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Kyle Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Kyle including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Kyle Overview

  • Meaning: The name Kyle means “narrows” or “channel.”
  • Gender: Kyle is a gender-neutral name.
  • Origin: The origin of Kyle from a small hamlet in the Ayshire region of Scotland once under the control of British chieftain, Coel Hen.
  • Pronunciation: Kyle is pronounced, “KIH-el.”
  • Popularity: Kyle is a very popular name for boys, usually ranking in the top 300 most common names. However, it is a much less common name for girls.
  • Nicknames: Kye, Kya, Kylo, Kai, Kylee
  • Variations: Kali, Khalil, Kaelea.
  • Namesakes: Kyle MacLachlan, Kyle Busch, Kyle Mooney.

What Does Kyle Mean?

Kyle is a gender-neutral name with Scottish and Irish derivations. The name Kyle originated as a surname in southwestern Scotland. It comes from the Gaelic word “caol” which means “narrows,” “frith” or “straight,” as in a “narrow channel of land.”

Kyle can also be translated from the Arabic for “beloved” and from Hebrew to “regal woman.”

What is the Origin of the Name Kyle?

The name Kyle can be traced back to the 5th century in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Specifically, the Ayrshire region of Scotland ruled by a British chieftain called Coel Hen, also known as Coel the Old and King Cole.

Hen’s dominion extended over large swathes of southern Scotland. His name quickly became associated with the territory of his control (1). The name Kyle began as a habitational name for those born in or from that region.

It has also been suggested that the name Kyle is an anglicized version of the Scottish surname MacSuile. This was confirmed by registrars in the Ballycastle district, where the names Kyle and MacSuile were used interchangeably.

How Popular is the Name Kyle?

Kyle is a very old name. However, its use didn’t begin to take off until the 1980s, when it experienced a spike in popularity. Until about 2010, it was regularly one of the top 100 most popular names for males (2).

However, the popularity of the name has waned in recent years, dropping below 300 most popular in 2020.

Kyle, as a male first name, is the 2,872nd most popular name in the world. It is most prevalent in the United States and has the highest density in Gibraltar.

Kyle also ranks relatively high in Canada, England, Australia, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and New Zealand. In each country, it ranks above the 500th most popular name for a boy.

Kyle for females is a far less common name, ranking as the 3365th most popular girl name.

A girl named Kyle in the United States would have only a 0.602 percent chance of being in a class with another girl of the same name. Whereas, a boy named Kyle would have a 13.05 percent chance based on the same data.

Kyle as a surname is the 15,320th most common surname in the world. Its highest prevalence is in the United States, and its highest density is in Northern Ireland.

Kyle has the highest search frequency in the United States, followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Philippines. Kyle is most popular as a name to Westerners, likely due to its European and Anglophonic origins.

As a surname, Kyle is most frequent in the United States. It has the highest popularity in Texas, California, and Tennessee.

Outside of the United States, the last name Kyle is found in 95 other countries, with Canada and England being the most populous (at 8 and 7 percent, respectively).

How Do I Pronounce Kyle?

Kyle is pronounced “KIH-el”. Although the name may sound like it is only one syllable, it is a diphthong.

Is Kyle a Boy or Girl Name?

Kyle can be both a first name and a surname and is both a boy name and a girl name. Although, it is more common for boys.

Variations of Kyle

Some variations on the name Kyle around the world are:

  • Khalil (Arabic)
  • Kaaliya (Indian)
  • Kaelea (English, Indian)
  • Kahill (Indian)
  • Kaila (English, Hawaiian, Indian)
  • Kailee (English, Hawaiian, Indian)
  • Kala (Indian)
  • Kale (Hawaiian)
  • Kalea (Hawaiian)
  • Kali (Greek, Hawaiian, Indian, Indonesian, Sanskrit)
  • Kaliya (Indian)
  • Kalle (Finish, French)

Nicknames for Kyle

Some nicknames for the name Kyle are as follows:

  • Kai
  • Key
  • Kya
  • Kaye
  • Kylo

Similar Names to Kyle

Some names that may be similar to Kyle either in meaning or sound are:

Middle Names for Kyle

Here is a selection of boy names thought to go well with the Kyle:

Here is a selection of girl names thought to go well with Kyle:

Sibling Names for Kyle

Here are some complementary sibling names for Kyle.

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People with the Name Kyle

These are just a few famous people with the name Kyle:

  • Kyle MacLachlan: American actor
  • Kyle Busch: Nascar driver
  • Kyle Mooney: Comedian and writer for SNL
  • Kyle Lowry: Basketball player for the Miami Heat
  • Kyle Massey: Television actor
  • Kyle Kuzma: Basketball player for the Washington Wizards
  • Kyle Richards: American actress
  • Kyle Fox: Daughter of Actor, Matthew Fox
  • Kyle Thomas Harvey (known as KYLE): American Rapper

Famous People with the Surname Kyle

Some of the notable celebrities with the surname Kyle include:

  • Chris Kyle: United States Navy Seal
  • Doug Kyle: American long-distance runner
  • Anne Dempster Kyle: American childrens book author
  • Iris Kyle: American bodybuilder and 10-time Ms. Olympia winner
  • Jeremy Kyle: British broadcaster and writer.
  • John J.J. Kyle: Scottish Scientist

Kyle in Popular Culture

Some notable Kyles in pop culture are:

  • Kyle Broflovski: The lovable best friend of Stan Marsh on “South Park”.
  • Selena Kyle: The real name and alias of the famous vigilante, Catwoman.


Is Kyle a Good Name?

Whether you are browsing ideas for baby names or just researching more information about your given name, it is clear that the name Kyle has a long and storied history.

Given its popularity and relatively stable trajectory, it would seem that Kyle is a fitting name to give to a person of any gender.

What is the Nationality of the Last Name Kyle?

Just like the first name, the surname Kyle is of Scottish derivation.

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