Ray meaning, boyRay

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Meaning and Name Origin

Ray \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.


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

For more on this name, see also the related boy name Rashaun.

Ray has 32 more alternative forms via Raymond, Raynor: Raemond, Raemondo, Ragnar, Raimond, Raimondo, Raimund, Raimundo, Rainer, Rainier, Rainor, Rajmund, Ramon, Ramond, Ramonde, Ramone, Rane, Ranell, Ranieri, Raniero, Rayment, Raymondo, Raymund, Raymunde, Raymundo, Raynar, Rayne, Rayner, Raynord, Reinier, Renier, Reymond and Reymundo.

Ray has 3 feminine forms: Rae, Raina and Rayann.


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

Shown below is the birth name popularity of Ray for boys. Ray reached its peak position of #55 in the U.S. during 1890-1899, and is presently at #733. (Top 1000 Baby Names Records, 2014)

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

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

Shown below is an analysis of the popularity of Ray and associated names. Prominent varying forms of Ray (#733 a year ago) are Raymond (#264 a year ago), Ramon (#647), Raymundo and Rayford. Usage of these boy names was at its apex during the years 1940-1949 and is now significantly lower, with the forms Ramon, Ray, Raymond, Raymundo and Rayford falling out of fashion. (Top 1000 Baby Names Records, 2014)

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Ramon, Ray, Rayford, Raymond, Raymundo 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, Roy, Ruy, Rye, Ryu and Wray. Other recommended 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.