Name borne in Greek mythology by a nymph who was changed into a laurel by her father, a river god, to enable her to escape the attentions of Apollo. The name means ‘laurel’ in Greek. According to the myth the nymph gave her name to the shrub, but in fact of course it was the other way about: her name was taken from the vocabulary word (which is probably of pre-Greek origin). The name came into use in England at the end of the 19th century, when it was adopted as part of the vogue for plant names at that time.
English: habitational name from any of the places so called, mainly in Berkshire, Shropshire, Somerset, and West Yorkshire. These get their names either from the Old English personal name Bacga + Old English lēah ‘woodland clearing’ or from an unattested Old English word, bagga, for a ‘bag-shaped’ animal (probably the badger) + lēah.