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SatAug 26

National Kelly Day – August 26, 2023

National Kelly Day is celebrated on August 26 every year. The name is derived from the surname Kelly and has multiple origins. The best known among them is Clan Kelly in Scotland, a name that could have been derived from a toponym Kelloe. The Irish surname may be from either Ó Ceallaigh or Ó Cadhla, or perhaps from a different toponym. The surname gained popularity in the United States by the early 19th century. During this period in history, Kelly was a given name for boys alone, while today girls are more likely to be named Kelly.

History of National Kelly Day

Kelly is the Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Ceallaigh, meaning “descendant of Ceallach,” an ancient Irish family name. Kelly also means “bright-headed” and “frequenting churches” in Irish ceall. There are also several early Irish saints who bore some resemblance to the name Kelly. Kelly is now the most common of all Irish family names. In Scandinavian, Kelly means clear mountain spring and in Irish it may also mean church, warrior, wood, holly, and a farm by the spring.

Kelly is a name that has long been used for babies of any gender. It began as a Scots-Irish surname but transitioned to a first name. Other names that have been derived from Kelly are Alex, Alexander, Alvaro, Ansel, Callan, Casey, Duncan, Dustin, Lewis, Liam, Markus, Ned, Oscar, Roger, and Troy for boys, and for girls Aesira, Ailith, Aloisa, Alvara, Bellatrix, Louisa, Maia, Malou, Marcheline, and Zelda. Famous Kellys in history and pop culture include singers Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Rowland, Kelly Ripa, Kelly Osbourne, Kelly Preston, Kelly Oubre, Kelly Slater, and Kelly Kelly. Mindy Kaling also played Kelly Kapoor, a beloved character on the sitcom ‘The Office’.

Today, Kelly is predominantly a girl’s name. The name was most popular in the U.S. in 1977 when its usage saw a 150% rise in popularity from the previous year. It has been on the decline ever since but has become more popular today than it was in the early 1900s, back when it used to be a boy’s name.

National Kelly Day timeline

1983
“Live With Kelly and Ryan”

Kelly Ripa is one of the co-hosts of the talk show.

1990
Destiny’s Child

Singer Kelly Rowland is a part of the hugely successful girl group.

2005
“The Office”

Mindy Kaling plays Kelly Kapoor in the sitcom.

2019
“The Kelly Clarkson Show”

The singer becomes a talk show host.

National Kelly Day FAQs

Is Kelly a boy or girl's name?

Kelly is historically a male-only name, but it has been used as a female-given name since the 1960s.

Is Kelly a biblical name?

Kelly is a baby girl name mainly popular in the Christian religion and its main origin is Gaelic. Kelly also means “pasture by the spring.”

How many ways can you spell Kelly?

There are several variations, including Keely, Kellee, Kelleen, Kelleigh, Kelley, Kelli, Kellie, and Kellye.

National Kelly Day Activities

  1. Throw a party for a Kelly

    Celebrate National Kelly Day by throwing a party for all your friends named Kelly. The day is in their honor and makes sure that they feel seen, loved, and cherished. Happy National Kelly Day to Kelly!

  2. Watch “The Office”

    You can spend National Kelly Day watching reruns of “The Office.” Kelly Kapoor is played by Mindy Kaling and is one of the funniest characters on the show. Spend the day with laughter.

  3. Listen to Destiny’s Child

    Tune in to the greatest hits of Destiny’s Child on National Kelly Day. You can also listen to your favorite songs by Kelly Clarkson and Kelly Rowland. Make the day a musical one.

5 Interesting Facts About Kelly Clarkson

  1. She is not a Clarkson anymore

    She changed her last name to Brianne in early 2022.

  2. She’s a children’s book author

    The book’s character was inspired by her daughter, River Rose.

  3. She set a record at the Grammys

    Before her, no one had ever won more than one Grammy Award for ‘Best Pop Vocal Album.’

  4. She was not always a singer

    She used to work as a cocktail waitress.

  5. She didn’t want to be a singer

    As a child, she wanted to be a marine biologist.

Why We Love National Kelly Day

  1. We love Kellys

    We celebrate and love National Kelly Day because we love Kellys! This is the day to tell your friends named Kelly how much you love them and how much joy they bring into your life.

  2. The name’s steeped in tradition

    Kelly is one of those rare names that have immense cultural significance in many countries. From Ireland to Scandinavia, Kelly has emerged as a popular family and given name.

  3. It’s famous in pop C=culture

    Kelly Kapoor, Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Rowland, and Kelly Ripa are only a few famous Kellys in popular culture. National Kelly Day is also a celebration of the name that rules pop culture.

National Kelly Day dates

YearDateDay
2023August 26Saturday
2024August 26Monday
2025August 26Tuesday
2026August 26Wednesday
2027August 26Thursday

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