Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Ashley

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, Gaelic, Irish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 67
Simple meaning:
Clearing among ash trees

Characteristics of Ashley

  • Mystical
  • Wise
  • Eccentric
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Philosophical
  • Solitary

Etymology & Historical Origin - Ashley

Ashley originated as an English surname turned masculine name turned unisex name turned female name. That’s quite a journey! As the transferred use of a surname, Ashley comes from the Olde English elements “æsc” meaning “ash” and “leah” meaning “clearing, meadow”. It would have originally described a clearing among ash trees, and the surname would have been assigned to a person who hailed from such a topographical region. In Norse mythology, the first man created by the gods was formed from an ash tree. The Celts, impressed with its massive size, associated the ash tree with power, expansion and scale. Its girth, height, and deeply complex root system were all metaphors for the spiritually minded Celtic people. In both Norse/Viking and Celtic folklore, the ash tree was mainly a symbol of protectiveness. Like a gentle giant, the ash tree was also a guardian of children and a healing agent for childhood illnesses. As a given name, Ashley was first recorded in the 16th century; although, it was almost exclusively given to boys back then. In recent years however, the name has gotten in touch with her feminine side iand is now almost entirely restricted to baby girls. Aside from Ashley’s surname roots, the name may also share etymological beginnings borrowed from the Irish. The name “Ainslinn” (pronounced ash + ling) derives from the Gaelic word “aisling” meaning “dream, vision”. The type of dream is specific to a vision of a beautiful woman from the spirit world. Once dreamt, the dreamer can no longer be content again.

Popularity of the Name Ashley

The name Ashley is technically a unisex name, but it’s no longer used for boys so we’re exclusively categorizing it as female. Ashley does appear on the American charts for boys intermittently in the past 100 years, but only at very low levels of success. For girls, it’s quite a different story. Considered a more modern moniker for girls, Ashley became a fast favorite in the 1980s; she struck with a fury seldom seen. It is thought that the influence came from a character named Ashley Abbott on the popular soap opera “The Young and the Restless.” Ashley actually enjoyed the #1 spot for two consecutive years (1991-1992); an honor very few names can claim. The name has been dropping more aggressively since 2005 but she still maintains Top 50 status (although barely).
Popularity of the Girl Name Ashley
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Ashley

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Ashley

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Ashley

    Ashley Wilkes (Gone with the Wind) ok, so this is a male character, but we were having trouble locating significant female literary characters by the name of Ashley. Ashley Wilkes is a central character in Margret Mitchell’s 1936 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “Gone with the Wind.” He is the blond, honorable and quintessential southern man from an excellent family who serves as juxtaposition to the dark, opportunistic character of Rhett Butler. Ashley initially courts Scarlett O’Hara but eventually marries the kind and noble Melanie Hamilton, thus setting into motion Scarlett’s central conflict in the novel.

  • Popular Songs on Ashley

    Popular Songs on Ashley

    Ashley - a song by Marla Sokoloff

    Ashley - a song by Escape the Fate

    Ashley Falls - an Irish song by the Young Dubliners

    Ashley’s Song - a song by GrandBob

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Ashley

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Ashley

    Deadly Waters (Gloria Skurzynski) - While visiting the Everglades National Park with their parents, the Landon children (Jack and Ashley) uncover the mystery of dying manatees and learn important lessons about the natural environment. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Rage of Fire (Gloria Skurzynski) - Jack, Ashley, and their parents visit Hawaii where they meet a Vietnamese boy who is going to live with his American grandfather whom he has never met, and are pursued by the Goddess Pele. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story (Mary Downing Hahn) - Ashley and her best friend Kristi find an old doll in the garden of Miss Cooper's house, which Ashley and her mother have just moved into. But their discoveries are just beginning- they soon find out they came travel into the past. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    The Hunted (Gloria Skurzynski) - The Landon family has come to Montana's Glacier National Park to help figure out why grizzly cubs are disappearing. But for 12-year-old Jack, the real mystery is his sister Ashley's strange behavior. What was she doing in the woods alone so early in the morning? And why did she lie to their parents? A chain of heart-pounding events bring Jack and Ashley face-to-face with an enraged mama grizzly, and they find themselves running for their lives as they become the hunted. Recommended for ages 9-12.

  • Famous People Named Ashley

    Famous People Named Ashley

    Famous People Named Ashley - Ashley Judd (actress); Ashley Olsen (actress); Ashley Tisdale (actor)

  • Children of Famous People Named Ashley

    Children of Famous People Named Ashley

    Famous People who Named their Child Ashley - Alanna Stewart (model); Barry Gibb (musician); Debbi Fields (businesswoman); Evander Holyfield (boxer); George Hamilton (actor); Glen Campbell (musician); Howard Stern (radio personality); Joseph Biden (politician)

  • Historic Figures

    Ashley - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Ashley - We cannot find any people of historical significance with the first name Ashley.

Personality of the Girl Name Ashley

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Variations of the Baby Name - Ashley

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