English, southern French, and German: from a vernacular form of the Latin personal name (H)adrianus, originally an ethnic name denoting someone from the coast of the Adriatic (Latin Adria). It was adopted as a cognomen by the emperor who ruled AD 117–138. It was also borne by several minor saints, in particular an early martyr at Nicomedia (died c.304), the patron saint of soldiers and butchers. There was an English St. Adrian (died 710), born in North Africa; he was abbot of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, and his cult enjoyed a brief vogue after the discovery of his supposed remains in 1091. Later, the name was adopted by several popes, including the only pope of English birth, Nicholas Breakspear, who reigned as Adrian IV (1154–59).