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Origin: South Africa
Region Origin: Southern Africa

Ashley is a gender-neutral name of Old English origin, meaning "ash tree meadow". It is derived from the combination of the words "æsc" (ash) and "leah" (meadow or forest glade). Ashley was originally an Old English surname and has been used as both a male and female name. In the 1960s, it started being used for girls as well. The name is popular in both the UK and the United States, ranking in the top 50-300 names for boys in the UK and being more commonly given to girls in the United States. The origin of the name Ashley can be traced back to England in the 1500s, where it was initially a last name. It gained popularity in the 1800s due to Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, a social reformer and politician. In the United States, the name Ashley became popular in the 1980s, with spelling variations such as Ashlee, Ashleigh, and Ashlie also in use. Notable people named Ashley include Ashley Ambrose (American football), Ashley Banjo (English dancer), and Ashley Barnes (English footballer). The name Ashley symbolizes strength, bravery, and a connection to nature.

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