I love this name. It's classy and classic, regardless of whether the G is soft or hard. I love both pronunciations. Unfortunately, I don't think I could use this name, though, because I could probably never decide on which way to pronounce it.
iridian  9/11/2020
This hasn't been active in a while but I'm writing a book and I want to name a male character Gillian. I've read that it's an exclusively female name but it seems masculine to me and really fits him. Would it be weird to name him that despite this?
cthulhusrose  7/10/2020
I thought this was masculine for some reason. I prefer Jillian.
someone-  5/22/2020
Along with Jillian, this name is also Latin and means ‘youthful.’.
Azelie  5/15/2020
The hard G pronunciation sounds unpleasant.
Mikey Anthonys  4/14/2020
The soft G rolls off the tongue like a ball of butter.
billnyethescienceguy  2/2/2020
My friend pronounces her name Jillian but it's spelled Gillian.
― Anonymous User  12/2/2019
The other day I was trawling quickly (with a specific, non-name, search in mind!) through a London periodical of 1760, and my eye fell on the cast list and a review of a play then being performed at one of the London theatres. Amid the fancy character names such as Clarinda was the name Gillian, a character defined in the cast list as "Gillian, a cook". I was so surprised to see Gillian there at all in the Georgian era, and then it struck me that, like Audrey, Gillian had come to be associated with rustic people or the servant class, until revived in the 20th century in Britain, when, although never "upper-class" it was virtually solidly "middle-class". The fact that Gillian was a 17th century version of Julian (then used for girls) as a version of Juliana betrays its "soft G" origins, the way Brits traditionally pronounce it.
Just Jonquil  9/2/2019
I think if you want the soft G pronunciation, you should spell the name Jillian. If you spell it Gillian, it will always be a mystery whether the G is pronounced like a g or j.
Sakusha  7/19/2019
I like the hard G pronunciation a lot more. I think it's because I don't like the name Jill at all. But I think hard-G Gillian sounds pretty.
― Anonymous User  9/21/2018
As someone with the name of Gillian, the CORRECT pronunciation... depends on the person. I have the U.K. English pronumciation of GILL-ee-an. GILL as in what fish have...
gilliansl  6/12/2018
I have a feeling that this name will become a popular English name for Chinese people, since it sounds like the words "lucky" and "peaceful" in Chinese.
XYKLONE  2/18/2018
My name is Gillian, I use my middle name as first. I think it's beautiful, not too girly or boyish or different or common or too anything, don't like it shortened or with a j as much. People always tell me it suits me. It's classy and interesting sounding in my opinion.
GillianW  12/13/2017
I like both the hard and soft pronunciations. Although Gillian with a hard G almost sounds masculine, and I'm afraid to say I may like it, although I'd never use it on my children.
I know a sweet girl named Gillian (soft g) so that's what introduced me to this name.
It is one of my favorites, this is a very nice name either way, with many opportunities for nicknames if desired. Love it!
mememan28  12/1/2017
My name is spelt as Gillian. I've been called and enjoy being called: Gillian, Gillie, Gilly, Gilliana. It has been pronounced as both g and j. I have no preference really with the exception of being called Gill/Jill. I absolutely LOATHE that...
Lurcherlass  10/9/2017
I feel like this name is pretty unusual, which makes me love it even more! I love the fact that it is uncommon and is spelled with a G. Probably not something I would name my child but I still love this name.
Starry Night  7/10/2017
All Gillians with the traditional soft G:

Gillian Rubinstein (born 1942, Britain) - Australian children's books author
Dame Gillian Shephard (born 1940), former British Cabinet minister (Minister for Education)
Professor Gillian Triggs (born 1945 in Britain), Australian Human Rights Commissioner.
Just Jonquil  6/25/2016
There's an Australian television reporter called Gillian Bowen whose name is pronounced with a hard G.
It sounds so wrong to anyone born and brought up in Britain, where Gillian is always correctly pronounced with a soft G. Growing up in Britain, I knew half a dozen Gillians at school and there was a British politician called Gillian. All without exception pronounced their name with a soft G.
The hard G is a very contemporary twist and detracts from the beauty of this historic name.
Just Jonquil  6/25/2016
The name Gillian was given to 120 girls born in the US in 2015.
HerculePoirot  6/16/2016
The guide says to pronounce it "jill-ee-en", with a "j" as in "joke", but Gillian Anderson, Special Agent Dana Scully from the ever-popular X-Files series, pronounces it "gill-ee-en", with a "g" as in "good." Just thought I should leave this here! ;p
[added GIL-ee-un as an alternate pronunciation, but the actress pronounces her name the other way -ed]
― Anonymous User  4/17/2016
The comment from 4/17/16 is incorrect. Here's a quote from Gillian Anderson herself: "My name is pronounced with a soft g, not a hard one. It's Gill like jam, as opposed to gun."
Anonymous16  5/16/2016
I just have to say it is REALLY annoying when people accidentally pronounce my name as Jillian, because I don't like how it sounds and that's how Americans pronounce the name. I mean, I'm Australian and American (More Australian) and having an Australian name is SOOOOOO boss! Americans need to get it right!
soccerwizardgj  1/14/2016
I am Gillian and I pronounce my name with a hard G. I like this pronunciation way better than Jillian but everybody tries to call me Jillian. It is annoying. I think Gillian with a hard G is the Welsh pronunciation. I also got called Gilligan and I hate that. Gilligan's Island. Not a good association with my name. I like to be called Gilly, after the Gilly flower, or Gill or G. Or just Gillian! My middle name is Grace so my name is alliterated and it sounds pretty.
ggstewart85  1/10/2016
I think Gillian is way better than Jillian. Gillian - the traditional, unique form, and I think it looks better. I love it!
heidbz  5/20/2015
My name is Gillian. And ever since I was a kid, every single teacher has mispronounced my name with a soft g sound. And people still do it today, and it annoys the crap out of me! I'm always telling them, no it's Gillian, with a hard g, just like it looks. I now say, it's the Irish way of saying, which in fact is actually the correct way of saying it. Ugh! But I love my name and would not change it for anything! I love my nicknames too, I have several of them. Gili (which is Israeli), Gillie and Gilly.
gili82  3/16/2015
My name is Gillian with a soft G, I like my name spelled with a G versus a J because it makes it more unique. The name is classy and simple at the same time. However I think that both pronunciations of the name are nice.
― Anonymous User  1/4/2015
Regarding pronunciation, if you go by English phonetic rules, then pronouncing Gillian with a soft-g (like Jillian) is the correct pronunciation.
The rules for hard-'g's versus soft-'g's is:
A) If the word is of Greco-Latinate origin, then the g is followed by an i, e, or y, it is said with a soft-g. If it's followed by pretty much any other letter, you say it with a hard-g. [ ex: germ, angel, allergic, clergy, biology vs. Galaxy, gulf, gown, Greece, glacier]
B) If the word is of Norse or Germanic origin, the letter 'g' could be said as a hard-g even if it comes before i, e, or y. [ex: get, girl, gills, stringy]

Since Gillian is derived from Julian and all it's Latin cousins, I think it's safe to say that it should follow rule A, and be said with a soft-g/j sound.

Personally, I love this name. This spelling is somehow more aesthetically pleasing than Jillian. It also looks more "grown-up" to me. More mature than Jillian. Maybe because "Jill" is just right there in front, and Jill tends to be a bit of a nondescript little girls' name it makes it look more juvenile? I don't know. I do know that I adore this name.
AniMartin  11/15/2014
Beautiful, but only when pronounced with the hard "G." When pronounced with the soft "G," it falls short and you might as well spell it with a "J" if you are going to say it that way.
Ruta Graveolens  10/12/2014
The name Gillian was given to 165 baby girls born in the US in 2012.
Oohvintage  7/17/2013
Gillian Joseph is a British newsreader on Sky TV.
Just Jonquil  8/12/2012
I really like this. It seems very English to me because both my grandma and a girl I knew in high school were from England and spelled their names this way, but pronounced differently. My grandma pronounces it with a soft J and the girl from my high school pronounced it with the hard G.
lovewn  2/2/2012
Gillian Ayres is one of the leading British abstract painters of her generation. Born in 1930.
― Anonymous User  8/31/2011
I have actually heard of this being used as a boy's name. I can understand it seeming highly feminine, but then, I was just reading the comments for Julian over yonder--a name more masculine I have never heard!--and it astonishes me how many seem to think THAT's feminine. So for me Gillian doesn't sound overly feminine, but that said, I wouldn't use it for a son. Except possibly as a middle name. I did name a fictional character this once, and it suited him fine though he was in no way effeminate.
FamilySaga  8/26/2011
I should also add that, if hypothetically this *were* used as a man's name, I'd prefer the hard G pronunciation. Currently I'm seeing that as more masculine and the Jillian pronunciation as more feminine.
FamilySaga  8/26/2011
A famous bearer is American actress Gillian Jacobs (born 1982). She's best known for her television work in "The Book of Daniel" and currently in "Community".
AndrewJKD  7/3/2010
I absolutely love this name. It's so much prettier than Jillian.
― Anonymous User  2/20/2010
Love this name. It is my daughter's name and I pronounce it with a soft G.
powersrs  3/4/2009
I think this name is pretty but I would spell it Jillian as Gillian reminds me of "Gilligan's Island".
― Anonymous User  11/25/2008
Gillian Hewley is a character in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. She is Angeal's mother and gets killed off. (For those who don't know, Crisis Core is a prequel to the PS1 game Final Fantasy VII. It follows Zack Fair and his influence on the main character of FFVII, Cloud.) Despite the fact that it is an interesting name, I will forever think of mad scientists when I heard it.
morrigans-wings  8/22/2008
I dunno why, but the name reminds me of rotting fruit. I seriously despise it.
Paris44  7/7/2008
Well I really like my name because it makes me unique. It's quite pretty to hear someone calling me with the pronunciation of hard-'G' sound, rather than soft 'J'. I also prefer calling me in my nickname "Gill". To all of you, love your names because it can be the expression of the inner you. Gillian Rocks!
gillian21  6/26/2008
Strangely enogh, I don't like the name Jill at all, but I think Gillian is quite a pretty name without being too girly and cutesy. I like both pronunciations, actually. To me, the 'g' sound is softer than the 'j' sound.
slight night shiver  4/23/2008
My name is Gillian and I really like it. I use the hard "G" - it sounds and looks prettier than if it was spelled with a "J". I usually get called Gill or Gillza though. :)
Gillza1502  3/23/2008
Gillian Welch is a famous American bluegrass musician. She pronounces her name with the hard G sound. Personally, I prefer the soft G.
alphadogma  10/14/2007
Nice name, very strong and pretty. My mum wanted to call me this, but obviously didn't think it through as my brother's name is Jack. Jack and Gill. No matter how you pronounce Gillian, it would still be awkward. Luckily she changed her mind.
― Anonymous User  10/7/2007
This is a really pretty name, with a medieval flavor, and not overused. I much prefer it with the soft G. The hard G makes me think of the gills on a fish.
queenv  10/2/2007
I love this name! I much prefer it with a hard "G", as in "Gill-ee-an", and I'm glad to see that that pronunciation is noted! Gillian is so cool and unusual!
harry_sent_me  9/24/2007
To the people saying it's "wrong" to pronounce it with a hard G, I know someone who pronounces it that way.
melrose452  8/26/2007
Gilliam Owens is a character in both the movie and the book, Practical Magic, written by Alice Hoffman. In the movie she is portrayed by Nicole Kidman.
nothingshortoftragic  3/5/2007
I personally think this looks much prettier than the J variation.
nothingshortoftragic  12/12/2006
A famous bearer of this name would be the author Gillian Cross, whose works I can't remember right now but include a series about a demonic headmaster.
aqualime  9/27/2006
I see the guide has an alternate pronunciation of this name. It is wrong to pronounce it any way but with a soft G, like a J sound.
visitor27  4/7/2006
One of my penpal's name is Gillian, she is a really good friend.
CoBy  3/17/2006
My younger sister has this name, I like it very much. Not to mention it's highly amusing when people pronounce it wrong (with a hard G instead of a J).
kaekoe  12/19/2005
Gillian Anderson is a famous actress, known as Agent Scully on the TV show the X Files.
― Anonymous User  12/14/2005

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