Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Harriet

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
Simple meaning:
Powerful ruler of the home

Characteristics of Harriet

  • Mystical
  • Wise
  • Eccentric
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Philosophical
  • Solitary

Etymology & Historical Origin - Harriet

Harriet is the English form of the French Henriette which was coined in the 17th century as a feminine diminutive of the French Henri (English: Henry, Harry). The name Henry comes from the Germanic words “haim” and “rīc” which translates to "home" and "ruler, power", respectively. Hence, the meaning of the name Henry (and thus Harriet) is Powerful Ruler of the Home. The name originated with the French (Henri) and was brought to Britain by the Normans in the Middle Ages, although the English originally adopted the name as “Harry.” By the 1600s, Henry became the standard and Harry is now thought of as a pet form. The name Henry was borne by many European Kings (not to mention eight kings of England) and several Holy Roman Emperors. Harriet became quite common as a feminine form of Henry/Harry in the 18th century through the early 20th century. Still fashionable in England today, Harriet has fallen out of style elsewhere in the English speaking world.

Popularity of the Name Harriet

Harriet was a Top 100 favorite girl's name in the late 1800s and entered the 20th century at position #134 on the charts (1900). The name hovered between the Top 100 and 200 most commonly used female names all the way up through the mid 1940s. At this point, the name began her steady decline down the charts until the 1960s when old Harriet really started to sink. The year 1970 marks the last appearance for Harriet on the American female naming charts, and this old favorite has yet to return. Her diminutive form, Hattie, made a comeback to the charts recently thanks to Tori Spelling who gave the quaint moniker to her third baby and second daughter (Hattie Margaret) in October 2011. But American parents have yet to re-embrace Grandma Harriet.
Popularity of the Girl Name Harriet
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Harriet

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Harriet

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Harriet

    Harriet Vane (Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery Books) Harriet Vane is a character in the mystery novels of British writer Dorothy L. Sayers, which feature her aristocratic detective, Lord Peter Wimsey. Harriet eventually weds the fine lord, but not after a rather long and torturous courtship. She finds him (rightfully so) to be rather snobbish and domineering, and resists him valiantly for a while. Harriet is an Oxford educated, independent young mystery writer herself, who meets Lord Peter when she is on trial for having poisoned her lover (no, not Lord Peter, not yet). Certainly she didn’t do it, and certainly Lord Peter proves her innocent. Somehow, Lord Peter finds her circumstances to be utterly charming and he immediately proposes. Thank goodness for the sensibility of the somewhat lower classes – she declines, at least at first. Naturally, fate throws them together in mysterious and murderous ways, and eventually Harriet accepts and becomes Lady Peter Wimsey, but only on the stipulation that they enter marriage as equals. Her altered state, both martially and monetarily, does not detract from her ongoing forays into the world of the genteel underground, however, and she and her lord partner on many more capers. Harriet also finds the time to have three sons, to soften up that stodgy lord a bit, and to live as if to the manor born. Our kind of gal.

    Harriet Welsch (Harriet the Spy) Harriet is the title character of Louise Fitzhugh’s 1964 children’s novel, Harriet the Spy. Harriet is eleven years old, lives in Manhattan and wants to be a spy; she dedicates herself to preparing for and writing about her future career. So far, so reasonable. But our Harriet is nothing if not honest, straightforward and intelligent in a no-nonsense kind of way – so – she writes the truth. She literally spies upon her friends and classmates and writes her observations in literal and factual, if somewhat less than flattering, prose. And they find the notebook. In short order, she loses the friendship of the two nearest to her, Sport and Janie, and the other children form a club that excludes her. Harriet, hurt and lonely, takes out her grievances in her notebooks, plots how she will get even, and begins to fail at school. It takes some adult intervention, but Harriet eventually learns the lessons of courtesy, identification with others, and the ability to filter her perceptions with grace and generosity. One day Harriet will no doubt make a superb spy.

  • Popular Songs on Harriet

    Popular Songs on Harriet

    Harriet - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Harriet.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Harriet

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Harriet

    Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky (Faith Ringgold) - Illustrated in full color. Cassie, who flew above New York in Tar Beach, soars into the sky once more. This time, she and her brother Be Be meet a train full of people, and Be Be joins them. But the train departs before Cassie can climb aboard. With Harriet Tubman as her guide, Cassie retraces the steps escaping slaves took on the real Underground Railroad and is finally reunited with her brother at the story's end. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Franklin and Harriet (Paulette Bourgeois) - In this Franklin Classic Storybook, Franklin likes being a big brother most of the time. But when his little sister, Harriet, wants to play with his favorite stuffed animal, Franklin doesn't want to share. As they tug at the toy, something terrible happens. It rips! Franklin's mother fixes it, but he remains angry and hides the toy in his closet. Then Franklin discovers it's not the toy that makes Harriet happy -- it's her big brother who brings a smile to her face. Franklin decides that maybe sharing isn't so bad after all. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers (Jean Fritz) - Harriet Beecher Stowe grew up in a family in which her seven brothers were expected to be successful preachers and the four girls were never to speak in public. But slavery made Harriet so angry she couldn't keep quiet. Although she used a pen rather than her voice to convince people of the evils of slavery, she became more famous than any of her brothers. She firmly believed that words could make change, and by writing Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe hastened the Civil War and changed the course of America history. Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Harriet Spies Again (Louise Fitzhugh) - Harriet M. Welsch has just received the best news of her 11th year—Ole Golly is coming back! Harriet can still remember how sad she was when her beloved nanny married George Waldenstein and moved away. But the circumstances of Ole Golly’s return remain unclear. Where is George Waldenstein? With Mr. and Mrs. Welsch living in France for three months, Sport confiding that he has a crush on a girl at school, and the arrival of a mysterious new neighbor who’s going to require a whole lot of spying, Harriet already has her hands full. Then she overhears Ole Golly saying she’s innocent—but innocent of what? Harriet the Spy is on the case and ready to help Ole Golly in any way she can. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Harriet the Spy (Louise Fitzhugh) - Eleven year old Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she’s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together? Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Harriet's Halloween Candy (Nancy L. Carlson) - Harriet learns the hard way that sharing her Halloween candy makes her feel much better than eating it all herself. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Harriet, the Hamster Fairy (Daisy Meadows) - Jack Frost has stolen the Pet Fairies' magical pets! Can Rachel and Kirsty help find them? Or will the pets be lost forever? The Pet Fairies have one of the most important jobs in Fairyland! They work with their special pets to make sure that all animals find safe homes. But now Jack Frost has stolen the magical pets! Could they be lost forever? Harriet the Hamster Fairy's hamster, Twinkle, is in trouble. If Jack Frost's goblins capture her, can Harriet scurry to the rescue? Find the magical pet in each book and help keep all the animals safe! Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild! (Mem Fox) - Harriet Harris doesn't mean to be pesky. Sometimes she just is. And her mother doesn't mean to lose her temper. Sometimes she just does. But Harriet and her mother know that even when they do things they wish they hadn't, they still love each other very much. Inspired by the tenderness and turmoil of their relationships with their own children, Mem Fox and Marla Frazee have created a gentle, hilarious—and wild—book that will resonate in the hearts of parents and children everywhere. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (Carole Boston Weatherford) - A Caldecott Honor Book. This poetic book is a resounding tribute to Tubman's strength, humility, and devotion. With proper reverence, Weatherford and Nelson do justice to the woman who, long ago, earned over and over the name Moses. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Who Was Harriet Tubman? (Yona Zeldis McDonough) - Born a slave in Maryland, Harriet Tubman knew first-hand what it meant to be someone's property; she was whipped by owners and almost killed by an overseer. It was from other field hands that she first heard about the Underground Railroad which she travelled by herself north to Philadelphia. Throughout her long life (she died at the age of ninety-two) and long after the Civil War brought an end to slavery, this amazing woman was proof of what just one person can do. Recommended for ages 8-11.

  • Famous People Named Harriet

    Famous People Named Harriet

    Famous People Named Harriet - Harriet Tubman (abolitionist), Harriet Beecher Stowe (abolitionist/writer), Harriet Nelson (singer/actress with the Ozzie & Harriet duo); Harriet Andersson (Swedish actress); Harriet Hemings (daughter of Sally Hemings and possibly president Thomas Jefferson); Harriet Howard (mistress of Napoleon); Harriet Keopuolani (Hawaiian queen); Harriet Lane (White House Hostess and niece of bachelor President James Buchanan); Harriet Quimby (pilot and first woman to fly across the English channel); Harriet E. Wilson (first female African-American novelist)

  • Children of Famous People Named Harriet

    Children of Famous People Named Harriet

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Harriet - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Harriet.

Personality of the Girl Name Harriet

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Variations of the Baby Name - Harriet

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