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It means either 'Thorn wood/clearing' or 'Thunor's wood/clearing'. Thunor being the Old English thunder god.
-- Beornhild  10/11/2006
I like it. 'Thorleigh' would be a cool spelling, too.
-- Aureliano  3/2/2010
Derived from the English locational surname #Thorley#, which itself is derived from the name of one of three villages in England (one is located in the county of Hertfordshire, another in Lancashire and the third on the Isle of Wight). All three villages are said to derive their name from Old English #├żorn# "thorn" and Old English #leah# "clearing (in a wood), glade", which gives their name the meaning of "the thorny glade". However, it should be noted that one source claims that the name (of at least one of the villages) is actually derived from the name of the Norse god Thor and Old English #leah# "clearing (in a wood), glade", in which case the meaning is "Thor's glade".

- (in English)
- (in English)
- see page 217 of "Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary" written by Henry Harrison:
- (in English)
-- Lucille  2/15/2016

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