What does Kelly mean?
Kelly \k(el)-ly\ as a girls' name (also used less regularly as boys' name Kelly) is pronounced KEL-ee. It is of Irish and Gaelic origin, and the meaning of Kelly is "strife, war". Transferred use of the surname. Originally an anglicized form of the ancient Irish Gaelic name Ceallach, possibly meaning "strife", "bright-headed", or "church, monastery". Actresses Kelly McGillis, Kelly Preston, Kelly Ripa.
Kelly is a very popular first name for females (#67 out of 4276, Top 2%) and also a very popular surname for all people (#69 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Presented below is the birth name popularity of Kelly for girls. Kelly was first listed in 1950-1959 and reached its highest position of #14 in the U.S. during 1970-1979, and is at #431 currently. (Top 1000 Baby Names Statistics, 2014)
Callie (#186 last year), Keely, Kelley, Kelli and Kellie are the prominent variation forms of Kelly (#431 last year). Usage of these girl names was at its most widespread in the year 1990 (usage of 0.6907%) and has become significantly lower since (usage 0.2305%, down 66.6%), with the forms Keely, Kelley, Kelli and Kellie becoming less fashionable. Callie (#186) and Kelly (#431) are two of the more contemporarily stylish girl names among these, with Callie enjoying a rekindling in popularity. Below is a graphed analysis of the popularity of the girl name Kelly and associated names. (Top 1000 Baby Names Statistics, 2014)
Kelly is pronounced similarly to Cally, Colly, Kaeley, Kaley▼, Kalla, Kalley, Kalli, Kally, Kaly, Keala, Kealey, Kealy, Keela, Keeley, Keeli, Keila, Keili, Keyely, Keyla, Keyley, Keylley, Kiley▼ and Kyley. Other recommended similar baby names are Delly, Kalle, Kelby, Kelcy, Kellyn, Kelsy, Melly and Nelly. These names tend to be less commonly used than Kelly.