Irish and Scottish
"fair-haired hero"

Finlay Origin and Meaning

The name Finlay is a boy's name of Irish origin meaning "fair-haired hero".

Finlay is a Scottish royal name: it belonged to Macbeth's father, Finlay MacRory--or Findlaech mac Ruaidri--that has a bit of a split personality. It has two acceptable spellings--Finlay and Finley, the first more popular in its native Scotland, where it ranks in the Top 10, the second in the US. It is also becoming more and more unisex in the States, with the Finley spelling now split between girls and boys.

Increasingly popular on the celebrity circuit, the splits are evident here too. Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen, and Sadie Frost have boys named Finlay, Chris O'Donnell and Holly Marie Combs have sons called Finley, and Lisa Marie Presley, Daniel Baldwin, and Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn have daughters named Finley; the latter couple were instrumental in making the gender switch in 2003.

# 725 on Nameberry

Finlay Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Finlay Popularity

Famous People Named Finlay

  • Finlay MacMillanScottish actor
  • Finlay BealhamAustralian,Irish rugby union player
  • Finlay Jefferson CurrieScottish actor
  • Finlay WildScottish fell runner
  • Finlay McQuistanScottish WWI flying ace
  • Carlos Finlayepidemiologist in the 1800's

Finlay in Pop Culture

  • Finlay Richtercharacter in novel "The One Apart" by author Justine Avery