"bright meadow"

Shirley Origin and Meaning

The name Shirley is a girl's name of English origin meaning "bright meadow".

Shirley Temple almost single-handedly lifted the gloom of the Great Depression, and in tribute (and perhaps wishing for a similarly curly-headed, dimpled darling of their own), thousands of parents of that generation gave their little girls her name. In 1935, Shirley was the second most popular girls' name in the country with more than 42,000 babies named Shirley.

In an earlier time Shirley was used primarily for boys, but the tide turned with the publication of Charlotte Bronte's novel Shirley in 1849, the story of a character whose parents had selected the name for a boy child, then decided to use it anyway when he turned out to be a she.

In addition to Shirley Temple, there have been Shirleys MacLaine and Jones and writer Shirley Jackson, as well as rocker Shirley Manson.

# 911 in the US

Shirley Rank in US Top 1000

# 1291 on Nameberry

Shirley Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Shirley Popularity

Famous People Named Shirley

  • Shirley Temple BlackAmerican actress and diplomat
  • Shirley MacLaine (born Shirley MacLean Beaty)American actress
  • Shirley Hardie JacksonAmerican author
  • Shirley Ann MansonScottish lead singer of band Garbage
  • Shirley HendersonScottish actress
  • Shirley Mae JonesAmerican actress
  • Shirley Veronica BasseyWelsh singer
  • Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholmfirst black U.S. Congresswoman (New York)
  • Shirley Elizabeth CollinsEnglish folk singer
  • Shirley ClarkeAmerican film director
  • Shirley Lynn PhelpsRoper, American lawyer and activist
  • Shirley Booth (born Marjory Ford)American actress
  • Shirley Frances BabashoffAmerican swimmer
  • Shirley Natasja ClampSwedish pop singer
  • Shirley Kwan (Shuyi)Hong Kong singer
  • Shirley KnightAmerican actress
  • Shirley Hubertina Maria Adriana KocaçınarTurkish footballer
  • Shirley Vivian Teresa Brittain WilliamsBaroness Williams of Crosby, British politician
  • Shirley ZwerusDutch singer and pianist
  • Shirley ChungChinese,American chef
  • Shirley Yeung (Szeki), Hong Kong actress
  • Shirley DouglasCanadian actress, mother of actor Kiefer Sutherland

Shirley in Pop Culture

  • Shirley Feeneycharacter on TV's "Laverne & Shirley"
  • Shirley Keeldarmain character in "Shirley," by Charlotte Bronte
  • Shirley Bennettcharacter on TV's "Community"
  • Shirley Ryancharacter on TV's "Love Child"
  • Shirley Partridgemain character on TV's "The Partridge Family," played by Shirley Jones
  • Shirley Millermain character on TV's "Shirley," played by Shirley Jones
  • Shirley Brahmscharacter in British TV series Are You Being Served?
  • Shirley the Looncharacter in Tiny Toon Adventures
  • Shirley Fenettea character in the anime Code Geass
  • Shirley Yeagercharacter in anime Strike Witches
  • Shirleycharacter in The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour 3
  • Shirleya hairdresser in the videogame MySims
  • Shirley Fennesa character in the videogame Tales of Legendia
  • Shirleya main character in animated TV series "Shaun the Sheep"
  • Shirley Taylorsoncharacter in video game Acidic
  • Shirley Yangcharacter in "Ghost Blows Out the Light" by Zhang Muye
  • Anne Shirleymain character in the "Anne of Green Gables" series, who had a son named Shirley Blythe
  • Hotel ShirleySierra Madre, California, built in 1911, restored in 1998
  • Shirley Craincharacter in "The Haunting of Hill House"

Shirley in Nameberry Blog Posts