Unisex Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Ryan

  • Gender:
  • Unisex
  • Origin:
  • Celtic, Gaelic, Irish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
Simple meaning:
descendent of Rian, little king

Characteristics of Ryan

  • The Master Builder
  • Leader
  • Large Undertakings
  • Confidence
  • Discipline
  • Organization

Etymology & Historical Origin - Ryan

This classic Irish masculine name comes from the clan name O’Riain (descendent of Rían). Pronounced “ree-an” in Gaelic, the name comes from the Irish-Gaelic “Rí” meaning “king” together with the diminutive suffix “-an” supplies Ryan with its full etymological meaning: “little king”. There is some dispute; however, other sources claim that the clan name may be derived from the Gaelic meaning “little red one”. In ancient Ireland the name may have been bestowed in order to imply some type of “royal” stature within the chiefdoms or clans. The surname may find one of its roots in a 10th century Irish King Rían of a territory in South Leinster; the clan name was later anglicized to Ryan and the surname is still quite popular in Ireland today (especially in the cities of Carlow, Tipperary and Limerick). The family motto states: “"I would rather die than be disgraced" which is pretty honorable stuff if you ask us. As a forename, Ryan has the distinction of being one of the few surnames that has become more popular as a first name today. The name Ryan is considered unisex in the United States, but elsewhere in the English speaking world Ryan is distinctly masculine. Ryan is ultra-popular in the Gaelic-influenced nations of Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland where it’s ranked inside the Top 10 most favorite boy names. As a boy’s name, it’s also highly ranked in Canada (#13), Australia (#23), the United States (#25), England (#30) and the Netherlands (#41). Remarkably, Ryan is also ranked at position #100 in France. Only the Irish male names Aidan/Aiden and Liam can claim such widespread and consistent popular usage of a name throughout the English-speaking world.

Popularity of the Name Ryan

The name Ryan didn’t enter the American name popularity charts until the mid 1940’s when it showed up at position #812 in 1946. Ryan officially became “unisex” when it debuted on the female naming charts in 1974, but the name is still nearly 23 times more common for baby boys. The name has only averaged moderate to low success for girls in the past 25 years, but has been a Top 20 name for boys during the same time span. Ryan really jumped in popularity in the United States in the late 1960’s as a boy’s name and quickly gained favor and staying power. Its Celtic roots definitely add to its popularity in the United States.
Popularity of the Unisex Name Ryan
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Ryan

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Ryan

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Ryan

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

  • Popular Songs on Ryan

    Popular Songs on Ryan

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

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Ryan

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Ryan

    Ralph S. Mouse (Beverly Cleary) - Ralph is a motorcycle-riding mouse who lives in the Mountain View Inn. Ralph convinces, Ryan, the inn-keeper's son to take him to live at his elementary school and all sorts of mishaps ensue. A delight! Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together (Herb Shoveller) - It costs a lot of money to build a well in Africa -- a lot more than Ryan Hreljac had thought. Still, the six year old kept doing chores around his parents' house, even after he learned it could take him years to earn enough money. Then a friend of the family wrote an article in the local newspaper about Ryan's wish to build a well to supply people with safe, clean water. Before long, ripples of goodwill began spreading. People started sending money to help pay for Ryan's well. Ryan was interviewed on television. His dream of a well became an international news story. In Agweo, Uganda, villagers were used to walking a long way every day in search of water. What they found was often brown and smelly and made a lot of people sick. But when Ryan's well was built, life in the village changed for the better. A young orphan named Akana Jimmy longed for a chance to thank Ryan in person for this gift of life -- clean water. When they finally meet, an unbreakable bond unites these boys from very different backgrounds, and a long and sometimes life-threatening journey begins. Ryan and Jimmy is part of CitizenKid: A collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Ryan the Fireman (Kathy McGraw) - Kindle edition. A cute story of a little boy that dreamed of being a fireman. The colorful illustrations are perfect for preschool aged kids, and the story is just the right length for their shorter attention spans. Parents and kids will also like the Bonus Activity Sheets. 15 Bonus Activities that match the story and help younger children increase their sight vocabulary and eye-hand coordination. Every one of the colored drawings are available for downloading, or printing as a coloring sheet. There are also some puzzles, a find the hidden objects page, and easy and moderate level word searches. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Ryan White, My Own Story (Ryan White) - Ryan's life changes forever when he discovers he has AIDS. The 13 year old contacted the disease through blood he was given for his hemophilia. When he is barred from returning from school, he goes public with his story and takes the school to court. He died in 1990 at the age of eighteen. An inspiring and powerful memoir. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

    Sir Ryan's Quest (Jason Deeble) - Mountains, jungles, caves and monsters--but a knight must be brave. Even a very young knight in his pajamas. Ryan sets out on a quest--from cupboard to closet to garage--then back to the kitchen where his mother prepares a royal banquet in his honor. Ryan's imagination comes to life by the hand of first time creator Jason Deeble. Stairs become mountains, closets jungles, and imaginary monsters and friends will be found in this sweetly illustrated journey. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Ryan

    Famous People Named Ryan

    Famous People Named Ryan - Ryan Seacrest (entertainer); Ryan Phillippe (actor); Ryan O'Neal (actor); Ryan Gosling (actor); Ryan Reynolds (actor); Ryan Braun (baseball player); Ryan Cabrera (pop-singer); Ryan Dunn (reality TV from the Jackass series); Ryan Getzlaf (hockey player); Ryan Howard (baseball player); Ryan Kalish (baseball player); Ryan Newman (NASCAR); Ryan Newman (actress); Ryan Roberts (baseball player); Ryan Sheckler (skateboarder); Ryan White (AIDS activist)

  • Children of Famous People Named Ryan

    Children of Famous People Named Ryan

    Famous People who Named their Child Ryan - Anthony Quinn (actor); Bridgette Wilson (actress); Cal Ripken Jr. (baseball player); Holly Robinson Peete (actress); Marc Anthony (musician); Pete Sampras (tennis player); Robert Urich (actor); Shirley Jones (actress)

  • Historic Figures

    Ryan - Unisex Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Unisex Name Ryan

The Master Number Twenty-Two combines the traits of Twos and Fours into a powerful force. The references to The Master Builder and "large undertakings" serve to underscore the massive potential of this personality. They are extremely capable and therefore almost always successful. Twenty-Twos are courageous leaders, innovative thinkers, extremely wise and highly organized. As such, they are able to manifest something of major importance that will have a lasting impact on this world. Master Numbers carry with them a great sense of responsibility, so it can be a burden. However, Twenty-Twos are executors and action-takers. Further, this personality exhibits traits of the Twos, which brings sensitivity, spirituality and harmony, so their endeavors are likely to benefit mankind in some capacity.

Variations of the Baby Name - Ryan

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