Meaning: Rye clearing; courageous
Origin: English; Irish
Alternate spellings: Reilly, Reilley, Rilee, Rileigh, Rylee, Ryley
Riley is originally a surname with English and Irish roots that means “rye clearing” or “courageous,” but today it’s a modern-sounding and fun-loving firstie. It’s been a staple on the boy’s chart since 1880, but parents started liking the name for their daughters in 1990 and a little over a decade later it was more popular for girls than it was for boys. The name is trendy for both genders right now, with Riley the girl slightly ahead of Riley the boy…and that kind of dual popularity can’t last. Watch the gap get bigger in years to come.
By The Numbers
U.S. Rank by Year
Rank of Similar Names in 2008