Meaning and Origin of: Riley

Riley meaning and origin

Girl name origins & meanings

  • Irish : Rye
  • Gaelic : Valiant

What does Riley mean and stand for?

Riley, meaning "valiant", was first given its meaning when it first appeared as Raghallach, which was originated on a man who died in the Battle of Clontarf.

Syllables: 2

Girl name variations

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Gaelic : Valiant

Boy name variations

Family name origins & meanings

  • Irish : variant spelling of Reilly.
  • English : habitational name from Ryley in Lancashire, so named from Old English ryge ‘rye’ + lēah ‘wood’, ‘clearing’. There is a Riley with the same meaning in Devon, but it does not seem to have contributed to the surname, which is more common in northern England.

Famous people who gave their babies this name


Riley is the number 28 most popular girls name in the US, according to 2018 Social Security Administration data. Riley has steadily increased in popularity since 2000 when it was at position 131. It quickly rose up to position 22 in 2016, when it was at its peak popularity on the charts.

However, it is the 61st most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Isabella was at its peak popularity in March 2015.

Originally used as an English surname, Riley has been rising in popularity throughout the 90s and early 2000s. It first became popular as a boy's name, but today it is more often used for girls and is one of the more popular unisex or gender-neutral names. Its gender neutrality is one of the top reasons it has become so popular in recent years. It was also used in the popular Twilight series.

Where is it Popular?

Riley was searched for most often in the following states:

Pairs well with these middle names

Appears on

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