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, see baby names similar to Reilly and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Reilly.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Reilly

Number of Babies Named Reilly

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Reilly

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.