59 answers

Is Riley a Girl or Boy Name to You?

When I was pregnant with my son back in 2005 Riley was, to me and my husband, a boy name. Our name was supposed to be Cooper Riley. We ended up going with a different name but thought if we ever had another boy we would use the name Riley. Well, now 5 years later it seems Riley has turned into more of a girl name. I have two friends with girls that names are Riley and my husband is now totally against using Riley for a boy.

What do you think? Girl or Boy name?

Thanks!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My friend named her daughter Riley (she is now 5) and at the time had the same question. I remember her husband saying he liked it because it sounded more feminine than masculine.

IMO I think it can work for both.

2 moms found this helpful

Growing up, I only knew boys named Riley and I knew plenty of those. I have heard Riley for girls lately, but I think it's one of those names that is gender neutral now. Like Chris, or Pat or Robin.

2 moms found this helpful

It is sad that so many good boy names become abused by girls. Riley used to be a very unique "Boy" name. In the last 10 years so many more girls have been named Riley (spelled various ways) that it does seem like a girl name now. I agree that it has become a Neutral name for either but I now relate it more to a girl name. As unfortunate as it is.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Riley was a boy's name used in literature and media for over 130 years. The expression, "Living the life of Riley" (which means having the ideal life -- everything comes easy) became popular in the 1880s based upon a poem. Then in the 1940s-1950s there was a radio comedy show about a man called "The Life of Riley," which morphed into a television show eventually.

I still get surprised when I hear a girl named Riley, although it has become very popular. Over history, there are FAR more boys names that transition into girl names than vice-versa. I had the same problem with the name Jordan. REALLY wanted to use it for my son, but too many girls are using it now. Oh well!

4 moms found this helpful

it's both, but i have a good friend who had the same issue. Had her daughter (NOW 4) had been a boy she would have been Riley, when it turned out they were having a girl, they just figured they'd use it next time. Well their little boy isn't even a year old yet, and they both thought Riley was to girly right now.

2 moms found this helpful

It is sad that so many good boy names become abused by girls. Riley used to be a very unique "Boy" name. In the last 10 years so many more girls have been named Riley (spelled various ways) that it does seem like a girl name now. I agree that it has become a Neutral name for either but I now relate it more to a girl name. As unfortunate as it is.

2 moms found this helpful

Growing up, I only knew boys named Riley and I knew plenty of those. I have heard Riley for girls lately, but I think it's one of those names that is gender neutral now. Like Chris, or Pat or Robin.

2 moms found this helpful

My friend named her daughter Riley (she is now 5) and at the time had the same question. I remember her husband saying he liked it because it sounded more feminine than masculine.

IMO I think it can work for both.

2 moms found this helpful

Riley, Cameron, Shelby, Jordan all nongender names.
This is why we used Charles, Philip, Sarah and Jessica. And I don't call her Jessie or Jess.

1 mom found this helpful

To me Riley is a boy's name (so is Ryan, Tyler, Cameron, and Jordan by the way). Leslie, Taylor, and Shelby are girl names. But I too have seen where some names have become almost gener neutral (although to me they are not). The truly gender neutral names I can think of would be Jamie or Jess.

1 mom found this helpful

Either way, it can work. You may want to consider a more "traditional" middle name depending on your last name! I have one friend who named her daughter Riley Elizabeth and another Riley Jessica. It created a little bit of balance for the gender-neutral name! I have another friends whose son is Reilly (family spelling) John.

1 mom found this helpful

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