The Origin and Meaning of the Name Ryan

If you're looking for a strong boy's name with personality, don't miss the origin and meaning of the name Ryan.
Marcela Alejandra Caffulli

Reviewed and approved by the pediatrician Marcela Alejandra Caffulli.

Last update: 28 June, 2023

Either because you know a loved one with the same name, or because you’re at that stage where you have to decide what to name the future king of the house, you can’t miss the origin and meaning of the name Ryan. Undoubtedly, it’s an option that will captivate you completely.

In addition, we also add other interesting facts, such as the variants of this wonderful option in other languages and the popularity of this name in the latest statistics. Plus we’ll introduce you to some celebrities who have this name. Take note!

A sleeping newborn.

What’s the origin and meaning of the name Ryan?

The name Ryan is an English variant whose etymology is still not entirely clear. Some experts consider it to be related to the Gaelic term ri, which means “king.” In this regard, it would be a derivative of the surname O’Rian, used as a given name since the 19th century.

On the American continent, this name has been one of the most demanded options due to its uniqueness. In addition, it has triumphed among parents in France, England, Ireland, Iran, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

What’s more, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in Spain, there are currently 629 males with an average age of 15 who have this name. Specifically, this option has triumphed especially in the Canary Islands, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Toledo, and Malaga.

Variants of the name Ryan

The name Ryan itself, as we’ve mentioned before, is an English variant of an ancient Gaelic surname. So, it’s not surprising to discover that there are different ways to refer to this option, depending on the mother tongue of the parents who are going to name their little one.

However, the truth is that it has captivated parents so much by its form that they haven’t made many modifications. Among the most popular is Rayan (generally for boys), but you can also hear the affectionate diminutive Ry (also carried by girls, and a perfect unisex option for those who are looking for a name of this style for their baby).

Famous people with this name

Since it was adopted as a given name, some celebrities from the world of art have received the honor of being called Ryan. Of particular interest is the fact that most of the following figures are related to the world of the big screen in Hollywood. In fact, you may be familiar with the faces of:

  • Ryan Gosling: Famous Canadian actor and musician.
  • Ryan Reynolds: Hollywood comedian and dramatic actor, well known since his role in “Two Guys and a Girl”.

On the other hand, you can’t overlook the figure of American Olympic swimmer and elite athlete, Ryan Lochte. A specialist in freestyle, backstroke, and combined style, he’s one of the most praised swimmers in the history of the sport for being a six-time Olympic champion and 39-time world champion. Undoubtedly, a great example to follow for all those who go by the same name. Perseverance and discipline are two words that will always accompany those who strive to proudly carry this option.

A baby boy sitting up and smiling.

The name Ryan: A choice for a true king

From You Are Mom, we know that it’s often not easy to decide on an option to name your child. Therefore, we invite you to let your heart guide you and, if you’ve been captivated by the name Ryan and you imagine yourself calling this name around the house, when you go to the park, when you’re together at the pool, seeing the family, going on a walk, etc., don’t hesitate a second longer.

With this meaning… There’s no better choice for the next king of the house! Undoubtedly, he’ll rule the hearts of his parents from the first moment they welcome him. Have you also fallen in love with this precious name? Let us know in the comments.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.