Are you curious about the origin and significance of the name Kelly? This surname-turned-given-name has a rich history and continues to be a popular choice for baby names. In this article, we’ll explore the who, what, when, how-to, pros and cons, alternatives, step-by-step guide, comparison, tips, and best practices associated with the name Kelly.
Who is Kelly?
Kelly is a unisex given name that originated as an Irish surname. It was traditionally used for males but became popular as a girls’ name in the 20th century. Famous people named Kelly include actress and princess of Monaco Grace Kelly, musician and songwriter Kelly Clarkson, and model and reality TV personality Kelly Osbourne.
What does Kelly mean?
The meaning of Kelly is “bright-headed” or “warrior.” This Celtic name is derived from the Gaelic word “ceallach,” which means “strife” or “contention.” Some also speculate that it comes from the Old Irish word “coemgen,” which means “gentle” or “comely.”
When did Kelly become a popular name?
Kelly became a popular name for girls in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, thanks in part to the fame of Grace Kelly. It peaked in popularity in the 1970s and remains a common name today. As a boys’ name, Kelly was most popular in the 1950s.
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How to choose the perfect middle name for Kelly?
When choosing a middle name for Kelly, consider the length and sound of the name. A short middle name like Mae or Lee can complement the three-syllable first name. If you want to create a unique combination, try pairing Kelly with a less common middle name like Arden or Liora.
Pros and Cons of naming your child Kelly
- Kelly is a timeless name that has been popular for decades.
- It can be used for both boys and girls, making it a versatile choice.
- The meaning of the name “bright-headed” evokes positivity and intelligence.
- Kelly may be too common, so your child may share their name with several classmates.
- The name’s popularity has waxed and waned over the years, so it could fall out of fashion again in the future.
Alternatives to the name Kelly
If you like the sound of Kelly but want something less common, consider these similar names:
- Kelsey: This name has a similar sound to Kelly but is less popular.
- Keira: This name means “little dark-haired one” and has Irish roots like Kelly.
- Callie: This name is a shortened version of the Greek name Calliope, which means “beautiful voice.”
Step-by-Step Guide to choosing the perfect name for your baby
- Brainstorm potential names based on personal preferences, family traditions, or cultural significance.
- Consider the meaning and origin of each name to ensure it aligns with your values.
- Try saying the name aloud to see how it sounds and feels.
- Check the popularity of the name to ensure it’s not too common or too unusual.
- Test out the name by using it in everyday situations and imagining how your child will introduce themselves later in life.
Comparison of Kelly and other popular names
|Kelly||Bright-headed; warrior||Ranked #287 in 2020|
|Ashley||Ash tree meadow||Ranked #269 in 2020|
|Madison||Son of Matthew||Ranked #24 in 2020|
|Taylor||Tailor||Ranked #411 in 2020|
Tips for naming your baby
- Consider the name’s potential nicknames and how they may be perceived.
- Think about the name’s spelling and pronunciation to avoid confusion.
- Avoid names that may be difficult to pronounce or spell, especially if you have a complex last name.
The Best way to honor someone with the name Kelly
If you want to honor someone with the name Kelly, consider choosing a name that has a similar meaning or sound. Alternatively, you could use Kelly as a middle name or incorporate it into a creative nickname like Kell or Kel.
Kelly is a classic unisex name with a rich history and positive meaning. Whether you choose it for your child or simply appreciate its significance, there are many ways to embrace this timeless name.
Q: Is Kelly a popular name? A: Yes, Kelly is a common name for both boys and girls, though it has fluctuated in popularity over the years.
Q: What does the name Kelly mean? A: Kelly means “bright-headed” or “warrior” and has Celtic roots.
Q: Can Kelly be used as a middle name? A: Yes, Kelly canbe used as a middle name, and it can complement a variety of first names.
Q: What are some alternative names to Kelly? A: Some similar names to Kelly include Kelsey, Keira, and Callie.
Q: Is Kelly more commonly used for boys or girls? A: Kelly was traditionally used for boys but became popular as a girls’ name in the 20th century.
Q: How can I choose the perfect name for my baby? A: Consider factors like the name’s meaning, popularity, and sound, and try out different options before making a final decision.Q: Can I use Kelly to honor someone? A: Yes, you can honor someone with the name Kelly by using it as a middle name or incorporating it into a creative nickname.
Q: What are some tips for naming my baby? A: Consider potential nicknames and how the name may be perceived, think about spelling and pronunciation, and avoid names that may be difficult to pronounce or spell.
We’re Emma Carole Paradis and Kimberly Carole, the owners and designers of Impeccable Nest, based in Bedford, New Hampshire. A mother-daughter team with a love of design. Originally from Manhattan Beach, California, now based in Bedford, New Hampshire, we bring a Southern California cool and New England tradition to our design. Not only do we work together…we also live together in a multi-generational home…and a home that they are known to design for others.