What does Ashley mean?
Ashley \a-sh-ley\ as a boys' name (also used more widely as girls' name Ashley) is pronounced ASH-lee. It is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Ashley is "ash meadow". Surname and place name. As a given name, Ashley is now used mostly for girls. First recorded as a given name in the 16th century, but its wider use was probably inspired by the Earl of Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper in the early 19th century, who was a noted humanitarian who inspired much of the legislation designed to improve conditions among working classes. Literary: Ashley Wilkes is the man long loved by Scarlett O'Hara in Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone With the Wind". Ashley is also an English saint's name (17th century).
For more information, see also the related boy name Ashton.
Ashley is a very prominent first name for males (#584 out of 1220, Top 48%) and also a very prominent surname for both adults and children (#852 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the birth name popularity of Ashley for boys. Ashley reached its highest rank of #365 in the U.S. during the years 1980-1989, but is not in the list currently. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)
Below is a graphed comparison of the popularity of Ashley and corresponding names. Prominent varying forms of Ashley are Ashton (#143 in 2014) and Lee (#701). Adoption of these boy names was at its most widespread during the years 1980-1989 (usage of 0.6343%) and has become much less since (usage 0.3853%, down 39.3%), with the forms Ashley and Lee becoming less fashionable. Ashton (#143) is the most contemporarily stylish baby name in this list. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)