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English: habitational name from Whaley in Derbyshire, Whalley in Lancashire, or Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire (formerly in Cheshire). The first is probably named with Old English wælla ‘spring’, ‘stream’ + leah ‘(woodland) clearing’. The second has as the first element Old English hwæl ‘round hill’, and the last has Old English weg ‘path’, ‘road’ as the first element, the second element in both cases also being leah.