Kelley is a unisex Irish name that means “war”, “church”, and “bright-headed”. Kelley is a variant spelling of Kelly and the Anglicized form of Ceallach. Kelley was at peak popularity for both boys and girls between 1950 and 2000.

Meaning of the name Kelley:

Irish: war, church, bright-headed

Origin of the name Kelley:

Kelley is a unisex baby name of Irish origin that means “war”, “church”, or “bright-headed”. Kelley is the Anglicized version of the Irish name Ceallach. Kelley is also a common Irish surname.

Symbolism of the name Kelley:

Kelley traditionally means “bright-headed” which refers to someone with red or blonde hair.

Style of the name Kelley:


Gender of the name Kelley:

Kelley is a unisex baby name. It's given to both boys and girls.

Pronunciation of the name Kelley:


Number of syllables in the name Kelley:


Emotion evoked from the name Kelley:

Kelley evokes feelings of leadership and strength of will.

Alternative spellings for the name Kelley:

Kelli, Kellie, Kelly, Kelleigh

Nicknames for the name Kelley:

Popularity of the name Kelley:

According to the Social Security Administration, Kelley is a popular unisex baby name. Kelley was in the top 1000 baby names for girls from 1956 to 1999. It peaked at #168 in 1968. For boys, it was in the top 1000 names between 1900 and 1911 and again from 1951 to 1982. It peaked at #588 in 1968.

Related names for the name Kelley:

Great middle names for the name Kelley and their meanings:


  • Emmett (universal, truth)
  • Declan (man of prayer)
  • Murtagh (lord)
  • Tiernan (little lord)
  • Connor (lover of hounds)
  • Finn (fair, white)
  • Ciaran (little dark one)
  • Sean (God is gracious)


  • Catriona (pure)
  • Maeve (she who intoxicates)
  • Saoirse (liberty)
  • Aoife (beautiful, radiant)
  • Niamh (bright)
  • Siobhan (God is gracious)
  • Caoimhe (beautiful)
  • Kiera (little dark one)

Famous people with the name Kelley:

  • Kelley Jones (American comic book artist)
  • Kelley Lovelace (American singer-songwriter)
  • Kelley Armstrong (Canadian fantasy novelist)
  • Kelley Maureen O'Hara (American soccer player)
  • Kelley James Donoho (son of American actress Holly Marie Combs)

Kelley in popular culture:

  • Kelley Bonner (film, “Little Red Wagon”)
  • Esteban Fernando Antonio Kelley (video games, “Red Dead Revolver”)
  • Carrie Kelley (comics, “The Dark Knight Rises” by Frank Miller)
  • Ian Kelley (television, “Being Ian”)
  • Sam Kelley (film, “King Kong”)