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What Does the Last Name Bradley Mean?


Choosing a name for your child is a big decision. Many parents look to family names or names with significant meanings. One such name is Bradley. But what does the last name Bradley mean? In this article, we will explore the origin and significance of the name Bradley.

Origin of the Name Bradley

The last name Bradley is of English origin. It is derived from the Old English words 'brad' and 'leah', which mean 'broad clearing'. The name was originally given to people who lived near a broad clearing in a forest or woodland area.

Early History of the Bradley Name

The Bradley name can be traced back to the 11th century in England. The first recorded use of the name was in the Domesday Book of 1086. The book was a survey of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror. It listed all the landowners and their holdings. The Bradley name was listed in several counties, including Staffordshire, Shropshire, and Yorkshire.

Famous People with the Surname Bradley

Over the years, many famous people have had the last name Bradley. Some of these include: 1. Omar Bradley - American general and the last surviving five-star general of the United States Army 2. Bill Bradley - American basketball player and politician 3. F. H. Bradley - British philosopher 4. Milton Bradley - American game designer and businessman 5. Ed Bradley - American journalist and news correspondent These individuals have helped to make the Bradley name well-known and respected around the world.

Variations of the Bradley Name

Like many surnames, the Bradley name has undergone various changes over time. Some of the variations of the name include: 1. Bradly 2. Bradlee 3. Bradleigh 4. Bradlye 5. Bradlie These variations may have been the result of misspellings or regional dialects.

Meaning of the Bradley Name Today

Today, the Bradley name is still a popular surname in many English-speaking countries. It is often used as a first name as well. The name has come to symbolize strength, courage, and resilience. It is a name that is associated with success and achievement.


In conclusion, the Bradley name has a rich history and meaning. It is a name that has been passed down through generations and has become a symbol of strength and resilience. Whether you are considering the name for your child or simply interested in the history of surnames, the Bradley name is one that is worth exploring further.