Kelly Origin and Meaning

The name Kelly is a boy's name of Irish origin meaning "war".

A predominantly male name in the US until the late 1950s, the name continued to rise for both sexes for both sexes for a further decade, before starting to decline for boys. Despite dropping out of the boys' Top 1000 in 2002, Kelly retains a rugged Irish charm.

The name derives from Gaelic ceallach/em> "war" or ceall "church". It is also sometimes said to mean "bright-headed".
Famous fictional namesakes include 1960s (male) TV spy Kelly Robinson, as well as one of the (female) Charlie's Angels. Real-life namesakes include actor and dancer Gene Kelly, as well as the legendary Grace Kelly.

# 882 in the US

Kelly Rank in US Top 1000

# 1031 on Nameberry

Kelly Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Kelly Popularity

Famous People Named Kelly

  • Kelly SlaterAmerican surfer
  • Kelly Steven BlatzAmerican actor
  • Kelly JohnsonAmerican baseball player
  • Kelly Deshawn McCartyAmerican basketball player
  • Kelly Wayne ChaseCanadian ice hockey player
  • Kelly Wayne GruberAmerican baseball player
  • (Bryan) Kelly HolcombAmerican football player
  • Kelly L. KirchbaumAmerican football player
  • Kelly Tyler OlynykCanadian basketball player
  • Kelly Lee StinnettAmerican baseball player
  • (Peter) Kelly TripuckaAmerican basketball player
  • Kelly Crawford PerdewAmerican businessman and TV personality of "The Apprentice"
  • Kelly Robert PavlikAmerican boxer
  • Kelly HrudeyCanadian ice hockey player and sportscaster
  • Clarence Leonard "Kelly" JohnsonAmerican systems engineer and aeronaut
  • Kelly JonesWelsh singer of band Stereophonics
  • Kelly RenoAmerican actor
  • Kelly MonteithAmerican comedian
  • Kelly MakinCanadian film director
  • Kelly JonesAmerican tennis player
  • Kelly Donovan (Schultz) American actor; twin brother Nicholas Brendan
  • Gene KellyAmerican dancer/actor
  • Ned KellyAustralian outlaw
  • Nat Kelly Coleadopted son of Nat King Cole
  • River Kelly Smith (b. 2016)son of country singer Granger Smith
  • Kelly Paul Oubre JrAmerican basketball player

Kelly in Pop Culture

  • Kelly SeverideTaylor Kinney's character on the TV series "Chicago Fire"
  • Kelly SchadeBurkhardt, son of Adalind Schade & Nick Burkhardt 'Grimm'
  • Dr. Kelly Brackettcharacter on TV's "Emergency!"

Kelly in Nameberry Blog Posts