Gender Feminine & Masculine
Usage English
Pronounced Pron. SHUR-lee  [key·IPA]

Meaning & History

From an English surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "bright clearing" in Old English. This is the name of a main character in Charlotte Brontë's semi-autobiographical novel Shirley (1849). Though the name was already popular in the United States, the child actress Shirley Temple (1928-2014) gave it a further boost. By 1935 it was the second most common name for girls.

Related Names

VariantsShirlee, Sherley
User SubmissionShirley



Entry updated January 21, 2022