a male or female given name.
Contemporary Examples

Both the show and its lead, Ashley Judd, scored nominations in the incredibly shrinking miniseries and movie category.
2012 Emmy Nomination Snubs & Surprises: ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Girls,’ ‘The Good Wife’ Jace Lacob July 18, 2012

However naive Ashley may have been when she got involved with escorting—and weren’t we all!
Call Girls Out-Class Mistresses Tracy Quan December 5, 2009

As for Romney, Ashley dismisses him as “a RINO”—Republican In Name Only.
A Less Inflammatory Newt Gingrich Tones It Down in the Florida Primary Howard Kurtz January 25, 2012

His widow, Ashley, said her husband had always told her that the nation would take care of them if anything happened to him.
Death Benefit Scandal Is the Government Shutdown’s Ultimate Insult Michael Daly October 9, 2013

Ashley Blanchet churns through “The Locomotion,” as Little Eva, who, of course, baby sat for King and Goffin.
‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ Review: A Few Discordant Notes, But Damn Great Songs Daniel Gross January 12, 2014

Historical Examples

If it was too late for this gentleman’s letter, it was too late for Mr. Ashley’s.
Mrs. Halliburton’s Troubles Mrs. Henry Wood

Of course, it was absolutely necessary to abandon the flat in Ashley Gardens.
A Great Man Arnold Bennett

In that manufactory Mr. Ashley was William’s master, and he believed he had no resource but to comply with his desire.
Mrs. Halliburton’s Troubles Mrs. Henry Wood

“You exceeded orders, and you ought to be court-martialed,” said General Ashley.
Pluck on the Long Trail Edwin L. Sabin

Nothing of this was in Ashley’s mind as he watched the water lapping at the beach-side of the transports.
Stanford Stories Charles K. Field

Jack, Baron. 1922–2012, British Labour politician and campaigner for deaf and disabled people
Laura. 1925–85, British designer, who built up a successful chain of retail stores selling dresses and fabrics based on traditional English patterns

fem. proper name, all but unknown before c.1965; one of the most popular names for girls born in U.S. from c.1980; evidently inspired by the surname Ashley, Ashleigh (attested from 12c.), which means “clearing among the ash trees,” from Old English æsc + leah (see ash (n.2) + lea).


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