First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Rye

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Rye mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Rye

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Rye
  1. [Bot] A grain yielded by a hardy cereal grass (Secale cereale), closely allied to wheat; also, the plant itself. Rye constitutes a large portion of the breadstuff used by man.
  2. A disease in a hawk.

Etymology: OE. rie reie, AS. ryge; akin to Icel. rugr, Sw. råg, Dan. rug, D. rogge, OHG. rocco roggo, G. rocken roggen, Lith. rugei, Russ. roje, and perh. to Gr. 'o`ryza rice. Cf. Rice

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Whiskey distilled from rye or rye and malt
  2. Hardy annual cereal grass widely cultivated in northern Europe where its grain is the chief ingredient of black bread and in North America for forage and soil improvement
  3. The seed of the cereal grass

From Middle English, from Old English ryġe, from Proto-Germanic *rugiz, from Proto-Indo-European *wrugʰyo-. Germanic cognates include Dutch and West Frisian rogge, Low German Rogg, German Roggen, Old Norse rugr (Danish rug, Swedish råg); non-Germanic cognates include Russian рожь (rožʹ) and Latvian rudzi.

  1. A grain used extensively in Europe for making bread, beer, and (now generally) for animal fodder. [from 8th c.]
  2. The grass Secale cereale from which the grain is obtained. [from 14th c.]
  3. Rye bread. [from 19th c.]
  4. (US, Canada) Rye whiskey. [from 19th c.]
  5. Caraway (from the mistaken assumption that the whole seeds, often used to season rye bread, are the rye itself)
  6. Ryegrass, any of the species of Lolium.
  7. A disease of hawks.

Notable Persons Named Rye

Rye Rye is a hip hop music, dance music, and baltimore club rapping, singing, songwriter, dance, and actor. She was most active from 2006 to 2006. Rye was given the name Ryeisha Berrain on November 25th, 1990 in Baltimore. Rye is also known as Rye Rye, Berrain, and Ryeisha.


Rye Barcott is an author, social entrepreneur, and u.s. military. He holds the title Cofounder. Rye was born in 1979.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Rye

Rye Rye is a hip hop music, dance music, and baltimore club rapping, singing, songwriter, dance, and actor. She was most active from 2006 to 2006. Rye was given the name Ryeisha Berrain on November 25th, 1990 in Baltimore. Rye is also known as Rye Rye, Berrain, and Ryeisha.


Michael Rye was an actor. He was most prominent from 1939 to 1997. Michael was given the name John Michael Riorden Billsbury on March 2nd, 1918 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Michael is also known as Rye Billsbury, Billsbury, John Michael Riorden (birthname); Billsbury, and Rye. He passed away on September 20th, 2012.


Madhu was given the name Madhusudan Vallabhdas Thaker on July 16th, 1942 in Jamkhambhaliya.


Thomas Clarke Rye was a Governor of Tennessee. Thomas was born on June 2nd, 1863 in Benton County, Tennessee. He breathed his last breath on September 12th, 1953.


Daphne Rye is an actor.


Maria was born on March 31st, 1829. She breathed her last breath on November 12th, 1903.


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

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Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1971 5 0 5
1972 6 0 6
1974 5 0 5
1975 5 0 5
1976 9 0 9
1977 6 0 6
1979 11 0 11
1980 7 0 7
1985 6 0 6
1986 6 0 6
1987 8 0 8
1988 7 0 7
1989 8 0 8
1990 9 0 9
1993 7 0 7
1994 6 0 6
1995 5 0 5
1996 10 0 10
1997 9 0 9
1998 10 0 10
2000 11 0 11
2001 15 0 15
2002 7 0 7
2003 12 0 12
2004 16 0 16
2005 20 0 20
2006 22 0 22
2007 25 5 20
2008 24 10 14
2009 24 0 24
2010 37 9 28
2011 29 0 29
2012 48 5 43
2013 35 5 30
2014 40 9 31
2015 48 8 40
2016 54 8 46
2017 42 8 34

Where is the name Rye popular?

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Popularity of Rye as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Rye as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Tennessee, Michigan, or Arkansas.

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Rye U.S.
  White 90.39% 64.26%
  African American 2.57% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 1.62% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 1.13% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.67% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.62% 16.26%

Of Last Name Rye

People with the last name Rye are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Rye

  • How Popular is the name Rye? Rye is the 13,773rd most popular name of all time. As a last name Rye was the 8,128th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Rye have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 654 babies born with the first name Rye in the United States. That's more than enough people named Rye to occupy the territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia) with an estimated population of 605 (as of June 30, 2010).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Rye? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1971 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Rye first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Rye is Friday, December 7th, 1877.
  • What year had the most people named Rye born? The highest recorded use of the first name Rye was in 2016 with a total of 46 babies.
  • Random Rye Factoid: According to the 2016 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Rye is not a popular baby boy's name in California. Imagine that, only 8 babies in California have the same name as you in 2016.
  • Weird things about the name Rye: Your name in reverse order is Eyr. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Yer. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Rye? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 4,079 people with the last name Rye.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Rye? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 1 of them will have Rye as their last name.

What Ryes Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Rye

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  • 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.