Origins of the surname Ryan


Today I looked up what is the history of the Name Ryan, here is what came up;

There are several different origins for the surname. In some cases it may be a shortened form of O’Ryan, which is an Anglicized adaptation of the Gaelic surname Ó Riain, meaning “descendant of Rian”. It can also be a shortened form of Mulryan or O’Mulryan, which are derived from the Gaelic Ó Maoilriain, meaning “descendant of the follower of Rian”.

The meaning of the Old Irish name Rian is unknown. Some sources have suggested that it is related to the Old Irish word rían, meaning “water” or “ocean”. Others have suggested that it is related to the Old Irish word rí, meaning “king”. Both of these etymologies have been discounted by scholars, however.

Popular sources typically suggest that Ryan means “little king” or “illustrious”.

There are also cases in which Ryan is an Americanized form of the German surname Rein.


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John is a long time fan of all things apple, coffee and life.

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