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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Ray

The name Ray is derived from Raymond, an English translation of the French Raimund. Ray denotes a knowledgeable guardian or protector. This name is a shorter variant of Raymond, Reuben, and other names that contain the word “ray”, and mean “wise”. The name was primarily given to boys in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but it started to be used as a unisex name in the middle of the 20th century. Ray rose to prominence as a middle name in the early 20th century. Although the use of Ray as a first name has varied over time, it is still common today.

There are many other meanings for this versatile name. The Hebrew name Rachel is occasionally shortened to Ray. This name derives from the Biblical Rachel, a person from the Old Testament and one of Jacob’s wives. The Scottish names Reay and Rae come from ‘ra,’ the Old English word that refers to a female roe deer.

It is a Border name with distinct origins from the McRae name, which originated in the Scottish Highlands. Rea, pronounced “Ray,” is an Irish name as well. Ray may be a short form of Reavy, whose name comes from the Gaelic word Riabhaigh, which means “gray-haired,” while it may also be a variation of MacCrea, which is the source of the name MacGreevey. Ray is also a famous surname in India. Famous personalities such as Satyajit Ray bear the title.

In fiction, including films, TV series, comic books, video games, and books, the name Ray has been used quite a bit. Ray Finkle from “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” Ray Stantz from the “Ghostbusters” series, and Ray Palmer/The Atom from DC Comics are a few notable fictional characters. The character of Ray Breslin appears in the movie “Escape Plan,” whereas Ray Kroc appears in the film “The Founder.” Ray Barone and Ray Doyle are characters on television programs such as “The Equalizer” and “Everybody Loves Raymond,” respectively.

Overall, Ray is a traditional and timeless choice that has persisted through the ages. Parents looking for a classic name for their child will find it an excellent option due to its meaning and popularity.


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Germanic - Counsel; Mighty protection; Guards Wisely; Regal; Beam of Light; A variant of name Raymond
 R..  Ra..  Raa..  Rae..  Rah..  Ray..  Ree..  Rei.. 

How To Pronounce Ray?


Famous People With The Name Ray

  • Ray CharlesAmerican singer and songwriter, received 18 Grammy Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, and LegenD status
  • Ray FisherAmerican actor known for his work as Victor Stone/Cyborg in the DC Extended Universe
  • Ray LiottaAmerican actor known for portraying the character of Shoeless Joe Jackson in the movie Field of Dreams
  • Ray BradburyAmerican author known for his book Fahrenheit 451, and collection of short stories, The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man
  • Ray LewisAmerican footballer, with the entirety of his 17-year NFL career, played middle linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens

Ray On The Popularity Chart

Let’s check the graph to know how much Ray has evolved.

Popularity Over Time

Ray’s popularity was the maximum in 1982; since then, it has been declining with a few fluctuations. Check the graph to understand more about it.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

Ray ranked better at the beginning of 1980, but by 2007, its rank declined, showing that people were not using the name as much. However, soon after, its rank saw some improvement. In 2021, it attained a rank of 18384. The graph below will give you more clarity on the trend.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Ray

If you like how Ray sounds but want to opt for some other names, you may try these options.

Names With Similar Meaning As Ray

Ray is deep and meaningful, but we’ve got you covered if you are looking for more names with the same meaning.

Name Numerology For Ray

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