What does Ashley mean?
Ashley /ash-ley/ [2 sylls.] 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).
Affiliated boy name: Ashton.more]
How popular is Ashley?
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. in the 1980s, 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%, ▼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)