Ryan (surname)

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Ryan (Irish: Ó Riain) is a common Irish surname, as well as being a common given name.

Origins and meaning[edit]

There are several different origins for the surname. In some cases it may be a shortened form of O'Ryan, which is an Anglicized adaptation of the Gaelic surname Ó Riain, meaning "descendant of Rian".[1] It can also be a shortened form of Mulryan or O'Mulryan, which are derived from the Gaelic Ó Maoilriain, meaning "descendant of the follower of Rian".[1][2]

The meaning of the Old Irish name Rian is unknown.[3] Some sources have suggested that it is related to the Old Irish word rían, meaning "water" or "ocean".[4][5] Others have suggested that it is related to the Old Irish word , meaning "king".[6][7] Both of these etymologies have been discounted by scholars, however.[3]

Popular sources typically suggest that Ryan means "little king"[8][9] or "illustrious".[2][10]

There are also cases in which Ryan is an Americanized form of the German surname Rein.[1]

List of persons with the surname Ryan[edit]

A–D[edit]

E–L[edit]

M–R[edit]

S–Z[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hanks, Patrick (2003). Dictionary of American Family Names. 3. Oxford University Press. p. 242. ISBN 0195081374. 
  2. ^ a b Grehan, Ida (1997). The Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Lanham, Maryland: Roberts Rinehart Publishers. p. 299. ISBN 1568332246. 
  3. ^ a b MacLysaght, Edward (1964). A Guide to Irish Surnames. Helicon. p. 15. 
  4. ^ "Ryan". The Internet Surname Database. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "rían". eDIL - Irish Language Dictionary. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  6. ^ O'Boyle, Fragrance (2008). Irish Baby Names. United Kingdom: IBN Publishing. p. 125. ISBN 0955805708. 
  7. ^ "rí". eDIL - Irish Language Dictionary. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  8. ^ Smith, Elsdon C. (1969). American Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. p. 88. ISBN 0806311509. 
  9. ^ Rosenkrantz, Linda; Satran, Pamela Redmond (2002). Baby Names Now: From Classic to Cool—The Very Last Word on First Names. New York: St. Martin's Paperbacks. p. 419. ISBN 0312983689. 
  10. ^ Grehan, Ida (1997). A little book of Irish family names. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 56. ISBN 0811812863. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Laffan, Thomas (1911). Tipperary Families : Being The Hearth Money Records for 1665-1667. James Duffy & Co. 

External links[edit]