The common English surname Buckley derives from a number of places of the name, and was used as the anglicisation for the Irish O Buachalla, derived from buachall, meaning "boy" or "herdsman". In seventeenth century records, the surname is principally found in Co. Tipperary, but today counties Cork and Kerry have the largest concentrations. Numerically, it is one of the most frequent Irish surnames; almost three-quarters of the Buckleys in the country live in Munster, however. Other, rarer, anglicised versions of the name are Bohilly, Boughla, and Boughil.
One well-known Corkman of the name was Dermot Buckley, one of the last of the eighteenth-century Rapparees, or highwaymen, whose exploits around the Blackwater valley were legendary.