Rey is a Spanish male name (and word) meaning “king” derived from Latin rex (king, ruler) via a PIE *h₃rḗǵs (king, ruler) from root word *h₃reǵ- (to straighten, to right oneself; right; just). It could also be a short form of Reymundo, a variant spelling of Raymundo, the Spanish and Portuguese form of Raymond, the English form of Germanic Raginmund meaning “advice protector” or “counsel protector from ragin (advice, counsel) and mund (protector, protection). Rey could also be a short form of Reynard, the English form of Germanic Reginhard meaning “brave counsel” from ragin (advice, counsel) and hard (brave, hardy). Reynard features heavily in medieval English, French, Dutch, and German fables as an anthropomorphic red fox who is a trickster figure. Because of the popularity of Reynard the fox, renard became a word in French meaning “fox”.
Rey is also a Spanish, Catalan, French, and English surname derived from Spanish rey meaning “king”, originating as a nickname for someone who either served under a king or who behaved in a regal manner or who won it as a title over some skill in a contest. Rey could laso be a variant spelling of Ray, an English surname with several possible meanings such as:
- “female roe deer” from Old English ræge, originally a nickname for someone who had a nervous temperament;
- it could be a variant spelling of Rye, a topographic name for someone who lived where rye grew; though it could also mean “at the island” or “at the river”, a misdivision of the Middle English phrase atter ye (at the island) or atter eye (at the river);
- Ray could also be a variant spelling of Wray, an English place name meaning “nook, corner, recess” from Old Norse vrá.
Rey is traditionally a male name but I imagine the female character in the Star Wars franchise will make it more appealing as a girl’s name.
- Ray (English)
- Reyna (Spanish)
- Reina (Spanish)