From Irish Names and Surnames 1923
CIAN, genitive Céin, Kian, Kean, Cain; an old Irish name, meaning 'ancient'; common among the O'Haras and O'Garas of Connacht and the O'Carrolls of Ely, who, no doubt, took it from their great ancestor, Cian, the son of Olioll Olum, King of Munster, and among the O'Mahonys of South Munster, after their great ancestor, Cian, the son-in-law of Brian Boru, who led the forces of Desmond at the battle of Clontarf; still in use, but sometimes ridiculously anglicised Cain. Latin — Cianus, Kianus.
Alphabetical Index to Names of Men (Irish-English)
Note: The old Irish letters used in the original text* have been converted to the Roman alphabet for this online version, and the lenited (or dotted) consonants changed to their aspirated equivalents, i.e. the dotted 'c' has been altered to 'ch', the dotted 'g' to 'gh', and the dotted 'm' to 'mh', etc. For example, in the name Caoimgin (Kevin), where the 'm' and 'g' are both dotted (ṁ, ġ) in the old Irish lettering, the name has been converted here to the modern Irish equivalent of Caoimhghin.
* Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall: Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, 1923.
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