Gender: Male Meaning of Ryan: "little king" Origin of Ryan: Irish Ryan's Popularity in 2019: #54

Ryan Origin and Meaning

The name Ryan is a boy's name of Irish origin meaning "little king".

Ryan’s use as a given name was inspired by the surname Ryan, a variation of the Irish O’Riain meaning “son of Rían.” Rían is composed of the Irish-Gaelic elements , meaning “king” and an, a diminutive suffix. Ryan is considered a unisex name in the US, where variant spellings Ryann and Ryanne are also valid for girls.

Ryan has been one of the most popular Irish names in America for decades; it had been in the Top 20 since 1976, and dropped out in 2010 but still ranks highly, even though parents now have such a wide choice of Irish surnames, from Flynn to Finnigan, and newer Ry names like Ryder. Ryan (born Patrick) O'Neal first brought it to light in the mid-1960s, when parents saw it as a fresher and more spirited alternative to names like Brian and Kevin. In recent years, Ryan has taken off as a girl's name.

Several male marquee Ryans still keep the name in the spotlight—think Ryan Seacrest, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling and Ryan Philippe.

16 names similar to Ryan

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Ryan. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Ryan, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Ryan using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #54

- this week

Famous People Named Ryan

Pop Culture References for the name Ryan

Rayan, Ryyan, Ryne, Rayaun, Ryun, Ryien, Ryin, Ryiann, Ryian, Ryein, Ryane, Rhyne, Ryuan, Ryen, Rhyan, Ryon,


ariel44 Says:


I love the name Ryan so handsome! I don't like it as much for girls ugh.

Gayle1978 Says:


Eh it’s a okay name for a guy.

bordercollie Says:


I love Ryan, one of my top boy names. To me, Ryan is modern and handsome, with a wonderful meaning and a strong, yet soft and sensitive sound.

Alaina Says:


I really dislike the name Ryan. There was a kid named Ryne in my neighborhood and he's a brat. Maybe that's why I hate the name.

stella2007 Says:


I never knew it meant Little King, it makes me love the name even more. Ryan is a great name for a little boy. It is short and cool. It still sounds so fresh and modern even after all these years of popularity. Ryan Reynolds and Ryan Gosling make this name very handsome.

SBR Says:


My maiden name. Would make the perfect name for my son of the future

Stella2007 Says:


I just find it so adorable. It's short and cool. The meaning Little King is great.

maureen mccarthy Says:


love the name my nephew name is ryan and we are irish so it suit us and our surname well we were the kings of munster so the name really suit him

littlefirelittlekingdevil Says:


look at my user name yup thats me all irish the last one can also be bird catcher or fowler but the devil is calld bird catcher but it did not fit

raevynstar Says:


Well, it's not exactly fresh, but I do like it.