Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Whitney

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 592
Simple meaning:
White island

Characteristics of Whitney

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Whitney

Whitney is the transferred use of an Anglo-Saxon surname originating as a location name from the Middle English phrase “atten whiten ey” meaning “by the white island”. The place name was first recorded in Herefordshire, a west-midland county of England that borders Wales. It was used to signify a location near a “white island” in the middle of one of the rivers which flows through the county. Eventually the surname was given to the lord of the manor in the region and/or people who left the area to settle elsewhere (for identification purposes). Some of the first recorded spellings of the name include Whitney, Witteneye and Whytene dating back to the 11th century. They have been described as a “knightly family of remote antiquity”. In the early 17th century an Englishman by the name John Whitney left London bound for New England, settled in Massachusetts and established the Whitney family name in America. As a given name, Whitney has been bestowed upon both genders but in more modern times it has become exclusively female. It is also primarily used in North America.

Popularity of the Name Whitney

The female given name Whitney first appeared on the U.S. charts in 1962. The name was actually brought into the American consciousness by an old comic television series called “Hazel” which ran from 1961 to 1966. It starred an actress by the name of Whitney Blake as the lady of the household who employs a take-charge live in maid named Hazel. American parents obviously responded to the pretty actress’s first name because it appeared on the female naming charts a year after the sitcom debuted. However, it was Whitney Houston (1963-2012) who really gave the name some serious cachet in the mid-1980s when her debut album was released and she entered the arena of superstardom. In fact, the name Whitney hit its peak popularity on the charts from 1986-1987 as the 32nd most commonly used girl’s name at that time. Since that time, however, Whitney has been retreating on the charts back down to levels of light moderation. This means Whitney is now a more unique and underused choice (although we wonder if Houston’s recent death will prompt another brief revival in 2012). Whitney also has a history (and in fact a longer history) as a masculine given name. However, as the name grew in popularity for girls in the 1980s, the name eventually disappeared off the charts for boys in 1988. It is now considered almost exclusively female. As a unisex name, Whitney is a bit more androgynous and therefore stronger and more confident rather than frilly or girly-girly. Yet somehow it manages to retain a lot of femininity for girls. Whitney is a cool name and one of those surnames-turned-first-names that works better than most!
Popularity of the Girl Name Whitney
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Whitney

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Whitney

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Whitney

    Whitney We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Whitney.

  • Popular Songs on Whitney

    Popular Songs on Whitney

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

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Whitney

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Whitney

    Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin (Jessica Gunderson) - World-changing events unfold before your eyes in these amazing tales of inventions and discovery. In these graphic novel format books, see how inventors, scientists, and businesspeople have shaped our world. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Where's Whitney? (Debbie Smith) - Whitney gets lost in an amusement park. What will she do? Four-color illustrations. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Which One Is Whitney? (James Stevenson) - Winnie is not cheerful, polite, friendly or funny as the other Dugong children are, but after reading these three stories, children will know exactly what Whitney is...a little more clever than the other Dugongs. Full-color illustrations. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Whitney Climbs the Tower of Babel (Therese Johnson Borchard) - Whitney Learns What Happens to Snobs. This time Whitney picks up the bad habit of elitism and finds herself propelled back to the Tower of Babel--right at its very moment of mass confusion! Whitney begins this unexpected journey on the soccer field, where she is star player on an unbeaten team. Overly confident, she and her team stop practicing and use the time to taunt lesser competitors. The coach is so furious he threatens to disband the team. Chastened, Whitney uses her grandmother's Emerald Bible and is whisked back in time. There she witnesses another arrogant group and the sobering results of its pride. A much humbler Whitney returns home, faced with the task of helping to change the team and change the coach's mind. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Whitney Coaches David on Fighting Goliath (Therese Johnson Borchard) - Whitney Learns to Stand Up for Herself. Whitney has been coping with the typical problems of being the new kid at school, trying to find her own place in the cliques. What's worse is that the leader of the most popular clique is jealous of her and decides to invite every single girl in the class to a sleepover except Whitney--just to teach her a lesson. Devastated by the humiliation, Whitney doesn't understand why anyone would want to hurt her so deeply without cause. Sobbing, she escapes into the Emerald Bible and finds herself transported to an ancient Israel being terrorized by Goliath. When young David goes unarmed to face the giant, it's Whitney who gives him a weapon--and a quick lesson in aiming a slingshot! David's bravery in turn gives Whitney the courage and the faith to believe in and stand up for herself, and go back and confront her own bully. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Whitney Rides the Whale with Jonah (Therese Johnson Borchard) - Whitney Learns She Can't Run Away. Sure to pull readers in from the very first page, this book introduces Whitney Bickham as she's trying to handle--all at once--her beloved grandmother's death, the family move from Michigan to Chicago, and a brand new school. Whitney's solution? She'll run away. Before she does, she opens the Emerald Bible for the first time since her grandmother died, hoping to recapture some of the wisdom Nana always found there for her. With the turn of a page, Whitney is thrust into the real-life adventure of Jonah, who's trying to run away from his duties as a preacher. Whitney and her dog Bailey accompany Jonah on his journey--from the storm-tossed ship, to the belly of the whale, to the sinful city of Nineveh. She learns it's impossible to run away but that God will always be with her, even during the most frightening hours. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Whitney Sews Joseph's Many-Colored Coat (Therese Johnson Borchard) - Whitney Learns a Lesson about Jealousy. In Whitney's next adventure, she's envious of the teacher's pet and so pulls a mean prank in order to become part of a clique at her new school. Whitney's subsequent feelings of guilt make her turn to the Emerald Bible, where she is whisked back to the time of Joseph and his brothers. Participating fully in the Biblical events, Whitney herself creates Joseph's many-colored coat, is with Jacob when he hears that his favorite son has been killed, then later travels to Egypt with the remaining brothers and uncovers Joseph's secret identity. Through it all she learns firsthand that nothing good ever comes from jealousy and that each person has his or her own special talents and gifts to offer. She brings these lessons back to her own time to help her confess to the prank and to resolve her own feelings of jealousy. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Whitney Solves a Dilemma With Solomon (Therese Johnson Borchard) - Whitney Learns the Importance of Honesty. Whitney would do anything to get to soccer practice, even copy a friend's homework so she won't have to waste time on boring Math herself. But what was supposed to be a one-time solution becomes a habit. Copying homework leads to copying a quiz--and getting caught. The teacher's demand for a confession on who was cheating from whom puts the girls' friendship on the line. Whitney turns to Nana's Emerald Bible for help and gets sent back in time to King Solomon's court. The uncanny wisdom of the king and the "wisdom" of the strange foreign girl are tested when two women come to court, both claiming to be mother of the same child. Whitney offers a solution to the king, who in turn tells Whitney what she must do in her own situation to at last make things right with both her friend and her teacher. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Whitney Stows Away on Noah's Ark (Therese Johnson Borchard) - Whitney Learns How to Deal with Peer Pressure. When Whitney fails to stand up for a classmate who is being ridiculed, her emerald Bible enables her to go back in time and board the Ark with Noah as he saves the animals from the great flood. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Whitney the TV Star Paper Doll (Cal Massey) - Dress this future TV star in an attractive skirt and blazer for her talk show, a shimmering on-stage gown, a casual jumpsuit, and an elegant dress for a night on the town. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Whitney the Whale Fairy: A Rainbow Magic Book (Daisy Meadows) - The Ocean Fairies keep all the sea creatures safe and happy -- until their magic goes missing! This is our eleventh group of Rainbow Magic fairies. The Ocean Fairies keep all the sea creatures safe and happy! But when the goblins shatter their enchanted conch shell, seven magical sea creatures leave to search for the pieces. The Ocean Fairies must find the shells…and their animal friends! Rachel and Kirsty are on a whale watch! Can they spot Whitney's pet whale before it's too late? Find the missing creature in each book and help save the ocean magic! Recommended for ages 7-10.

  • Famous People Named Whitney

    Famous People Named Whitney

    Famous People Named Whitney - Whitney Houston (musician); Whitney Blake (actress); Whitney Able (actress)

  • Children of Famous People Named Whitney

    Children of Famous People Named Whitney

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Whitney - Ronnie Dunn (country musician); Kim Richards (reality TV)

Personality of the Girl Name Whitney

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Whitney

  • No Variations Found.
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