Gender: Feminine
Origin: Bulgarian
Meaning: “paradise.”
(RYE-yah) Рая

The name was initially a diminutive form of Rayna, but has come to be more associated with the Bulgaria word Рай (rai) meaning, “paradise.”

As of 2009, Raya was the 10th most popular female name in Bulgaria. It is also used in Armenia.

Variant transcriptions include: Raia and Raja.


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Arabic
Meaning: “door to heaven”

The name is a franconized form of the Arabic male name, Rayyan, which is found in Hadith 643 as Ar-Rayyan, which is one of the gates of heaven through which only those who have participated in Ramadan will be able to enter on Judgement Day.

As of 2008, he was the 35th most popular male name in Belgium. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 38 (France, 2009)
  • # 63 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 65 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 758 (United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Rajan (Albanian/Chechen/Bosnian/Kazakh/Tatar)
  • Rayyan (Arabic)
Feminine forms include:
  • Rajana (Albanian/Bosnian/Chechen/Kazakh/Tatar)
  • Raja (Kazakh)