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The first name 

Riley is a unisex first name. It is given slightly more often to girls than to boys.

Riley is well-known and popular!

Riley is a very popular first name in the United States. It is currently ranked 62 in the SmartGenius ranking, and tens of thousands of babies are named Riley each year: around 0.20 % of all newborn babies.

You won't believe all there is 
to discover about the name

What does the name 
Riley mean?

The name Riley has two meanings. The first one comes from the Old English terms „ryge“ and „leah“, which means ‘woods’ and ‘clearing.’ Furthermore, Riley can be traced back to the Irish surname O’Reilly and the first name Raghailleach which means „valiant“.

Several famous people share the name Riley

King of Blues Guitar

Riley B. King (1925 - 2015)
The U.S-musician Riley B. King, better known as B.B. King, was one of the most influential blues guitarists and singers. His pseudonym 'B.B.' stands for 'Blues Boy'. Along with Albert King and Freddie King he is considered one of the 'Three Kings of the Blues Guitar'. Among his most famous hits are 'The Thrill Is Gone' (1970), 'Chains and Things' (1970) or 'Every Day I Have the Blues' (1955). In 1990, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

A Heiress of the King of Rock 'n' Roll

Riley Keough (*1989)
The Actress Riley Keough is known from movies like 'Magic Mike' (2012), 'Yellow' (2012), 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015), 'It Comes at Night' (2017) or the tv-series 'Riverdale' (2018). She began her career as a model at the age of fourteen, when she first walked the runway for the fashion label 'Dolce & Gabbana' in Italy. Keough had her movie debut in 2010 alongside Kirsten Stewart in 'The Runaways'. She ist the oldest Grandchild of singer Elvis, and his wife Priscilla Presley.

A Master of Cognition

Dr. Riley W. Gardner (1921 - 2007)
Dr. Riley W. Gardner was an American psychologist. He published works on individual differences and cognition. For most of his career, he researched at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas where he was working on principles of cognition control. In the 1950s, his work contributed to the so-called 'New Look in Perception', an attempt to study the interaction between cognition, needs, and personality. A mental breakdown in 1970 marked the end of his career.

A Baseball Outfielder

Riley Greene (*2000)
Riley Greene is an American baseball outfielder. In 2018, he played for Team USA in the U-18 Pan-American Championships one year later, he hit eight home runs and 27 runs batted in (RBIs). He started his professional career in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Detroit Tigers in 2019 they signed him to contract because he was considered one of the top prospects for the 2019 Major League Baseball draft.

A High Fashion Model

Riley Montana (*1990)
Riley Montana, born Ebony Riley, is an American fashion model. Before her career as a model she graduated as a nurse. She debuted with a Givenchy campaign. Montana walked the runway for many successful brands like Marc Jacobs, Balmain, Oscar de la Renta, Rodarte, Bottega Veneta, Nina Ricci, Tory Burch, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, or Moschino.

Go on a journey to places 
with your name

When you hear the name Riley, you might first think of people. But did you know that there are also places with the name Riley? Are you also called Riley? Maybe one day you will visit the places that are named just like you...

Watch a baseball game...

of the Vancouver Canadians baseball team at Riley Park in Vancouver. It is home to the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre and to Nat Bailey Stadium.

A tributary...

of the Black River in Ontario, Canada is called Riley Creek. It flows from its source at Riley Lake to the Black River in the city of Kawartha Lakes.

On the second planet...

of our solar system, Venus, there is a crater called Riley. It is 16 miles in diameter while its floor is 1,914 feet below the plains surrounding it.

In the state of Kansas,

you can find a county with the name Riley. Its population is about 72,000 and its largest city is called Manhatten.

In March 2018...

the Winter Storm Riley had a major impact on the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. Its official name was 'March 1-3, 2018 nor'easter'.

Several places...

all over the U.S. are called Riley. Two of them are located in the state of Indiana. You can find more Rileys in Illinois, Oregon, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Riley -
in the 2000s more popular than ever before

If we dig really deep into our statistics, we find that there are very few first names that have been consistently popular for so long that they have been given to newborns in every single year since the beginning of our records in 1880. In fact, there are only 910 first names that appear in our statistics in every single year, and Riley is one of those very special classics. At the same time, Riley has never been more popular than it is in this century - in 2016, the name even made it to rank #54 of the most popular first names, easily landing in the top 100 of our SmartGenius first name statistics.

In years where the graph has no value, the name Riley was given less than five times or even none at all in the entire USA.

Happy Birthday - 6,475 kids named Riley celebrate their second birthday this year

...because: In 2022, 6,475 children were born and given the name Riley by their parents. That puts Riley at #64 on our list of most popular first names. It was much less popular in 1970 - only 78 parents chose this name for their newborn child and it ranked 2,184 on the popularity scale of all first names.

Riley has 5 letters 
and begins with an R

Well, you might say, you probably figured that out yourself! But what you might not know is: The letter R is neither particularly common nor particularly rare as a first letter for given names: 4.8% of all common first names in the US begin with this letter. The most common initial letters of first names are A and J, while U and X are the least common initials of first names.

With five letters, the name Riley is comparatively short. In fact, 17.0% of all common first names in the US consist of exactly five letters. Only 7% of all first names are even shorter, while 75% have more than five letters. On average, first names in the US (not counting hyphenated names) are 6.5 letters long. There are no significant differences between boys' and girls' names.

Thus, it follows that if 4.8% of all first names start with an R, this initial letter occurs more often than all 26 letters on average.

Other names with 
R, i, l, e and y

If you take all the letters in the name Riley – R, i, l, e and y – and put them together again, you can form other names, such as Riely or others.

With hands, flags and sounds 
How to say Riley

If your name is Riley and someone asks after your name, you can of course just tell them what it is. But sometimes that isn't so easy - what if it's too loud, and you don't understand them well? Or what if the other person is so far away that you can see them but not hear them? In these situations, you can communicate your name in so many other ways: you call spell it, sign it, or even use a flag to wave it...

This is how you spell the name Riley

So that everyone really understands you when you have to spell the name Riley, you can simply say:






This is how the name Riley is spelled in the NATO phonetic alphabet

The NATO alphabet often helps people spell words on the phone or radio when there are communication problems.

How do you write Riley in Braille?

Braille is made up of dots, which the blind and visually impaired can feel to read words.



You want to tell a deaf person that your name is Riley

Just use American Sign Language!

The name Riley is particularly colorful in the Semaphore flag signaling system!

These flags are used for maritime communication - each flag represents a letter.


Have you ever waved the name Riley

In the navy, sailors of two ships might wave flags to each other to send messages. A sailor holds two flags in specific positions to represent different letters.


Beeping like crazy...

In Morse code, letters and other characters are represented only by a series of short and long tones. For example, a short tone followed by a long tone stands for the letter A. Riley sounds like this: