Harper Name Meaning & Origin

Harper

Pronunciation: HAR-per (key)

Origin of the name Harper:

Transferred use of the surname derived from the Middle English harp (a harp), which arose as an occupational name for a harp player.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

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US Popularity of Harper Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Harper: | Edit

In the past, the name Harper was pretty much unheard of, but in the past few years it has become very popular very quickly. I believe it's #10 on the US girls' list right now. So if you're choosing this name because you think it's unique, I wouldn't recommend it. It's a really cute name though, so I think it's a great choice as long as you're okay with your daughter being one of 3 Harpers in her grade.

Harper is a a strong 'business-like" name. It rolls of the tongue harshly and is unisex. I liked it until I actually SAID it aloud.

I know that what people are going for with the girl's name Harper is often a throw back to Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird. As someone who loves that book, I love the reference. However, if you plan on bringing your little Harper to Canada, you should know that the current Prime Minister of Canada is Stephen Harper. And 99/100 people you talk to will think PM before they think TKAM. Something you might want to consider if you plan to spend a lot of time north of the border. Harper isn't a terrible PM, but there's a reason there is such a long gap between a president's (or prime minister's) reign and when their name starts being fashionable.

It's a surname; it was never meant to be a first name for a girl!

It does seem to be quite popular now, I don't get it.

The novelist Harper Lee's real name was Nelle Harper Lee. Her middle name Harper was probably a family name, not meant to be a feminine first name. She would probably turn over in her grave if she knew so many people were naming their baby girls Harper!

That's how names work. Names become popular or lose popularity, surnames can become first names, first names become surnames. It's really not that shocking. There are plenty of names that I can think of that are older that I would probably never name a child now. It's not meant to be a static system.

Harper the harpy!

If people kept talking about an unpleasant subject and wouldn't let up, my mother would say "Quit HARPING on it!"

Personal experiences with the name Harper: | Edit

I'm the mother of a 2006 Harper... thought it was going to be one of a kind... not quite... in her pre-school class of ten, she was one of two... and one of five across the entire preschool consisting of a population of 80... I was in disbelief.

I work in a pediatrics office and we are seeing SO many Harpers!! This is definitely the hot girl name for 2015/2016. Look out Sophia!

Nicknames for Harper: | Edit

Harpsichord, Harpie, Harp, Harps, Harpsers, Harpser, Doodle, Harp Harp, Har Har,

Don't nickname her Harpie! A HARPY is a SHREWISH WOMAN!

Meanings and history of the name Harper: | Edit

Harp player

Famous real-life people named Harper: | Edit

Harper Lee - American author
Paul Simon's son is named Harper.
Harry Potter producer David Heyman's son is named Harper
E.D nurse in New Zealand soap opera, Shortland Street- Harper Whitley
Harper Rosie Maguire (b. 2008), daughter of American musician Martie Maguire
Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood (b. 2008), daughter of American singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley
Harper Willow Grohl (b. 2009), daughter of American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and film director Dave Grohl
Harper Grace Burtka-Harris (b. 2010), daughter of American actor, writer, producer, comedian, magician, and singer Neil Patrick Harris
Harper Renn Smith (b. 2010), daughter of American actress Tiffani Thiessen
Harper Seven Beckham (b. 2011), daughter of English former professional footballer David Beckham and English businesswoman, fashion designer, model, and singer Victoria Beckham
Harper Hader (b. 2012), daughter of American comedian, actor, voice actor, producer, and writer Bill Hader

Harper in song, story & screen: | Edit

Harper is the name of the Mormon wife in the play Angels in America.
Harper is the name of Jennifer Stone's character on the Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place"
Harper's Island was a miniseries on CBS in 2009.
Harper was played by Paul Newman in the film of the same name.

No Way
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67
No Way
Definitely

Smart?

62
No Way
Definitely

Sexy?

61
No Way
Definitely

Friendly?

67
No Way
Definitely

Creative?

65
No Way
Definitely

Strong?

55
No Way
Definitely

Young?

63
No Way
Definitely

Sophisticated?