Yes, I think Kelly can easily work on a boy.
I'd love to meet a boy named Kelly, but if I myself were a boy, I would probably hate to be a Kelly. Middle names are a bit more flexible though, and since they are so rarely used, I think it would work. He will probably still hate it, but he won't have to be too embarrassed of it since it will rarely be revealed. As a name nerd, I think it's fantastic.
I wouldn't use it as a first name, but anything goes as a middle name.
My 15 year old brother is named Kelly after Kelly Slater. It suits him and he gets called Kel...but Smelly by his friends, which he doesn't seem to mind surprisingly!
I just asked him what he thinks of it....his response "I love it, because people remember me. No one ever meets any other boys named Kelly."
All in all, it hasn't caused any problems for him. Personally, I think it would be a fabulous middle name considering it has family significance.
@namefan, it doesn't get better than to hear from a male Kelly and get the go ahead! Thanks!
@alzora, yes the name nerd in me loves traditional male names (Ashley, Lauren, Kelly) and is mad they went to the girls!
@mim, thank you for asking your brother! I love his answer! Such a great perspective!
Well I'm convinced it would make a great middle but I won't bother trying to get DH onboard until there is a reason!