Is the name Riley for a boy or girl?

posted 2 years ago in Names
  • poll: Do you like the name Riley for a boy?

    Yes, perfectly fine to name a boy Riley

    No, I think of it as a girls name!

  • Post # 46
    1964 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    I think it’s an okay boy name, but it does have an air of femininity that I’m not sure every boy in the world would appreciate as they got older. It is a CUTE name, but to me, it doesn’t age well. Imagine a 40-year-old man named Riley? It’s hard. 

    But I have certainly heard worse names. 

    Post # 47
    1258 posts
    Bumble bee

    My husband’s middle name is Riley but I think it’s definitely a unisex name.  When we have kids, it’s definitely on our list, same with the name Payton/Peyton, which I too like for either a girl or boy.

    Post # 48
    483 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2018

    View original reply
    slomotion :  Haha!  That was my first thought when I saw this post!  I was Team Angel personally.  Riley was cute but annoying.

    Anyway, I think it can be fine for a boy or girl!

    Post # 49
    1519 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2017 - A vineyard

    I have only ever heard Riley as a boys name. I do know girls use it too though. If it makes you feel better if I ever have a boy I’m using a name that was originally a male name but that some parents use for their little girls now. When my husband heard the name at first he was confused because he only heard girls named it. But then I showed him the history of it and he was fine with the name. It’s my favourite name and I hope we get to use it someday. We had a girl first lol.

    Post # 50
    10107 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper

    View original reply
    MsTrulove22 :  

    I would assume it to be a boy’s name because it is one of  those surnames-as first-names that are pretty much always boys ( or so it seems from outside the US) 

    Post # 51
    78 posts
    Worker bee

    Could be either and personally I dont know anyone with the name. I would expect to see it being spelled Rylie or similar for a girl.

    Also my son has a boys name that’s older and not super popular. it looks feminine if you are unfamiliar with it and one person has mistakenly said “she” upon seeing his name (twice lol). It is not a big deal. And anyway why is it ok for girls to take boys names but not the other way around?

    Off my soapbox. If you like it, go for it!

    Post # 52
    7751 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 1997

    As for names that started out as men’s names that are now primarily known as women’s names, that seems to be the trajectory for almost any name that is adopted for girls. Once people start naming their girls that name, people stop using it for boys (as a PP mentioned, why is it okay to name girls with a boy’s name but not vice versa?).

    This has been true for names like Ashley, Lesley, Beverly, Allison, Lindsay, Whitney, Kelley, Hilary, Lauren, Mckenzie, Vivian, Lynn… The list goes on and on. And while there are still men who carry these names, they are quite rare, and many of the names strike people as exclusively women’s names. I see names like Riley and Madison and Payton headed in that direction. 

    Post # 53
    18 posts
    • Wedding: June 2010 - Waygetter Electronics

    In my daughter’s school, there is a boy Riley and a girl Ryleigh.  

    Post # 54
    10107 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper

    View original reply
    echomomm :  

    I know,  I know, one of my ( minor ) pet hates. If a thing starts  masculine , name , clothes  whatever then the ‘lesser sex’ is welcome to emulate it   –  for a time  .But  god forbid it becomes  associated   with   them,  for then  the guys will have to eschew it,  lest their parts drop off. 

    I’m not immune myself  I must  confess,  I would not call a boy Hilary  for eg . 

    Post # 55
    1601 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2018

    I prefer it for a boy! I know it was used as a girl’s name on Girl Meets World (fabulous show, btw) but it felt like they were using a boy’s name for the lead female character.

    Post # 56
    750 posts
    Busy bee

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    MsTrulove22 :  I think it’s a unisex name that is a little more of a boy’s name. It works really well for either gender. Like the name Taylor.

    Post # 57
    3066 posts
    Sugar bee

    View original reply
    MsTrulove22 :  I know both a guy and a girl names Riley.

    I actually knew the guy first, so i thought of it as a a guys name that also worked for a cute girls name. 

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