National Ray Day – March 4, 2023

National Ray Day is on March 4. Ray is both a boy’s and a girl’s name that means ‘smart guardian.’ Ray, with its jazzy biographical overtones, is one of the all-time hippest boys’ names. It’s one of the greatest middle names, but it also fits well as a first name. To mention a few notable Rays, there are Ray Bradbury, Ray Romano, Ray Milland (born Alfred), Ray Liotta, and Ray Goulding. Ray is a shortened form of Raymond, Rainier, or Rayford, but it can also stand alone. The most common female variant is Rae, but the form that uses ‘Y’ is now fashionable for both sexes.

History of National Ray Day

In the past, Ray was a nickname derived from the Old French ‘rei.’ It has the same roots as Roy, which means ‘king’ and was often used as a personal name. This nickname might have alluded to someone’s pride or swagger, their appearance, or regal conduct or attitude, or it could have related to accomplishment in a contest or royal duty, or it could have referred to someone who presided over specific joyous festivals. It can also be traced to ‘rex,’ which is Greek for ‘king,’ or the Latin ‘rei,’ which means the same thing.

Other sources claim that the surname is derived from a nickname derived from the northern Middle English ‘rā,’ ‘rae,’ or ‘ray.’ In Old English and Old Norse, ‘rā,’ means ‘roe deer.’ The Old English ‘roege’ means ‘female roe deer.’ This moniker might have referred to a shy person or a quick runner. Often used as a nickname for someone who is timid or bashful. Lerei, Raie, and Rey are instances of early versions of Ray as a surname.

The surname Ray was first recorded in Cumberland at Gill, in the parish of Bromfield, where the Ray family had lived since the reign of William the Lion, King of Scotland. According to legend, the original Ray was a devoted follower of the Scottish monarch, who admired him for his amazing speed in hunting deer and awarded him the estate. The lease was for a very small payment of rent, with the caveat that the name William be kept in the family. This was scrupulously preserved from generation to generation until the latter part of the last century.

National Ray Day timeline

1953
An Instant Classic

During the period of McCarthyism, Ray Bradbury's best-known novel, “Fahrenheit 451,” is released, and becomes an immediate classic for its treatment of issues of censorship and conformity.

1959
A Crossover into Pop Music

Ray Charles releases ‘What'd I Say,’ and it reaches number six on the pop chart and number one on the R&B list.

1991
One of the All-time Greatest Jazz Virtuosos

Ray Brown wins the first of his two Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, proving his talent and contributions to the modern jazz rhythm scene.

2015
The Outstanding Achievement Award

In the MasterCard Olivier Awards, Ray Davies wins the Autograph Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music.

National Ray Day FAQs

What does the name ‘Ray’ mean?

Ray is a shortened form of Raymond, which means “advisor and protector.” It is from the Germanic ‘ragin’ (‘advice’) and ‘munt’ (‘protection.’)

Is Ray a Christian name?

Ray is a newborn boy’s name that is mostly used in the Christian religion, and its major origin is Germanic.

What ethnicity is Ray's surname?

In Old French, it was a topographic name for someone who lived near a spring or flowing stream, or a habitational name from a location called Ray. It is derived from the Old French ‘raier,’ ‘’to gush, stream, or pour.’

National Ray Day Activities

  1. Cook a special meal

    Cook a special dinner to honor your name's meaning. Prepare the main course or the entire dinner, and invite family and friends over for the meal.

  2. Give yourself or everyone else a present

    You can buy yourself a small present to celebrate your name, or you can buy small gifts for everyone else. In many cultures, it is common for the person celebrating to offer goodies to individuals in their classes or office. By generously offering snacks and tiny presents, you invite everyone to celebrate with you.

  3. Talk to your parents

    Start a conversation with your parents to ask them about your name. If your first name is Ray, ask your parents what they had in mind when they chose your name. If you are from the Ray family, take the opportunity to learn more about your roots and your history.

5 Interesting Facts About The Name Ray

  1. Top reported jobs

    Farmers and maids were the top reported jobs for men and women called Ray in the United States in 1940.

  2. 750,000 census records

    For the surname Ray, there are 750,000 census entries available.

  3. Under 600 ranking

    Ray was the 723rd most common boy's name and the 5,446th most popular girl's name in the United States.

  4. It keeps decreasing each year

    Ray was given to 338 newborn males and only 22 baby girls in 2020.

  5. Becoming rare

    It is projected that Ray will be the name of one out of every 5,418 baby males and one out of every 79,593 baby girls born in 2020.

Why We Love National Ray Day

  1. It lets you identify yourself

    Finding your identity boils down to figuring out what makes you, well, you. It entails knowing yourself and what makes you tick. As a person named Ray, will you follow the footsteps of the Rays before you?

  2. It teaches you more about your personality

    The significance of a person's name is linked to his or her personality. Our personalities are considered to be influenced by our names, either directly or indirectly. Ray is a name that has roots in being regal or being reserved; knowing this also shows you your potential.

  3. It makes you aware of your environment

    Certain couples encounter several challenges, either in terms of child-bearing or in terms of the societal factors that shape pregnancy and delivery. All of these things may have an impact on the child's name in some respects, as parents will choose to pick a name that best fits the situation. By trying to know the origins of your name, you also find out more about your environment and your parents.

National Ray Day dates

YearDateDay
2023March 4Saturday
2024March 4Monday
2025March 4Tuesday
2026March 4Wednesday
2027March 4Thursday

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