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Rhys Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Rhys Overview

  • Meaning: Rhys means “ardor” or “enthusiasm.”
  • Gender: Rhys is a predominantly male name with unisex variations such as Reese or Reece.
  • Origin: Rhys derives from Welsh origin.
  • Pronunciation: “r-EE-s” or “rh-is.”
  • Popularity: Rhys is a fairly popular name currently ranking on the top 1,000 baby names coming in at #748 at present.
  • Nicknames: Ray, Rayce, Ree, Rhy, Rhysie, Rice.
  • Variations: Ras, Reece, Rees, Reese, Reyes, Ries, Ross, Russ.
  • Namesakes: Rhy Chatham, Rhys Millen, Rhys Uhlich, Rhys Wesser.

What Does Rhys Mean?

The name Rhys means “ardor” or “enthusiasm.” Rhys is a strong name stemming from the Welsh word “Ris.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Rhys?

The name Rhys is of Welsh origin (1). Rhys has been used as a surname for ages in Welsh culture.

The name can trace back to Deheubarth, which was made famous in Welsh by many kings and noblemen. Rhys is said to be the name of many Welsh Kings. The name is made famous by Rhys au Gruffydd who is also known as The Lord of Rhys (2).

The name has been around since the Middle Ages and remains very popular today, especially in the United Kingdom, and has been growing in popularity over the last few years in the United States.

How Popular Is the Name Rhys?

Rhys is a daily popular name that first topped the 1,000 most popular baby name list in the United States in 2004.

Since 2004, Rhys has been listed on the top 1,000 most popular baby names in the United States.

The name has been becoming increasingly popular, and according to the United State’s Social Security Administration, Rhys was the #748 most popular boy’s name at present (3).

Since 2015 when the name Rhys ranked #513 on the list of the 1,000 most popular baby names, it has been growing more popular each year.

Before 2004 the name Rhys did not make the top 1,000 baby name charts.

How Do I Pronounce Rhys?

The name Rhys is pronounced “r-EE-s” or “rh-is” and rhymes with words like bees, knees, trees, and fees. Sometimes people pronounce the name as “rai-s.”

Is Rhys a Boy or Girl Name?

Rhys is predominantly a boy’s name. Even though the name is primarily given to boys, the name Rhys can technically be used for either a newborn boy or a newborn girl.

The typical spelling of Rhys when used for a baby girl is found to be Reese. However, Rhys has not been found on the list of the top 1,000 baby girl names in the United States.

You may also come across different spellings for Rhys, such as Reece or Reese.

Variations of Rhys

A name can have several other variations. The name Rhys has several different variations from other languages and cultures all across the world:

  • Ras (Latin)
  • Reece (Welsh)
  • Rees (Welsh)
  • Reese (Welsh)
  • Reyes (Spanish)
  • Ries (Latin)
  • Ross (Scottish)
  • Russ (French)

Nicknames for Rhys:

While there are not a lot of commonly found nicknames for Rhys, we found compiled the most used ones and have listed them below:

  • Ray
  • Rayce
  • Ree
  • Rhy
  • Rhysie
  • Rice

Similar Names to Rhys:

If you like the name Rhys, but want to explore similar names, here are some options:

Middle Names for Rhys

In case you are still in need of a middle name for Rhys, we found a few that we think pair well:

Sibling Names for Rhys

Listed below are some of the best sibling names mamas have used to pair names for siblings of Rhys:

For a Brother:

For a Sister:

Famous People Named Rhys

The name Rhys has gained some positive traction throughout the years with its association with some well-known people:

  • Rhys Chatham: American composer living in France.
  • Rhys Darby: New Zealand actor, comedian, and writer.
  • Rhys ap Gruffydd: Ruler or King of Deheubarth, Wales commonly known as the Lord of Rhys.
  • Rhys Hoskins: American professional baseball player who is the first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball.
  • Rhys Edward McIntyre: Son of former New Kids On The Block singer Joey McIntyre.
  • Rhys Millen: Well-known New Zealand car racer and the second-place United States drifting champion.
  • Rhys Uhlich: Australian model and actor best known for winning a reality show called “Make Me a Supermodel.”
  • Rhys Wesser: Australian professional rugby player.

Rhys in Popular Culture

Rhys is also a fairly popular name in fiction. Below we’ve listed some popular fictional characters with the name Rhys:

  • Rhys Dahl: Character in the book “Switched.”
  • Rhys Dallows: Character from the video game “Star Wars: Starfighter.”
  • Rhys Lawson: Australian soap opera star on “Hollyoaks.”
  • Rhys Lindstrom: Character in the book series “The Illuminate Files.”
  • Rhys Strongfork: Main character from the movie “Tales from the Borderlands.”
  • Rhys Sutherland: Character from the television series “Home and Away.”
  • Rhys Williams: Character in the book “In Office Hours.”

Rhys FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the name Rhys. We hope they answer yours!

Does the Name Rhys Mean “Dragon?”

The baby name Rhys means enthusiastic, but some have said it represents a dragon. A dragon is an essential symbol in Welsh culture. To the Welsh people, a dragon, which you can find on their country flag, represents passion, warrior strength, and determination.

Does the Name Rhys Mean “Love?”

Rhys is a popular Welsh name. Since the name means “passionate” or “ardent,” it is often described by using the adjective love, although love is not the primary meaning of the name Rhys.

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