The origin of Brianna is pretty obvious -- it’s simply a feminization of the male name Brian. The spelling…not so clear. Nine different versions of Brianna (that spelling being the most popular) are in the top 1,000. The name started appearing in the ’70s -- perhaps parents decided to steal a boy’s name as part of the feminist movement? It took a huge jump in the ’90s and peaked at 17 in ’03.