Kelsey: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Kelsey

Kelsey

Pronunciation: KEHL-see (key)

Origin of the name Kelsey:

Derived from the obsolete Old English name Cēolsige, a compounding of the elements cēol (a ship) and sige (victory).

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

Related Names:

Kelcie, Kelsie

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US Popularity of Kelsey Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Kelsey: | Edit

Hi! My cousin's name is Kelsey. She is Irish-German. She is very smart and reads a lot of books...travels a lot and is quite the feminist-type. She is really quirky and opinionated too. I love the name!

My name is Robin, and the year I was born, was the most popular year for that name, and it was about the 25th most popular name. (I say about because different sources vary by a couple points.) My daughter's name is Kelsey, and the year SHE was born, 1992, was also the year that name peaked, and was ALSO about the 25th most popular name! My name is definitely going to be one of those generational names - the book "Beyond Jennifer and Jason" (that was the first edition, now there is a second one with different names) described Robin as, among other things, a "ranch house and bbq" baby boomer's kid name. Which is pretty much right. Kelsey is an androgynous executive name, as well as being perceived as pretty, and overall positive impressions. Both she and I found that our names, being where they were on the list, made us definitely part of our class, not weird, fitting right in, but not so common that there was one or two of us in every class. Growing up I ran across a couple other Robins. She ran across a couple other Kelseys. Overall, I think having a name that is popular but not TOO popular, is more positive than it is negative.

I was young in the 50's, before Kelsey became a popular girl's name. I had a friend whose last name was Kelsey. I still cannot think of Kelsey as a girl's name, only a surname.

Personal experiences with the name Kelsey: | Edit

I seem to have lived all my life near someone named Kelsey. My next door neighbor since I was six was named Kelsey, and she was about my age. I'm in college now and my roommate's name is Kelsey. They are both pretty intense, in their own ways. My mom likes to tell this story about Neighbor Kelsey:

When Kelsey and I were in about 2nd or 3rd grade, Kelsey said to my mother in a bright cheery voice, "I just love giving oral reports!"
My mom, an elementary school teacher, was astounded, and in high school Kelsey went on to win best high school journalist in the state.
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My name is Kelsey, and I really dislike it. One of the reasons my parents chose it is because it wasn't a very popular name before I was born, but unfortunately it boomed in popularity right around my birth year. I only met a few other girls named Kelsey during my school years, but now that I'm in college I can't throw a rock without hitting another one. I even spent three years in college with one who had my same last name, and we've received mail, email, job offers, ballots, etc. intended for the other one on several occasions. My name is commonly misheard as Chelsea and Kelly, and I have a commonly misheard last name as well, so it isn't unusual for my name to be completely mistaken. Although it has a feminine diminutive ending, I'm well aware that my name has been a place name, surname, and male name throughout history. I don't see my name as particularly feminine, though it doesn't feel truly androgynous given that its most recent popularity boom in America was as a female name. I dislike the harsh sound of the K, and given that K is not a common letter/sound in many alphabets, it is a difficult name to translate, recognize, or pronounce for non-native English speakers/non-English speakers and that can make international relations difficult. I feel like my name limits me because it is trendy, of ambiguous gender, clearly western, and in my experience given exclusively to Caucasians. Of the other Kelseys I have asked, there isn't one of us who really likes her name. If you're thinking about naming your daughter Kelsey, I urge you to pick something else.
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My name is Kelsey, and I think it's a perfectly fine name. Despite the fact that Kelsey was quite popular when I was born, I can't say I've run into more than a handful of Kelseys. There have been many people over the years who've pronounced my name Chelsea or Kelly, but that's just carelessness. Teachers who did that in school were the same kind that read Gabriel as Gabrielle and Michaela as Michelle. (Ones that just aren't paying attention.) Contrary to the other Kelsey, the only two other Kelseys I went to school with were both black. So I don't see it as strictly caucasian. I have a commonly butchered last name, but that's never bothered me either. I've never felt limited by my name. But that's just my two cents.

Nicknames for Kelsey: | Edit

K, Kel, Kels, Kelso, Kes, Kelly

Meanings and history of the name Kelsey: | Edit

From an English surname that is originally derived from two villages in Northern England, North Kelsey and South Kelsey.

Famous real-life people named Kelsey: | Edit

Kelsey Reilly (female) famous girl from Scotland. Twitter: @kelseyreillyx
Kelsey Grammar (male) is the first one to come to mind.

Kelsey in song, story & screen: | Edit

"Kelsey", a song by Metro Station
Kelsey named doll, Groovy Girls

No Way
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73
No Way
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Smart?

73
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Sexy?

78
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Friendly?

72
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Creative?

69
No Way
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Strong?

72
No Way
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Young?

66
No Way
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Sophisticated?