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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Marley

The illustrious name Marley was initially classified as a habitational surname before it was recorded as a first name. Marley is a gender-neutral name of Old English origin meaning ‘marshy meadow,’ ‘pleasant wood,’ or ‘boundary.’ It is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘pleasant seaside meadow.’ In other words, Marley was originally used to refer to someone who lived near a boundary or a clearing.

Marley is an Old English surname derived from several places in England, like Devon, Yorkshire, Kent, and Sussex. A Northumbrian family who settled there in the 17th century carried this surname to Ireland. However, Marley as a surname was first discovered in Cheshire, located in the northwest of England, borne by a family who was granted a family seat by Duke William of Normandy.

Marley also refers to the name of a place in Brittany, a peninsula located in the northwest of France, which was under the possession of the Roman Empire. As a surname, Marley is also said to have been derived from the geographical place Marley, currently named Marley Hill. It was a former colliery village about six miles southwest of Gateshead, near the border between Tyne and Wear and County Durham in England.

Since Old and Middle English lacked definite spelling rules, the name can be spelled Marley, Marlay, Marly, Maroley, and Marlee in different parts of England. Some common nicknames of the name also include Mar, Mari, Merle, and Lee.

The name Marley has steadily risen in popularity over the last few years, thanks to the famous novel and movie “Marley and Me,” in which the entire story revolves around the Grogan family and their strong, powerful Golden Retriever dog, Marley. This led to a boost in the popularity of the name.

Marley Rose is a well-known fictional character in the comedy-drama series “Glee,” portrayed by actress Melissa Benoist. She is a recurring character and member of the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts Glee Club.


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He who is from the march meadow
 M..  Ma..  Mar..  Mer.. 

How To Pronounce Marley?


Famous People With The Name Marley

  • Robert Nesta MarleyJamaican singer, musician, and songwriter, and considered one of the pioneers of reggae.
  • John MarleyAmerican actor best known for his role in Lovestory and The Godfather
  • Marley Eve SheltonAmerican actress best known for her role in The Sandlot
  • Bert C.MarleyAmerican politician who previously served as a member of the Idaho Senate and Idaho House of Representatives

Marley On The Popularity Chart

According to the Social Security Administration, Marley rose in popularity in 1991 and has consistently ranked among the top names in the US. Look at this graphic representation to understand better.

Popularity Over Time

Steadily climbing the popularity ladder in 1991, Marley reached its top form in 2008, with 291 babies per million having that name.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

With several fluctuations, Marley improved in ranking after 2007, with a rank of 18,674 in 2021. See the graph below to understand better.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With The Similar Sound As Marley

Do you like how the name Marley sounds? You can explore some similar-sounding alternatives here.

Names With The Similar Meaning As Marley

If you want your toddler to have a nature-inspiring name other than Marley, here are the names with similar meanings.

Name Numerology For Marley

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