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Lesley is a beloved traditional baby name. Reminiscent of Scottish nobility, the name held widespread appeal throughout the 20th century. Lesley Smiles is the name of a character in the CJ the DJ series, and Lesley Webber was a favorite character in the iconic General Hospital series. Keep reading to learn more about this name.

Meaning of the Name Lesley

Lesley is a spelling variation of the name Leslie. The name Leslie derives from a surname and region located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It originated as an anglicized version of the Gaelic phrase Leas Celyn (meaning “holly garden”), and it later became a given name. Traditionally, parents used the names Leslie for boys and Lesley for girls. Eventually, both Leslie and Lesley became notable as gender-neutral names throughout the 20th century.

Lesley is an alternative spelling of Leslie (meaning “holly garden”). It is a place name as well as the namesake of Scotland's Clan Leslie. As prominent Lowlanders, members of the Clan Leslie have a rich history in the council area of Aberdeenshire. According to the clan, the family progenitor was a Hungarian nobleman named Bartolf. He arrived in Scotland during the 11th century and built a castle in Leas Celyn. The spelling of this location evolved into Lesselyn, eventually producing the anglicized versions of Lesley and Leslie. Symbols of the Clan Leslie include the griffin and the rue plant. The clan motto is “grip fast.”

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Nicknames for Lesley

The name Lesley evokes feelings of limelight and luxury. It can be difficult to base a nickname off of the name Leslie. Luckily that gives you the opportunity to come up with your own unique nickname.

Lesley Name Details

Style: Traditional

Gender: Neutral

Pronunciation: LEHZ-lee

Syllables: Two

Alternative Spelling for Lesley

  • Leslie
  • Leslee 
  • Lesleigh
  • Lesly
  • Leslea
  • Lezley
  • Lezlie
  • Lezlee
  • Leslye
  • Lezleigh

Lesley Name Popularity

According to the Social Security Administration index, Lesley was the 948th most popular baby name for boys in 1977. Lesley was the 817th most popular baby name for girls in 2007.

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Great Middle Names for Lesley and Their Meanings

  • Augustine (great, magnificent, venerable)
  • Brendan (prince, chieftain, raven)
  • Connor (friend of hounds)
  • Dylan (son of the sea)
  • Morgan (sea chieftain, great queen)
  • Nyles (cloud, champion)
  • Reagan (little ruler)
  • Santana (holy grace, follower of Saint Anne)
  • Sherman (cloth cutter, shearer of wool)
  • Tremaine (stone settlement)
  • Yarnell (eagle's domain)

Famous People Named Lesley

  • Lesley Jane Dunlop (actress)
  • Lesley Sue Goldstein (singer)
  • Lesley Diana Joseph (actress)
  • Lesley Doreen Langley (pageant titleholder)
  • Lesley “Twiggy” Lawson (supermodel)
  • Lesley Ann Manville (actress)
  • Lesley Marie Rumball (netball player)
  • Lesley Rosemary Turner (tennis player)
  • Lesley Ann Warren (actress)
  • Lesley Candace Visser (sportscaster)
  • Lesley (character in the Mobile Legends series)
  • Lesley Smiles (character in the CJ the DJ series)
  • Lesley University (school in Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • Lesley Webber (character in the General Hospital series)
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