A very popular name, of uncertain derivation. Until the 20th century it was confined mainly to Scotland and Ireland. It is probably of Scandinavian rather than Celtic origin, however: a short form of any of the various compound names derived from Old Norse brand ‘sword’. Its popularity in Gaelic-speaking countries has no doubt been influenced by its similarity to Brendan.
Scottish: 1. habitational name from a place so named in the parish of Troqueer in Kirkcudbrightshire, which Black quotes as confirmed to Durand filius Christin by Alan filius Roland, constable of Scotland, in c. 1200–34. 2. variant of Mabey.