Bree can have several different origins and meanings, but is ultimately an anglicized form of the Gaelic female name, Brígh, which is a Gaelic word that can have several meanings, including: “essence, gist, matter, pith, purport, substance; meaning, sense, significance; point (of an argument); energy, force; and or “juice.”
Bree (pronounced BRAY) is also the name of a city in Belgium. In this case, the name is believed to derive from either the Medieval Dutch bred (wooden settlement) or the Dutch broek (brook, marsh). Bree appears as the name of places throughout the Dutch-speaking world, including Maasbree in the Netherlands and the Breede River in South Africa.
Brée (also pronounced BRAY) is also the name of a commune in France. In this case, its etymology is unknown.
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Bree is the name of a village in Middle Earth, which is believed to be inspired by the village of Brill in Buckinghamshire in England and also a play on the Celtic element bre (hill).
In C.S. Lewis’ Narnia chronicles, the name features prominently in A Horse and His Boy, in which Bree is the name of a talking horse.
In recent years, the name has made an appearance in The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers, as the name of a minor peripheral Vampire character who was featured in her own novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2010).
Bree is also the name of one of the main characters in the American TV series, Desparate Housewives. Another notable bearer is American actress and model, Bree Olson (b. 1986).
In the United States, Bree appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2006 and 2012 and peaked at #868 in 2010.