emphasis behind the famous phrase comes from the fact that it is followed by the snide comment (Adrian is a girl's name) it is not a girl's name...it is a proud manly name. It can be used for girls too but it has a masculine origin.

So choose it, because it is an uncommon, exciting, sounding name.

Just remember that this clip will haunt them their entire lives...


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    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 years ago

      Interesting... I remember when Rocky came out in the 70s... my poor cousin (named Adrianne), oh, she heard it everywhere.

    • Adrian Lavelle profile image
      Author

      Adrian Lavelle 5 years ago from Galway, Ireland

      Thank you so much for your comment Rebecca, I can empathize with any person who has a name that is famous for it's pop culture, whether it's songs or films, like 'Jolene' or 'Juliette' or 'Zed' amongst others, having your name sung or shouted at you from a movie catchphrase can become really tiresome very quickly...thanks again =)

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      I commend you for coming up with a unique and orginal subject.

      I sympathize with your tiring of "Adrianne!"

      My birth name is Rebecca and I am soooo done with "Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farm.

      Great write