Modern coinage, most common in North America. It is of unknown origin, probably a fanciful coinage based on Marlene or Charlene, or both. It became famous in the 1950s as the name of the American actress and beauty columnist Arlene Dahl (b. 1924).
English: topographic name for someone who lived on a wooded hill, Old English hyrst, or habitational name from one of the various places named with this word, for example Hurst in Berkshire, Kent, Somerset, and Warwickshire, or Hirst in Northumberland and West Yorkshire.