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Rory Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Rory Overview

  • Meaning: Rory is a Gaelic name from a Scottish version of “Ruadhri,” which means “red king.”
  • Gender: Rory is a unisex name, but more often a boy’s name.
  • Origin: Rory is originally an Irish name from the name of a legendary Irish hero, Rory O’Connor.
  • Pronunciation: “rawr-EE.”
  • Popularity: Rory is very popular in the UK and Ireland and relatively popular in the US.
  • Nicknames: Oreo, Orr, Ory, Ri, Ro, Rori, Rorr.
  • Variations: Rhorey, Roary, Roorye, Rorey, Rorik, Ruaridh.
  • Namesakes: Rory Best (Irish rugby union player); Rory Hugh Culkin (American actor); Rory McIlroy (Northern Irish golfer).

What Does Rory Mean?

Rory originates from the Irish language and means “red king.” Rory’s name was borrowed from an old Gaelic word, meaning “king.” It also refers to a type of brownish-red soil in the country.

Some believe that Rory derives from the Irish name Ruaidhri. The Ruaidh part of the name means “red” while Ri means “king.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Rory?

First recorded in the 12th century, this name is of Gaelic origin and used as an Anglicized form of the Irish name Ruaidhri. It is used in memory of the famous Irish hero, Rory O’Connor. He was the last high king of Ireland, and he reigned from 1166 to 1170 (1).

How Popular Is the Name Rory?

Rory is one of the most popular names in Ireland. It ranked as the 10th most popular boys’ name in Ireland and was one of the few that occupied its spot on the top ten list.

It is a relatively common name in the United States but has been in the top 1,000 male names for over two decades, reaching 350 in 2020 (2). For the last two decades and a half, the name has been widely popular and consistently in the top 100 in the UK (3). Rory also ranked 23rd in 2020.

How Do I Pronounce Rory?

The pronunciation of Rory is “rawr-EE.” Like all words that end in a vowel sound in English, the stress is on the second syllable.

Is Rory a Boy or Girl Name?

The name Rory is more often a boy’s name, but it is not gender-specific. You can use it for either a girl or a boy.

Variations of Rory

There are many variations of the name Rory, which include:

  • Raighrí (Goidelic)
  • Rhuari (Irish)
  • Roary (Celtic)
  • Roighrí (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Rorey (Irish)
  • Rorik (Scandinavian)
  • Rorrey (Irish)
  • Rorry (Irish)
  • Ruaidrí (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Ruarí (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Ruaridh (Scottish Gaelic)

Nicknames for Rory

Rory is a unique name that stands for its personality. Although Rory is already short, there are several nicknames to choose from:

  • Oreo
  • Orr
  • Ory
  • Ri
  • Ro
  • Rori
  • Rorr

Similar Names to Rory

Despite being a unique name, Rory is sometimes seen as a derivative of similar sounding names, including:

Middle Names for Rory

Because it is Irish, Rory often goes well with other Irish and Gaelic names. Other classic names work well with Rory including:

Sibling Names for Rory

Rory is a short name and pairs nicely with short sibling names. These names work well with Rory:

For a Brother:

For a Sister:

Famous People Named Rory

Rory is a popular name among celebrities. Some famous people that are named Rory include:

  • Rory Best: Irish rugby union player.
  • Rory Brian Fitzpatrick: American hockey player.
  • Rory Calhoun: American actor.
  • Rory Cochrane: American actor.
  • Rory Gallagher: Irish blues, rock musician.
  • Rory Hugh Culkin: American actor.
  • Rory James O’Malley: American actor.
  • Rory Kinnear: English actor.
  • Rory Markas: American sportscaster.
  • Rory McIlroy: Professional golfer from Northern Ireland.
  • Rory Storm: English musician and vocalist of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

Rory in Popular Culture

The name Rory has been featured in popular cultures, such as movies and music today. Here are some fictional characters named Rory:

  • Rory: Character from TV’s “Little Lunch.”
  • Rory Brown: Character from “Mrs. Brown Boys.”
  • Rory Flanagan: character on “Glee.”
  • Rory Green: Character from the movie “Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.”
  • Rory Hawthorne: Gale’s brother from “The Hunger Games.”
  • Rory Hennessy: Character from the sitcom “8 Simple Rules…”
  • Rory Keane: Character from “My Babysitter’s a Vampire.”
  • Rory Regan aka Ragman: Character on TV’s “Arrow.”
  • Rory Slippery: Character from “Fortysomething.”
  • Rory Swann: Character from the StarCraft series.
  • Rory Williams: Character from “Doctor Who.”

Rory FAQs

People have a lot of questions about the name Rory. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Rory.

Why Is Rory Popular?

Rory is a sweet and friendly name that inspired love for its namesake. It is beloved by parents who want to give their baby a unique middle name that stands out from the crowd.

What Is the Biblical Meaning of Rory?

In Christian tradition, the name Rory is not associated with a specific meaning. It is commonly speculated that Rory means “red king.”

What Is the Name Rory in Latin?

The name Rory in Latin is Roridus. It means “red” and “king,” respectively.

How Popular Is Rory Today?

Rory was originally a popular name. However, it seems to be slowly losing favor among parents and is no longer ranked among the top 1000 names.

When Was Rory First Used as a Surname?

Rory has been a surname since the Middle Ages but was not widely used. The meaning of the name Rory differs from country to country.

Is Rory a Good Name?

Rory is an appropriate name for a child born in the late 21st century. The name has been used for almost millennia and is synonymous with affection and love.

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