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Kelly (boy)

What does Kelly mean?

Kelly Pronunciation of Kelly [kel-ly] as a boys' name (also used more commonly as girls' 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 male name Ceallach, possibly meaning "strife", "bright-headed", or "church, monastery". TV producer David Kelley.

Associated with: irish, surname, bright, monastery.


Kelly has 1 variant: Kelley.

Affiliated boy names: Cillian, Keeley and Killian.

3 feminine forms: Callie, Ceallach and Keely.

Creative forms:
(male) Keldy, Kerly, ..

(female) Kellei, Kellia, ..

Middle name pairings:
Kelly Merrick (K.M.), ..

How popular is Kelly?

Kelly is a very popular first name for men (#248 out of 1220, Top 20%) and also a very popular last name for all people (#69 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Kelly reached its peak position of #123 in the U.S. during 1960-1969, and is presently at #1582. (Top Baby Names, 2015)

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

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

Which version is better?

with its variant form and related boy names. Cillian (#1407 from recent data), Kelley and Killian (#348) are the popular related forms of Kelly (#1582 from recent data). Usage of these relations of Kelly reached its peak in the 1960s (usage of 0.2%) and is now significantly less (usage 0.1%, 59% less), with the version Kelly becoming less trendy. Killian is the most chic name for newborns among these.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Kelly, Cillian, Kelley, Killian in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Cillian, Killian outside U.S.

Similar Names

Kelly is alike in pronunciation to Caily, Caley, Coley, Colla, Colley, Culley, Cully, Kaley, Kayley, Kealey, Kealy, Keelie, Keely, Kellagh and Kiley. Other recommended names are Billy, Denly, Hedly (see Hedley), Hilly, Keary, Kelan, Kelbey, Kelby, Keld, Kell, Kellan, Kellby, Kelle, Kellen, Keller, Kellin, Kelsey, Kelsy (see Kelsey), Kelvyn, Kelvys (see Kelvis), Kelwyn, Kenley, Kenly, Kenny, Kerby, Kerry, Key, Klay, Kolby, Lesly, Lezly, Neely, Penly, Redly (see Redley), Reilly, Rolly, Seely, Shelly, Skelly, Sully, Tully, Wally, Wesly and Willy. These names tend to be less commonly used than Kelly.

See names
in meaning and etymology.