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Gender: Male Meaning of Harlan: "rocky land" Origin of Harlan: German and English Harlan's Popularity in 2017: #785

The name Harlan is a boy's name of German origin meaning "rocky land". Harlan is ranked #785 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Rustic Baby Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

From the experts:

Pleasant but uninspired surname name somewhat connected to writers Ellison and Coben. After three decades off the US Top 1000, it reentered in 2013, maybe because it's an unusual example of the trendy class of two-syllable n-ending boys’ names. Kevin Harlan is an NFL, NBA, and college basketball announcer for TV and radio.

Find other names based on Harlan using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Harlan

Harlan Fiske Stone, 12th Chief Justice of the United States
Harlan Coben, American novelist
Harlan Jay Ellison, American speculative fiction novelist
Harlan Lattimore, American singer
Harlan Briggs, American actor
Harlan Perry Howard, American singer-songwriter
Harlan Hubbard, American painter
Harlan Daumann, Canadian singer-songwriter; son of singer John Mann
Harlan Roy Griffin (b. 2014), son of actress Grey DeLisle and Jared Griffin
Harlan Harris (b. 2016), son of New Zealand rugby footballer Tohu Harris
Harlan Veil Michelina Phillips, daughter of Instagramer @whatdreamsmaybecome

Pop Culture References for the name Harlan

Harlan Fairfax Carruthers, from the movie "Down in the Valley"
Harlan Whitford, from the movie "Safe House"
Harlan Wade, from the game "F.E.A.R."
Harlan Jeeters, character from TV series "American Gothic"
Harlan Carson, character from "The Walking Dead" (both comic and TV show)
Earl Harlan, character from the podcast "Welcome to Night Vale"
Harlan Puckett , Character in film "Thelma and Louise"
Harlan County, Kentucky, USA, home of many country musicians
Dr Harlan Fontaine from video game “L.A. Noire”
Harlan Estate, Napa Valley cult wine producer
Harlan Ogilvy, character in 2005 film "War of the Worlds"

Harlenn, Harland, Harlynn, Harlyn, Harlon, Harlen, Harlin


Katie Hartsock Says:


Yes, exactly!

Katie Hartsock Says:


We named our son this and it's just perfect for him. It was my grandfather's middle name, we get so many compliments on it. No need for a nickname, really. But I've considered Harry or Hank, if we feel a nickname need :)

DaniDani Says:


I like the German meanings of the name which are "From the land of strength, and "strong/strength". Nameberry should include them.

Danielle Says:


You can say this about any name. Jack the Ripper, anyone? Jack is extremely popular, I don't think anyone who has named their child Jack did so because of him.

chelseyrs1991 Says:


Nobody associates this name with this movie or character. My son is named Harlan and we have never received comments linked to this whatsoever. Honestly, nobody has linked his name to anything.

Wittyusername103 Says:


This is the name of an (attempted) rapist in Thelma and Louise. Do not do name your kid this. Seeing as the movie came out in 1991 I'm disgusted it's gotten this far.

Amtucker10 Says:


I love the name Harlan! I would think his nickname would be Harley. Is that getting to popular as a girls name? I don't like unisex names!

JessicaRK467 Says:


This name sounds so redneck to me...I think I probably just associate it with Justified too much though