How popular is the baby name Reilly in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Reilly.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Reilly

Posts that Mention the Name Reilly

Names in the News: Ryder, Saynt, Crew

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Blu (rejected): A baby girl born in late 2016 in Italy was almost named Blu, but the Italian government rejected the name because it didn’t correspond to her gender. (The Local)

Betsy and Emory: Twin baby girls born in January of 2018 to singer Hillary Scott were named Betsy Mack and Emory JoAnn. Their older sister Eisele was behind the debut of Eisele in 2014. (Taste of Country)

Brianna: A baby girl born in Sacramento in early 2018 with the help of firefighter Brian Hoffer was named Brianna Renee in his honor. (CBS Sacramento)

Crew: A baby boy born in June of 2018 to reality TV stars Joanna and Chip Gaines was named Crew. (Motherly)

Harry and Meghan: Twin foals born in Wales the day before the royal wedding were named Harry and Meghan. (BBC)

Hayes: A baby boy born on the last day of 2017 to actress Jessica Alba was named Hayes. (People)

Marvel: A baby girl born in May of 2018 to musician Pete Wentz was named Marvel Jane. Her older brother Bronx was behind the rise of Bronx in 2009. (Business Insider)

Knight: A baby boy born in Vegas in during the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals was named Haizen Knight in part after the Vegas Golden Knights, who ultimately lost to the Washington Capitals. (KTNV Las Vegas, video)

Neve: A baby girl born in June of 2018 to Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, was named Neve Te Aroha. (NZ Herald)

Riley: A baby girl born in Vegas on the day the Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the playoffs was named Riley after player Reilly Smith. Her parents were survivors of the Las Vegas shooting. (NY Post)

Ryder: A baby boy born in May of 2018 was named Ryder after the Ryder Cup. (Ryder Cup…and here’s the follow-up post that mentions several more babies named Ryder)

Saynt: A baby boy born in February of 2018 to Australian actress Tessa James was named Saynt — a respelling of Saint, which would have been illegal in Australia. (

Sheboygan: A baby boy born in April of 2018 to a Michigan couple already famous for being prodigious producers of sons was named Finley Sheboygan — middle name derived from the phrase “she is a boy again.” (Today)

Stormi: A baby girl born in February to reality TV star Kylie Jenner was named Stormi. (People)

Riley – Boy Name or Girl Name?

Riley - boy name or girl name?

Is Riley a boy name or a girl name these days? Or is it officially something in between? (And does the country you live in affect your perspective?)

Let’s start with some background. The name baby name Riley has at least two known origins:

In some cases a transferred use of the English surname, a local name from a place named with Old English ryge ‘rye’ + leah ‘wood, clearing’. There is one such place in Devon and another in Lancashire. In other cases it probably represents a respelling of the Irish surname Reilly, which is from an old Irish personal name, Raghallach, of unknown origin.

In the U.S. it was given to baby boys regularly and almost exclusively from the late 1800s until the 1970s. After that, usage began picking up for girls.

The name became very trendy for both genders starting in the 1990s — so trendy that thousands of baby boys and thousands of baby girls were being named Riley annually by the turn of the century.

The “gender switch” happened not long after, right around 2003:

  • 2005: 5,121 girls and 4,110 boys named Riley
  • 2004: 4,981 girls and 4,109 boys named Riley
  • 2003: 4,242 girls and 4,075 boys named Riley
  • 2002: 3,904 girls and 3,958 boys named Riley
  • 2001: 3,044 girls and 3,650 boys named Riley

Usage peaked for both genders a few years later and the name has been in decline since. In 2012, Riley was given to 4,786 baby girls (ranked 47th) and 2861 baby boys (ranked 133rd).

The name is also popular in other English-speaking areas, but decidedly male in most (all?) of those places (e.g., ranked 15th for boys in Scotland, 19th in Western Australia, 30th in New Zealand).

What are your thoughts on Riley? And, for the record, where are you from?

Source: Hanks, Patrick, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of First Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Baby Names (No Longer) Needed – Annika, Makena, Silvia, Lane

I haven’t posted any updates in, oh…4 months. Yeah, I’m a bit behind on that.

From way back in October: I know Carin picked Annika and Martha selected Olivia Mae, but I haven’t heard from Rachel.

From November: Alexis chose Makena Leigh, Mercedes picked Brooklyn, Emily decided on Lauren, Steff did indeed go with Genevieve, and Pamela settled on Elliott Samuel. Not sure about Char.

From December: Debra decided on Silvia Raine and Lauren went with Hannah Reilly. I haven’t heard from Lucas or Dacia.

From January: Jackie had a boy (not a girl!) named Lane Michael, Amy chose Alice Elisabeth, Rebecca picked Eva Grace, Jaime decided on Carlo Andrew, and Jamie stuck with Declan James. Zoe‘s adoption has not been finalized yet, so she still has time to decide (but she’ll let us know when she does). No word from Jill.

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name to Go with Rose or Reilly

A reader named Lauren is expecting her second child–a baby girl–and needs some name ideas. (Her son’s name is Michael Christopher.) Here’s what she says:

I have my heart set on using Reilly or Rose as a middle name (both family names). I LOVE the name Emma Reilly, but my husband hates it. We can’t seem to come up with another name that we both like. I have thought about Kayla Rose, but think Kayla may not be good as an adult. Please help.

I think it’s too bad Emma Reilly is out of the running–Emma would have sounded great with Michael.

Kayla doesn’t seem to fit as well, in terms of style. Like other Kay-names, it’s quite trendy and (therefore) very modern-sounding. But who knows how long the Kay-craze will last?

Emma, on the other hand, is a classic that’s been weathering naming trends for decades (much like both Michael and Christoper).

Also, Kayla is sometimes considered a variant of Michaela, the feminine form of Michael…so Kayla and Michael could be viewed by some as forms of the same name. That might be a bit odd.

Here are some other possibilities:


Do any of the above sound particularly good with Rose and/or Reilly? What other names would you guys suggest?

Update, 6/09: The baby has arrived! Scroll down to the last comment to find out which name Lauren chose.