First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
On This Page

How to Pronounce River

Play Accuracy Source
Automated Female (English)
Is this an accurate pronunciation?
Automated Male (English)
Is this an accurate pronunciation?
User from Venezuela
Is this an accurate pronunciation?
User from North Dakota, U.S.
Is this an accurate pronunciation?
User from North Dakota, U.S.
Is this an accurate pronunciation?
User from Colombia
Is this an accurate pronunciation?
User from Pennsylvania, U.S.
Is this an accurate pronunciation?
How difficult is it to pronounce River?

Meaning and Origin

What does the name River mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of River

User Submitted Meanings

  • A user from Nevada, United States says the name River is of English origin and means "Really calm and good".
  • A user from Illinois, United States says the name River means "Flowing".
  • A user from United Kingdom says the name River is of English origin and means "Water, grace, calm".
  • A submission from Canada says the name River means "Gift of god" and is of English origin.
  • According to a user from Oklahoma, United States, the name River means "A creature of extraordinary grace".
Other origins: French

Submit the origin and/or meaning of River to us below

International Interest
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Riv"er
One who rives or splits.
noun Riv"er
  1. A large stream of water flowing in a bed or channel and emptying into the ocean, a sea, a lake, or another stream; a stream larger than a rivulet or brook."Transparent and sparkling rivers, from which it is delightful to drink as they flow." [Macaulay.]
  2. Fig.: A large stream; copious flow; abundance; as, rivers of blood; rivers of oil.

Etymology: F. rivère a river, LL. riparia river, bank of a river, fr. L. riparius belonging to a bank or shore, fr. ripa a bank or shore; of uncertain origin. Cf. Arrive Riparian

verb Riv"er
To hawk by the side of a river; to fly hawks at river fowl.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A large natural stream of water (larger than a creek) ("the river was navigable for 50 miles")

From river.

  1. A male given name.
  2. A female given name.
  3. (rare) A surname​.

Notable Persons Named River

River Phoenix was an actor, musician, and activist. He was most active from 1982 to 1993. River was given the name River Jude Bottom by his parent Arlyn Phoenix on August 23rd, 1970 in Madras, Oregon, U.S. River is also known as River Jude Phoenix. He died on October 31st, 1993.


River Tam is a crew member of serenity and serenity (firefly vessel).


River was given the name River Delfín Canomanuel Viiperi on August 4th, 1991 in Ibiza. River is also known as Canomanuel Viiperi and River Delfín.


His most notable accomplishments were from 2010 to present. River was born in Southwest Ranches, Florida.


River was born in 1936.


River Allen is a soccer player for the Bodmin Town F.C., Plymouth Argyle F.C., Gosport Borough F.C., Truro City F.C., and Gateshead F.C. River was born on November 7th, 1995 in Plymouth, England.


Notable Persons With the Last Name River


Old Man River is a rock music and folk music musician and singer-songwriter. He has had major accomplishments since 2002. Old was given the name Ohad Rein on April 18th, 1979.


He died in 1804.



How popular is the baby name River in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1971 6 0 6
1972 8 0 8
1974 5 0 5
1975 7 0 7
1981 6 0 6
1982 6 0 6
1986 5 0 5
1987 13 0 13
1988 18 5 13
1989 40 0 40
1990 43 10 33
1991 40 12 28
1992 44 7 37
1993 66 12 54
1994 153 12 141
1995 303 25 278
1996 305 36 269
1997 434 45 389
1998 488 53 435
1999 413 55 358
2000 365 51 314
2001 395 72 323
2002 396 67 329
2003 460 72 388
2004 520 100 420
2005 568 92 476
2006 686 181 505
2007 693 229 464
2008 858 248 610
2009 898 280 618
2010 896 262 634
2011 936 292 644
2012 1,129 411 718
2013 1,315 486 829
2014 1,946 706 1,240
2015 2,458 946 1,512
2016 2,965 1,124 1,841
2017 3,114 1,166 1,948
* Years where the name was given to 5 or fewer babies will show zero to respect privacy.

Where is the name River popular?

International Interest for River

Interest is based how many people viewed this name from each country and is scaled based on the total views by each country so that large countries do not always show the most interest. Darker blue on the map indicates that people in the country are more likely to search for this name.

Longer bars in the bar graph indicate that people in the country are more interested in the name. Not all countries that have shown an interest in the name are listed in the bar graph.

United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand
South Korea
Puerto Rico
Antigua and Barbuda

Popularity in the US

View popular names by state or region.

Popularity of River as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name River as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Oregon, Alaska, or Utah.

Popularity of River as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name River as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Pennsylvania, New York, or Illinois.

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity River U.S.
  White 52.37% 64.26%
  African American 12.28% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 2.80% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 1.08% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.69% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 28.77% 16.26%

Of Last Name River

People with the last name River are most frequently White, African American, or Hispanic or Latino

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name River

  • What name lists does River rank for?
  • How Popular is the name River? River is the 1,577th most popular name of all time. As a last name River was the 26,313th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name River have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 23,001 babies born with the first name River in the United States. That's more than enough people named River to occupy the territory of Caribbean Netherlands (the Netherlands) with an estimated population of 21,133 (as of January 1, 2011).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named River? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1971 when it was given as a first name to 6 new born babies.
  • When was River first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name River is Monday, October 1st, 1894.
  • What year had the most people named River born? The highest recorded use of the first name River was in 2017 with a total of 1,948 babies. That's a lot of babies named River!
  • Random River Factoid: According to the 2017 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name River ranks 101st in popularity as a baby boy's name in Arkansas. Imagine that, 38 babies in Arkansas have the same name as you in 2017.
  • Weird things about the name River: Your name in reverse order is Revir. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Iverr. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name River? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 928 people with the last name River.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of River? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with River as their last name since less than 1 person in 323k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Rivers Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for River

Name poster for River(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.