What does Charley mean?
Charley /char-ley/ as a name for boys (also used more generally as girls' name Charley). Charley's root is Old German, and the meaning of Charley is "free man". Charley is a variant form, with the suffix -y, of Charles (Old German): from "karl".
(male) Charey, Charne, ..
(female) Charce, Charleya, ..
How popular is Charley?
Charley is a somewhat popular first name for males (#727 out of 1220, Top 60%) and an even more popular surname for all people (#8314 out of 150436, Top 6%). (2000 U.S. Demographics)
Charted below is the baby name popularity of Charley for boys. Charley was first listed in 1880-1889 and reached its peak rank of #69 in the U.S. then, and is presently at #1879. (Top 2000 Names, 2014)
Carl (#613 via latest list), Carlo (#1081), Carlos (#117), Cary, Charles (#51), Charlie (#225), Charls, Charlton and Charly are the prominent variation forms of Charley (#1879 via latest list). Adoption of these forms of Charley was well-received 134 years ago (median #767) and is now much reduced (#1196, 87.9% less usage).
Suggested similar names are Cailey, Caley, Carey▼, Carley, Carlow, Carly, Carney, Carrey, Chalkley, Chalney (see Chaney), Chancey, Chaney, Chesley, Clarey, Coakley, Corley, Cranley, Curley, Earley, Farley, Harley▼, Marley▲, Shanley, Thorley, Warley and Yarley. These names tend to be less frequently used than Charley.