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Do you think Riley is a girl's name?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have always liked the name Riley for a boy. It's my Grandpa's middle name, and he is very special to me. But we have friends who named their little girl Ryleigh (or something like that--it's spelled different but pronounced the same).

So what do you ladies think? When you first hear the name Riley, do you think boy or girl? I know I probably shouldn't care, but if this child is a boy I really don't want to name him something that everyone is going to say "but that's a GIRL's name"
post #2 of 24
I think boy. But I do know that it is becoming popular as a girl's name too.
post #3 of 24
Riley is going to be the new Taylor. It started out a boy's name, was co-opted by girls, and will become firmly entrenched in the girl's camp in the next few years.
post #4 of 24
It's funny, when I saw the title of your thread, I figured you wanted reassurance for naming a girl Riley and I was about to come and say, "I'm sorry, but that really makes me think of a grandpa-type old man."

I think it sounds like a boy's name (I think all those surname type of first names sound like boy's names. "Madison" will never make me think of a little girl no matter how many girls have it). And given the connection with your grandfather I think you should go for it.

If it does come to be associated primarily with a girl's name, there's always the nickname Ry (as in Ry Cooder).
post #5 of 24
I used to think of it as a boy's name but now I see so many girl Riley's that I automatically think girl.
post #6 of 24
I know a girl named Riley...so yes, I immediately think "girl"...but I also knew a boy named Riley. Though I think it works both ways, it sounds like a "girl" name to me.
post #7 of 24
I looked in our state's baby name database, and in 2003 there were 45 girls and 79 boys named Riley. Hope that helps.
post #8 of 24
I am not in your DDC - hope its ok to pipe up.

My friend was planning to name her baby Riley if it was a girl. I think of it more as a girl's name...

I know a guy who named his son Bailey which I also think of as a girl's name and I always stumble over it because he has a SON and I am always tempted to refer to his daughter. (I've never met the child so I don't have a little person to associate the name with. )
post #9 of 24
I've met 3 girls named Riley, Ryley and Rylee so I generally think of a girl first, but it doesn't sound like a girl's name to me really. There is this trend to give girl's names that sounds like last names to me. I've met girls named Emerson, Davis, Taylor, Parker, MacKenzie, Kennedy among others. I think Riley is fine for a boy.

Oh yeah, Bailey is another one, but the one Bailey I know in real life is a boy. If we had had a boy, we were going to name him Carson, which is often a girl's name, but we liked it more for a boy than a girl. But then we named our girl Jesse, go figure. I ended up changing my mind on the spelling last minute to Jessie because I thought that would indicate a girl, but everyone spells it Jesse anyway.
post #10 of 24
Well, my youngest's middle name is Reilly (he's a boy), so of course I feel like it's a fine boy name. I always thought of it as a boy name, but I do know a girl named Riley too, in my 2nd grader's class.

I say definitely go for it, especially since you have the grandpa connection. I wish now I hadn't used it already because I'd love to use it this time as a first name. Actually, it very nearly was a first name for my youngest, but Reilly Jonah just didn't sound as good as the other way around.

You know, come to think of if, Bailey was the 3rd name on the finalist list (dh's contribution). It's never really felt like a girls name to me. Dog's name maybe, but not a girls name. (In my defense, I knew a dog named Bailey. Cute little bugger.)
post #11 of 24
hi, from the june ddc. i know two little girls under 4 years old named Riley, one spelled just how you spelled it. i think its cute. and i know one boy(man) named Riley, in his twenties now... ive never thought of the name as gender specific.

and on a similar subject, i know a little girl, five years old, named Aiden... so i always think of it as a girls name, even though it is now one of the most popular boy's names.
post #12 of 24
Yep, it's a cross gender name here in Atlanta. Like Carson and Devon are also for both sexes.
post #13 of 24
I say go for it! I'm near ATL too and there are many cross-gendered names here. Our DD1 is River. We named her at 12 weeks pg. She was going to be a River whether she was a girl or boy. Zoe is our 2nd. She was named prior to conception, but we knew that we'd have to pick another name if it was a boy. If she was a boy, Eli(jah) would have been the name. Luckily, my brother wanted Eli for his son and was able to use it. But now, we've already named the 3rd Hunter, whether it's a girl or boy. Again, named before conception.

River fits her. Yes, when I say River, people use the term "he" before they see her, but she's all girl. She does "go with the flow" and I can't see her being named anything else. Zoe's our tomboy, but she's very full of Life.

It drives my family crazy because of our "weird" names for our kids. However, my younger brother is about to name his son "Bennett" (not Ben) after my grandmother's maiden name. It's basically a "To each his/her own" issue.

Good luck in naming!
post #14 of 24
I definitely think it's one of those names that's 50-50 boy/girl.

- Krista
post #15 of 24
I always think little boy when I think of the name Riely (or however you wish to spell it) I know a lot of those cross-gender names and all of them tend to be used incorrectly lol

I say definitly do it - there is a family connectiong to the name and if anyone gives you a hard time you can just let them know you have been using it far longe than them
post #16 of 24
Rebeccalizzie, I say the most important thing is do YOU think Riley sounds like a boy's name? Everyone has their own interpretation of names based on their own experiences, and if there is a male family connection for you, it will always seem like a boy's name to you and your son. But who knows, I have such a crazy name it doesn't show up on any baby name lists!
I found a web site you might like:

that shows the popularity of boy/girl names over time. I looked up Riley, and it shows boy and girl usage, but more boy.

Hope that helps!!
post #17 of 24
I've heard it for both, but automatically think girl for Riley, as that is my niece's name!
post #18 of 24
Nation wide in 2004, Riley was the 58th most popular name for girls & 106th for boy. Check out http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/index.html

The only Rileys I know are girls & I think of girls.

Good luck! This name stuff is hard isn't it?!
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your opinions! Of course we'll name this one whatever we decide on, but I would hate to name a little boy a name that *everyone* is going to automatically say is a girl's name. Kinda like Sidney--when my grandpa was born it was a boys' name, now I can't even picture a boy named Sidney. Sounds like I can probably get away with it if we decide we want to...I do love the name but I'm not 100% positive it's "the one" yet Still have plenty of time to figure that one out!
post #20 of 24
Boy, boy, boy, boy, boy. Okay, I know you already got a bunch of replies, but i had to respond. I know it's a "trendy" girl's name right now, but it's such a boy's name. I know this woman who just named her daughter Riley (spelled a different way) and she was gushing about how cute it was. Of course, I didn't say anything because how rude would that be, but hey - YOU ASKED! So, I can sound off here! Boy, boy, boy, boy, boy!
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