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Reese Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Reese Overview

  • Meaning: Reese is a feminine Welsh name meaning “enthusiastic,” “ardent,” and “fiery” and is derived from the masculine form Rhys.
  • Gender: The name Reese, while primarily popularized in the mid 2000’s as a girl name, is unisex and is ranked number 80 on the list of popular gender neutral baby names for 2021.
  • Origin: Reese is the anglicized version of the masculine name Rhys, and originated from Wels, Dutch, and Germanic name Rese.
  • Pronunciation: Reese is a one syllable name that is fairly easy to pronounce as it sounds like “peace,” “cease,” or “fleece.”
  • Popularity: The name Reese for a girl peaked in 2012, ranking at number 128 with over two-thousand births that year but has steadily declined since then.
  • Nicknames: Ray, Rayce, Ree, ReeCee, Reecey, Reecie, Reese’s Pieces, Ree-Ree, Ressie, Rhies, Risa.
  • Variations: Race, Rais, Raisa, Raja, Rasha, Reece, Rhys, Rich, Ricio, Rico, Rose, Ross, Rossa, Russ, Rys.
  • Namesakes: Reese Griffiths, Reese Johnson, Reese McGuire, Reese Mishler, Reese Rowling, Reese Witherspoon.

What Does Reese Mean?

Reese is a feminine Welsh name meaning “enthusiastic,” “ardent,” and “fiery” and derived from the masculine form Rhys. The name Rhys is a traditional Welsh name and means “enthustiastic” and “ardent.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Reese?

Originally used mainly as a boy name, Reese is the anglicized version of the masculine Rhys (1). Rhys was born from the Old Welsh term Rīs, meaning “ardor,” and was the name of the last king of an independent Wales who died in 1093.

The Dutch and Northern German peoples also used Reese to denote a large man, translated from Rese, or “giant.” At the same time, some places in Lower Saxony and Rhineland were called Reese or Rees to denote their idyllic, sprawling land.

How Popular Is the Name Reese?

In the mid-2000s, Reese rose to popularity for girls due to romantic comedies starring actress Reese Witherspoon. The name Reese for a girl peaked in 2012, ranking at number 128 with over two thousand births that year (2). Since then, the name has declined steadily in popularity for both boy and girl names.

How Do I Pronounce Reese?

Reese is a one-syllable name that is relatively easy to pronounce as it sounds like “peace,” “cease,” or “fleece.”

Is Reese a Boy or Girl Name?

Although originating as a boy name, Reese is primarily a girl name, as it was popularized by the actress Reese Witherspoon. Both forms of Reese have downturned in popularity since 2012. However, Reese ranks at number 80 on the list of gender-neutral baby names popular in 2021.

Variations of Reese

Since Reese is a one-syllable word rooted in Old Welsh, it does not have many variations, though parents could alter the name in these ways:

  • Race
  • Rais
  • Raisa
  • Raja
  • Rasha
  • Reece
  • Rhys
  • Rich
  • Ricio
  • Rico
  • Rose
  • Ross
  • Rossa
  • Russ
  • Rys

Nicknames for Reese

Reese is a relatively short name that is a bit difficult to shorten. Most parents find that a good nickname for Reese plays on the candy or repetition of the first syllable. Some cute nicknames for Reese include:

  • Ray
  • Rayce
  • Ree
  • ReeCee
  • Reecey
  • Reecie
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Ree-Ree
  • Ressie
  • Rhies
  • Risa

Similar Names to Reese

Similar names to Reese that you can’t go wrong with:

  • Brielle
  • Bryce
  • Creed
  • Grace
  • Iris
  • Lisa
  • Maurice
  • Reagan
  • Reece
  • Reed
  • Remy
  • Rex
  • Rhea
  • Rio
  • Rory
  • Rosa
  • Rosalie
  • Royce
  • Theresa
  • Trace

Middle Names for Reese

With a classic name like Reese, there are a few elegant middle names parents love, including:

Sibling Names for Reese

Reese is a simple, classic name that can complement many sibling names. Some great siblings names for a sibling of Reese include:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Reese

Many famous people have been named Reese. You might recognize the following:

  • Reese Griffiths: New Zealand rugby league footballer who represented the island nation in the World Cup during 1957 and 1960. A mural commemorates him along with George Mexies and Bernie Green on the wall of a Runanga Dairy.
  • Reese Johnson: Canadian ice hockey player signed to the Chicago Blackhawks after hitting 27 goals and 53 points throughout 67 season games spanning his career.
  • Reese McGuire: American baseball player who started his career playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2013 to 2016 before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and recently to the Chicago White Sox.
  • Reese Mishler: American actor commonly known for his character in The Gallows.
  • Reese Rowling: American businessman who co-founded the Tanan Oil and Gas Corporation with business partner William E. Colson. The firm, which was established in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1972, was eventually bought out by Texaco.
  • Reese Witherspoon: American actress and director best known for Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama, along with her book club.

Reese in Popular Culture

Reese is not just a great name that celebrities have, but it is also found in several movies and other media in popular culture, such as:

  • Kyle Reese: character from the Terminator movie franchise.
  • Reese Getty: character from the television show Lucifer. He is a reporter at the Los Angeles Telegraph and portrayed by Patrick Fabian.
  • Reese Carter: character in the book The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.

Reese FAQs

Reese is a very popular and friendly-sounding name. Here are some commonly asked questions about the name Reese.

Does the Name Reese Have Any Personality Traits?

The name Reese evokes an intelligent, graceful, and spiritual personality type. People named Reese are often friendly and care deeply for others, with the ability to empathize and give good advice to others.

Are There Any Colors Associated With the Name Reese?

The colors most notably associated with the name Reese are yellow and gold, with green accents. Other lucky colors include the shimmery whites of pearl, moonstone, and cat’s-eye.

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