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Valerian

Saints_Valerian_and_Cecilia
9th century apse mosaic of Saints Valerian and Cecilia

Valerian (vul-AYR-ee-en) is a boy's name you might think is a little bit more popular than it really is, thanks to the recent movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (originally the comic Valerian and Laureline). But there were none (or less than five boys given the name per year) since 2010. Before then it was not given to more than 17 boys in any year since 1880, when the SSA records begin. Female counterpart Valeriana (and her French form Valériane), however, had been much more rare - only used 5 times in 1999 and 6 in 2016. Valerian means "strong" in Latin.

Valerian sounded familiar before the movie, however, because of the flowering plant of the same name, used in sleep tea and as a medicinal herb since ancient Roman and Greek times.

Valerian was the name of a 3rd century Roman emperor and his grandson, the Roman Caesar Valerian II. Namesakes also include, but are not limited to, an 8th Duke of Wellington, Russian prince Valerian Madatov, designer Valerian Rybar, Romanian cleric Valerian Trifa, Saint Valerian of Abbenza, Saint Valerian of Aquileia, Saint Valerian of Cimiez, and Saint Valerian, husband of Saint Cecilia.

International variants include Valerio, Valerius (original Roman form), Valère, and Valeri/Valeriy.

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