The meaning of the name “Riley” is different in several languages, countries and cultures and has more than one possibly same or different meanings available.
Additional information: This name has a complicated origin that involves multiple changes to the original surname Raghallach and a local name from a place named with Old English ryge (rye) and leah (wood, clearing). Over time this name evolved from Anglican influence and became the Irish surname O’Reilly. Its first stunt as a given name rather than a surname came later on when Reilly began to be a common Irish first name for boys. The spelling changed to Riley as the name was adopted by more and more people around the world. While it is a unisex name in some countries, such as the US and New Zealand, it is typically seen as a name for boys around the rest of the world. Riley means “valiant”, because the original man to bear the name Raghallach died in the Battle of Clontarf.
In an effort to put a more feminine touch on this name, some people change the spelling to Rylie, Rylee, Ryleigh, or Ryley. Common diminutives of the name include Ry, Ry-ry, Lee, and Ley. It can be seen commonly misspelled as Rilley, Rilie, Rily, or Rilee.
Popularity of Riley as a boy’s name has been high in a lot of countries around the world for decades. In the US, it was ranked within the top 500 boy names from 1880-1944 with only 1 year outside. After that the popularity picked back up in the US in 1985 as it became a more popular name for boys and girls. 2002 was the first year that the name was more popular for girls in the US than for boys. In 2014 it was ranked as the 47th most popular girls name and the 173rd most popular boys name in the US. Its peak can in 2009 when it was the 38th most popular girls name in the US. Elsewhere in the world, Riley was ranked as the 79th most popular girls name in Canada and the 61st most popular girls name in New Zealand in 2010. In 2014, it was ranked as the 25th most popular boys name in Scotland, the 35th most popular boys name in the UK, and the 41st most popular boys name in Australia.
Celebrities and notable famous people who share the name include Riley McDonough, a pop singer; Riley Keough, an actress; Riley Cooper, an NFL player; and Riley Biederer, a pop singer.
The first thing you should know if you are considering Riley for your baby's name is that in most countries all over the world the name Riley is a unisex name, used as a boy name and a girl name.
The name Riley is of English origin, and is used in more than one countries and different languages of the world, especially English speaking countries, Gaelic speaking countries among others.
If you consider naming your baby Riley we recommend you take note of the special meaning and history of the name as your baby’s name will play a big role in its life and your baby will hear it spoken every day. Searching for a name is a very important and fun process as it’s the very first gift you will give to your baby. Many people believe that the name can affect success in life, through their children's working career and other circumstances, so they choose more “respectable” names or name meanings as they believe that the name meaning reflects the personality of the child.
Riley Name Meaning
The meaning of Riley has more than one different etymologies. It has same or different meanings in other countries and languages. The different meanings of the name Riley are:
English meaning: A little stream
Celtic - Gaelic meaning: Valiant
Irish meaning: From the rye meadow
Keep in mind that many names may have different meanings in other countries and languages, so be careful that the name that you choose doesn’t mean something bad or unpleasant. Search comprehensively and find the name meaning of Riley and its name origin or of any other name in our database. Also note the spelling and the pronunciation of the name Riley and check the initials of the name with your last name to discover how it looks and sounds. The history and meaning of the name Riley is fascinating, learn more about it. (If you know more meanings of the name and you would like to contribute click here to submit another name meaning).
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Name Riley Categories
The name Riley is in the following categories: American Names, Australian Names, Canadian Names, Celtic Names, Cute Names, English Names, Gaelic Names, Irish Names, Places Names, Surnames Names, Unisex Names. (If you would like to suggest one or more categories for the name, click here). We have plenty of different baby name categories to search for special meanings plus popular and unique names, search our database before choosing but also note that baby name categories designed to help you and not to be an influential factor when choosing a name. Instead, we recommend that you pay a greater attention to the origin and meaning of the name Riley. Read our baby name articles for useful tips regarding baby names and naming your baby. If you are thinking of giving your baby the beautiful name Riley, spread the love and share this with your friends.
Popularity of the Name Riley
Below you will find the popularity of the baby name Riley displayed annually, from 1880 to the present day in our name popularity chart. Hover over or click on the dots that represent a year to see how many babies were given the name for that year, for both genders, if available.
Riley Boy Name Popularity Chart
Riley Girl Name Popularity Chart
Note:The data above is from the Social Security Administrator of United States, (more info here) from Social Security card applications for births in US for every name, from 1880 up to the present year. The gender associated with the name might be incorrect, as the data presents the record applications without being edited for errors. The name's popularity and ranking is announced annually, so the data for this year will not be available until next year. The more babies that are given a name, the higher popularity ranking the name receives. For names with the same popularity, the tie is solved by assigning popularity rank in alphabetical order. This means that if two or more names have the same popularity their rankings may differ significantly, as they are set in alphabetical order. If a name has less than five occurrences, the SSA excludes it from the provided data to protect privacy.
If you’re not sure yet, see our wide selection of both boy names and girl names all over the world to find the ideal name for your new born baby. We offer a comprehensive and meaningful list of popular names and cool names along with the name's origin, meaning, pronunciation, popularity and additional information.
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