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What does Ray mean?

Ray Pronunciation of Ray as a boys' name (also used less commonly as girls' name Ray) is pronounced ray. It is of English and Old German origin, and the meaning of Ray is "protecting hands". A short form of Raymond used as an independent name in the 20th century and also in contemporary blends. See also Raynor. Singer Ray Charles; boxer Sugar Ray Leonard; author Ray Bradbury; actors Ray Liotta, Ray Romano.

ASSOCIATED WITH Ray-, protecting (defender), 20th century (modern)


VARIANTS Rae, Rai, Raice, Rayce, Rayder, Raydon, Raye, Rayford, Raylen, Raynell, Reigh

SEE ALSO Rashaun


FEMININE FORMS Rae, Raina, Rayann



Ray Nash (R.N.), ..

How popular is Ray?

Ray is a very prominent first name for men (#132 out of 1220, Top 11%) and also a very prominent surname for all people (#208 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. CENSUS)

Ray reached its peak position of #55 in the U.S. during 1890-1899, and is presently at #713. (2015 BIRTH STATISTICS)

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

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

Which version is better?

Prominent varying forms of Ray (#713 VIA LATEST LIST) rated in the Top 2000 are Raymond (#259), Ramon (#633), Raylen (#1549), Rashaun, Rayford, Rayce and Rae. Adoption of these relations of Ray was widespread in the 1920s (ADOPTION OF 1.47%) and is now significantly lower (ADOPTION 0.12%, 92% LESS), with forms like Ray falling out of fashion.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Ray, Rae, Ramon, Rashaun, Rayce in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Rayford, Raylen, Raymond in U.S.

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

Similar Names

Ray is pronounced similarly to Rei, Reo, Rey, Rio, Roe, Roi, Row, Rowe, Roy, Ruy, Rye, Ryu, Ryuu and Wray. Other recommended sound-alike names are Bay, Day, Fay, Gay, Jay, Kay, Rab, Rad, Raj, Ram, Ramy, Ras, Tay and Way. These names tend to be less commonly used than Ray.

See names
in meaning and etymology.