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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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 by Paula McLain 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. Adley, a mashup of Hadley and Addie, has also appeared on the scene.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. One quality in Ainsley's favor: It's remained steadily popular -- but not TOO popular -- for more than 20 years now, ranking consistently around Number 400. That makes it stylish and familiar without showing up everywhere.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. KingsleyHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "king's meadow"
    • Description:

      Kingsley is a sophisticated Harry Potter name that entered the US Top 1000 in 2013.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.