It is still very much used as a surname today. Thanks to the rough sound of Rafferty, it works better on a boy than on a girl as a first name. Some surnames could go either way, but this one has a boyish vibe to it. In fact, the term "Raffish" means "unconventional and slightly disreputable, especially in an attractive manner." It makes me think of a badboy with shades and motorcycle that all the girls are crazy about; or a rough-and-tumble toddler playing in the mud. It has a certain charm to it as well.
The name first appeared on records in 1989, 1990 and 1992. Not again until 1998 and then 2002, all with 5 births per year. By 2004, the name gained some regular usage. There was a record-high of 13 births in 2005, 2006 and 2008. AS of 2016, there were only 10 boys given the name Rafferty in the US, so if you happen to know one, he's very unique!
There were 2 born in Scotland in 2012, ranking it at #1106. There were 106 born in England and Wales in 2011, ranking it at #378; and in 2016, there were 181 male births for a rank of #280.
In Australia, I already mentioned that the name is ranked at #292 but I'm told by Australian Baby-Name Expert, Anna Otto, that names starting with Raf- are "currently quite big" in Australia. Rafferty in particular honors iconic Australian screen legend “Chips” Rafferty. Because of his fame, the name Rafferty has become a favorite celebrity baby name.
I think something short and sweet would be great in the middle name spot, especially if it also has an Irish background. Raff or Rafe are both great nicknames, or even RJ if you used a J middle name! What would you pair it with? What do you think of it? Let me know!
Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Ashling, Bridgit, Ciara, Freya, Genevieve, Iris, Keeva, Maeve, Saoirse, Willow
Brothers: Atticus, Cashel, Digby, Emory, Flynn, Gilroy, Jarvis, Ossian, Pruitt, Sebastian
Middle Name Ideas:
As a Middle Name:
What would YOU pair with Rafferty?
Rafferty has another association in Australia - "Rafferty's rules" is slang for no rules at all! So the name definitely has a bit of a knockabout, lawless feel to it.
I love Rafferty with nickname Rafe. The long form is the right blend of friendly but formal without sounding too stuffy, while Rafe feels like a cheeky, fun guy.
I'm Australian, but surprised it isn't becoming more popular in the UK and US too.
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