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Updated May 24, 2023

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Girl name origins & meanings

  • English : Marshy meadow; pleasant meadow 

What Does Marley Mean and Stand For? 

The name Marley comes from English origin, meaning a marshy or pleasant meadow. It was first used as a last name in the 12th century, but became a common first name by the end of the 20th century. It is a popular name that can be used for babies of any gender. 


Syllables: 2

Girl name variations

How Popular Is The Name Marley

Family name origins & meanings

  • English : habitational name from any of the various places so called, for example in Devon, Kent, and West Yorkshire. According to Ekwall, the first element of these place names is respectively Old English (ge)mǣre ‘boundary’, myrig ‘pleasant’, and mearð ‘(pine) marten’. The second element in each case is Old English lēah ‘woodland clearing’. This surname was taken to Ireland by a Northumbrian family who settled there in the 17th century.

What Does the Name Marley Mean? 

Marley is a gender-neutral name of English origin, meaning a "pleasant or marshy meadow." It was originally a last name comprised of the elements marten and leah, but has become an increasingly popular first name since the end of the 20th century.

Marley is one of the top unisex names in the U.S., but is typically used as a name for girls. 

How Popular is the Name Marley? 

Marley is the #211 most popular name in the U.S., according to Social Security Administration data. It has been consistently popular since the year 2000. However, it is the 3rd most popular name on 

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Marley was at its peak popularity in February 2018. 

Popularity of the Name Marley in the United States 

Marley was searched for most often in the following states: 

  • Maryland
  • Maine
  • Hawaii 
  • New Hampshire
  • District of Columbia 

Famous People Named Marley and Marley in Pop Culture 

Late Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley is the most famous person with the name Marley. Other famous Marley's include American actress Marley Shelton, and Welsh soccer player Marley Watkins. 

Marley is a popular name choice for celebrity babies, and has been chosen by NFL player DeMarcus Ware, actor Jordan Young, singer Julia Fordham, and NASCAR driver Dexter Bean. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt even chose Marley as a middle name for their daughter Zahara. 

In pop culture, Marley is commonly associated with the dog from the 2008 film Marley & Me. Marley is also the name of a character from the TV show Glee, and Jacob Marley is a character from Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol

Pairs Well with These Middle Names 

Appears on 

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