What does Leslie mean?
Leslie /le-slie/ [2 sylls.] as a girls' name (also used less commonly as boys' name Leslie) is pronounced LESS-lee, LEZ-lee. It is of Scottish and Gaelic origin, and the meaning of Leslie is "holly garden".
Also possibly "the gray castle". Place name and name of a prominent Scottish clan, first used as a given name in the 18th century. Used mainly for boys in England and Scotland. American use of Leslie is mainly for girls. The Lezlie spelling preserves the original Scottish pronunciation. Actresses Leslie-Ann Down, Lesley Ann Warren.
How popular is Leslie?
Leslie is a very prominent first name for women (#143 out of 4276, Top 3%) and also a very prominent last name for all people (#1335 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the birth name popularity of Leslie for girls. Leslie reached its apex rank of #69 in the U.S. during 1970-1979, and is at #337 presently. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Popular related forms of Leslie (#337 in 2014) listed in the Top 1000 are Lesley, Lesli and Lesly (#963 in 2014). Usage of these girl names was at its most widespread in 2000 (usage of 0.5228%) and is now much less (usage 0.175%, 66.5% less), with the forms Lesley and Lesly becoming less stylish. Leslie (#337) is the most fashionable baby name here, with this name having a rekindling in usage. Below is a graphed comparison of the usage of Leslie and affiliated names. (2014 Birth Statistics)