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Previous: KeeleyNext: Kennedy
Gender: female/male
Meaning: victorious ship, from the ship's harbor, fierce island
Related Names: Kelcey, Kelcie, Kelcy, Kellsey, Kellsie, Kelsa, Kelsea, Kelsee, Kelseigh, Kelsi, Kelsie, Kelsy, -ey(1)

Length: 6 Gender: {{#if female/male



Rank in 2000s: 0 0

Name: kelsey Origin: Scandinavian,,, English,,, Old English,,, German,, Meaning (no case): victorious ship, from the ship's harbor, fierce island

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The name Kelsey has several possible meanings. It was a surname before it was used as a first name, and as a surname, it was probably first given to those who lived in a region that bore this name, such as South Kelsey in Lincolnshire, England.[1] As a given name, it is more popular for girls, but may occasionally be used for boys.

So what does Kelsey mean? Here are some of the possibilities:

  • Kelsey may come from the Old English name Cenel, which means "fierce," and the Old English word eg, which means "island." The meaning of this combination would be "fierce island."[1] It may also mean "Cenel's land," since Cenel is a given name.[1] Cenel could refer to a number of ancient Irish kings.[1]
  • Kelsey may derive from the Old English name Ceol, meaning "victorious" and sige, meaning "ship." Thus, the name would mean "victorious ship."[1]
  • Kelsey may be a form of the German name Gelzer, which transformed into Kelsey because of American pronunciation.[1]


As a girl's name in the United States, Kelsey first appeared on the top 1000 list in the year 1977. Popularity rose quickly, and it cracked the top 500 by 1981 and the top 100 by 1987. The name Kelsey reached its peak in 1992, when it ranked as the 23rd most popular name to give baby girls. It then began a slow decline, but has remained a popular name. In 2007, Kelsey ranked at number 201.

As a boy's name in the United States, Kelsey was used infrequently in the late 19th century, but it began to see more usage in the late 20th century. Kelsey appeared low on the top 1000 chart in the year 1970, and kept to the 800s and 900s for many years. It reached a peak at number 634 in 1989, but then began to drop back down. Kelsey has not appeared on the top 1000 chart for baby boys in the United States since the year 1996.[1]

The name Kelsey is very popular in Malta, where it ranked as the 17th most popular choice for baby girls in 2005.

Kelsey has also seen recent popularity as a top 100 girls name in Canada, Australia and Scotland.[1]


  • Kelsey was the name of the giraffe that appeared in a memorable scene of the 2003 film Secondhand Lions.[1]



Author: Sarena Ulibarri


Facts about KelseyRDF feed
Gender female/male  +
Length 6  +
Meaning victorious ship, from the ship's harbor, fierce island  +
Meaningnc victorious ship, from the ship's harbor, fierce island  +
Name kelsey  +
Origin Scandinavian  +, English  +, Old English  +, and German  +
Popularity 0  +
Rank in 2000s 0  +
Related Kelcey  +, Kelcie  +, Kelcy  +, Kellsey  +, Kellsie  +, Kelsa  +, Kelsea  +, Kelsee  +, Kelseigh  +, Kelsi  +, Kelsie  +, Kelsy  +, and -ey(1)  +
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