Menu
ADVERTISEMENT

Baby Names Ending in Ley

Baby Names Ending in Ley
Ashley started it, and today there is a whole raft of stylish baby names that end with ley — if not literally those letters, then at least the sound. Most ley baby names are for girls but some work for boys too, such as Wesley and Oakley.

Along with Ashley and Wesley, other baby names ending in ley in the US Top 200 include Riley, Paisley, Bentley, Kinsley, Hailey, Hadley, Bailey, and Finley. Stylish, under-the-radar names ending with ley that we recommend include Eisley, Hartley, Keeley, and Langley.

The downside: The ley ending is so trendy that baby names that carry it can feel more popular than they are. There are also lots of names that end in lee, lie, lea, ly, and so on that produce the same trendy sound. The prime baby names that end in ley include the following.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

WesleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "western meadow"
  • Description:

    Wesley is one of a group of W-starting surname names reminiscent of the Old West that are making a comeback -- though it's not as well used as it was in the 1970s, when he ranked as high as Number 66.

EverlyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "wild boar in woodland clearing"
  • Description:

    Everly originated as a toponymic surname derived from the Old English roots eofor, meaning “boar,” and leah, “clearing.” It is related to the Germanic name Eberhard, meaning “brave as a wild boar,” from which popular name Everett also derived. Wild boars represented strength and courage to ancient Germanic peoples, who often took on names with animal meanings.

RileyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rye clearing; courageous"
  • Description:

    Riley originated as both an English and an Irish surname. The former was derived from British place names that got their names from the Old English words for “rye clearing.” Irish Riley is a variation of Reilly, a surname taken from the given name Raghailleach.

HadleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "heather field"
  • Description:

    Hadley, most famous as the name of Ernest Hemingway's first wife, is more sophisticated, professional, and modern than cousins Harley, Haley, or Hayden. The hit book The Paris Wife, a novel told from the point of view of Hadley Hemingway (born Elizabeth Hadley Richardson), has helped popularize the name, which also appears on the vampire show True Blood. Hadley could become this generation's Hailey.

FinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired hero"
  • Description:

    This was a 100 percent boys’ name until celebs Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon bestowed it on their daughter, recently followed by Lisa Marie Presley, who used it for one of her (female) twins. Finlay is also now among the most popular unisex names.
ADVERTISEMENT

KinsleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "king's meadow"
  • Description:

    Kinsley, a name that straddles the line between cute and classy, continues to rise in popularity and is now one of the top girls' names starting with K. Kinsey is the name of the heroine of Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries and Tinsley gives the name a high society spin.

HuxleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "inhospitable place"
  • Description:

    Huxley is definitely rising as a surname name, with its X that makes almost any name cooler. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2015. The modern nicknames Hux and Huck certainly don't hurt.

AinsleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "one's own meadow"
  • Description:

    While theoretically unisex, this surname name has been edging up the girls’ names list, perhaps originally as an Ashley substitute.

OakleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "oak wood or clearing"
  • Description:

    As sturdy as Oak, with deeper roots. For males, it's been on the rise in recent years.

MarleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "pleasant seaside meadow"
  • Description:

    Reggae master Bob's surname was one of the biggest risers on the popularity charts for girls in 2008, with spellings Marlee and Marely also leaping in favor. Also used for boys, Marley is one of the top unisex names in the US.
ADVERTISEMENT

PaisleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "church, cemetery"
  • Description:

    For a name related to a Scottish town, a richly patterned Indian fabric, and a country singer named Brad, Paisley has been a remarkable success story. She entered the Top 1000 in 2006, and broke into the Top 50 for the first time in 2015, and is now one of the most popular girl names that start with P.

HaileyHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Scottish clan name
  • Meaning:

    "Hay's meadow"
  • Description:

    There are no less than ten different variations of Hailey on the current Most Popular list, but this is the spelling that brought it into the Top 10 of 2010, although it has recently dipped a bit in popularity. So, although Hailey has a shiny, unpretentious charm, its mass popularity makes it very much of the moment. Look for the Hailee spelling to rise via Hailee Steinfeld, the young actress Oscar-nominated for her performance in True Grit.

AshleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "dweller near the ash tree meadow"
  • Description:

    Ashley was a sensation in the 1980s and 1990s; it hit Number 1 in 1991. Ashley is still pretty but more and more parents are turning to newer names like Ashlyn and Aubrey, and spellings such as Ashleigh and Ashlea. If you hear the name Ashley in a playground today, it's more likely to be the mom than the little girl.

BentleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "meadow with coarse grass"
  • Description:

    Bentley, a somewhat stuffy British surname, previously associated primarily with an incredibly expensive English car, has had a recent surge in popularity, thanks largely to the reality TV shows 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, with Bentley being the name of the son of breakout star Maci (another new favorite) Bookout.

BaileyHeart

  • Origin:

    Occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "law enforcer, bailiff"
  • Description:

    Bailey -- a jaunty surname -- was first used for a female TV character in 1978 in the show WKRP in Cincinnaati, then caught on big time. Bailey's still an appealing choice, though, and a celebrity fave. Parents of daughters named Bailey include Scot Baio and Stella McCartney.
ADVERTISEMENT

StanleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "near the stony clearing"
  • Description:

    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.

KingsleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "king's meadow"
  • Description:

    Kingsley is a sophisticated Harry Potter name that entered the US Top 1000 in 2013.

BrinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "burnt meadow"
  • Description:

    Brinley was a surprise entrant to the girls’ names list in 2009, coming in at Number 778; it has since risen to Number 337. We've also seen it spelled Brinlee, Brinlea and Brinleigh.

HarleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "hare clearing"
  • Description:

    You can ride one, you can use it as a baby name – or, as is often the case, both! Harley is currently trending up for girls and down for boys in the US, although it remains predominantly masculine in the UK. A lesser-used -ley ending choice for boys, Harley has a current sound but an old-school biker appeal.

WileyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish diminutive of William, German, English
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection; from Wylye"
  • Description:

    Wiley is a perfectly appropriate way to spell the Scottish name also known as Wylie. Given all the babies named William and Liam today, Wiley or Wylie can be a wonderful variation that's more distinctive but still honors Grandpa Bill. Wiley might also be considered an Attitude Name, given that its other meaning lends it a lot of sass.
ADVERTISEMENT

BradleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "wide meadow"
  • Description:

    An English surname name, Bradley has a long history, dating way back to at least 1086, but as a first name it actually succeeded in the US before it reached England--though Dickens used it in his novel Our Mutual Friend. Bradley Cooper is one namesake.

HayleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "hay field"
  • Description:

    It all started in 1946, when Hayley Mills was given her mother's maiden name. Now that spelling is in third place, after Hailey and Haley, with all three adding up to one of the most popular names in the country. Hayley is the most used spelling in Australia.

PresleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "priest's meadow"
  • Description:

    For those not ready to name their daughters Elvis; and used more often than you might think ever since Tanya Tucker chose it for her little girl.

HenleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "high meadow"
  • Description:

    The name of a British town on the Thames that hosts a famous regatta, so it could be an appropriate middle name for the son of boat-lovers.

RipleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "strip of clearing in the woods"
  • Description:

    The name Ripley reflects the powerful character played by Sigourney Weaver in the Alien films; it was chosen by actress Thandie Newton for her daughter.
ADVERTISEMENT

TinsleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname
  • Meaning:

    "Tynni's meadow"
  • Description:

    New York socialite Tinsley Mortimer introduced this one to the hoi polloi. Its similarity to the trendy Kinsley boosts its profile. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2016.

HurleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "sea tide"
  • Description:

    Hurley is a middle name possibility, though kids might make malicious fun of the first syllable. Hurley may join the gang of trendy new girls' surname-names ending with the lee sound, such as Mosley and Yardley.

KinleyHeart

  • Description:

    An invented name that might be derived from the Irish surname McKinley.

MckinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the fair hero"
  • Description:

    Presidential name that makes a fresh substitute for MacKenzie or McKenna. Possible spelling variations include MacKinley, MacKinlee, Makinleigh ad almost infinitum. McKinley is one of the Scottish names for girls that can work equally well for boys.

MileyHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    One-time overnight success name, thanks to Hannah Montana actress and singer Miley Cyrus, Miley has fallen quickly from her peak of Number 127 in 2008. For Miley Cyrus, Miley was a childhood nickname (because she was so smiley); Destiny is her real name. Miley is a good lesson in avoiding trendy names. Popular opinion of the source can sour leaving a fresh name looking dated.
ADVERTISEMENT

RidleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "cleared wood"
  • Description:

    Director Ridley Scott made this one known, but few parents would get beyond the negative first syllable.

CharleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Charlie
  • Description:

    Charlie and its many forms are on the rise -- including Charley, which relates more directly to the male formal name Charles. Surprisingly, though, while the number of girls and boys named Charlie are nearly even, there are six times as many girls named Charley than boys. The Charley spelling is now a fixture in the Top 600, though it remains less popular than Charlee for girls.

ArleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "from the rabbit meadow"
  • Description:

    Sounds a bit like Harley pronounced with a cockney accent.

FarleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "fern clearing"
  • Description:

    Actor Farley Granger set it in motion, now could be a gentler alternative to Harley.

AdleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Hadley
  • Description:

    Adley made the Top 1000 at Number 735 in 2012 on the heels of sister name Hadley, only to vanish again in 2013. But now, with the popularity of Adelaide and Adeline, it has leaped upward and entered the Top 1000 once again. Adley feels in step with name trends of the moment, but will it survive the ages? Other such mashups have not.
ADVERTISEMENT

KeeleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "slender"
  • Description:

    The one that's not Kelly or Kaylee.

ValleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    A natural phenomenon that makes a plausible baby name.

BerkeleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "where birches grow"
  • Description:

    The Brits say BARK-lee, but we pronounce it the same as the name of the California college: either way it's quite pretentious and of another era.

HartleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "stag meadow"
  • Description:

    Brisk and businesslike, with a can-do image...and a little heart too.

DaleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "assembly, gathering"
  • Description:

    Much stronger than Dale for a boy.
ADVERTISEMENT

QuigleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "from the mother's side"
  • Description:

    The spoiled only son of the richest family in town in a fifties movie.

IsleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Eisele, German
  • Meaning:

    "blacksmith"
  • Description:

    A surnamier take on Isla. Isley may be derived from the German occupational surname Eisele (of the same pronunciation), or be related to the Old English word hesli, meaning "hazel grove."

WhitleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "white meadow"
  • Description:

    Eighties spin on megapopular Whitney.

LesleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Leslie
  • Description:

    Lesley runs a distant second to more popular sister Leslie, used for just over 50 baby girls in one recent year vs. Leslie's 700+. And interestingly, no baby boys were named Lesley though 45 were named Leslie. Once one of the most widely-used girl names starting with L, Lesley and Leslie now trail behind trendy L-starting girl names like Layla and Lily.
ADVERTISEMENT

SibleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Sybil, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "seer, oracle"
  • Description:

    Meet my sibling, Sibley. Joking aside, Sibley sounds more possible than ever thanks to its trendy -ley ending and the new stylishness of big sister name Sybil.

BrileyHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Similar to Brielle and Riley, this name lags quite far behind these more common variations. It peaked at Number 622 in 2009 in the US, but it is now descending the ranks.

LangleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "long meadow"
  • Description:

    Better for an Air Force base than a baby.

LinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Linley is one of the trendy new girls' names created from two popular halves, Lin and Ley. All names Ley ending are popular right now, with Oakley, Bexley, and Riley picking up where Ashley left off. Nearly 100 baby girls were named Linley in one recent year, so it's closing in on the Top 1000.
ADVERTISEMENT
Loading ...