Ashley Name Meaning and Origin

Ashley Name Meaning and Origin

Ashley is traditionally a male given name derived from the Old English words Aesc meaning ash and lēah meaning ‘forest glade,’ or ‘wood.’ Originally referred to as a meadow where ash trees were found, Ashley later became an English surname. This family name denoted ‘someone who lived near an ash tree clearing’ or ‘dweller near the ash tree meadow.’ The feminine form of Ashley is Ashleigh, with Ashley remaining traditionally male.

What Does Ashley Mean?

The meaning of Ashley as ‘ash tree’ has both mystical and religious significance. In some European cultures, ash wood is burned as the smoke is thought to ward off evil spirits. Thus, Ashley also means ‘woodland clearing.’ The Ash tree was dedicated to Poseidon, the God of the seas and the sun in ancient Greece. Thus, the meaning of Ashley relates to the proto-Indo-European for the tree, while the generic name ‘Ash’ originated in Latin from a proto-Indo-European word for birch.


Ashley has evolved from a place name to an English surname and then a given name. Originally a male name in England, Ashley is now used for boys and girls in the UK and US. Its close variant Asher is a biblical name from a Hebrew word meaning “happy” or “blessing.” It also resembles the Irish name Aisling which means “dream” or “vision.” Ashley is a habitational name from any of the numerous places in southern and central England named Ashley.




  • Aesh-Lee
  • Ash-Ley


 2 syllables


 6 letters

Name Variations/Spellings

Ashley name variations illustrate possibilities in different languages and origins. Some other spellings for Ashley that may be linked to a foreign heritage relating to a specific country:

Name Origin
Ainslaeigh English
Ashalee English
Ashalei English
Ashlynn Irish
Ashton English
Lee English
Ashly English
Ashlie English
Ashlen Irish
Ashli English
Ashleah English
Ashla English

How Popular Is the Name Ashley?

Considered among the top five names for girls in the US from 1985 to 1993, Ashley started as a stylish boys’ name. Ashley remained in the top 10 names for girls in America up to 2005, climbing to the No. 1 position in 1991 and 1992. Although Ashley was more commonly used as a masculine name in the first half of the twentieth century, it started gaining popularity for girls in the 1960s. Ashley was exclusively used as a girl name by the mid-1990s but has not ranked among the top 1000 names for boys in the US since 1994. The latest Social Security Administration data shows the Ashley baby name ranking stands at No. 154 for girls. In the 1960s, the male spelling of Ashley started to be used for both genders. The Ashley popularity index gained impetus in the 1980s due to the female character Ashley Abbott who emerged on the TV series “The Young and the Restless” in 1982.

Interest in Ashley – Worldwide

Search trends data reflects an incredible interest for Ashley, recording a popularity score of over 35 for the last five years, reaching 100 in August 2015. The lowest value recorded in the popularity index was at 27 in September 2021.

Interest in Ashley – US

Ashley’s search trends have recorded consistent search popularity of over 70 for seven years, reaching 100 in September 2015. The lowest search value recorded on the popularity scale was 60 in April 2020.

Popularity of the name Ashley 

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Where Is the Name Most Searched?

Search trends of Ashley – Worldwide

Search trends reflect the highest interest for Ashley in the United States in the last ten years, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. The influence of classic English names on the American baby-naming trend makes Ashley a highly popular name among parents of the United States.

Search trends of Ashley – US

Among the sub-regions of the US, South Carolina leads in terms of the most searched city over the last ten years. Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Louisiana make it to the top 5 cities of the US, where search trends for Ashley have been recorded to be the highest.

Middle Names That Go With Ashley

A meaningful middle name can be an accepted part of many cultures today. Here is a list of the best double names with Ashley that may help to enhance your child’s first name.

Pearl Gwen
Zora Corinne
Juliet Carolina
Theodore Rosalie
Beatrix Harlow
Skye Autumn
Lark Rain
True London
Eden Quinn
Ophelia Winter
Neve Estelle
Paisley Amelia

Famous People Named Ashley

The names of successful celebrities play a significant role in the baby naming trend. Here are some popular personalities called Ashley who can excite parents with their ultra-edgy and unique names:

Celebrity Name Profession/Famous For
Ashleigh Banfield Canadian American Journalist
Ashley Benson American Actress
Ashley Bouder American Ballet Dancer
Ashley Frangipane Halsey, American Singer, and Songwriter
Ashley Greene American Actress
Ashley Harkleroad American Tennis Player
Ashley Roberts Pop Singer
Ashley Tisdale American Singer And Actress
Ashley Judd American Actress
Ashley Johnson American Actress and Singer
Ashley Jensen British Actress
Ashley Cole English Footballer

Similar Names & Last Names

Family names for Ashley are inherited and may represent family honor. Baby names like Ashley closely resemble each other and imply new possibilities of the given name. Here are some of the other names for Ashley that would fit your search criteria.

Other Baby Names Suitable Family Names
Brinley Gilbert
Hadley Clerk
Hailey Murray
Riley Holmes
Finley Woods
Kinsley Whitney
Amanda Grant
Anna Archer
Alyssa Reynolds
Addison Dawson
Abigail Potter

Names That Sound Like Ashley

Names that rhyme with Ashley sound sweet and sophisticated together. Here are some names that can look and sound like Ashley.

Adley Adalee
Allie Hadlee
Ansley Sally
Averie Nellie
Lily Ashlynn
Nathalie Ansley
Ashlyn Kaylie
Rylee Ashlen
Asheera Ashar
Ashar Ashauna
Ashelei Ashlie

Sibling Names Related to Ashley

Sibling names can be chosen to set them up for a dream team for life. Here are some of the best sibling names that go with Ashley that can foster the love between them:

Sister Names for Ashley Brother Names for Ashley
Jenna Alex
Lorette Jamie
Ellice Shannon
Amber Morgan
Emily Lindsay
Lauren Sydney
Megan Ryan
Alyssa Michael
Sarah Joshua
Samantha Jacob
Kelly Aaron
Courtney Brandon

Nicknames for Ashley

A nickname is particularly apt to denote a person’s qualities or affinities. Here are some of the nicknames for the name Ashley that may be creatively conceived to cheer up your little one in a private setting.

Ashie-Sweets Ashluv
Ash-Pash Shlee
Ash-Bash Ally-Dally
Liley Dashley
Splashley Ashybear
Drowsley Bash-lee
Ashy-Jerry Wishy-Washley
Asher Alee
Alli The Flash
Ash-Tray Smartash
Mashy Ashiny

A wildly popular and adorable name in the ’80s, Ashley has become less common since then. New American parents have adapted Ashley as a given name from an English family name irrespective of its cultural identity. No matter how it fairs in the popularity chart, Ashley stands to appeal one and all with its polished grace and charm.


Social Security Administration:
Ashley Name Popularity in the United States:
Ashley Name Popularity Across The World:
Ashley Name Interest in the United States:
Ashley Name Interest Across The World:

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