[ 2 syll. we-sley, wes-l-ey ] The baby boy name Wesley is pronounced WEHZLiy- or W-S-Liy- †. Wesley has its origins in the Old English language and it is used largely in English. The name Wesley means 'west wood, west clearing, west meadow'. It is from west ; leah meaning 'wood, clearing, meadow'. The first name is derived from the surname which is itself of a place name. The first name was initially bestowed in tribute to the Methodist founder John Wesley (1703-1791) and his brother Charles (1707-1788), especially among Methodists. Its use has since widened to the general English-speaking community.
The name Wesley is used to a great extent; it has 26 variants. Variants of Wesley include Weseley, Wesle, Weslea, Wesleah, Weslee, Wesleigh, Wesleyan, Wesli, Weslie, Wess, Wessel, Wessle, West, Westbrook, Westcott, Westleah, Westlee, Westleigh, Westley, Westli, Westlie, Westly, and Wezley. Other English forms include the shortening Wes, and the spelling variants Wesly and Wessley.
Wesley is an all-time favorite. At present it is still popular as a baby boy name, but to a lesser degree than it was previously, and it is also perceived as trendy. The name's popularity grew from the 1940s up to the 1970s. At the height of its usage in 1977, 0.252% of baby boys were named Wesley. It had a ranking of #66 then. The baby name has seen a decline in popularity since then. In 2012, it ranked at #155 with a usage of 0.131%, but it was nevertheless the most frequently used within all boy names in its family.
Baby names that sound like Wesley include Wezley, Waclaw, Wakeel, Wakelee, Wakeli, Wakelie, Wakely, Wakil, Wakill, Wakyl, Wakyle, Weslea, Weslee, Wesleigh, Wesli, Weslie, Wesly, Wessel, Wessley, and Wicklee.
† Pronunciation for Wesley: W as in "we (W.IY)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; Z as in "zoo (Z.UW)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)"
Details of famous persons named Wesley:
Actor Wesley Snipes, born 31 July 1962, Orlando, Florida.
Soldier Wesley K. Clark, born 23 December 1944, Chicago, Illinois.