Quinn is a gender-neutral name with Irish roots that means "wise," "sense," or "reason." It comes from the Old Irish word Ceann or Conn, meaning "head" or "chief." The last names Ó Coinn and Ó Cuinn, which mean "descending from Conn," became common in Ireland. They were anglicized to Quinn in the 17th century.
While pronounced differently, the word Queen may come from the same root as Quinn. This would make perfect sense, given that one meaning of Ceann is chief, and a queen is someone who rules over a people or land. If you like, you can think of "queen" as another meaning for the name Quinn.
The name's various meanings suggest someone who's smart, knowledgeable, and in charge. Quinn is the type of name that can help instill confidence and courage in a child. It's short yet strong, and simple yet lively.
Although Quinn can be a nickname for the male names Quentin or Quincy, or a name for boys on its own, in the U.S. Quinn is more popular for baby girls. It's one of the most common last names in Ireland, and is a relatively common last name in the United States, too.
It's unclear how Quinn jumped from last name to first name, but it's a common migration these days in the U.S. Many surnames have become popular first names, including Harper, Parker, Peyton, Kennedy, Jackson, and Mackenzie.
Quinn is always pronounced "kwin," but has many possible spelling variations, such as:
There's also a similar girls' name, Quinna (pronounced kwen-uh).
Though it's been around for ages, Quinn has a modern feel. It's well represented in popular culture – there's DC Comics villain Harley Quinn, characters named Quinn on the shows Glee and Scandal, and several rock songs that mention Quinn – including Bob Dylan's classic "Quinn the Eskimo."
Quinn landed on the Social Security Administration (SSA) list of the top 1,000 names for baby boys in 1960 and has remained there ever since, but hasn't broken into the top 100. For girls, the name reached the top-1,000 names on the SSA list more recently, but has skyrocketed to the top 100 names in recent years.
With an appealing meaning and a bit of attitude, Quinn is likely to keep trending up for girls. Don't be surprised if within the next few years or decades Quinn makes it to the top of the baby name charts.
Quinn H. Becker : Former Surgeon General of the U.S. Army
Quinn McNemar : American psychologist who helped revise the IQ test
Quinn Cook : American professional basketball player
Quinn Culkin : American actress; sister of actors Macaulay, Kieran, and Rory Culkin
Quinn Cummings : Academy Award-nominated actress, author, and entrepreneur
Quinn Redeker : American actor who starred in The Young and the Restless
Quinn Martin : American TV producer
Anthony Quinn : Mexican-American actor, painter, writer, and director
Julia Quinn : Author of historical romance novels, including the Bridgerton series
Quinn Cummings : child actress
Quinn Hunchar : child actress