Meaning of the Name Bradley
There’s an intriguing story behind the meaning of the name Bradley that most people don’t know. Whether you’re thinking of naming your child Bradley or simply interested in the etymology behind this popular name, you can learn about the name Bradley on this page.
Meaning of the name Bradley: The meaning of the name Bradley is “broad wood” or “broad meadow.” The name Bradley was frequently given to newborn boys of families who lived in rural, meadow-covered landscapes.
Origins of the Name Bradley
Originally used as a surname, origins of the given name Bradley can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxons period in Great Britain (450 to 1066). During this time, many families living in Lincolnshire – a coastal region in Eastern England – named their sons Bradley to represent the local landscape. In fact, there was even a parish in Lincolnshire called Bradley. Around the mid- to late 1100s, the name Bradley began to appear in head tax records collected by the English government.
Etymologists agree that the name Bradley is an Anglo-Saxon variation of the Irish surname name O’Brolachán. The O’Brolachán family originated from Tyrone County, Ireland, though they later moved to England where they helped popularize the name. As the O’Brolachán family traveled through the English counties of Londonberry, Cork and Donegal, they introduced the name to countless new people, resulting in more and more boys being named Bradley.
Popularity of the Name Bradley
The name Bradley has appeared in U.S. birth records since 1880. Back then, however, only five babies were listed as having the name Bradley, making it the 931st most popular name in the United States. Just one year later, the number of babies given this name of Anglo-Saxons origin doubled to 10. Popularity for the name Bradley began to decline in the following years, but it gained momentum around the mid-1900s.
In 1950, Bradley was the 152nd most popular baby name in the United States. In 1960, it jumped to the 90th most popular baby name. And in 1993, it was the 73rd most popular baby name.
From athletes like Bradley Chubb and Bradley Bozeman to musicians like Bradley Simpson and Bradley Nowell, many famous people are named Bradley.
Bradley was used almost exclusively as a boy’s name until the turn of the 20th century, during which some families begin naming their girls Bradley as well. Bradley is now considered a unisex name that can be given to boys and girls alike.