- Meaning: Ashley is a very popular name in the UK and England. It combines the Old English words, “æsc,” relating to the “ash” tree type, and “lēah” meaning forest glade. Together, the name means “Dweller near the ash tree meadow.”
- Gender: Ashley is a name given to boys and girls. In the UK, it is more common as a boy’s name. In contrast, in the United States, it is more often given to girls.
- Origin: The name Ashley is an Old English name from the 16th Century. It was originally the last name, then was given to boys as a forename. It was popularized by Lord Ashley, a British social reformer in the 1800s. It was later adopted as a name for girls.
- Pronunciation: Ashley is most commonly pronounced “ASH-lee.”
- Popularity: Ashley is a popular name for both men and women.
- Nicknames: Ash, Asher, Dashley, Lay Lay, Lee, Leigh.
- Variations: Aisling (Irish), Ashleigh (English), Ashlea (English), Ashlee (English), Ashli (English), Ashlie (English), Ashly (English), Ashlyn (English), Ashlin (Irish), Ashlynn (English).
- Namesakes: Ashley Benson (American actress), Ashley Judd (American actress).
- What Does the Name Ashley Mean?
- What Is the Origin of the Name Ashley?
- How Popular Is the Name Ashley?
- How Do I Pronounce Ashley?
- Is Ashley a Boy or Girl Name?
- Variations of Ashley
- Nicknames for Ashley
- Similar Names to Ashley
- Middle Names for Ashley
- Sibling Names for Ashley
- Famous People Named Ashley
- Ashley in Popular Culture
- Ashley FAQs
The name Ashely has become increasingly popular in recent years. But, what are the origins of this name and how did it develop? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more!
What Does the Name Ashley Mean?
Ashley is a combination of several Old English words, “æsc,” relating to the tree type “ash,” and “lēah,” meaning forest glade.
The name was a reference to meadows before it became a common last name. It directly translated to “Dweller near the ash tree meadow.”
Ashley was given to boys as a first name. It stayed that way until the 1800s, when it also started to be adopted for girls (1).
What Is the Origin of the Name Ashley?
The name Ashley comes from England in the 1500s. It was originally the last name, then was given to men as a first. It was popularized in the 1800s by “Lord Ashley,” the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, a British social reformer and politician.
How Popular Is the Name Ashley?
In the UK, Ashley has ranked in the top 50-300 names for boys, depending on the year. It wasn’t as popular as a girl’s name in the UK and dropped off the lists of the top names after 2010.
In the USA, the name enjoyed a rise in popularity thanks to the soap opera “The Young and the Restless.” Today, it has declined as a feminine name. It reached number 154 in 2020 (2).
How Do I Pronounce Ashley?
Ashley is pronounced just as it is spelled, “ASH-lee.” There are no other common ways to say it.
Is Ashley a Boy or Girl Name?
Ashley is a boy and a girl’s name. In the UK, it is more commonly associated with boys. However, in the USA, it is typically given to a girl.
Variations of Ashley
There are plenty of variations for the name Ashley. A sample of the many variations, but not all, include:
- Aisling (Irish)
- Ashleigh (English)
- Ashlea (English)
- Ashlee (English)
- Ashli (English)
- Ashlie (English)
- Ashly (English)
- Ashlyn (English)
- Ashlin (Irish)
- Ashlynn (English)
Nicknames for Ashley
But for how many variations there are, not that many nicknames exist.
Similar Names to Ashley
There are also a handful of names similar to Ashley. Some of those include:
Middle Names for Ashley
Ashley can pair well with some great secondary names, such as:
Sibling Names for Ashley
Many names go great alongside Ashley for a sibling, whether boy or girl. Some of them include:
For a brother:
And for a sister:
Famous People Named Ashley
There are also many famous people named Ashley. Ashley Judd, the American actress, is one that you might think of off the top.
Some of the most famous include:
- Ashley Benson: American actress.
- Ashley Biden: American social worker and activist. President Joe Biden’s daughter.
- Ashley Bouder: American ballet dancer, principal dancer at the New York City Ballet.
- Ash Stymest: British model and songwriter.
- Ashley Wood: Australian comic book artist.
Ashley in Popular Culture
Today, many Ashleys are characters in pop culture as well.
You might recognize:
- Ash Williams: A main character from the “Evil Dead” film series.
- Ashley Abbott: A character from the soap opera “The Young and the Restless.”
- Ashley Banks: Character in the sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
- Ashley Wilkes: Main character in the novel “Gone With the Wind.”
- Ask Ashley: Comedy skit from Nickelodeon’s show “All That.”
There might be some other questions in your mind about the name Ashley. Let’s look at some.