Ran is a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used. The most popular kanji I’ve seen for this name is 蘭 meaning “orchid” though it can also be written with 藍 meaning “indigo”, either referring to the color or to the Persicaria tinctoria, the name of a species of flowering plants, also known as Chinese indigo or Japanese indigo. There may be other possible meanings. Written in hiragana, it’sらん.
Ran is also a Chinese surname written with the character 冉 meaning “tender, weak”.
Rán (pr. rawn) is also the name of a goddess of the sea in Norse mythology; she captures sailors in her net and drowns them. She is married to the giant Ægir with whom she has nine daughters who personify the waves. Though the etymology of the name is uncertain, it’s been linked to Old Norse rán meaning “robbery, theft; plunder” via Proto-Germanic *rahną, which itself derives from an uncertain origin, possibly from a PIE root word.
Ran is also a Hebrew male name, a variant transcription of Ron, meaning “to sing” from a Hebrew root word.
Ran is also an English word, the past tense of run (to move swiftly, to go at a fast pace); rān is also an Old English word referring to an “unlawful seizure of property; robbery”.
Origin: Japanese; Chinese; uncertain, possibly PIE; Hebrew
Meaning: as a Japanese female name can mean either “orchid” or “indigo”; also a Chinese surname “weak, tender”; the name of a Norse goddess of the sea, the name of uncertain etymology though possibly “robber” or “robbery”; a Hebrew male name “to sing”; also an English word, the past tense of run, as well as an Old English word “unlawful seizure of property; robbery”
Usage: Japanese; Chinese; Old Norse; Hebrew
- Rán (Old Norse)