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For other uses, see Roy (disambiguation).
Gender Male
Word/name England, Normandy, Scotland
Meaning King
Other names
Alternative spelling Roi, Rai, Ray
Related names Rex, King, Kingsley, Kingston, Ry, Ray, Raymie, Raymond, Glenroy, Elroy, Leroi, Leroy, Royce, Royal

Roy is an English, Scottish Gaelic and French name of Norman origin. This family name originated from the Normans, the descendants of Norse Vikings from Denmark, Norway and Iceland.[1][2] The derivation is from the word rey or roi, meaning "king". The Normans brought this surname to England, which in medieval times was used as a nickname either for one who behaved in a regal fashion, or who had earned the title in some contest of skill.[3] It also appears in Scottish Gaelic, from the word ruadh, meaning "red".

Roy can also be found in India as a variant of the name "Rai", which was a historical title of honour in India conferred by the British Raj. [4][5]

Given name[edit]

Roy is a common male given name. Notable people with the given name include:


Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Discover the meaning and history behind your last name,, retrieved 25 November 2013  which cited Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4  for the surname "Roy".
  2. ^ "Norman". Encyclopædia Britannica. 
  3. ^ The Norman people and their existing descendants in the British dominions and the United States of America. Genealogical Pub Co. 1874. p. 403 & 321. ISBN 9780806306360.  for the surname of "King" and "Roy".
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, 1989: from Skr. rāj: to reign, rule; cognate with L. rēx, rēg-is, OIr. , rīg king (see RICH).
  5. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition (June 2008), on-line edition (September 2011): "spec. In full British Raj. Direct rule in India by the British (1858–1947); this period of dominion."