Gender: Male Meaning of Leslie: "garden of holly" Origin of Leslie: Scottish

Leslie Origin and Meaning

The name Leslie is a boy's name of Scottish origin meaning "garden of holly".

This Scottish place name and surname was more popular for boys in the US until the mid-1940s; in the UK, the Leslie spelling is predominantly masculine, with Lesley widely used as the feminine variant. Now ranking in the mid-400s for girls and not at all for boys in the US, it could be time to bring this smart, subtle nature name back, especially considering the current popularity of -ley names for both sexes.

Trivia tidbit: Both President Gerald Ford and comedian Bob Hope were born Leslie, while Gone With The Wind actor Leslie Howard was actually born Laszlo, according to some sources.

16 names similar to Leslie

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Famous People Named Leslie

Pop Culture References for the name Leslie

Lee, Lezly, Les, Lesly, Lesley, Leigh


Morri Arty Says:


I actually really like Leslie for either sex.

ThaliaMenninger Says:


I get the impression from the other comments that the usage of Leslie in the UK, both for girls and boys, must be quite different than in the US. For girls, I don't think it sounds old-ladyish (by US standards), as another user suggested. Unfortunately, for US boys, I say just don't use it! Right or wrong, I think it is perceived as 100% a girls' name over here, and you'd be setting your son up for endless years of teasing.

headintheclouds Says:


I've always been indifferent to the name Leslie- I have no particular strong feelings, positive or negative, towards it. I do think it's more of a boy name than a girl's though, and it's a real shame that it's one of those "gone to the girl's camp" names. I associate Leslie with the dapper actor Leslie Howard, who played a character with a similarly "feminized" name, Ashley, on Gone with the Wind :)

mellohorn20 Says:


The name itself is just....meh. I didn't know it was a boy name until recently. I've always seen it Leslie, and I prefer that way too.

Gemmarocks112 is Love, is Life Says:


Good point, I see it in that way as well... it's sort of 'meh' as a girl's name, and I think its popular phase has well and truly vanished now, but for boys it's new and adventurous and exciting - possibly because it's never been considered as a boys' name properly.

Gemmarocks112 is Love, is Life Says:


In my opinion Leslie isn't supposed to be a girls' name in the same way that Morgan isn't supposed to be a boys' one. True, they were probably INTENDED to be for those particular genders but what would society be if it wasn't modernising? Isn't that the whole point of unisex names?

Honoria Says:


I always thought Leslie was a bit of a cheap name but, over the past few weeks, I've taken a bit of a shine to it. After all, it's not very common nowadays. And while it does have a sort of crusty, hair-netted appeal for girls, for boys it bears a much more vibrant, elegant aura which I greatly appreciate. An old man's name that would suit a little boy perfectly.

juliabrowneyes Says:


I remember an episode of Hannah Montana where Miley and her boyfriend, Jake, are confessing their biggest secrets to each other, and Miley reveals that she's Hannah Montana, while Jake reveals that his real name is actually Leslie. Miley thinks this is hilarious since Leslie is supposed to be a girls' name.

PoppyOrangey Says:


There's no need to be rude. Some people just don't like that "ie" ending for a boy. I'm not the first person to think so either. Everyone has a right to their own opinion.

Catastroffy Says:


I always thought of this as being the boy's spelling and Lesley as being the girl's. As a child I thought it ought to be the other way around, but now I think it's good like that and I don't like Leslie as a girl's name.

PoppyOrangey Says:


Leslie is the name of a male appraiser on The Antiques Road Show. I remember growing up watching it and asking my parents, "Leslie is a boys name?". I still think it is way to feminine with the "ie" ending to ever be considered a boys name.