Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Hannah

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 23
Simple meaning:
Grace, graciousness

Characteristics of Hannah

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Hannah

Hannah appears in the Old Testament, in the first Book of Samuel, as the mother of Samuel (one of the most important prophets in Judeo-Christian tradition). In Hebrew Channah (חַנָּה) literally translates to “grace, graciousness” from the root “hanan” meaning “he was gracious, showed favor”. This etymology makes perfect sense if you are familiar with Hannah’s story in the Bible (1 Samuel 1-2). Unable to bear children “because the Lord closed her womb,” Hannah prayed mightily to the Lord for a son promising to “give him to the Lord all the days of his life.” God hears Hannah’s prayers and “favors” her with a son (Samuel), hence the meaning of the name. After the child is weaned (about the age of four or five in Biblical times), Hannah does as promised and turns her son over to the priest Eli to raise Samuel in the service of God. It’s a good thing that God listened to the prayers of Hannah because Samuel would go on to become one of Israel’s greatest leaders and usher in the Israel monarchy by anointing its first kings, Saul and then David (but then again, that was probably part of God’s plan anyway). Channah or Chana are names rooted in Hebrew tradition, while Hannah is more or less the English version, popularized by the Puritans in the 16th and 17th centuries in keeping with their customs of adopting Old Testament names for their children as an act of modesty. Today Hannah is a supremely popular name all over the Western World. It’s a Top 25 favorite in Austria, Canada, Northern Ireland, Australia, Ireland, Scotland and the United States. Hannah is also ranked high in England/Wales, Norway and the Netherlands.

Popularity of the Name Hannah

The name Hannah was moderately popular in the United States at the turn of the 20th century, but it began to fall out of favor quickly thereafter so that by the 1960’s the name slipped into obscurity. Bring in the 1990’s and Hannah reared her lovely head again, and this time with massive success. The name reached her peak popularity between 1998 and 2000 when, for three consecutive years, Hannah was the #2 baby girl’s name nationwide – an honor very few names can claim. Although the name has a modern (and sometimes trendy) feel to it, it is an age-old classic with a charming sound that never goes out of style.
Popularity of the Girl Name Hannah
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Hannah

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Hannah

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Hannah

    Hannah Gruen (Nancy Drew series) Hannah Gruen is the housekeeper in the Nancy Drew series of books by the collective pseudonym named Carolyn Keene (1930). Hannah has worked for the Drew family since Nancy’s mother’s death so she acts as an important surrogate mother figure to the young amateur detective. Caring, courageous, protective and kind, she is always there to lend wise advice to Nancy.

  • Popular Songs on Hannah

    Popular Songs on Hannah

    Hannah and Gabi - a song by The Lemonheads

    Hannah Hold On - a song by The Get Up Kids

    Hannah Jane - a song by Hootie & The Blowfish

    Hard Hearted Hannah - a song by Ella Fitzgerald

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Hannah

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Hannah

    Get Ready for Second Grade (Paula Danziger) - Amber Brown is excited to be starting second grade-and a little nervous. She's worried that the new teacher might not be as nice as she hopes. Plus, Hannah Burton is going to be in her class, and Amber knows Hannah can be mean. But on the way to school with her best friend Justin, Amber makes a decision. She is going to be ready for whatever happens. And second grade had better be ready for Amber Brown! Recommended for ages 6-8.

    Gorilla (Anthony Browne) - A delightful and magical story about a lonely little girl (Hannah) who receives a gorilla as a gift. The gorilla comes to life and the two take a magical and adventurous trip to the zoo! Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Hannah Mae O'Hannigan's Wild West Show (Lisa Ernst) - From the day she was born, Hannah Mae O'Hannigan has dreamed of being the root-tootinest cowgirl ever. Too bad for Hannah Mae, she lives smack-dab in the middle of a city. But Hannah Mae's Uncle Coot lives way out West, and Hannah Mae is sure-as-sunshine determined to make it to his ranch. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    In Kindling Flame: The Story of Hannah Senesh (Linda Atkinson) - A biography of a Jewish heroine, Hannah Senesh, whose resistance work during World War II made her a martyr and an inspiration to those with whom she worked. Recommended for ages Young Adult.

    Love from Your Friend Hannah (Mindy Skolsky) - Hannah's best friend, Aggie, moves away and doesn't answer a single one of her letters. Determined to find a new pen pal, Hannah picks an address from a box on her teacher's desk. It's a boy, but his first letter is so dopey, Hannah isn't even going to answer it. Instead, she writes to President Roosevelt. Before long, Hannah has a whole lot of pen pals—and finally discovers the perfect friend, in the most unlikely place. Recommended ages 8-12.

    Mommy Doesn't Know My Name (Suzanne Williams) - This loving and humorous story depicts frustrated Hannah, who tries to get her mother to call her by her real name rather than the pet names she uses. Recommended for ages 2-6.

    The Devil's Arithmetic (Jane Yolen) - Hannah is a young Jewish girl in America in the 1980s who is becoming weary of remembering her cultural heritage and hearing about the Holocaust. She is transported back to the 1940s assuming the life of a young girl named Chaya, where she learns the importance of survival, friendship, family, and remembrance. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

  • Famous People Named Hannah

    Famous People Named Hannah

    Famous People Named Hannah - Hannah Dakota Fanning (actress better known as Dakota Fanning); Hannah Ayscough (Isaac Newton’s mother); Hannah Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin’s mother); Hannah Van Buren (First Lady); Hannah Storm (TV personality); Hannah Teter (Olympic snowboarder)

  • Children of Famous People Named Hannah

    Children of Famous People Named Hannah

    Famous People who Named their Daughter Hannah - Carey Lowell (actress); Elizabeth Perkins (actress); Jessica Lange (actress); Kristin Scott Thomas (actress); Mel Gibson (actor); Tom Selleck (actor); Vendela (model)

  • Historic Figures

    Hannah - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Hannah - We cannot find any people of historic significance with the first name Hannah.

Personality of the Girl Name Hannah

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Hannah

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