Bruno, Bruna, Brune


Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “brown.”

The name has a Latin sound but is actually of German origins. It is derived from the German word brun meaning “brown.” A follower of my blog, Capucine, informed me that the meaning of the name was originally a euphemism for a bear.

It has also been suggested that the name might be related to the Old High German, brunja, meaning, “breastplate.”

According to, the name has been borne by German royalty and nobility alike. It was also borne by a 10th-century saint and the son of Emperor Henry the Fowler as well as by the Saxon Duke who gave his name to the town of Brunswick (in German Braunschweig).

The name has also experienced popular usage in Spanish-speaking countries, French-speaking countries, as well as in Italy, Portugal and Poland.

Thanks to the influx of German immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century, it reached # 260 way back in 1915. The highest it has ever reached in the Social Security list. It currently comes in at a mere # 665 (2018).

His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 14 (Catalonia, 2018)
  • # 21 (Spain, 2018)
  • # 29 (Galicia, Spain, 2018)
  • # 44 (Poland, 2018)
  • # 59 (Portugal, 2018)
  • # 115 (Italy, 2018)
  • # 377 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • # 476 (the Netherlands, 2018)
Other forms of the name include:
  • Bru (Catalan)
  • Bruneau (French)
  • Brun (German)
  • Brúnó (Hungarian)
  • Brunello (Italian)
  • Brunetto (Italian)
  • Brunino (Italian)
  • Brunone (Italian)
  • Broen (Limbergish)
  • Brunon (Occitanian/Polish)

The feminine form of Bruna is a popular name in Brazil, Italy and Croatia.

It is currently the 28th Most Popular Female Name in Spain (2018) and the 66th Most Popular Female Name in Portugal (2018), while its French form of Brune currently ranks in at # 363 in France (2018).

Other feminine forms include:

  • Brune (Dutch/French)
  • Brunonia (English), which is borne by author, Brunonia Barry
  • Brunelle (French)
  • Brunette (French)
  • Brunella (Italian)
  • Brunetta (Italian)
  • Brunina (Italian)
  • Brunona (Polish)

Its designated name day is July 12.


Updated by Sebastiane on 12/21/2019

6 thoughts on “Bruno, Bruna, Brune

  1. There's also the author Brunonia Barry. And celeb chef Nigella Lawson has a Bruno. And my kids have a just-turning-one-year cousin with the name.

    I kind of love Bruno, but I suspect the movie will (should?) give parents pause!

  2. I had a great uncle Bruno and have always really liked the name. I think it has a lot of character. I am quite pleased to hear that you have a 1 year old Bruno in your extended family. What a great name!

  3. Thanks for that extra little info, I edited the entry 🙂 Brunonia is quite appealing. It sounds very literary, I say, it fits an author quite well.

  4. I just found out that the Polish form of Bruno (and apparently the masculine form of Brunona) is Brunon.
    The Italian feminine diminutive of Bruno is Brunella and there also seems to be the masculine form Brunello.
    Two old German names are Brunold and Brunhold which are a combination of brun=brown and wald=to rule.

    On a side note: It’s true, “brun” first and foremost means “brown”. However,when parents named their son Bruno in the old days, the middle ages ;), they usually didn’t think so much of the colour; to them, Bruno rather meant “the brown one” and was thus a euphemism for “bear”, the animal.

    • Thanks, that is quite interesting. I did notice Brunon listed in quite a few Polish name books, but I have only ever actually met Polish Brunos and never any Brunons. . I have a great-uncle named Bruno (though I believe it was a poor anglicization of Bronislaw) and a friend of mine has a father named Bruno from Poland.

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