Meaning and Origin of the Name Ainsley

The name Ainsley, for boys, derives from Old English; the origin and meaning of Ainsley is likely tied to one of two geographic locations: 1) Annesley, a civil parish in Nottinghamshire, England, or 2) Ansley, a village in Warwickshire, England. Interestingly, both of these locations connote a spacious, sunny clearing in an otherwise wooded area.

Popularity and Famous People with the Name

As of 2013 the popularity of Ainsley was not sufficient to land it a spot on the 100 most popular boy’s names in England and is currently placed at 334th.

While not a popular name in today’s England, a few present-day celebrities share the name. Ainsley Harriot is a celebrity chef and entertainer who has hosted a number of cooking shows (Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook, Ready Steady Cook), and Ainsley Bennett is a Jamacian-born, former Olympic sprinter who ran for Great Britan in the 1976 Olympic Games.


Ainsley’s soft but strong quality makes it appropriate for boys or girls, and while the name’s early entomology favour a predominately masculine application, in recent years girls in both the United States and England have adopted variations such as Ainsleigh or Ainslee. The male spelling, however, has not changed.

Useful Resources

Checkout the meaning and origin of other English boys’ names on our website