Meaning and Origins of the name Leslie

Leslie is a name of probably Gaelic origin, derived from a place in Scotland, Lesslyn in Aberdeenshire, and meaning either ‘garden of hollies’ or ‘from the grey fortress’. Leslie was originally the surname of a large lowland clan in Scotland that was founded by a Hungarian nobleman in the 11th century but began to be used as a first name the 1800’s, and then became popular as a girl’s name in American during the 20th century, rising to prominence during the sixties.

Variations of the Name

There are several variations on the name, including Lezlee, Lesleigh, Lesly, Lezlie; the last of which is closest to the original Scottish pronunciation. Leslie also lends itself well to nicknames, such as Les, Lessie and Essy.


While Leslie is not currently a popular girls name among Scottish families, it is still in the top three hundred female names in America, while the use of it as a boy’s name has been steadily dying out.

Celebrities Called Leslie

There have been several famous actresses with the name Leslie, such as Leslie Bibb (who starred in ‘Iron Man’), Leslie Mann (who starred in ‘Knocked Up’)and Leslie Caron (a French actresses).

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