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What does Cliff mean?

Cliff Pronunciation of Cliff [cliff] as a boys' name is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Cliff is "cliff-side slope". Diminutive of Clifford and Clifton. Sometimes linked with Clive. Made popular in the 1950s by pop singer Cliff Richard. Actor Cliff Robertson.

Associated with: old english, slope (mountain), popular (famous).


Cliff has 3 variants: Cliffe, Clyff and Clyffe.

3 more related forms via Clifford, Clifton, Clive: Cleve, Clift and Clyve.

Creative forms:
(male) Caiff, Cliph, ..

(female) Clicy, Clira, ..

Middle name pairings:
Cliff Shalom (C.S.), ..

How popular is Cliff?

Cliff is a somewhat popular first name for males (#612 out of 1220, Top 50%) and an even more popular last name for both adults and children (#12058 out of 150436, Top 8%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Cliff reached its apex position of #502 in the U.S. during the years 1890-1899, but is not found in the list at the moment. (2015 Birth Statistics)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Cliff name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Cliff outside U.S.

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related boy names. Popular alternative forms of Cliff rated in the Top 2000 are Clifford (#1241 a year ago), Clifton (#1493), Clive (#1809) and Cleve. Other forms, like Clift, are uncommon. Usage of these relations of Cliff was common 115 years ago (adoption of 0.42%) and has become significantly less since (adoption 0.02%, 95.7%).

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Cliff, Cleve, Clifford, Clifton, Clive in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Cliff and related baby names outside U.S.

Similar Names

Recommended names are Biff, Clint, Griff and Olaff. These names tend to be less commonly used than Cliff.

See names
in meaning and etymology.