Ryan (surname)

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For other uses, see Ryan.

Ryan is a common Irish surname, as well as being a common given name.

There are several possible origins for the surname. In certain cases it can be a simplified form of Mulryan. In some cases the surname may be derived from the Irish Gaelic Ó Riagháin (modern Irish Ó Riain), meaning "descendant of Rían"; or Ó Maoilriain "descendant of Maoilriaghain", or Ó Ruaidhín "descendant of the little red one".[1] The old Gaelic personal name Rían is of uncertain origin. It may be derived from the Gaelic , meaning "king".[2]

The surname Ryan has been confused with the surname Regan, which is derived from Ó Ríagáin, meaning "descendant of Riagán".[1]

List of persons with the surname Ryan[edit]





Fictional characters[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4
  2. ^ A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-280050-7