Ray Name Meaning

Lastest Updated June 7, 2024
Home » Baby Names » Ray Name Meaning

Fact: The ray of sunlight or a ray of hope adds a positive connotation to the name.

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A Deep Dive

Ray Overview

Meaning

Advice, king, wise protector

Gender

Boy

Origin

English, German

Etymology

Derived from the Old French name “Rei” meaning “king,” and also associated with the English word “ray,” meaning “beam of light.”

Pronunciation

/reɪ/

Popularity

Ray is a widely recognized name globally, though its popularity has varied. Recently, Ray has seen a decline in the USA, currently ranking outside the top 500 names.

Syllable

1 syllable

Length

3 letters

Numerology

8 (Practical, Ambitious, Materialistic)

Name Styles

Classic, Short, Cool

Associated Traits

Warm, charismatic, strong, dependable

Name Day

October 17th
A Deep Dive

Ray Variations in Different Cultures

Popular Variations

Ray, Raymond, Ramon, Raimond, Rei, Reymond

Common Nicknames

Ray, Raye, Rey, Rei

Diminutives

Rai, Raye, Rayo

Famous People

  • Ray Charles
    (American Musician)
  • Ray Bradbury
    (American Author)
  • Ray Romano
    (American Comedian)
  • Ray Liotta
    (American Actor)
  • Ray J
    (American Singer)

Pop Culture Icons and Works

  • Ray Stantz
    ("Ghostbusters," Film Series)
  • Ray Donovan
    ("Ray Donovan," TV Series)
  • Raymond Holt
    ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine," TV Series)
  • Ray Charles
    ("Ray," Film)
  • Ray Ferrier
    ("War of the Worlds," Film)
  • Ray Barone
    ("Everybody Loves Raymond," TV Series)

Places

  • Ray City
    (North Dakota, USA)
  • Ray Township
    (Michigan, USA)
  • Ray
    (Iran)
  • Ray City
    (Georgia, USA)
  • Raymore
    (Missouri, USA)

What Is the Meaning of Ray?

Ray means “wise protector” or “beam of light.” Additionally, Ray can come from the Germanic name element “ragin,” meaning “counsel” or “advice.” People with this name are often seen as bright and supportive, bringing positivity and guidance to those around them.

What Is the Origin of The Name Ray?

Ray has English and German origins. It can be a short form of the English name Raymond, meaning “wise protector,” or it can refer to a beam of light, highlighting its positive and radiant connotations.

Ray Name Popularity

Popularity Chart of the Name Ray in the U.S. over the Years

United States flagUnited States#8392021#7592022#7692023
Top 3 Rankings#491891#501896#511897

Annual Statistics Breakdown for Ray

YearName RankingNumber of BirthsBirth Rate (%)
2023769
(-10 from 2022)
333
(+1 from 2022)
0.01819
2022759
(+80 from 2021)
332
(+50 from 2021)
0.01773
2021839
(-117 from 2020)
282
(-61 from 2020)
0.01505
2020722
(+11 from 2019)
343
(+15 from 2019)
0.01854
2019733
(-7 from 2018)
328
(-2 from 2018)
0.01707
2018726
(+41 from 2017)
330
(+24 from 2017)
0.01698
2017767
(-18 from 2016)
306
(-18 from 2016)
0.01546
2016749
(-36 from 2015)
324
(-24 from 2015)
0.01600
2015713
(+15 from 2014)
348
(+19 from 2014)
0.01702
2014728
(-64 from 2013)
329
(-34 from 2013)
0.01605
2013664
(+55 from 2012)
363
(+36 from 2012)
0.01796
2012719
(-38 from 2011)
327
(-19 from 2011)
0.01611
2011681
(-22 from 2010)
346
(-18 from 2010)
0.01703
2010659
(+9 from 2009)
364
(-2 from 2009)
0.01772
2009668
(-17 from 2008)
366
(-8 from 2008)
0.01726
2008651
(-18 from 2007)
374
(-10 from 2007)
0.01715
2007633
(-77 from 2006)
384
(-67 from 2006)
0.01734
2006556
(+7 from 2005)
451
(+31 from 2005)
0.02057
2005563
(+14 from 2004)
420
(+29 from 2004)
0.01974
2004577
(+40 from 2003)
391
(+55 from 2003)
0.01850
2003617
(-39 from 2002)
336
(-41 from 2002)
0.01599
2002578
(-5 from 2001)
377
(+17 from 2001)
0.01824
2001573
(-57 from 2000)
360
(-75 from 2000)
0.01740
2000516
(-3 from 1999)
435
(+21 from 1999)
0.02083
1999513
(-24 from 1998)
414
(-32 from 1998)
0.02030
1998489
(-6 from 1997)
446
(+3 from 1997)
0.02200
1997483
No change from 1996
443
(-2 from 1996)
0.02217
1996483
(-29 from 1995)
445
(-50 from 1995)
0.02221
1995454
(-49 from 1994)
495
(-69 from 1994)
0.02461
1994405
(+7 from 1993)
564
(+2 from 1993)
0.02767
1993412
(-18 from 1992)
562
(-20 from 1992)
0.02721
1992394
(-45 from 1991)
582
(-113 from 1991)
0.02773
1991349
(-21 from 1990)
695
(-60 from 1990)
0.03279
1990328
(-2 from 1989)
755
(+33 from 1989)
0.03508
1989326
(-21 from 1988)
722
(-22 from 1988)
0.03445
1988305
(-23 from 1987)
744
(-26 from 1987)
0.03716
1987282
(+2 from 1986)
770
(+32 from 1986)
0.03948
1986284
(-13 from 1985)
738
(-30 from 1985)
0.03840
1985271
(+1 from 1984)
768
(+2 from 1984)
0.03991
1984272
No change from 1983
766
(+2 from 1983)
0.04082
1983272
(-18 from 1982)
764
(-103 from 1982)
0.04100
1982254
(+1 from 1981)
867
(+12 from 1981)
0.04594
1981255
(+6 from 1980)
855
(+12 from 1980)
0.04591
1980261
(-3 from 1979)
843
(+19 from 1979)
0.04545
1979258
(-2 from 1978)
824
(+31 from 1978)
0.04600
1978256
(-5 from 1977)
793
(-14 from 1977)
0.04641
1977251
(-13 from 1976)
807
(-43 from 1976)
0.04721
1976238
(-10 from 1975)
850
(-47 from 1975)
0.05206
1975228
(-8 from 1974)
897
(-58 from 1974)
0.05529
1974220
(-13 from 1973)
955
(-91 from 1973)
0.05858
1973207
(-10 from 1972)
1046
(-132 from 1972)
0.06482
1972197
(-1 from 1971)
1178
(-89 from 1971)
0.07037
1971196
(-10 from 1970)
1267
(-195 from 1970)
0.06970
1970186
(-4 from 1969)
1462
(-60 from 1969)
0.07675
1969182
(-12 from 1968)
1522
(-71 from 1968)
0.08321
1968170
(-5 from 1967)
1593
(-24 from 1967)
0.08972
1967165
(-10 from 1966)
1617
(-209 from 1966)
0.09087
1966155
(-8 from 1965)
1826
(-266 from 1965)
0.10046
1965147
(-4 from 1964)
2092
(-185 from 1964)
0.11042
1964143
(-12 from 1963)
2277
(-305 from 1963)
0.11233
1963131
(+1 from 1962)
2582
(-97 from 1962)
0.12506
1962132
(-6 from 1961)
2679
(-239 from 1961)
0.12747
1961126
(-5 from 1960)
2918
(-163 from 1960)
0.13528
1960121
No change from 1959
3081
(-138 from 1959)
0.14229
1959121
No change from 1958
3219
(+28 from 1958)
0.14858
1958121
(-10 from 1957)
3191
(-218 from 1957)
0.14808
1957111
(+2 from 1956)
3409
(+179 from 1956)
0.15574
1956113
No change from 1955
3230
(+160 from 1955)
0.15050
1955113
(+5 from 1954)
3070
(+93 from 1954)
0.14687
1954118
(-3 from 1953)
2977
(+162 from 1953)
0.14388
1953115
(-2 from 1952)
2815
(+125 from 1952)
0.14059
1952113
(+1 from 1951)
2690
(+12 from 1951)
0.13632
1951114
(-3 from 1950)
2678
(+43 from 1950)
0.14009
1950111
(-2 from 1949)
2635
(-74 from 1949)
0.14488
1949109
(-9 from 1948)
2709
(-424 from 1948)
0.15033
1948100
(-3 from 1947)
3133
(-246 from 1947)
0.17574
194797
(-2 from 1946)
3379
(+209 from 1946)
0.18190
194695
(-3 from 1945)
3170
(+430 from 1945)
0.19208
194592
(-6 from 1944)
2740
(-164 from 1944)
0.19979
194486
(-2 from 1943)
2904
(-160 from 1943)
0.20905
194384
No change from 1942
3064
(-1 from 1942)
0.21064
194284
(-1 from 1941)
3065
(+370 from 1941)
0.21764
194183
(-6 from 1940)
2695
(-100 from 1940)
0.21477
194077
(-3 from 1939)
2795
(+86 from 1939)
0.23563
193974
(-2 from 1938)
2709
(-172 from 1938)
0.23904
193872
(-1 from 1937)
2881
(+156 from 1937)
0.25350
193771
(-7 from 1936)
2725
(-214 from 1936)
0.24917
193664
No change from 1935
2939
(-131 from 1935)
0.27614
193564
(-1 from 1934)
3070
(-105 from 1934)
0.28703
193463
(-1 from 1933)
3175
(+142 from 1933)
0.29898
193362
(-3 from 1932)
3033
(-231 from 1932)
0.29730
193259
(+1 from 1931)
3264
(+103 from 1931)
0.30379
193160
(-3 from 1930)
3161
(-92 from 1930)
0.29548
193057
No change from 1929
3253
(+79 from 1929)
0.28800
192957
No change from 1928
3174
(-74 from 1928)
0.28656
192857
(+3 from 1927)
3248
(-5 from 1927)
0.28462
192760
(-3 from 1926)
3253
(-156 from 1926)
0.27997
192657
(+7 from 1925)
3409
(+190 from 1925)
0.29761
192564
(-4 from 1924)
3219
(-150 from 1924)
0.27957
192460
(+1 from 1923)
3369
(+208 from 1923)
0.28819
192361
(+4 from 1922)
3161
(+110 from 1922)
0.27917
192265
(+2 from 1921)
3051
(-24 from 1921)
0.27115
192167
No change from 1920
3075
(-11 from 1920)
0.27023
192067
(+2 from 1919)
3086
(+364 from 1919)
0.28035
191969
No change from 1918
2722
(-41 from 1918)
0.26809
191869
(+5 from 1917)
2763
(+337 from 1917)
0.26348
191774
(-1 from 1916)
2426
(+92 from 1916)
0.25289
191673
(-6 from 1915)
2334
(-31 from 1915)
0.25281
191567
(+7 from 1914)
2365
(+708 from 1914)
0.26847
191474
(-1 from 1913)
1657
(+329 from 1913)
0.24249
191373
(+4 from 1912)
1328
(+278 from 1912)
0.24765
191277
(-6 from 1911)
1050
(+448 from 1911)
0.23258
191171
(-4 from 1910)
602
(+57 from 1910)
0.24938
191067
(-1 from 1909)
545
(+70 from 1909)
0.26137
190966
(+1 from 1908)
475
(+29 from 1908)
0.26857
190867
(-7 from 1907)
446
(-29 from 1907)
0.26808
190760
No change from 1906
475
(+54 from 1906)
0.29953
190660
No change from 1905
421
(-3 from 1905)
0.29223
190560
(-5 from 1904)
424
(-8 from 1904)
0.29602
190455
No change from 1903
432
(+35 from 1903)
0.31191
190355
(+2 from 1902)
397
(+6 from 1902)
0.30699
190257
(+2 from 1901)
391
(+53 from 1901)
0.29454
190159
(-4 from 1900)
338
(-119 from 1900)
0.29241
190055
(+6 from 1899)
457
(+142 from 1899)
0.28188
189961
(-5 from 1898)
315
(-79 from 1898)
0.27345
189856
(-5 from 1897)
394
(-3 from 1897)
0.29826
189751
(-1 from 1896)
397
(-29 from 1896)
0.32556
189650
(+6 from 1895)
426
(+46 from 1895)
0.33005
189556
(+1 from 1894)
380
(+1 from 1894)
0.30006
189457
(-1 from 1893)
379
(+1 from 1893)
0.30346
189356
(+1 from 1892)
378
(-7 from 1892)
0.31229
189257
(-8 from 1891)
385
(+25 from 1891)
0.29288
189149
(+7 from 1890)
360
(+11 from 1890)
0.32947
189056
(-2 from 1889)
349
(-6 from 1889)
0.29156
188954
(+9 from 1888)
355
(+24 from 1888)
0.29824
188863
(+3 from 1887)
331
(+73 from 1887)
0.25480
188766
(+1 from 1886)
258
(-13 from 1886)
0.23602
188667
(+7 from 1885)
271
(+34 from 1885)
0.22765
188574
(+3 from 1884)
237
(+5 from 1884)
0.20441
188477
(+1 from 1883)
232
(+30 from 1883)
0.18902
188378
(+4 from 1882)
202
(+7 from 1882)
0.17960
188282
(+4 from 1881)
195
(+47 from 1881)
0.15980
188186
(+9 from 1880)
148
(+6 from 1880)
0.13669
188095
First SSA data recorded
142
First SSA data recorded
0.11993

American States Popularity Rankings for Ray

(From the Most to Least Popular, Based on Number of Births )

Texas (TX)

Texas (TX) flagTexas (TX)#8072021#6622022#6442023

California (CA)

California (CA) flagCalifornia (CA)#6342021#4722022#5402023

Pennsylvania (PA)

Pennsylvania (PA) flagPennsylvania (PA)#9102021#12132022#7792023

Ohio (OH)

Ohio (OH) flagOhio (OH)#13932020#10132022#6052023

Illinois (IL)

Illinois (IL) flagIllinois (IL)#11212021#11272022#12482023

North Carolina (NC)

North Carolina (NC) flagNorth Carolina (NC)#7302021#10082022#7422023

Tennessee (TN)

Tennessee (TN) flagTennessee (TN)#9332019#10732020#9982022

Kentucky (KY)

Kentucky (KY) flagKentucky (KY)#6222007#7572022#7632023

Michigan (MI)

Michigan (MI) flagMichigan (MI)#9662020#11052021#10892023

New York (NY)

New York (NY) flagNew York (NY)#6662021#9762022#6862023

Georgia (GA)

Georgia (GA) flagGeorgia (GA)#9172020#7962022#15182023

Missouri (MO)

Missouri (MO) flagMissouri (MO)#9572019#8082020#6852022

Louisiana (LA)

Louisiana (LA) flagLouisiana (LA)#6932017#9212019#9092023

Oklahoma (OK)

Oklahoma (OK) flagOklahoma (OK)#5662010#6272016#6662017

Virginia (VA)

Virginia (VA) flagVirginia (VA)#10152021#9232022#7552023

Alabama (AL)

Alabama (AL) flagAlabama (AL)#7542013#6712014#8312020

Florida (FL)

Florida (FL) flagFlorida (FL)#6422021#5822022#7312023

Indiana (IN)

Indiana (IN) flagIndiana (IN)#8042020#7452022#10732023

Arkansas (AR)

Arkansas (AR) flagArkansas (AR)#5782013#5282014#6052020

West Virginia (WV)

West Virginia (WV) flagWest Virginia (WV)#1471985#1851988#2571992

Mississippi (MS)

Mississippi (MS) flagMississippi (MS)#4812000#5912005#5932013

South Carolina (SC)

South Carolina (SC) flagSouth Carolina (SC)#7382010#6422015#7632018

Washington (WA)

Washington (WA) flagWashington (WA)#7132021#11202022#5602023

Kansas (KS)

Kansas (KS) flagKansas (KS)#5792006#5642015#6492020

Iowa (IA)

Iowa (IA) flagIowa (IA)#5002004#6172014#6282015

Colorado (CO)

Colorado (CO) flagColorado (CO)#6792018#5702019#7022022

Arizona (AZ)

Arizona (AZ) flagArizona (AZ)#5532021#7982022#7222023

Wisconsin (WI)

Wisconsin (WI) flagWisconsin (WI)#8552017#6572019#8492020

Utah (UT)

Utah (UT) flagUtah (UT)#5952021#5962022#7312023

Minnesota (MN)

Minnesota (MN) flagMinnesota (MN)#6972021#8052022#5422023

New Mexico (NM)

New Mexico (NM) flagNew Mexico (NM)#3772011#3662016#4242020

Maryland (MD)

Maryland (MD) flagMaryland (MD)#7492017#8592018#7552019

New Jersey (NJ)

New Jersey (NJ) flagNew Jersey (NJ)#7912021#7992022#11442023

Nebraska (NE)

Nebraska (NE) flagNebraska (NE)#2251978#2281981#2061988

Oregon (OR)

Oregon (OR) flagOregon (OR)#6852014#6822017#6772023

Idaho (ID)

Idaho (ID) flagIdaho (ID)#2431983#3121996#3922005

Massachusetts (MA)

Massachusetts (MA) flagMassachusetts (MA)#5482020#6612022#6562023

Montana (MT)

Montana (MT) flagMontana (MT)#1851974#1921980#1781984

South Dakota (SD)

South Dakota (SD) flagSouth Dakota (SD)#1791968#1921970#1501972

North Dakota (ND)

North Dakota (ND) flagNorth Dakota (ND)#1871962#1601963#1711978

Connecticut (CT)

Connecticut (CT) flagConnecticut (CT)#3722006#5102007#4492018

District of Columbia (DC)

District of Columbia (DC) flagDistrict of Columbia (DC)#2871979#3001981#3481991

Hawaii (HI)

Hawaii (HI) flagHawaii (HI)#2961994#2982005#1802013

Maine (ME)

Maine (ME) flagMaine (ME)#1621977#1571981#1781982

Wyoming (WY)

Wyoming (WY) flagWyoming (WY)#1451962#561964#1651979

Nevada (NV)

Nevada (NV) flagNevada (NV)#4942019#5442020#5652021

Vermont (VT)

Vermont (VT) flagVermont (VT)#1151959#1181963#1171973

New Hampshire (NH)

New Hampshire (NH) flagNew Hampshire (NH)#1601965#1421967#1401975

Alaska (AK)

Alaska (AK) flagAlaska (AK)#1041973#1911982#1992001

Delaware (DE)

Delaware (DE) flagDelaware (DE)#1631964#1511968#1221972

Rhode Island (RI)

Rhode Island (RI) flagRhode Island (RI)#1621961#1431963#1461964

Popularity Rankings for Ray in other Countries and American Territories

(From the Most to Least Popular, Based on Rankings)

Popularity in New Zealand

New Zealand flagNew Zealand#3111976#2891988#4292016

Popularity in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland flagNorthern Ireland#4182019#2952021#3952023

Popularity in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico flagPuerto Rico#3582007#5222008#4712011

Popularity in Scotland

Scotland flagScotland#4702015#3902020#4252022

Popularity in England and Wales

England and Wales flagEngland and Wales#4292019#5872020#4872021

Popularity in Ireland

Ireland flagIreland#7552021#5722022#7702023

Popularity in Switzerland

Switzerland flagSwitzerland#6252020#6682021#7592022

Popularity in Canada

Canada flagCanada#7462020#6842021#8262022

Popularity in Poland

Poland flagPoland#7322015

Popularity in Quebec, Canada

Quebec, Canada flagQuebec, Canada#8532016#9782019#7772022

Popularity in Sweden

Sweden flagSweden#8002023

Source: Social Security Administration (SSA) and Other National Sources

Is Ray a Name for Boys or Girls?

Ray is generally a boy’s name. Its strong, straightforward sound and historical use make it well-suited for boys

Variants, Nicknames, Diminutives, and Ideal Middle Names for Ray

  • Rai
  • Raye
  • Rayo
  • Jensen
  • Kian
  • Leif
  • Magnus
  • Orion
  • Percy
  • Quinlan
  • Rafferty
  • Soren
  • Thaddeus
  • Wilder

Ray in Famous People Names, Pop Culture, and Places

  • Ray Charles (Musician, 1930–2004): A pioneering American singer, songwriter, and pianist, often referred to as "The Genius," known for his hits like "Georgia on My Mind" and "Hit the Road Jack."
  • Ray Bradbury (Author, 1920–2012): An American author known for his dystopian novel "Fahrenheit 451" and numerous short stories.
  • Ray Romano (Comedian, born 1957): An American comedian and actor best known for his role on the TV show "Everybody Loves Raymond."
  • Ray Liotta (Actor, 1954–2022): An American actor famous for his role in "Goodfellas" and other film and TV appearances.
  • Ray J (Singer, born 1981): An American singer, songwriter, and television personality known for his music career and reality TV appearances.
  • Ray Lewis (Football Player, born 1975): An American former professional football player who spent his entire career as a linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Ray Park (Actor, born 1974): A Scottish actor and martial artist known for his roles as Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" and Snake Eyes in the "G.I. Joe" series.
  • Ray LaMontagne (Singer, born 1973): An American singer-songwriter known for his distinctive voice and songs like "Trouble" and "You Are the Best Thing."
  • Ray Allen (Basketball Player, born 1975): An American former professional basketball player considered one of the greatest three-point shooters in NBA history.
  • Ray Davies (Musician, born 1944): An English musician, lead singer and songwriter for the rock band The Kinks.
  • Ray Stantz ("Ghostbusters," 1984 Film Series): A parapsychologist and founding member of the Ghostbusters, known for his enthusiasm and scientific expertise.
  • Ray Donovan ("Ray Donovan," 2013 TV Series): A professional fixer for the rich and famous in Los Angeles who can make any problem disappear.
  • Raymond Holt ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine," 2013 TV Series): The stoic and often humorous captain of the 99th precinct in the NYPD.
  • Ray Charles ("Ray," 2004 Film): A biographical film about the life of the legendary blind musician Ray Charles.
  • Ray Ferrier ("War of the Worlds," 2005 Film): A dockworker who struggles to protect his children during an alien invasion.
  • Ray Barone ("Everybody Loves Raymond," 1996 TV Series): A sportswriter dealing with his overbearing family and the everyday challenges of life.
  • Raylan Givens ("Justified," 2010 TV Series): A U.S. Marshal enforcing his own brand of justice in his Kentucky hometown.
  • Ray Kinsella ("Field of Dreams," 1989 Film): A farmer who builds a baseball field in his cornfield after hearing a mysterious voice.
  • Ray Gaines ("San Andreas," 2015 Film): A rescue pilot who embarks on a dangerous mission to save his daughter after a massive earthquake.
  • Ray ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens," 2015 Film): A scavenger who discovers her connection to the Force and becomes a key figure in the Resistance.
  • Ray (North Dakota, USA): A city in Williams County, known for its oil production and small-town charm.
  • Ray Township (Michigan, USA): A township in Macomb County, recognized for its rural landscapes and agricultural heritage.
  • Ray (Iran): A city in Tehran Province, notable for its historical sites and ancient ruins.
  • Ray City (Georgia, USA): A city in Berrien County, known for its quiet neighborhoods and community spirit.
  • Raymore (Missouri, USA): A city in Cass County, known for its rapid growth and family-friendly environment.

Similar Names to Ray

Sibling Names for Ray