Fay Origin and Meaning

The name Fay is a girl's name of English origin meaning "fairy".

Fay, also spelled Faye, who had been napping quietly since the 1930's, has, like cousins May/Mae and Ray/Rae, sat up and started rubbing her eyes, ready for a mini-comeback, especially as a middle name. In 2014, Faye hopped back onto the US Top 1000, though Fay is used much more quietly as a first name.

The original of the name, Morgan le Fay, was a powerful sorceress in the Arthurian Legends. Two prominent Fay W.'s are the British novelist Fay Weldon, and actress Fay Wray, most famous for sitting in the hand of King Kong, and there is a character named Fay in Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust. Most well-known Faye is actress Dunaway.

Fay was most popular in the U.S. in the early decades of the twentieth century, reaching Number 202 in 1907, while Faye was Number 146 in 1934.

Fay may also be a short form of Faith.

# 992 in the US

Fay Rank in US Top 1000

# 1135 on Nameberry

Fay Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Fay Popularity

Famous People Named Fay

  • (Vina) Fay WrayAmerican actress
  • Fay Okell BainterAmerican actress
  • Fay Elinora LanphierMiss America 1925
  • Fay RipleyEnglish actress and recipe author
  • Fay Compton (born Virginia Lilian Emmeline ComptonMackenzie), English actress
  • Sarah Fay WrightAmerican actress
  • Fay WeldonEnglish novelist
  • Fay BakerAmerican actress
  • Fay TempletonAmerican actress, singer and comedian
  • Florence Priscilla (‘Fay’) McLaren (18841964), British suffragist

Fay in Pop Culture

  • Morgan le Faycharacter/sorceress from Arthurian legend
  • FayCharlie's neighbor in Flowers for Algernon
  • Fay Grim2006 film starring Parker Posey
  • Daisy Fay Buchananmain female character of The Great Gatsby
  • Shasta Fay Hepworthfemale lead of the novel Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon