What does the baby name Kelly mean? Learn about what Kelly means, its history & origin, popularity in our random name database, pronunciation, similar names, nicknames & spelling variations.

Kelly - Name Meaning, Origin & Popularity

Spelling of Kelly
K-E-L-L-Y, is a 5-letter female given name.
Pronunciation of Kelly
KEL lee
Meaning of Kelly
Warrior, bright-headed, intelligent and bright, war, strife, defender, brave warrior, farm by the spring.
Origin of Kelly
The name 'Kelly' has multiple origins and can be found in various cultures. One possible origin of the name is from the Irish surname Ó Ceallaigh, which means 'descendant of Ceallach'. Ceallach is an Irish given name derived from the Gaelic word 'ceallach', meaning 'war' or 'strife'. Another possible origin is from the Cornish language, where 'Kelly' means 'grove' or 'woodland'.
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Similar Names, Nicknames, & Spelling Variations of Kelly
Popularity of Kelly
The name 'Kelly' gained popularity in the mid-20th century and peaked in the 1970s and 1980s. It was particularly popular in English-speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia. However, its popularity has declined in recent years and is no longer as commonly used as it once was.
Kelly currently has 751 likes, and is in the top 1% of liked girl's names. The name Stella is slightly more popular than Kelly.

Etymology of Kelly

The etymology of the name 'Kelly' can be traced back to its Irish and Cornish origins. In Irish, the name is derived from the word 'ceallach', which means 'war' or 'strife'. In Cornish, 'Kelly' means 'grove' or 'woodland'. These meanings reflect the different linguistic roots and cultural contexts of the name.

Cultural Significance of Kelly

The name 'Kelly' does not hold significant cultural or religious significance in any particular culture. However, it is associated with Irish and Cornish heritage due to its origins in these languages. In Irish culture, the surname Ó Ceallaigh is associated with various noble families and clans. In Cornish culture, the name 'Kelly' is connected to the natural landscape and its association with woodlands.