Transferred use of the Scottish surname derived from the lands of Lesslyn in Aberdeenshire (a place name perhaps named in Gaelic as leas cuilinn ‘garden of hollies’). Surnames and clan names have been used as given names more readily and from an earlier date in Scotland than elsewhere, and this is the name of an ancient family, who in the 14th and 15th centuries were close associates of the Scottish royal house of Stewart and who have held the earldom of Rothes since 1457. The British film actor Leslie Howard (1890–1943), who was of Hungarian origin, had a considerable influence on the popularity of the name, especially in the United States, where he appeared in Gone with the Wind (1939). A famous female bearer is the French film actress Leslie Caron (b. 1931).