Gender: Male Meaning of Stanley: "near the stony clearing" Origin of Stanley: English Stanley's Popularity in 2018: #707

Stanley Origin and Meaning

The name Stanley is a boy's name of English origin meaning "near the stony clearing".

Although Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire personified brute force, most Stanleys have been portrayed as meek milquetoasts. It could be a Sydney-like girls' choice.-Bette Davis once played a character named Stanley, and it was the name of President Obama's mother (named for her father)--or possibly could be revived down the line a la Walter and Arthur.

Stanley came to popularity initially via the explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley, who made historic contact with Dr. Livingston ('I presume?') in Africa in 1871. Noted US namesakes include movie directors Stanley Kramer and Stanley Kubrick and actor Stanley Tucci.

Stanley had a long run in the Top 100--from 1890 to 1959.

16 names similar to Stanley

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Stanley. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Stanley, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Stanley using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #707

- this week

Famous People Named Stanley

Pop Culture References for the name Stanley

Stan, Stanly


cheesy-biscuit Says:


Boys name. I'd incorporate this name because I love Marvel so much!

beachbear Says:


Although some weak women (and men!) inevitably exist, women as a general entity are NOT weak. Weakness is no reason to attribute femininity to a name.

beachbear Says:


This will always be Flat Stanley for me.

RoddyThlayli Says:


Stanley is a lot like John to me-- able to fit any personality.

headintheclouds Says:


I can see where Stanley can have a so-out-it's-in kind of retro revival, but I personally really dislike it. To me, it's in the same unappealing dated category as Ethel, Wilmer, Laverne, Barbara etc. Plus one of my acquaintances had this stepfather named Stanley. We've all met this kind of guy in real life- the bald middle-age-crisis pervy soccer dad of your friend who gives you the creeps- that's who I think of in association to Stanley, which adds on another layer to my dislike for this name.

I can't see this as a girl's name at all (would see this on a girl as a gender-bent name, not a girl name!), and would agree that just because some boy names end in -a, -ley, or more traditionally "feminine"-associated sounds, doesn't mean it's a girl's name!

MsMcD Says:


This is a nice name for a boy (I don't like it for a girl). Definitely deserves a comeback. I always think "Stan the Man". There are worse sobriquets.

TheHumanCanvas Says:


Stanley Kowalski is my main association for this name. But oddly, I still like the name? I would expect a character like Mr Kowalski to be off-putting, but I can't help thinking the name is dead cute.

KassemJ Says:


I like Stanley and wish it were still popular. I think Stanley sounds cute on a little boy these days

NaomiNY Says:


My Pop-Pop's middle name :)

NaomiNY Says:


Really? Didn't know that.

Guest Says:


Stanley Ann Dunham, mother of President Barack Obama.

Alicia1 Says:


Don't like this name at all, can't imagine this name for a girl!

lesliemarion Says:


Think Cup, Not Kowalski. I love it.

Guest Says:


President Obama's mother was named Stanley.

psg007 Says:


Completely, 100% DISAGREE with saying it could become a girls name! Just because it ends in -ley and has been portrayed as "weak" in the past, does not been it should be a girls name! *sigh* Must be an American thing. Stanley is #74 here in the UK for boys - I find it very cute!

PS: I love Sidney too - as a BOYS name, the way it should be!