The unisex name Riley derived from the Old Irish surname Ó Raghallaigh or O’Reilly, but is less common in Ireland than in Australia and New Zealand. Riley also derived from several English place names.
What does the name Riley mean?
Riley means “brave”, “valiant” or “courageous” (from Irish “raghalach”). Besides, Riley means “rye clearing” (from Old English “ryge” = rye + “leah” = meadow/woodland/clearing).
Riley as a unisex name
If you want to choose a beautiful unisex name, the name Riley is just right. But in English-speaking countries, it is mostly used for girls. If you want to name your daughter Riley, Riley Kate, Riley Jean, Riley Lou, Riley Joleen or Riley Hannah are good versions for a middle name.
Famous people named Riley
Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel** (born 2006) is not yet in the limelight – but his famous mother is! Johan Riley is the third child of top model Heidi Klum and the second of three children she had together with singer Seal. Heidi Klum and Seal separated in 2014 and there are still no official appearances of Johan Riley and his famous parents keep him out of the limelight as much as possible.
Riley Keuogh was born in 1989 as the eldest daughter of singer Lisa Marie Presley and is thus the granddaughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Despite her musical family, Riley began a career in the film business and has already appeared in many well-known Hollywood productions, including “Magic Mike” (2012) and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015).
That Riley also works as a surname is shown by actress Talulah Riley (born 1985). The British actress began her career performing in London theaters and had her breakthrough with her role as Mary Bennet in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” (2005) alongside Keira Knightley. Talulah Riley was also in the headlines mainly for her relationship with Canadian-South African entrepreneur and investor Elon Musk. The couple divorced two years after their wedding, but remarried the following year. The final separation followed in 2016.
A sportsman is Lincoln Riley who was born in 1983 and was an active football player. Nowadays, he is the head coach of the USC Trojans football program at the University of Southern California. When he was an active player himself, Lincoln Riley held the quarterback position.
Another actress with the last name Riley is Charlotte Riley (born 1981). The British actress has appeared almost exclusively in British productions, including the series “Peaky Blinders - Gangs of Birmingham” (2014 - 2016). She has been married to British actor Tom Hardy since 2014, together the couple has two children.