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.'
Ryan, Ryland, Ryn
Alternative spellings include: Reilley, Reilly, Rylee, Ryleigh, Ryley.
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