Baby Names Ending With the "Lee" Sound

From Bentley to Nellie, Great Baby Names for Your Little One

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"Lee" names have long been popular and offer many great choices for your new baby's name. These are the names that end in the "lee" sound, such as Hailey, Natalie, and Charlie. However, they are spelled with many different endings, including le, lee, leigh, ley, li, lie, ly.

Lee names are considerably more popular among girls than boys. Girls' names include favorites like Emily, Riley, and Lily. For boys, you have options like Finley, Bentley, and Wesley. To get a sense of how popular these names are, let's take a look at the most popular baby names from 1880 to the present that share this sound.

The Popularity of Lee Names

In 2011, girl names with the lee sound made up just shy of 140,000 of the baby girls born that year in the United States. To put it in perspective, that was about 11 percent or more than 1 out of every 10 baby girls.

By 2016, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), that dropped to right around 8 percent. Of the top 500 baby names for girls, 44 ended with the lee sound. Boys only had five names make the top 500 in 2016: Ali, Bentley, Charlie, Finley, and Wesley.

To understand how this naming trend has blossomed over the years, we can look back at popular name lists from days gone by.

  • In 1880, only 0.5 percent of baby girls (or 5 out of every 1000) ended in the lee sound.
  • By 1950, the percentage rose to 3 percent (or 3 out of every 100).
  • By 1970, lee names peaked at 12 percent. This had a lot to do with the rise of popularity in the names Kimberly, Kelly, and Julie.
  • In 1990, the percentage had declined slightly to 8 percent.
  • As the millennium changed, the percentage of lee sounding names began to increase once again.

The Most Popular Lee Names

If you're looking for a name that ends with this sound, you have many girls names to choose from. The boys are scattered in here as well, and many can be either masculine or feminine. You'll note that several names have multiple spellings; the most common are listed first.

  • Ainsley, Ansley
  • Allie, Ally, Ali
  • Amelie
  • Arely
  • Ashley
  • Bailey, Baylee, Bailee
  • Bentley
  • Blakely
  • Braylee
  • Brylee, Briley, Brileigh
  • Brynlee, Brinley
  • Callie, Cali, Kallie
  • Charlie, Charlee, Charley, Charli, Charleigh
  • Ellie
  • Emily, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee, Emely
  • Finley
  • Hadley
  • Hailey, Haley, Hayley, Haylee, Hailee, Haleigh, Haylie, Hayleigh
  • Hallie, Halle
  • Harley
  • Holly
  • Jaylee
  • Jolie
  • Julie
  • Kaylee, Kayleigh, Kailey, Kaylie, Caylee, Kali, Kailee, Kaleigh
  • Kelly
  • Kenley
  • Kensley
  • Kimberly
  • Kinley, Kynlee
  • Kinsley
  • Kylie, Kylee, Kyleigh, Kiley
  • Leslie, Lesly
  • Lily, Lilly, Lillie
  • Marley, Marlee
  • Mckinley
  • Miley
  • Millie
  • Molly, Mollie
  • Natalie, Nataly, Natalee
  • Paisley
  • Presley
  • Riley, Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie
  • Rosalie
  • Tenley

First Use of the Most Popular Names

Popular baby name lists begin in the 1880s. At that time, only 13 lee ending names were in the top 1000 baby girl names. They included Allie, Callie, Charlie, Ellie, Emily, Hallie, Julie, Leslie, Lily, Millie, Molly, Natalie, and Rosalie.

As time went on, these popular baby names started being used and here's when they first popped up:

  • 1936 Holly
  • 1944 Kelly
  • 1946 Kimberly
  • 1965 Ashley
  • 1978 Kylie
  • 1982 Hailey
  • 1982 Harley
  • 1983 Bailey
  • 1984 Kaylee
  • 1990 Riley
  • 1992 Mckinley
  • 1994 Marley
  • 1998 Hadley, Presley
  • 2000 Arely, Jolie
  • 2001 Ainsley
  • 2003 Amelie
  • 2004 Jaylee
  • 2005 Brylee, Brynlee, Finley, Kinsley
  • 2006 Kinley, Paisley
  • 2007 Miley
  • 2008 Kenley
  • 2010 Tenley
  • 2011 Bentley, Blakely, Braylee, Kensley, Tinley

Naming Inspiration From Days Gone By

There is also a rising trend in exploring the names of the past. Many parents are choosing to revive older names rather than go with some of the more modern options. Sometimes these have a family connection and sometimes it's simply because they like the name. Luckily, the lee sound had some fun names to offer from the olden days.

  • Beverly
  • Billie
  • Dolly
  • Nellie
  • Ollie
  • Pearlie
  • Polly
  • Sally
  • Shelly
  • Shirley
  • Tillie
  • Willie

A Word From Verywell

Choosing a name for your baby is an adventure and a lot of fun. Whether you're looking to rhyme the name with your other children or simply enjoy the sound, the "lee" family of names is filled with many great options. Write down those you're drawn to, you can always narrow down your list later.

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Article Sources
  • Social Security Administration. Baby Names Database. 2018.