Monday, November 28, 2016

Yardley

Yardley, also sometimes spelled Yeardley or Yeardlea (less often Yeardlee, Yeardleigh and Yeardlie), is an English surname occassionally found as a given name. It means "enclosed (fenced) meadow," and is pronounced YARD-lee.

There are a few namesakes for Yeardley: George Yeardley, plantation owner and a former governor of Virginia whose wife was Temperence Flowerdew Yaerdley; voice actress Yeardley Smith, who was born Martha (Marge, The Simpsons); lacrosse player Yeardley Love, who was murdered; also Quaker missionary John Yeardley. The spelling Yardley is largely used as a place name, and it can be seen on several people as a surname, but as a given name this is the name of patent attorney Yardley Chittick, born Charles Yardly Chittick, and news reporter Megyn Kelly's daughter. The cosmetics brand Yardley of London was established in 1770. In the news last year (2015) a baby was named Yardley and her brother was named Camden for Orioles home field Camden Yards.

Other rare names derived from Old English leah include Elmsley, Oxley, Brinkley, Hinckley, Langley, Greenley, Ainsley, Audley, Bentley, Tinsley and Blakeley along with the more common Ashley, Hayley, Bradley, and Presley.

The spelling Yardley has never been popular - in fact it's been very rare, only given to 9 girls in 2014, none in 2015, 5 in 2016, and 11 girls in each of the years 2013, 2012 and 2011, with only a handful sporadically before then, starting 1977. For boys, only a few handfuls here and there between 1968 and 2010. Yeardley and the other spelling options seem to be nonexistent in the U.S.

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