Shirley

First Name
695k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
27k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
First
Last
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How to Pronounce Shirley

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Shirley mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Shirley

"Shirley" is a name of English origin, and it means "Bright Meadow". It's a name commonly given to girls.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Shir"ley
The bullfinch.
Wiktionary

English place name form Old English scīr (“county”) + lēah (“meadow”). More at shire, leigh.

  1. An English habitational surname
  2. (rarely) A male given name transferred from the surname.
  3. A female given name transferred from the surname. Popular from the 1920s to the 1950s.
  4. Any of various places in England, including suburbs of London, Birmingham and Southampton.

Notable Persons Named Shirley

Shirley MacLaine is an actress, singer, dancer, author, and activist. She was most prominent from 1953 to present. Shirley was given the name Shirley MacLean Beaty on April 24th, 1934 in Richmond, Virginia, U.S.

Popularity:

Shirley Temple was a film actress, tv actress/entertainer, public servant, film actress (1932–50), tv actress/entertainer (1958–65), and public servant (1969–92). Her most notable accomplishments were from 1932 to present. Shirley was born Shirley Temple on April 23rd, 1928 in , U.S. She left this life on February 10th, 2014.

Popularity:

Shirley Jones is a singer and actress. She has had major accomplishments since 1953. Shirley was given the name Shirley Mae Jones on March 31st, 1934 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Popularity:

Shirley Chisholm was a Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus and Democratic Caucus Vice-Chairman of the United States House of Representatives. Shirley was born on November 30th, 1924 in New York City, New York, U.S. She breathed her last breath on January 1st, 2005.

Popularity:

Shelley Winters was an actress and actor. She was most active from 1943 to 2006. Shelley was given the name Shirley Schrift on August 18th, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. She passed away on January 14th, 2006.

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Dame Shirley Bassey is a traditional pop music, adult contemporary music, and pop music musician. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1953 to present. Dame was given the name Shirley Veronica Bassey on January 8th, 1937 in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales.

Popularity:

Notable Persons With the Last Name Shirley

Belle was given the name Myra Maybelle Shirley on February 5th, 1848 in Carthage, Missouri. She breathed her last breath on February 3rd, 1889.

Popularity:

Anne Shirley was an actress. She was most active from 1922 to 1922. Anne was given the name Dawn Evelyeen Paris on April 17th, 1918 in New York City, New York, U.S. Anne is also known as Dawn O'Day. She passed away on July 4th, 1993.

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Dame Stephanie Shirley is a medician. She holds the title Steve Shirley's voice. Dame was born on September 16th, 1933 in Dortmund, Germany.

Popularity:

Kevin Shirley is a musician. He has been prominent since 1970. Kevin was born on June 29th, 1960 in South Africa. Kevin is also known as The Caveman.

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Jerry Shirley is a rock music and hard rock drummer and musician. He plays Drum kit, Percussion instrument, and Keyboard instrument. He has been prominent since 1969. Jerry was born Jerry Shirley on February 4th, 1952.

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John Shirley is a novelist, short story, screenwriter, songwriter, and short story writer. John was born on February 10th, 1953 in Houston.

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How popular is the baby name Shirley in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born Ranking
1880 18 8 10
1881 7 0 7
1882 20 9 11
1883 31 18 13
1884 29 18 11
1885 33 16 17
1886 33 16 17
1887 29 20 9
1888 46 32 14
1889 55 42 13
1890 59 40 19
1891 50 35 15
1892 73 58 15
1893 67 52 15
1894 69 47 22
1895 71 43 28
1896 67 55 12
1897 81 61 20
1898 85 70 15
1899 88 74 14
1900 142 110 32
1901 105 95 10
1902 126 104 22
1903 119 102 17
1904 162 138 24
1905 178 162 16
1906 210 187 23
1907 264 247 17
1908 306 284 22
1909 314 281 33
1910 342 318 24
1911 397 362 35
1912 555 489 66
1913 797 684 113
1914 1,047 906 141
1915 1,306 1,135 171
1916 1,400 1,245 155
1917 1,973 1,801 172
1918 2,836 2,654 182 #98 girl name
1919 3,346 3,149 197 #89 girl name
1920 4,910 4,714 196 #56 girl name
1921 5,921 5,694 227 #44 girl name
1922 6,637 6,408 229 #39 girl name
1923 8,150 7,919 231 #26 girl name
1924 9,714 9,488 226 #19 girl name
1925 10,736 10,513 223 #17 girl name
1926 11,976 11,762 214 #14 girl name
1927 13,554 13,312 242 #9 girl name
1928 14,460 14,211 249 #10 girl name
1929 14,841 14,578 263 #9 girl name
1930 15,052 14,779 273 #11 girl name
1931 14,643 14,404 239 #9 girl name
1932 14,715 14,473 242 #9 girl name
1933 14,527 14,314 213 #9 girl name
1934 23,129 22,841 288 #4 girl name
1935 42,789 42,354 435 #2 girl name
1936 35,542 35,161 381 #2 girl name
1937 27,153 26,816 337 #4 girl name
1938 24,034 23,769 265 #5 girl name
1939 20,685 20,447 238 #5 girl name
1940 18,090 17,876 214 #9 girl name
1941 17,125 16,951 174 #10 girl name
1942 17,949 17,744 205 #12 girl name
1943 18,004 17,818 186 #12 girl name
1944 16,436 16,308 128 #15 girl name
1945 16,293 16,150 143 #14 girl name
1946 18,012 17,867 145 #18 girl name
1947 17,773 17,649 124 #19 girl name
1948 16,198 16,127 71 #20 girl name
1949 17,360 17,277 83 #18 girl name
1950 15,976 15,894 82 #19 girl name
1951 13,992 13,914 78 #27 girl name
1952 12,597 12,531 66 #28 girl name
1953 12,208 12,139 69 #29 girl name
1954 10,982 10,916 66 #33 girl name
1955 9,798 9,747 51 #37 girl name
1956 9,480 9,426 54 #41 girl name
1957 8,912 8,850 62 #46 girl name
1958 8,144 8,091 53 #52 girl name
1959 7,325 7,284 41 #61 girl name
1960 6,458 6,411 47 #70 girl name
1961 5,667 5,631 36 #85 girl name
1962 4,908 4,872 36 #96 girl name
1963 4,411 4,384 27 #99 girl name
1964 3,991 3,964 27
1965 3,400 3,369 31
1966 2,956 2,920 36
1967 2,543 2,512 31
1968 2,157 2,144 13
1969 1,890 1,865 25
1970 1,648 1,629 19
1971 1,604 1,586 18
1972 1,349 1,336 13
1973 1,163 1,156 7
1974 1,021 1,009 12
1975 881 875 6
1976 846 834 12
1977 776 776 0
1978 656 647 9
1979 678 671 7
1980 612 604 8
1981 579 579 0
1982 608 601 7
1983 517 507 10
1984 481 476 5
1985 499 494 5
1986 441 436 5
1987 464 458 6
1988 468 462 6
1989 456 456 0
1990 472 472 0
1991 446 446 0
1992 454 449 5
1993 412 405 7
1994 379 379 0
1995 342 342 0
1996 339 339 0
1997 333 333 0
1998 293 293 0
1999 231 231 0
2000 259 259 0
2001 305 305 0
2002 259 259 0
2003 313 313 0
2004 240 240 0
2005 284 284 0
2006 248 248 0
2007 287 287 0
2008 303 303 0
2009 232 232 0
2010 178 178 0
2011 188 188 0
2012 176 176 0
2013 173 173 0
2014 202 202 0
2015 181 181 0
2016 168 168 0

Explain the Trends

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Where is the name Shirley popular?

View popular names by state or region.

Popularity of Shirley as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Shirley as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in West Virginia, Arkansas, or Mississippi.

Popularity of Shirley as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Shirley as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in South Carolina, Alabama, or New Mexico.

Common last names for Shirley

  • Smith
  • Johnson
  • Brown
  • Williams
  • Miller
  • Jones
  • Davis
  • Anderson
  • Wilson
  • Taylor
  • Moore
  • Martin
  • Thompson
  • Thomas
  • Jackson
  • White
  • Harris
  • Clark
  • Lewis
  • Hall

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Shirley U.S.
  White 82.63% 64.26%
  African American 9.10% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.62% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 3.33% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.08% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.23% 16.26%

Of Last Name Shirley

People with the last name Shirley are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Shirley

  • How Popular is the name Shirley? Shirley is the 80th most popular name of all time. As a last name Shirley was the 1,292nd most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Shirley have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2016, the Social Security Administration has recorded 694,583 babies born with the first name Shirley in the United States. That's more than enough people named Shirley to occupy the country of Montenegro with an estimated population of 620,029 (as of April 1, 2011).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Shirley? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 18 new born babies.
  • When was Shirley first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Shirley is Saturday, October 15th, 1870.
  • What year had the most people named Shirley born? The highest recorded use of the first name Shirley was in 1935 with a total of 42,354 babies. That's a lot of babies named Shirley!
  • Random Shirley Factoid: According to the 1945 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Shirley ranks 23rd in popularity as a baby girl's name in Iowa. Imagine that, 220 babies in Iowa have the same name as you in 1945.
  • Weird things about the name Shirley: Your name in reverse order is Yelrihs. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Eyshlir. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Shirley? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 27,224 people with the last name Shirley.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Shirley? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 9 of them will have Shirley as their last name.

What Shirleys Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Shirley

Name poster for Shirley(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.