In this month's World-Wide Wednesday, we'll be visiting Wales and examining their baby naming traditions! To kick things off, let's take a look at a Welsh boy name: Rhys.
Rhys is pronounced like Reese and is the name that Reese and Reece spring from. Many girls are given these variations but it is originally a masculine name. In fact, there have been several Welsh rulers named Rhys.
In Welsh, the name is said to mean "enthusiasm" or "ardor" which is a great, positive meaning to have in a name! In Wales, the name has quite a bit of history as well as modern usage. It ranks in the Top 100 in England/Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland making it a popular choice for boys!
However, in the US, Rhys isn't quite as popular. It has definitely been gaining some attention though. Rhys was first used in 1929, then 1941. It wasn't until 1946 that it gained some more regular usage. Very slowly it began to gain favor with parents. In 2004, Rhys made its debut appearance on the US Top 1000 chart at #940. Now it has inched its way upward to #489 in 2013 which accounts for 555 male births. There were also 26 female births for a ranking of #5245.
This new popularity that Rhys has been experiencing could have been partially influenced by three actors, one named Jonathan Rhys Meyers, another named John Rhys-Davies, as well as a Welsh-born actor named Rhys Ifans. The name has also been used on a celebrity baby in 2009: Rhys Edward, son of Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block.
I think Rhys is a name that will continue to gain popularity with this spelling for boys. The Reese spelling is massively more popular for girls, ranking at #156 and only ranking at #602 for boys. I think the genders can share this same sound but use their own spellings. That would make it kind of unisex and kind of not and I think that's cool!
What do you think of Rhys? Or do you prefer Reese/Reece? Here are some ideas that I came up with for potential siblings for Rhys as well as some middle name ideas:
Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Avalon, Brynn, Eleri, Gwyneth, Megan, Seren, Tegan
Brothers: Dylan, Evan, Gareth, Keane, Morgan, Owen, Trevor
Middle Name Ideas:
As a Middle Name:
What might you pair with Rhys?