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Origin, Meaning, and History of Finley

Finley is an Irish name originating from the Gaelic name ‘Fionnlagh,’ which means ‘fair hero’ or ‘white warrior.’ Fionn mac Cumhail, a renowned warrior and the head of the Fianna, a band of skilled warriors in ancient Ireland, bore the name in Irish mythology.

The name was initially a surname and has been used in Scotland since the Middle Ages. The Old Norse gave the name ‘Finnleikr,’ which translates to ‘fair play’ or ‘fair sport.’ In the 19th century, the name Finley became prominent as a given name in Scotland, and it has since become a common unisex name.

In recent years, Finley has been used for both boys and girls, reflecting the trend towards unisex or gender-neutral names. It is, however, more often used for boys than for girls. The name can also be spelled Findlay or Finlay. It is primarily linked with Ireland and Scotland but is also used in English-speaking nations like the United States, Canada, and Australia.

The phonetic spelling of the unique name Finley is Finn-lee. There are many popular variations of this unique name in different languages. Some of them include Finlay and Findlay in Scottish, Finnegan, Finbar, and Finnian in Irish, meaning ‘fair’ or ‘fair-haired,’ Finneas in Hebrew, and Finn shortened for Finley.

Characters are a story’s vital elements, and many authors have used the name Finley for their characters. For example, Finley Jayne, Kady Cross’s steampunk novel ‘The Girl in the Steel Corset,’ features her as the main character, Nicholas Allan’s children’s book ‘The Giant’s Loo Roll’ has Finley McPhee as a character. Finley is in Alexandra Bracken’s book ‘The Darkest Minds,’ and Finley Trimble, a character in Ronlyn Domingue’s book ‘The Mercy of Thin Air.’

The two-syllable name is also quite versatile in drama, romance, and other genres. Some of the well-known characters include Finley, a character in the movie ‘Oz the Great and Powerful,’ Finley, in the Television series ‘The Adventures of Chuck and Friends,’ and Finley, a popular character in the TV series ‘In the Club.’


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A courageous soldier who is fair
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How To Pronounce Finley?


Famous People With The Name Finley

  • Finley WyattAmerican actor best known for playing Young Harvey Specter in the American drama ‘Suits’
  • Finley HamiltonAmerican football linebacker who played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills
  • Finley Peter DunneAmerican journalist, writer, and humorist
  • Finley QuayeBritish musician most recognised for his single, ‘Sunday Shining’
  • Finley FryerBritish child actor best-known for his work on the television shows ‘Doctors’ and ‘The Dumping Ground’
  • Finley TappBritish reality TV personality who won ‘Love Island’ in 2020

Finley On The Popularity Chart

The popularity of the name Finley began rising in the mid 2000s. Take a look at the graphs below.

Popularity Over Time

From just eight babies per million in 1980, the name Finley began an upward climb from the mid 2000s. In the year 2021 there were 1,298 babies per million named Finley. Check out the graph to understand more about its popularity.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

The Social Security Administration (SSA), which keeps tabs on the popularity of baby names in the United States, reports that in terms of ranking, the name’s popularity has gone down. In 1980, it ranked 16805 and in 2021 it was ranked 17,801.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Finley

There are many names that sound like Finley. Take a look at these similar-sounding names.

Names With Similar Meaning As Finley

Finley is a beautiful name with a unique meaning. Parents who wish to explore a name with a similar meaning can consider the suggestions below.

Name Numerology For Finley

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