34 Baby Names That Start with Letter "R"

Learn the meaning and origins of popular baby names that start with "R."

Baby names that begin with the letter R

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Michela Buttignol / Getty Images

Baby-naming themes run the gamut, and one of the popular methods families use is to give everyone in the family a name that starts with the same first letter. If the whole family already has names that start with "R," why not continue the trend? Or perhaps you're just starting your family, and like how "R" names roll off the tongue. Whatever your reason, we've rounded up over 30 names that begin with "R" to consider giving your little one.


  • OriginHebrew
  • Meaning: Ewe
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rachael
  • Famous Namesakes: A number of actresses share this name, like Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, and Rachel Dratch.
  • Peak Popularity: Rachel was a popular name in the 1980s and 1990s, cracking the top 10 in 1996.


  • OriginSpanish
  • Meaning: Counsel protection
  • Famous Namesakes: One of our favorite childhood characters in fiction is Ramona Quimby.
  • Peak Popularity: Ramona's biggest year was 1928.


  • OriginEnglish
  • Meaning: Forest protector
  • Peak Popularity: Ranger hasn't yet cracked the top baby names in the United States, but could at any point.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God has healed
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Raffy, Rafael
  • Famous Namesakes: Tennis player Rafael Nadal and musician Raphael Saadiq
  • Peak Popularity: Raphael's biggest year was 1990 when it was No. 465, however, the more popular spelling Rafael peaked in 1985 at No. 195.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Counsel protection
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ray
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Ray Romano and singer Ray Charles
  • Peak Popularity: Raymond was popular in the early 1900s.


  • OriginIrish
  • Meaning: Little king
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Regan
  • Famous Namesakes: You'll often see Reagan as a last name, like former President Ronald Reagan.
  • Peak Popularity: Reagan peaked in 2016 at No. 97.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: To bind
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Becca, Becky
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Rebecca Romijn and singer Rebecca Black
  • Peak Popularity: Rebecca was a popular name for baby girls in the 1970s and 1980s.


  • OriginWelsh
  • Meaning: Passion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rhys
  • Famous Namesakes: Reese Witherspoon is perhaps the most famous person with this name.
  • Peak Popularity: Reese peaked in 2012.


  • OriginLatin
  • Meaning: Queen
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gina
  • Famous Namesakes: Actresses Regina Hall, Regina King, and Regina Taylor
  • Peak Popularity: Regina was a popular name in the 1960s.


  • OriginJapanese
  • Meaning: Lotus
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Wren
  • Peak Popularity: Ren hasn't yet cracked the list of popular baby names.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Joy
  • Peak Popularity: Rena is an old-fashioned name that peaked in 1902.


  • OriginFrench
  • Meaning: Reborn
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Renae, Rene
  • Famous Namesakes: Actresses Rene Russo and Renee Zellweger
  • Peak Popularity: Renee was a popular name in the 1960s.


  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Brave ruler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ricky, Ric, Riccardo, Richard
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Ricardo Montalban and fashion designer Riccardo Tisci
  • Peak Popularity: Ricardo peaked in 1992.


  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Great queen
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Riana, Rianna, Riyana
  • Famous Namesakes: "Umbrella" singer Rihanna is easily the most famous person with this name.
  • Peak Popularity: Rihanna's biggest year was in 2008.


  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Descendant of Roghallach
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rylee, Rylie, Rilee
  • Famous Namesakes: Riley is commonly seen as a last name, like with actress Amber Riley.
  • Peak Popularity: Riley has been in the top 100 names for baby girls since 2002. It cracked the top 100 for baby boys in 2002 but then fell back off.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: From the strip field
  • Famous Namesakes: One of the most popular uses of this name is the main character in "Alien," portrayed by Sigourney Weaver.
  • Peak Popularity: Ripley hasn't made the top baby names list with the Social Security Administration.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Stream of water that flows to the sea
  • Famous Namesakes: Late actor River Phoenix is possibly the most famous person with this name.
  • Peak Popularity: River continues to grow in popularity, peaking in 2020.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bright fame
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rob, Robby, Bob, Bobby, Roberto
  • Famous Namesakes: Robert and all its iterations are popular names among celebrities, including singers Bob Dylan and Bob Marley, actors Robert Downey Jr. and Robert DeNiro, and politician Robert F. Kennedy.
  • Peak Popularity: Robert was the most popular name for baby boys born from 1924 through 1939.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bright fame
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Robinne, Robyn, Robynne
  • Famous Namesakes: Singers Robin Thicke and Robin Gibb and actor Robin Williams
  • Peak Popularity: Robin for baby boys peaked in 1956 at No. 143 and in 1963 at No. 25 for baby girls.


  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Famous ruler
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Rodrigo Santoro and soccer player Rodrigo Palacio
  • Peak Popularity: Rodrigo peaked in 2007.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: From Rome, Italy
  • Famous Namesakes: Filmmaker Roman Coppola and photographer Roman Vishniac
  • Peak Popularity: Roman reached No. 73 in 2019.


  • OriginItalian
  • Meaning: From Rome, Italy
  • Famous Namesakes: There is certainly no more famous Romeo than William Shakespeare's character from "Romeo and Juliet."
  • Peak Popularity: Romeo has been a popular name in the last few decades, peaking in 2012.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Tender
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rosaline, Rosa
  • Peak Popularity: Rosalind was a popular name in the 1940s.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Rose
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rosie, Rosalie, Rosaline
  • Famous Namesakes: Actresses Rose McGowan, Rose Leslie, and Rose Byrne
  • Peak Popularity: Rose was quite the popular name in the early 1900s, spending several years in the top 20.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: From the Rowan tree
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rohan
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson is one of the most well-known people with this name.
  • Peak Popularity: Rowan continues to grow in popularity, peaking in 2020.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Dawn
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Roxy
  • Peak Popularity: Roxanne was a popular name in the 1950s.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Of famous king
  • Peak Popularity: Royce was a popular name for baby boys in the 1930s.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Red gemstone
  • Famous Namesakes: Activist Ruby Bridges and actress Ruby Barker
  • Peak Popularity: Ruby was popular in the early 1900s and is growing in popularity again.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: Famous wolf
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rudolph, Rudolf, Rudi
  • Famous Namesakes: Actors Rudy Pankow and Rudi Valentino
  • Peak Popularity: Rudy's most popular year was 1947.


  • OriginGerman
  • Meaning: Bright fame
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rupe
  • Famous Namesakes: Actors Rupert Grint and Rupert Everett
  • Peak Popularity: Rupert was a popular name in the early 1900s.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Red
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Russ
  • Famous Namesakes: Actors Russell Brand and Russell Crowe
  • Peak Popularity: Russell was very popular from the early 1900s up until the 1960s.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Friendship
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ruthie
  • Famous Namesakes: Late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of the most famous people with this name.
  • Peak Popularity: Ruth was a popular name in the early 1900s until the 1920s.


  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Descendant of the king
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rian, Ryanne
  • Famous Namesakes: Ryan is a common name among celebrities shared by the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, and Ryan Seacrest.
  • Peak Popularity: Ryan was a popular name for baby boys born in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. It's also on the popular list for girls, though not quite ranking as high as boys.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Mounted warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Rider
  • Peak Popularity: Ryder peaked in 2014.
1 Source
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  1. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name.

By Hedy Phillips
Hedy Phillips is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience covering topics ranging from parenting tips to lifestyle hacks.