National Ashley Day is celebrated on November 8 every year. Though the origins of the day remain, it is likely that it was created to appreciate all the Ashleys in the world. The name is derived from the Old English ‘æsc’ (ash) and ‘lēah’ (forest glade) and referenced a meadow where ash trees grew. It soon became an English family name. Ashley has been used to name both boys and girls across history. The first half of the 20th century saw Ashley being used commonly to name boys, but by the mid-1990s, Ashley had become a common girl’s name.
History of National Ashley Day
A name is a term used to identify a specific individual. It is usually paired with a family name to give a person both an individual identity along with a sense of community. The history of names goes back farther than written or oral history itself. It is believed most names had an original meaning, are usually descriptive, and derived from a noun or an adjective. Many of them were also compounds. Historians suggest that some descriptive names began to be used repeatedly until they formed a name pool for a particular culture. Parents would name their children from the existing pool, rather than invent new ones. Over time, languages changed and people migrated, but names remained comparatively static, fossilized relics of a word no longer in use.
The rise of Christianity led to a few changes in naming practices. Christians were encouraged to name their children after saints and martyrs. Very often these names were of Jewish origin and Greco-Roman. The Norman conquest of England in 1066 brought French names with Germanic origins to prominence. All major events and cultural shifts have impacted the naming pool of cultures to some degree.
Ashley, for instance, is from the Old English “æsc” (ash) and “lēah” (forest glade) and referenced a meadow where ash trees grew. It soon became an English family name. Ashley has been used to name both boys and girls across history. The first half of the 20th century saw Ashley being used commonly to name boys, but by the mid-1990s, Ashley had become a common girl’s name.
National Ashley Day timeline
The earliest known name, Kushim, is recorded on a clay tablet.
Old English is brought to Britain by the Anglo-Saxons.
The earliest literatures in Old English are written.
Ashley becomes a popular girl’s name.
National Ashley Day FAQs
How old is the name Ashley?
The Ashley family name was found in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920.
Is Ashley still a popular girl name?
The name Ashley has maintained its standing in the top 200 most popular girl names. Despite its slight decline in popularity, it’s still more popular than its sister spelling, Ashleigh.
Is Ashley an Irish name?
The name Ashley doesn’t necessarily hail from Ireland.
National Ashley Day Activities
Appreciate an Ashley
Do you have a lovely Ashley in your life? Go and show them your appreciation.
Look up the etymology of your name
Your name is bound to be interesting. Look up the origin of your own name.
Listen to an Ashley’s music
Many Ashleys like Halsey have become musicians. Listen to their music today.
5 Interesting Facts About Names
The same name
There are 4,700 people who have the same exact first and last name in the United States.
The name a parent picks out for their baby often reveals their political beliefs.
The most popular girl’s name
Overall, Mary has been the most popular girl’s name in the past 100 years.
The most popular boy’s name
Overall, Michael has been the most popular boy’s name in the past 100 years.
Depending on where you are in the world, your surname either follows or comes before your first name.
Why We Love National Ashley Day
It’s a fun history lesson
Names have a fascinating history. Learning about a particular name is always a fun history lesson!
It reminds us of words long passed
Certain names are like fossils. Names like Ashley, an Old English name, are reminders of words long passed out of the popular lexicon.
It’s fun to appreciate people you love
We love appreciating people we care for. Any excuse to do more of it is fine by us!
National Ashley Day dates