Fascinating H Names

Part 8/26

Hero- Hero is an odd name in that as a dictionary word, it’s mainly used for men (heroine being the usual feminine form) but it’s generally used for women as a name. There are female Heros in Greek mythology and Shakespeare.

Harper- I find Harper fascinating for its trajectory on the popularity charts. It’s shot up from below the top 1000 in 2003 to #10 today, a meteoric rise fueled in part by nearly a dozen celebrity babies with the name. It’s been revived for boys as well, but is much less popular- Harper is #728 on the boy’s list and falling.

Hannibal- It’s very rare for a well-known name to boast roots from ancient Phoenicia, but Hannibal fits the bill. Hannibal is cursed by the association with the serial killer from silence of the lambs, but comedian Hannibal Burress has lessened the association in recent years.

Halcyon- This name is a dictionary word with two separate meanings; the first is “peaceful, tranquil, prosperous, or carefree” and the second a type of bird. The name originally comes from a Greek mythological character called Alcyone, who was turned into the bird by the gods. Halcyon makes an interesting choice for either gender with nickname possibilities including Hal and Hallie.

Hamish- This Scottish form of James has never been particularly popular in the US, despite its pleasant sound and friendly nickname possibility Hayes.

Harambe- This name was all over the news in 2016. Harambe the gorilla became famous when he was controversially killed when a three-year-old fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati zoo (the child was not seriously injured). Harambe then became a meme, one of the biggest of 2016. His name came from a Swahili word meaning “working together” or “sharing.”

Hedwig- This German name, made famous by Harry Potter’s owl, comes from elements meaning “battle” and “war.” Its use goes back to the 9th century and Hedwig even ranked in the US top 1000 in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but its popularity has sharply declined since.

Hermione- Another Harry Potter name that also appears in Shakespeare and Greek mythology. I occasionally hear parents considering the name and I’ve even met a 2-year-old with the name, but general consensus seems to be that Hermione is too tied to JK Rowling’s character for most tastes.

Hollis- This surname makes for an interesting or more masculine update on Holly.

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