Ashley Name Meaning & Origin

Ashley

Pronunciation: ASH-lee (key)

Origin of the name Ashley:

A name which originated as a surname derived from the Old English elements æsc (ash trees) and lēah (wood, clearing, meadow, enclosure): hence, "dweller near the ash tree forest." Ashley was originally bestowed as a male name in England, but its use in Great Britain and the U.S. is now predominately female. Var: Ashlee, Ashlie, Ashly.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

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US Popularity of Ashley Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Ashley: | Edit
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Personal experiences with the name Ashley: | Edit

My brother's name is Ashley Owen. We live in the UK and here Ashley is still very much a boy's name.

Ashley is actually NOT predominantly a girl's name in the UK. Nobody would blink at a girl called Ashley, but I'd still assume male if given no other information...and high-profile footballers such as Ashley Cole will keep it that way for a while yet.
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While it is a male name in the UK as the person above mentions, the US still sees it as a female name. As a male named Ashley, I constantly get questioned on my name. When I was younger, it led to a lot of teasing, and now that I'm older it confuses people.

When meeting new people, they sometimes ask that I repeat it just to make sure they heard correctly. When paying for dinner, the card will almost always be handed to my wife instead of me. When they see me pull the card out and they read the name, they ask for an ID to verify I'm not using someones elses card. I have gone to job interviews or meetings and they expected a woman to walk in. It makes for an awkward greeting. I have only known one other male named Ashley, and he changed his name. I also considered legally changing mine. While there are many great gender neutral names out there, Ashley is just not one of them right now.

Nicknames for Ashley: | Edit

Ash, Asher

Meanings and history of the name Ashley: | Edit
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Famous real-life people named Ashley: | Edit

Ashley Cole, football player for Chelsea
Ashley Hamilton, son of George Hamilton and Alana Stewart
Ashley Giles, cricketer
Ashley Parker Angel, American singer, songwriter, and actor who became famous with the boyband O-Town
Ashley Purdy, bassist for the band Black Veil Brides
Ashley Lelie, played wide receiver for the Denver Broncos

Ashley in song, story & screen: | Edit

Ashley in "Gone with the Wind"...dreamy!!
Ashley, the main character in "The Evil Dead" (1981)
"Ashley" by Escape The Fate.... best song ever

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64
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Smart?

76
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Sexy?

66
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Friendly?

62
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Creative?

61
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Strong?

62
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Young?

60
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Sophisticated?