Ryan (given name)

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For other uses, see Ryan.
Pronunciation /ˈrən/ RY-ən
Gender Male
Language(s) English
Language(s) English
Word/Name Ryan (surname)
Other names
See also Ó Riain, Rían

Ryan is a given name in English. It originates from the surname Ryan, which is an Anglicised form of the Irish Ó Riain.[1] While mostly used for boys, Ryan has been used for girls in the United States since the 1970s.

Some sources suggest Rían/Ryan means "little king",[2] although its actual etymology is unknown.



For Ireland, information is available for 2005 and 2006, which shows a popularity rank of 10th and 14th, respectively, for use of "Ryan" as a male given name for newborn children.[3]

United Kingdom

In Scotland of the 1990s, "Ryan" was the most popular forename of the decade; this popularity is recent, as "Ryan" apparently was not in use in 1900, ranked between 100 and 250 in 1950, and appears at rank 64 in 1975.[4] In Northern Ireland, "Ryan" appeared among the top-five most commonly selected male names for newborns in 2000–2003, but did not appear among the top-ten in 1975.[5] In England and Wales, data for 2003–2007 is available, which suggest somewhat less popularity of "Ryan" than in other parts of the UK, having a rank of 21 in 2003 and 2004 then dropping to 25 in 2005–2007.[6]

United States

"Ryan" as a male given name has persisted in popularity for the thirty-year period of 1976–2006 in the 10th to 20th rank; the name appeared in the top-thousand for the first time in 1946 and gained steadily in popularity until leveling off in the 1970s.[7] The popularity of "Ryan" as a female given name is an order of magnitude less than that as a male name; the name first appeared in the top-thousand in 1974 and has remained there since, fluctuating widely from year to year but never breaching the rank of 300.[8]

List of persons with the given name Ryan[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 355, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1 
  2. ^ "Behind the Name: Meaning, Origin and History of the Name Ryan". Retrieved 2012-07-19. 
  3. ^ "Top 25 Baby Names". Births, Deaths and Marriages. Central Statistics Office (Ireland). 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  4. ^ "Popular Forenames in Scotland 1900-2000". Occasional papers. General Register Office for Scotland. 2001-01-04. Retrieved 2008-02-16. "Ryan was the most popular name for boys for five years, 1994 - 1998. (see also Table 5)" 
  5. ^ "Jack and Emma were the most popular first names in Northern Ireland in 2003" (PDF) (Press release). Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. 2004-01-02. Retrieved 2008-02-14. "(Consult tables "Comparison with 1975" and "Top 20 Names 2000-2003", the latter showing ranks of 5, 3, 4, 3 for 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000, respectively)" 
  6. ^ "Top 100 names for baby boys in England and Wales". National Statistics Online. Office for National Statistics. 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  7. ^ "Popular baby names". Social Security Administration. 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2008-02-16. "(Query in "Popularity of a name" section: Ryan - male - 100 years)" 
  8. ^ "Popular baby names". Social Security Administration. 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2008-02-16. "(Query in "Popularity of a name" section: Ryan - female - 100 years)"