Ray meaning, boyRay

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Meaning and name origin

Ray \ray\ as a boy's name (also used as girl's 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.


Ray has 11 variant forms: Rae, Rai, Raice, Rayce, Rayder, Raydon, Raye, Rayford, Raylen, Raynell and Reigh.

For more information, see also the related boy name Rashaun.

There are 3 feminine forms of Ray: Rae, Raina and Rayann.


Ray is a very popular first name for males (#132 out of 1220, Top 11%) and also a very popular surname or last name for all people (#173 out of 88799, Top 1%) (2000 U.S. Census).

Displayed below is the baby name popularity of the name Ray for boys. Ray reached its highest rank of #55 in the U.S. in 1890-1899. (2014 statistics).

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Ray name in U.S.

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

Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the boy name Ray and its variant forms. Popular variation forms ranked in the Top 1000/100 are Raymond (#264), Ray (#733) and Rayford. (2014 statistics).

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Ray, Rayford, Raymond in U.S.

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

Similar Names

Ray is also pronounced similarly to Rei, Reo, Rey, Rio, Roe, Roi, Row, Roy, Ruy, Rye, Ryu and Wray. Other suggested similar baby 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.