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Smart Baby Names: Dictionary of Baby Names, Meanings and Origins.

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Baby Genders

Alphabetical List

Name Origins

Boy Name: Kelly

Name: Kelly
Pronunciation: \k(el)-ly\
Gender / Sex: boy name boy (Kelly's also a girl name)
Meaning: descendant of Ceallach
Origin: Irish
Related Names: Cillian, Keeley, Killian
Sounds Like: Keely, Kealy, Kell, Kelle
Variant forms: Kelley
Rank as First Name (Given Name): 248
Rank as Last Name (Surname, Family Name): 74


Kelly \k(el)-ly\ as a boy's name (also used as girl's name Kelly), is pronounced KEL-ee. It is of Irish and Gaelic origin, and the meaning of Kelly is "descendant of Ceallach". Transferred use of the surname. Originally an anglicized form of the male name Ceallach, possibly meaning "bright-headed", "strife", or "church, monastery". TV producer David Kelley.

Kelly has 1 variant form: Kelley.

For more information, see also related names Cillian, Keeley and Killian.

Baby names that sound like Kelly are Keely, Kealy, Kell and Kelle.

View a list of the 8 names that reference Kelly.


Kelly is a very popular first name for men (#248 out of 1220) and also a very popular surname or last name for both men and women (#74 out of 88799). (1990 U.S. Census)

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