Meaning and Origin of: Ryan

Ryan The name Ryan is of Irish origin and means "little king." Ryan originated from the Irish surname O"Riain, meaning “son of Rían.”
Meaning and Origin of Ryan

Girl name origins & meanings

  • Gaelic : Little king

What does Ryan mean and stand for?

The name Ryan is of Irish origin and means "little king." Ryan originated from the Irish surname O’Riain, meaning “son of Rían.” While it's been a popular boys name, in recent years, Ryan has become unisex with various spellings topping the charts.

Syllables: 2

Girl name variations

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Gaelic : Little king

Boy name variations

Family name origins & meanings

  • Irish : simplified form of Mulryan.
  • Irish : reduced form of O’Ryan, an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Riagháin (modern Irish Ó Riain) ‘descendant of Rian’; Ó Maoilriain ‘descendant of Maoilriaghain’, or Ó Ruaidhín ‘descendant of the little red one’. Ryan is one of the commonest surnames in Ireland; there has been considerable confusion with Regan.
  • Americanized spelling of German Rein.

Famous people with this first name

Famous people with this last name

Famous people who gave their babies this name


According to Social Security Administration data, Ryan has been consistently popular, remaining in the top 100 since 2000, and was in the top 20 from 2000 to 2009. Lately, it has declined in popularity, falling out of the top 50 in the past few years.

However, it is the 77th most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Isabella was at its peak popularity in February 2020.

Ryan has been one of the most popular Irish names in America for the past few decades. It was even in the Top 20 from 1976 to 2010, and still remains quite popular even though it is no longer in the Top 20. Various celebrities hold the name, including Ryan Seacrest, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling and Ryan Philippe.

Where is it Popular?

Ryan was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Ryan

  • Ry
  • RyRy

Pairs well with these middle names