Riley - The Meaning, Origin And Other Facts About The Name

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

Riley - meaning, origin and facts about the name

The name Riley comes from two sources.

One source is the Irish surnames Ó Raghallaigh or O'Reilly, which are derived from the Gaelic word raghalach meaning courageous or valiant.

And the other source is a couple of Old English words: ryge, meaning rye (a wheat-like cereal plant), and lēah, meaning wood, clearing or meadow. The name was once indicative of one who lived near a rye field.

In 2012 it was the eighth most popular name for baby boys in UK, while in the US it is more popular as a name for baby girls.

Famous people called Riley:

BB King, American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter (born Riley B. King)

Riley Adams, character in the TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Riley Biers, character in The Twilight Saga

Can be shortened to: Rye, Ri, Rei

Surnames to avoid pairing Riley with:

Surnames beginning with an 'I' sound, might cause problems as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.

Also to be taken into account is the saying 'the life of Riley.'

Similar names:

Ryan, Ryland, Ryn

Alternative spellings include: Reilley, Reilly, Rylee, Ryleigh, Ryley.

Feminine variations:

Riley, Reilly, Ryeleigh, Ryenne, Rylee, Rylie, Ryann

Celebrities who named their baby Riley:

David Lynch, director

Lisa Marie Presley, singer-songwriter and daughter of Elvis Presley


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