What’s in a name? Oh Shakespeare, there is a lot in a name. Any parent sitting down to name their child knows that naming a child is possibly the hardest part of bringing a child into the world. Okay, that’s a little extreme. Of course, the actual birthing is the hardest part. Naming a child is the second hardest, right? It can take the whole darn nine months just to agree on a name! Choosing a name has to be just right, from the meaning to the actual sound of the name to how well it matches the names of siblings. No pressure.
Some families start the process by choosing a particular letter to start off their search. The Duggars have illustrated that there is no shortage of J names. M names are pretty popular too: Michael, Michelle, Megan, Morgan, and Mary (and the endless supply of Mary- names like Marybeth and Maryann). Even the A names are plentiful: Abby, Anna, Andy, Andrew, Andrea, and the many forms of Alex.
However, there is one letter that doesn’t get as much time in the spotlight as other names, and that letter is H. The list of H names is lengthy and diverse, offering naming options from many different cultures and countries from around the world. Some names are variations of more common names while other H names aren’t heard too often in this part of the world. Regardless, here are 25 names starting with H that you never thought of.
Hale is an old English name meaning “someone who lives in a hollow.” Although we don’t talk too much about hollows these days, this name still has a place in our society. As a boy’s name, Hale conjures up a hearty and strong feeling. Although Hale isn’t use too often, it is an easy name for others to understand, say, and spell. Hale can also be used as nickname for the girl’s name Haley.
Sports fans can find this name in golf (Hale Irwin) and rubgy (Hale T-Pole). Hale Woodruff is an American muralist, but perhaps most exciting for young adult fiction lovers is the Twilight saga reference: Jasper and Rosalie Hale.
Whether you name your bouncing boy Hale or use Hale as a nickname for a baby girl, this name is a strong choice.
While many people may be familiar with the Spanish Horacio, Horatio is the English version of the Latin name Horatius. The name, which means hour or time, ranks 523 for this year so far. Despite the low rank, Horatio seen throughout history, literature, and even modern pop culture. On the plus side, your little Horatio won’t have to share his name with 3 other kids in his class.
Of course, Horatio from Hamlet may be the first thing you think of when you think of Horatio, but consider the following pop culture references: Captain Horatio Hornblower from Hornblower and Horatio Cane from CSI:Miami. Your kids may not be into Shakespeare or CSI, but they will surely understand the reference to Paw Patrol’s Horatio Turbot and Cap’n Crunch aka Horatio Magellan Crunch.
The use of Hadley for a girl has soared to the 102th spot on the popularity list, and it’s wouldn’t surprise anyone if this name continued to climb up the charts. The US Social Security Administration charts continue to show the rising trend with this name. However, the real underdog here is the use of Hadley as a boy’s name. Meaning “heathery field”, the name ranks in England as 487th for boys and 102nd in US births.
In memory of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, also named Hadley, Hemingway named his son John Hadley Hemingway. Thus, sparking the beginnings of a trend as Hadley for a boy.
Sibling names that pair well with Hadley include Oliver, Charlotte, Ava, Bree (Aubree), Declan, Liam, and Hudson.
Literature lovers are quick to think of Nathanial Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, or Gail Hawthorne, Katniss Everdeen’s friend in the The Hunger Games. While often used as just a surname, this name sounds prestigious, edgy, and cool all the same time.
Ranking as 803rd, your little Hawthorne will have this name all to himself, which is good if you’re looking for a somewhat unique name. If you’re worried that Hawthorne might be a bit too long for a child to say, you’ll have the pick from serious cool nicknames: Hawk, Thor, or Thorne. Seriously, what’s manlier than those nicknames? If you want a mellower nickname, opt for Hank or even Harry.
Sibling names that pair well with Hawthorne include Rosalee, Sylvin, Sufjan, Morrison, Yavanna, and Indie.
Helena is a soft, feminine name with a beautiful meaning: “bright, shining light.” Helena is a softer, Latin version of the Greek name Helen. Despite being an older name with a notable appearance in Shakespeare’s work, Helena has been used in modern day by high profile celebrities including British actress Helena Bonham Carter, known for her role in Harry Potter, Ocean’s Eight, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Cinderella, and The King’s Speech. Model Helena Christensen also hits the limelight with this gorgeous name. Helena also makes an appearance in the music word with the same titled song by My Chemical Romance.
This name ranks 518th in the US, but in Germany, Iceland, and Portugal the name makes the Top 50 list.
Helena lovers have the option of choosing the pronunciation they like best: hell-ehn-a, hell-ayn-a, or hell-een-a.
Paw Patrol lovers may be quick to tell you that Henrietta is the name of the silly chicken on the show, but Henriette is a much more sophisticated name, worthy of much more than a chicken. In fact, this French twist on Henrietta has a strong meaning; Henriette is a French name meaning “ruler of the home.”
Henriette is a classic name with a history dating back to 1625 with Princess Henriette Marie, who married King Charles I. However, Henriette offers parents charismatic nicknames to choose from: Hattie and Ettie are just two examples.
The name, which is the feminine version of Henry, pairs well with sibling names including Charlotte, Beatrix (or Beatrice), Ollie (Oliva), Felix, and Sophie.
It should come as no surprise that the name Haven means “safe place.” This strong yet peaceful sounding name can be used for either a boy or girl, and it is currently number 294 in US births with the likelihood that this name will climb even higher. Jessica Alba chose this name for one of her daughters, and her fans are likely to follow suit as well. Not to leave out the guys, Haven Moses is an NFL player and Haven Gillespie is the songwriter behind the famous “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”
Alternatively, this name could be spelled as Havyn if you want to put a spin on the traditional spelling. Regardless of how you choose to spell Haven, the following sibling names pair well with Haven: Declan, Landon, Aria, Charlotte, and Finn.
If you’re looking for a strong name with a knock out meaning, look no further than Hero. You might initially think this is a boy’s name, but in Greek mythology, Hero was a female, a priestess of Aphrodite. Shakespeare also used this name for the female love interest of Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing. This Greek name means “demi-god” or “brave one of the people.”
Somewhere along the lines of history, hero became masculine while heroine became female. For that reason, the name Hero is truly a unisex name. Famous boys with this name include Hero Beauregard Fiennes-Tiffin (from Harry Potter) and Hero Howard. Alternative spellings include Hiro a la the Disney flick Big Hero 6.
Although a traditional English surname, Harlow has broken into the Top 500 list. Harlow’s quick rise from Top 1000 to Top 500 is likely due to the Harlow Madden, Nicole Richie’s daughter. Prior to Nicole Richie’s use of the name, Harlow wasn’t even on the Top 1000 list, and now the name is number 420.
The name, meaning “army”, is another unisex name. Famous males with this name include Harlow Shapley, an astronomer, and Harlow Curtice, the former CEO of GM. Famous females include Jean Harlow, Harlow Jane (daughter of Patricia Arquette), and Harlow Bourque (daughter of Chris Bourque.) Despite the unisex ability of this name, the trends do lean heavily towards the female usage of the name.
If you aren’t sold on Harlow, consider the similar name Arlo.
Hadrian is a Latin name meaning “dark haired” and “one from the Adriatic.” This name is decidedly Roman in origin and sound. After all, there was a Roman Emperor named Hadrian, who was known for commanding the building of Hadrian’s Wall (think: Great Wall of China but in Europe). Hadrian is a good choice for parents who like Adrian but want something a little bit more unique. Although Adrian could always be a nickname for Hadrian.
Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, chose this name for his son. And the Minecraft fans out there, Hadrian is a character in the game’s story mode.
Curious what sibling names go well with little Hadrian? Try Ethan, Sebastian, or Helena.
Hai is another H name you probably haven’t considered, but this name comes to the list bearing meanings from many different religions and countries. From a Muslim standpoint, the name means “alive” with a root in the word hayy which also means alive. Like the Muslim meaning, the Jewish meaning of Hai also similarly means “alive” or “vivid.” From a Chinese standpoint, the Chinese character for Hai also means “sea or ocean.”
Hai can be used as a unisex name, and the meaning fits well for both boys and girls. Ancestry sites rate this name as wholesome, nerdy (as opposed to unintellectual), mature (as opposed to youthful), and strong (as opposed to delicate.) Although if you ask me, “alive and vivid” definitely ring out as more youthful than mature.
Howard is an old-fashioned name, no doubt. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider Howard. Meaning “high guardian” or even “brave heart” it’s hard to deny the nobility of this name.
Sure Howard might make you think of your Grandpa or other dusty names like Harold, but here’s what Howard has to offer: modern nickname capability. With a trendy nickname like Ward, Howard may see a comeback yet. Let’s also not forget that Tony Stark’s dear old dad was named Howard.
Yet, here’s another twist: Howard might be a girl’s name too. Say what? Vampire author Anne Rice’s real name is Howard. Howard Allen Frances O'Brien to be precise. Her parents claimed that giving her a strong masculine name would give her “an advantage in the world.” Although since she changed her name, I’m not sure if that theory holds. Stick to Howard as a boy’s name unless you’re truly adventurous.
Halden is a form of Haldan which literally means “half Danish.” This Scandinavian name is also reminiscent of Holden, which was made popular by Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the Rye.
The Social Security Administrate estimates this name to be in the 8336 spot, which is good news for parents who don’t want to share names with neighbors or friends. To be fair, I don’t know what it’s that low on the list since it does fit nicely with other popular names such as Sawyer, Carter, Tristan, and Owen.
Halden (or Haldan) make a good choice for a first name, but it also might be the key you need if you are stuck trying to find a middle name. Because Halden does well with many names it does make a good middle name as well. Think about it. How cool does James Halden sound?
What is more feminine than a name meaning “woman of serenity”? Halina, often dubbed the international version of Helena, gives a serene, beautiful name to any little girl. The name also has a few other meanings. In Russia, the name means “calm” while in Poland the name means “brightness.” In any case, the name and its meaning are beautiful.
Famous ladies with this name have an impressive list of accomplomishments: Halina Tam, a Chinese beauty queen, Halina Gorecka, an Olympic sprinter for Poland, Halina Reijn, an actress from the Netherlands.
Cute nicknames include Lina, Leigh, Alina.
While the name Halston reminds me of a luxurious smelling perfume, Halston is contender for top H names. In 2016, only 10 babies per million were named Halston, which means this name is far from being on the “used and overused” list of names. While the name was brought back to life by Halston, a male fashion designer who pulled a Prince and went by one name only, the name also saw a feminine touch with Halston Sage, an actress.
An English name, Halston means “hallowed stone” which is a fun twist on names like Ruby or Emerald. Halston pairs well with siblings named Emery, Harper, Aubree, Rylie, Rory, and Ryan.
Depending on the place of origin, Hani is both a boy and girl name. From the land of Moana and Maui, we get Hani for baby girls. Hani is a beautiful Hawaiian name meaning “happy” or “joyful.” What is more sweet than Hani? It’s similar to Hannah or Hanna, but offers a more exotic flair.
When used with the Arabic origin, Hani is a boy’s name which also means “happy.” The US Social Security Administration shows us that Hani as a boy’s name is far more popular than a girl’s name, but the trend for Hani as a girl’s name has spiked in the last two years. I agree that Hani is a good choice for a little girl.
Sibling names that work with Hani include Anastasia, Nico, and Burgundy.
Similar to Hannah and Hani, Hannele means “grace.” To be really get down into the Jewish roots of the name, Hannele technically means “God has favored me.” Why choose Hannele? Hannah ranked #28 last year, meaning that there’s a good chance your little girl will share her name with another Hannah in school. Hannele isn’t even ranked on the US Social Security Administration list of names. Hannele is similar yet different enough that she won’t be sharing her name.
This name also has a few spelling variations: Hanalee, Hanne, and Hannie. Are you a nickname person? Hannele does not disappoint when it comes to nicknames: Hanny, Nannie, Han, Nan, Nellie, and Ellie.
Need a middle name to pair with Hannele? Opt for London, Georgiana, or Jade for a one-of-kind, memorable name for a grace-filled little girl.
Does Hans make you think of the shady brother in Frozen? Okay, maybe that guy gave the names Hans a bad rep, but he did bring the name out of the darkness and into the light. Here’s a better image for you: Hans Christian Anderson, the man who authored The Little Mermaid. There, isn’t that better?
Hans is a name with Scandinavian, German, and Hebrew roots; like Hannele, this name references God’s grace, specifically “God is gracious.” Hans is alternative version of John, which is obviously extremely popular. If you like John, but don’t want to get lost in the crowd, consider Hans.
Middle names to use with Hans include Diego, Ronan, Preston, and Sam (or even Samuel).
When I was a little girl, I always fantasized about which Disney princess I would be. It was a toss up between Belle or Cinderella, although if I had to choose by name alone, I chose Belle. What about Snow White? What if that was your favorite Disney princess? Naming a baby Snow White is a bit.. well… unrealistic. Even the characters in Disney’s Once Upon A Time never called Snow White by her full name. They simply called her Snow.
However, the Hawaiians got it covered. Haukea (HOU-keh-ah) is a pretty name which means “snowy beauty”. Snowy beauty sure sounds a lot like Snow White doesn’t it? All the beauty of a Disney princess name without sounding like a fan girl.
Good nicknames include Key, Keya, or even Keke.
Hava is a Hebrew name with an interesting history. Hava (pronounced like HA-va, not have-a) is a girl’s name meaning “life.” The name Hava is at the root of the English / French name Eve (as in the first woman in the Garden of Eden). If you like Eve but don’t want to use a popular name, opt for Hava, as they have the same meaning. Hava could also be spelled with the Turkish spelling of Havva.
Hava pairs well with siblings including Micah, Naomi, Hannah, Zoe, August, and Zara. Parents who named their baby girl Hava have used middle names such as Brooklynn, Leona, Sabrina, and Adalynn. Due to the trend of parents seeking less used yet still meaningful names, I see the potential for Hava to be a real contender.
When I discussed using the name Hawthorne for a baby boy, I mentioned that some parents use Hawke as a nickname for Hawthorne. If you’re looking for a more unique name, you could skip Hawthorne all together and just go straight for Hawke. The name Hawke obviously refers to the bird, but the hawk (as in the bird) has many meanings in and of itself. According to totem meanings, hawks are the messengers of the spiritual world and symbolize powerful focus, leadership, and clear vision. If that’s not a strong name, I don’t know what is?
If Hawke is your first son, there are plenty of nature themed names for future siblings: River (girl or boy), Hunter, Finn, Phoenix (as in the bird, not the city), Orion, and Ash.
I admit, when you first read Helah, you might be tempted to think about “hell-a” as in I’m gonna have a Hella good time. But hear me out: pronounced as hel-aw (not hell-a), you get a much different feeling towards the name.
Helah, written as חלאה in Hebrew, is a name meaning “rust”… and okay, I admit that rust is not the most special or coolest meaning. Despite the meaning rust, Helah is mentioned in the Old Testament. If you want a Biblical name but are tired of Noah and Rachel and Sarah, then maybe Helah is a good option for you. But think of Helah as a blank canvas, a name that your baby girl can make her own and create her own persona and meaning behind the name.
Helios is a Greek name meaning “god of the sun.” In fact, according to the myth, Helios (aka the sun) rode across the sky in a chariot. It is certainly a name that conjures strength, confidence, and power. With a prevalence of only 11 Helios babies per 1 million births, this name isn’t overused.
If you aren’t sold on Helios, there are a few spelling variations you can make. The Spanish Helio (pronounced AY-lee-o) also means “the sun” but has less of a Greek sound to it. Famous Helio boys include Helio Castroneves, a race car driver from Brazil. Italians have shortened the name to Elio, but Elios, Enzo, and Elias are also good variations to choose from. In fact, Elio has soared to the Top 250 list in France. Helios is definitely and up-and-coming name.
Sibling names include: Sebastian, Janus, Phoebe, Luke, Phoenix, and Olivia.
Henley is much more than a comfy type of shirt. Henley is an English name meaning “high meadow”; in fact, the name is uber popular in England right now for boys. Famous boys include Henley Gray, a NASCAR driver, and Don Henley of The Eagles. Because Henley is also the name of an English town on the Thames river, this name would be fun for nautical-loving parents to use.
Now onto Henley as a girl’s name. Only 3 babies out of all the Henleys born in 2014 were girls. However, in the United States, Henley seems to be growing in popularity for girls, ranking at 512. Henley has many feminine options for spelling (such as Henlie) and many options for nicknames (Han, Hennie, Leigh, Lee, and Lea.)
Of course, I love a good classic name like Henry, but Henry is an H name that you probably have thought of (or at least know of). Henri is a twist on a tried-and-true name. Like Henriette, this name also is German for “rules his household.” There is a long history of Henry’s and Henri’s with prominent places among history; this isn’t a name that is going away any time soon.
But here’s something to consider. While most people assume that Henri is masculine, why not use it for a baby girl? After all, it could definitely be a shortened version of Henriette, and the “I” ending definitely caters to a feminine name. Think: Wendi, Mandi, etc.
Sibling names to consider: Oliver/ Olivia, Quinn, Jack (or Jaqueline if you want to keep it French), and Charlie / Charlotte.
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