Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Kelly

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Celtic, Gaelic, Irish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 369
Simple meaning:
Churchgoer, or Bright-headed

Characteristics of Kelly

  • Cooperative
  • Considerate
  • Compassionate
  • Nurturing
  • Sensitive
  • Patient
  • Loving
  • Kind
  • Gracious
  • Balanced

Etymology & Historical Origin - Kelly

Kelly is the anglicized version of an old Irish male name Ceallech which means ‘hermit’ or “ceallúir” meaning ‘churchyard’. The name has long been associated with a ‘steady churchgoer’ or ‘frequenter of churches’ but other etymologists maintain the name comes from an even older word meaning ‘bright-headed’ (presumably referring to a red-head). Ó Ceallaigh is also an older surname in Ireland (descendent of Ceallech) which also morphed into the more common last name Kelly (think: Gene Kelly or Grace Kelly, both of Irish descent). The Kelly family was renowned for their quick temper and courage in battle. Kelly has long been considered a unisex name, having been first popularized among males. Today, Kelly is far more common as a girl’s name. Like Erin, Patrick, or Bridget – Kelly is a quintessential Irish name.

Popularity of the Name Kelly

Kelly started out as a male name in the United States. In fact, for boys, Kelly dates back to 1880 (the first year the U.S. government began tracking naming trends). By 1944, the name would officially become unisex when it appeared on the female naming charts. Very quickly the female Kelly would surpass the male Kelly in usage (1957). In 2002, Kelly fell off the boy’s chart altogether. Now the name is almost exclusively used on little girls. Although we have to say, we still really like Kelly for a boy. It somehow retains its cool masculinity despite having been feminized over the years (consider Kelly Slater, the professional surfer, for instance). Transcending gender, Kelly is more simply an Irish name. For girl’s the name was massively popular during the 1970s and 80s – in fact, in 1977 Kelly was the 10th most popular name for baby girls America. Irish names are still very popular in the United States, but parents of today are opting for more fanciful Irish female names (Kaitlyn, Keira, Brianna) or Irish surnames for first names (Kennedy, Cassidy, Reagan). Kelly has clearly become passé. Nonetheless, Kelly has a certain simple Irish charm and a cool androgynous sound (like Erin). You just can’t go wrong with a name like Kelly.
Popularity of the Girl Name Kelly
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Kelly

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Kelly

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Kelly

    Kelly We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Kelly.

  • Popular Songs on Kelly

    Popular Songs on Kelly

    Kelly - We cannot find any well-known or significantly popular songs featuring the name Kelly.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Kelly

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Kelly

    Max for President (Jarret Krosoczka) - Max thinks that he would like to be class president. So does Kelly. But there can only be one president! Who will the class elect? Full of laughs and suspense, Max for President is a lively story of good sportsmanship—and a great way for kids to learn a little about elections, too! Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Mush's Jazz Adventure (Daniel Pinkwater) - Now that Mush -- the talking, cooking, educated dog from space -- is part of the Mangiaro household, Kelly wants to know more about the planet Growf-Woof-Woof, and how her dog came to Earth. When the two of them go on a picnic, (which Kelly prepares carefully under Mush's supervision), Kelly asks Mush about her past."Well, it's such a long story," says Mush…and soon, Kelly is hearing about Mush's old jazz band, The Hot Animals, and how they dealt with robbers who threatened to knock over their boss's jive joint! Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Snowden (Nancy Carlson) - It seems to Kelly like she's the only kid who doesn't know how to ice skate. Then she meets Snowden, a very special snowman. Snowden doesn't know how to ice-skate either, so he and Kelly agree to help each other. Soon Kelly finds out that a little magic and a lot of practice go a long way! This charming story features Nancy Carlson's trademark energetic illustrations and the most lovable snowman since Frosty. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Kelly

    Famous People Named Kelly

    Famous People Named Kelly - Kelly Clarkson (singer); Kelly Ripa (TV personality); Kelly Brook (model); Kelly Hu (actress); Kelly Lebrock (model/actress); Kelly McGillis (actress); Kelly Osbourne (TV personality); Kelly Preston (actress); Kelly Lynch (actress); Kelly Slater (surfer); Kelly Clark (Olympic snowboarder); Kelly Carlson (actress); Kelly Chen (musician); Kelly Rowland (singer); Kelly Gruber (baseball player); Kelly Holcomb (football player)

  • Children of Famous People Named Kelly

    Children of Famous People Named Kelly

    Famous People Who Named Their Child Kelly - Bob Hope (comic/actor); Dabney Coleman (actor); Evel Knievel (daredevil); George Carlin (comic); Huey Lewis (musician); Janet Leigh (actress); Jimmy Breslin (journalist/author); Jimmy Stewart (actor); Larry King (TV personality); Lynn Redgrave (actress); Ozzy Osbourne (musician); Tony Curtis (actor)

  • Historic Figures

    Kelly - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Kelly - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Kelly.

Personality of the Girl Name Kelly

The Number 2 personality in numerology is all about cooperation and balance. It's the number of diplomats and mediators. They are not leaders, but strive rather for harmony in partnerships. These are the peacemakers. Equality and fairness are important in their dealings, and they are willing to share power and responsibility to achieve a harmonious outcome. This personality is calm and patient, waiting for things to evolve instead of pushing aggressively for an outcome. They are good-natured and easy-going, and care deeply on an emotional and spiritual plane. Twos appreciate beauty and nature and are intent on making the world a better place.

Variations of the Baby Name - Kelly

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