Leslie



Origin: Scottish
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: "Garden of holly"
Pronunciation: LEZ-lee
Other forms: Lesley

Could this name ever be reclaimed for boys? Or is it 100% girl? I personally always think of Leslie Howard, though it does have a feminine sound.

It comes from a Scottish surname, which was originally a place name, and probably came from the Gaelic leas celyn which means "garden of holly". An appropriate name for a baby boy or girl born around the holidays. In folklore, the Holly King is the adversary of the Oak King, and the two battle it out all year long. At Midsummer the Oak King is at his greatest, while the Holly King is weak. The Holly King begins to regain his power, and at the Autumn Equinox the tables turn. During Midwinter the Holly King is at his strongest. Holly was thought to protect the house from evil fairies or to allow fairies and people to co-exist. Cutting down a whole holly tree was also seen as bad luck.

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