Kelly Name Origin
If you’re wondering where the name Kelly comes from, it has roots in both Gaelic and Irish origin. In Gaelic, the name is spelled Ceallach, which means “warrior” or “strife”. The name was Anglicized as Kelly during the 16th century.
The Gaelic name Ceallach comes from the Gaelic word ceall, which means “church”. The name was often given to children born into religious families. However, it later became a popular name among warriors and chieftains in Ireland.
During the 16th century, the English began to Anglicize Irish names. This process involved translating Irish names into English and adapting them to English spelling and pronunciation. The Irish name Ceallach was Anglicized as Kelly, and this new name quickly became popular in Ireland.
The name Kelly is also a common Irish surname. It is derived from the Irish surname Ó Ceallaigh, which means “descendant of Ceallach”. The Ó Ceallaigh clan was one of the most powerful clans in Ireland during the Middle Ages. The surname Kelly is still very common in Ireland today.
In summary, the name Kelly has roots in both Gaelic and Irish origin. It was Anglicized during the 16th century and is also a common Irish surname. The name means “warrior” or “strife” and is derived from the Gaelic word ceall.
Meaning of Kelly
If you are interested in the meaning of the name Kelly, you have come to the right place. This section will give you an overview of the various interpretations of the name Kelly.
The name Kelly is derived from the Irish Gaelic name Ceallach. The name Ceallach is composed of two words – “ceall” which means “church” or “monastery” and “ach” which means “field” or “battle”. Thus, the name Ceallach means “bright-headed” or “warrior”. The name Kelly is believed to have been used as a surname in Ireland before it became a given name.
In English, the name Kelly is believed to mean “strife” or “contention”. This interpretation is based on the anglicized version of the name Ceallach. The name Kelly was first used as a given name in the 1960s and has been used for both boys and girls since then.
The name Kelly is also associated with the qualities of grace and strength. The name is often given to children who are believed to possess these qualities. In modern times, the name Kelly has become a popular unisex name in many countries around the world.
In conclusion, the meaning of the name Kelly is complex and has evolved over time. Whether you prefer the Gaelic interpretation of “bright-headed” or the anglicized interpretation of “strife”, the name Kelly is a strong and timeless name that has stood the test of time.
Kelly as a Given Name
If you are looking for a unisex name that is both common and unique, Kelly might be the perfect choice for you. Derived from the Irish surname Kelly, this name has been used as a given name for both boys and girls since the 1960s. In this section, we will explore the history and meaning of the name Kelly, as well as its usage for males and females.
Kelly for Males
Historically, Kelly was a masculine name. However, it has been used as a female given name since the 1960s, though with a significant minority usage as a masculine name, especially within Celtic families. If you are considering naming your son Kelly, you should know that the name’s meaning is “warrior” and “bright-headed,” making it a strong and powerful name for your little boy.
Kelly for Females
If you are looking for a name that is both feminine and strong, Kelly might be the perfect choice for your daughter. In the 1950s, Kelly was mostly a masculine name, but it rose in popularity as a name for girls during the 40s and 50s, probably due both to Grace Kelly (who married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956) and a female character on the 1957 television series Bachelor Father. The name peaked at #10 around 1977 and is still popular as a girl’s name, although it has declined.
It is worth noting that Kelly is a unisex name, so it is important to consider the gender-neutral implications of the name. If you want to give your daughter a name that is both strong and feminine, Kelly might be the perfect choice. The name’s meaning of “warrior” and “bright-headed” can also be interpreted as “strong-willed” and “intelligent,” making it a great choice for any little girl who is destined for greatness.
In conclusion, Kelly is a versatile and meaningful name that can be used for both boys and girls. Whether you are looking for a name that is strong and powerful or feminine and intelligent, Kelly might be the perfect choice for your child.
Popularity of Kelly
Kelly is a unisex name that has been around for quite some time. It has been a popular name for babies in the United States since the 1960s. In this section, we will take a closer look at the popularity of Kelly over the years.
Kelly in the 1960s
In the 1960s, Kelly was a very popular name for baby girls. It was ranked as the 18th most popular name for baby girls in 1960 and remained in the top 20 until 1969. During this time, the name was also given to baby boys, although it was not as common.
Kelly in the 1970s
The popularity of Kelly continued into the 1970s. It was still a popular name for baby girls, but it also became more popular for baby boys. In fact, in 1977, Kelly was ranked as the 20th most popular name for baby boys. However, after the 1970s, the popularity of Kelly began to decline.
Today, Kelly is not as popular as it once was. In fact, it has fallen out of the top 1000 names for baby girls in recent years. However, it is still a popular name for baby boys. In 2023, Kelly was ranked as the 1989th most popular name for baby girls and the 624th most popular name for baby boys.
Overall, Kelly has had a long history of popularity as a baby name. While it may not be as popular as it once was, it is still a well-known and beloved name for many parents.
Famous People Named Kelly
If you’re considering naming your child Kelly, you might be interested to know that there are plenty of famous people who share this name. Here are some of the most notable Kellys in music, film and TV, sports, and politics.
Kelly in Music
- Kelly Clarkson: This American singer and songwriter rose to fame after winning the first season of American Idol in 2002. She has since released multiple hit albums and won numerous awards, including three Grammys.
- Kelly Rowland: Another American singer, Rowland was a member of the popular girl group Destiny’s Child before embarking on a successful solo career. She has also acted in a number of films and TV shows.
- Grace Kelly: While not a musician herself, Kelly was an American actress who became a princess after marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco. She is often cited as a style icon and is remembered for her roles in classic films such as Rear Window and High Society.
Kelly in Film and TV
- Kelly Ripa: This American actress and television host is best known for her roles on the daytime talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan, as well as the soap opera All My Children. She has also appeared in a number of films and TV shows.
- Kelly Preston: Another American actress, Preston appeared in a variety of films throughout the 1980s and 90s, including Twins and Jerry Maguire. She was married to actor John Travolta until her death in 2020.
- Kelly McGillis: McGillis is an American actress who rose to fame in the 1980s with roles in films such as Top Gun and Witness. She has also appeared in a number of TV shows and stage productions.
Kelly in Sports
- Kelly Slater: This American professional surfer is widely considered to be one of the greatest of all time. He has won 11 world championships and is known for his innovative surfing style.
- Kelly Oubre: Oubre is an American basketball player who currently plays for the Charlotte Hornets. He has also played for teams such as the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns.
- Kelly Kelly: This American former professional wrestler was known for her time in WWE, where she won the Divas Championship.
Kelly in Politics
- Kelly Ayotte: Ayotte is an American politician who served as a United States Senator from New Hampshire from 2011 to 2017. She was the first woman to serve as the state’s attorney general and was also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
- Grace Kelly: In addition to her acting career, Kelly was also involved in politics. She was appointed a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1956 and later became a princess after marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
As you can see, there are plenty of famous people named Kelly in a variety of fields. Whether you’re a fan of music, film and TV, sports, or politics, there’s a Kelly out there who has made their mark.
Variations and Similar Names
Variations of Kelly
Kelly is a name that has several variations and spellings. Some of the most common variations of Kelly include Kelley, Kellie, Kelli, Kelle, Kella, Kelleigh, Kellye, and Keely. These variations are often used interchangeably with Kelly and have the same meaning of “warrior” and “bright-headed.”
Kelley is a popular variation of Kelly and is often used as a surname. It is of Irish and Scottish origin and means “warrior.” Kellie is another popular variation of Kelly and is a feminine name that means “warrior” or “warrior woman.” Kelle is a less common variation of Kelly and is a feminine name that means “bright-headed.”
Other variations of Kelly include Kayley, Kiley, Kali, Kyle, and Callie. Kayley is a feminine name that means “slim and fair.” Kiley is a unisex name that means “narrow piece of land.” Kali is a feminine name that means “energy” or “black.” Kyle is a masculine name that means “narrow piece of land.” Callie is a feminine name that means “beautiful.”
Similar Names to Kelly
If you like the name Kelly, you may also like some of these similar names:
- Rian: Rian is a unisex name of Irish origin that means “little king.”
- Cillian: Cillian is a masculine name of Irish origin that means “war” or “strife.”
- Kellyn: Kellyn is a unisex name of Irish origin that means “warrior.”
- Kelsey: Kelsey is a unisex name of English origin that means “island of ships.”
- Keegan: Keegan is a masculine name of Irish origin that means “small and fiery.”
- Kennedy: Kennedy is a unisex name of Irish origin that means “helmeted chief.”
- Kieran: Kieran is a masculine name of Irish origin that means “little dark one.”
- Killian: Killian is a masculine name of Irish origin that means “church.”
- Kyrie: Kyrie is a unisex name of Greek origin that means “lord” or “master.”
Overall, Kelly is a versatile name with many variations and similar names to choose from. Whether you prefer a traditional or modern name, there is a variation or similar name to suit your taste.