How popular is the baby name Linley in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Linley and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Linley.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Linley

Number of Babies Named Linley

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Linley

What Launched Lynley?

carol lynley, model, actress
© 1957 LIFE

Precocious teen model-turned-actress Carol Lynley was in the spotlight from the late ’50s onward. In 1957 she was featured on the cover of LIFE magazine, for instance, and in 1958 she played Rapunzel on TV.

But the name-like surname Lynley didn’t pop up in the SSA data until 1962:

  • 1965: 7 baby girls named Lynley
  • 1964: 10 baby girls named Lynley
  • 1963: 12 baby girls named Lynley
  • 1962: 10 baby girls named Lynley [debut]
  • 1961: unlisted

The name Lynlee also debuted that year, and the name Linley starting being used more often for girls.

Carol Lynley is clearly the influence here, but it’s hard to pin down the reason. She appeared in two movies in 1961, and on several TV shows in 1962, but these things aren’t particularly notable — she’d been in movies and on TV before.

My best guess is that the marketing campaign for Return to Peyton Place (1961) drew new attention to her name. Even though the sequel to Peyton Place flopped, Lynley’s starring role ensured that she was featured prominently in advertisements, including TV commercials.

Carol Lynley was born Carole Jones in 1942. (It was the year that Carole Lombard died in a plane crash; lots of parents opted for Carole-with-an-e in 1942.) When Jones started modelling, she chose to go by the name Carolyn Lee. But when she started acting, she altered the name to Carol Lynley because another actress had already claimed “Carolyn Lee.”

Do you like the name Lynley? If you were going to use it, how would you spell it?

Source: “Letters to the Editors.” Life 13 May 1957: 16.


Five-Name Friday: Girl Name for Will’s Sister

five name friday, girl name

It’s an unseasonably warm day, so you decide to take a walk around the neighborhood. At one point you encounter a nice lady with a little boy in a stroller. As the two of you chat, the lady mentions that she and her husband are now expecting a baby girl, but they aren’t sure what to name her. Here’s the gist of the situation:

We are naming baby number 2, our son’s name is William “Will” Michael. I like Annabel, Linley & Ava but he likes McKenna, Keira & Campbell.

“Do you have any suggestions?”

You’re a name-lover, and you could potentially give her dozens of suggestions on the spot. But her young son is starting to get cranky, so you decide to stick to five baby name suggestions so the lady can get on with her day.

But here’s the fun part: Instead of blurting out the first five names you come up with, you get to press a magical “pause” button, think for a bit, and then “unpause” the scenario to offer him the best five names you can think of.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you brainstorm:

  • Be independent. Decide on your five names before looking at anyone else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Would you honestly suggest these particular baby names out loud to a stranger in public?
  • Five names only! All names beyond the first five in your comment will be either deleted or replaced with nonsense words.

Finally, here’s the request again:

We are naming baby number 2, our son’s name is William “Will” Michael. I like Annabel, Linley & Ava but he likes McKenna, Keira & Campbell.

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

[To send in your own 2-sentence baby name request, here are the directions, and here’s the contact form.]

How Do You Feel About Your Name, Linley?

“I absolutely detest my first name,” says Linley, a 31-year-old from West Virginia.

No one can ever spell my name correctly on the first go. I’ve been called everything from Liz to Lisa to Leslie to Linny. I get mail all the time for Mr. Linley, which is just annoying. I’ve also been put into boy’s gym classes (“Leslie” is a popular male name in my area) in high school, which was not only annoying but embarrassing.

Linley does like that her name was the result of a compromise between her parents, though:

I was adopted, and at the orphanage they were calling me “Beth”. Afraid that I would be “confused,” my parents kept the Beth as my middle name. My dad wanted Lynn for my name, and my mom wanted Ashley, so they combined the two to get “Linley.”

And she concedes that her name is “definitely different”:

The only other “Linley” names I have come across are surnames, not first names.

Indeed, the name Linley has never ranked as a popular baby name in the U.S. — for males or for females. As a locational surname, it was derived from two Old English elements, the first of which meant either “flax” or “lime tree” (depending on the specific source) and the second of which meant “clearing, glade.”

Thanks, Linley!