The name is found as far back as the 16th-century being used by Edmund Spenser for his epic poem The Faerie Queene. It is uncertain whether he invented the name himself or derived it from some lost Celtic source. The name has been erroneously listed as a feminine form of Brian but this does not seem to be the case.

The name is currently the 183rd most popular female name in the United States, (2010). Its more common form of Brianna seems to be a recent spin off. It is currently the 29th most popular female name in the United States. However, we at Legitimate Baby Names do not recognize this form as a legitimate name as it has no history before the 1990s. It is recommended to use the Briana form.