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Gender: Female Meaning of Harper: "harp player" Origin of Harper: English Harper's Popularity in 2017: #11

The name Harper is a girl's name of English origin meaning "harp player". Harper is ranked #11 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Middle Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

From the experts:

Harper is a red hot name for girls, having jumped from obscurity to near the top of the popularity list in less than a decade; it entered the Top 10 for the first time in 2015, and has stayed near there since. Harper is a prime example of the trend of surnames that turn into boys' names and then become girls' names. Harper was rarely heard for either sex before the mid-2000s, entering the girls' list in 2004. (For boys, it was in use until 1906 when it dropped off the scope and didn't reappear until a full century later.)

Harper has been a shooting star in the celebrisphere, chosen first by Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulis, followed by Lisa Marie Presley, David Spade, Dave Grohl, Martie Maguire, Tiffani Thiessen, Bill Hader and Neil Patrick Harris. And since the Beckhams have chosen it for their first daughter, Harper is sure to get even hotter.

It was To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper (born Nelle Harper) Lee who brought this family name into the public consciousness as a female first name with offbeat, boyish southern charm, and it's also a name with a musical bent. Harper has recently been used as a female character name on such hot TV shows as Gossip Girls and The Wizards of Waverly Place.

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

Famous People Named Harper

(Nelle) Harper Lee, American novelist
Harper Renee Henry (b. 2001), daughter of Miss America Heather French Henry and Steve Henry
Harper Rhimes (adopted 2002), daughter of screenwriter, producer/director Shonda Rhimes
Harper Kelsay (b. 2006), daughter of NFL player Chris Kelsay
Harper Spade (b. 2008), daughter of actor David Spade and model Jillian Grace
Harper Moon Margaret Vedder (2008), daughter of musician Eddie Vedder
Harper Rosie Maguire (b. 2008), daughter of musician Martie Maguire
Harper Tillman (b. 2008), daughter of NFL player Travares Tillman
Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood (b. 2008), daughter of singer Lisa Marie Presley; granddaughter of Elvis Presley; twin of brother Finley Aaron
Harper Willow Grohl (b. 2009), daughter of American rock musician Dave Grohl
Harper Grace Burtka-Harris (b. 2010) daughter of actor Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
Harper Renn Smith (b. 2010), daughter of actors Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith
Harper Reese Hedrick (b. 2010), daughter of speed skater Chad Hedrick
Harper Rain Sinclair McGlinchey (b. 2010), daughter of musicians Natalie Bassingthwaite and Cameron McGlinchey
Harper Adams (b. 2010), daughter of singer Kristin (Holt) Adams
Harper Seven Beckham (b. 2011) daughter of Victoria and David Beckham
Harper Hader (b. 2012), daughter of actor Bill Hader and director Maggie Carey
Harper Estelle Wolfeld-Gosk (b. 2013), daughter of TV journalists Jenna Wolfe and Stephanie Gosk
Harper Marie Kirk (b. 2014), daughter of actress Jenna Fischer
Harper Rose Barash (b. 2014), daughter of actors Brandon Barash and Kirsten Storms
Harper Foxx Cotchin (b. 2014), daughter of AFL footballer Trent Cotchin
Harper Grace Hammer (b. 2014), daughter of actor Armie Hammer
Harper Clark (b. 2014), daughter of model Kristy Hinze and James Clark
Harper Marie Anderson (b. 2015), daughter of baseball player Brian Anderson
Harper Raines (b. 2016), daughter of TV personalities Madison Channing Walls and Tony Raines of "The Real World"
Harper Rose Garner (b. 2016), daughter of TV personalities Zoe Hendrix and Alex Garner of "Married at First Sight"
Frances Harper Wyle (b. 2015), daughter of actor Noah Wyle

Pop Culture References for the name Harper

Harper Pitt, character in Tony Kushner's "Angels in America"
Harper Finkle, character on TV's "Wizards of Waverly Place"
Harper Weil, character on TV's "The Whispers"
Harper Whitley, character on New Zealand soap "Shortland Street"
Harper Connelly, main character in a series by Charlaine Harris
Harper Price, main character in "Rebel Belle" by Rachel Hawkins
Harper Dean, character in webcomic "Real Life" by Greg Dean
Harper Burke, character in film "Things We Lost in the Fire"
Harper McIntyre, character in The CW's "The 100"
Harper, the estranged cousin living in the basement in the game "Ghost of Thornton Hall"
Harper, one of the main characters of TNT's "Leverage"
Harper, character in "Minecraft: Story Mode"


burg123 Says:


Ive only met one Harper

gnolib Says:


Same. Could never use. Probably why the name isn't as common in Canada as well.

Piteco Says:


I agree. This name it's just Meh.

Erica Says:


I totally agree!

snowyowlgal Says:


Agreed especially in the last few year :/

sunshinexoxo Says:


I'm just meh about this name. I just don't love it :/

Ziggy2112 Says:


Ugh yes! Stephen Harper is my first thought and it's not a good one.

genevieve_emmanuelle Says:


I would love this name if it wasn't for Stephen Harper...

xhart Says:


I heard this for the first time a few years ago and I still don't like it, not for a boy or girl. Something about the sound is too strange for my liking. Honestly it seems like a dogs name to me...

Ziggy2112 Says:


Stephen Harper...blegh

hermioneameliastyles Says:


I first heard Harper on Wizards of Waverly Place. I like the spunkiness of the name. It's cute for an out there girl. It's sweet and cute.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I see it very much as a girls' name. Guess we all have our own associations.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Is it only me who thinks of Harper Collins, though? 😃

paulapuddephatt Says:


Somehow, can't stop myself from loving this name, and it's not even my usual style. I feel that Piper is similar, and also gaining a lot of popularity, and I love that name, too.

Daiseymae Says:


I guess this name is the new Madison.

Daiseymae Says:


Me neither.

Daiseymae Says:


I really don't like this name either. It reminds me of the 1966 film detective "Harper" starring Paul Newman.

HarperBallard31 Says:


My name is Harper and I love my name. My parents had never heard of it except for boys. It sounded sort of tomboyish to them, so they chose Rose for my middle name. I am also kind of annoyed that it's gaining popularity. We were cool before it was cool! Hope this helps :)

gracefish2005 Says:


Love this name, but wish it wasn't so popular!

kerribear Says:


One of my favorite names. Probably would've used it myself if my sister hadn't beaten me to it ;) But her little Harper Grace is too precious and I haven't met another Harper yet

TheSlothPrincess Says:


I really don't like this name. In Canada, most people will think of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and it reminds me of to "harp on" about something. It strikes me as a name that will not age well.

oliviamcdonald Says:


Makes me think of a hippie child with a floral garland playing a harp! (Which to me is beautiful). I could also see it on a tomboy. Love this name. Everyone's saying it's popular but I'm yet to come across a girl Harper. I have met two boy Harpers.

indiefendi2 Says:


I still can't really understand this name's popularity. It has a sour taste in my mouth like grapefruit. It's just not very cute (to me).

cabosanmucus Says:


Harper Lee's death combined with Go Set a Watchman's release last year, Harper is headed for #1 in the future. Oh dear Lord...

IvyTheRoserade Says:


It's pretty, but I don't think I'd use it. Probably because of the popularity and it always reminds me of “to harp on someone." Even if it is actually for harp playing. Oh, and it reminds me of Harper from Wizards of Waverly Place and she just annoyed me to no end. :(

Paige_Mackenzie Says:


Always a boy's name to me.

indiefendi2 Says:


Even though I find this name to be quite ugly and sour-sounding and cannot for the life of me understand why it's s ridiculously! popular and I'm not a fan of To Kill A Mockingbird, I can somewhat bring myself to see *some* appeal. But I'm team Harlow (which I hope never breaks the Top 100).

wavygirl Says:


I love this name... Hadley and Hayley/Hailey or also cool

JustBrowsing Says:


I can hardly believe this name is so popular in the US, because it is NOT in Canada - likely because it is the LN of the Prime Minister.

DaisyMaisie Says:


i don`t really know why, but i don't like this name...

indiefendi2 Says:


Harper Lee is writing another book this year. The thought of this name getting anymore popular irritates the heck outta me.

jennthiebaud Says:


This is my daughter's name, Harper Hazel. She is 6 now and when she was born we were asked to repeat ourselves often when asked her name as it was soooo unheard of at the time. I still love it but am saddened at how popular it became a few years later as we choose it because it was so unique and lovely.

Rush1986 Says:


I feel like this will look very dated in 20 years. Sort of like Sarah and Megan. But its nice enough.

Leslie Solis Says:


My niece's name! 😃 I admit it had to grow on me a bit when my sister told me that was the name she and my brother-in-law had chosen. Maybe it was because the first thing I thought of was Harper Finkle from "Wizards of Waverly Place", who wasn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed! But now, I love it! Unfortunately, it somehow escaped my sister how popular the name has become, and she was a bit disappointed since she wanted something a bit more unique. But I still think it's beautiful! Fits that little girl to a T!

lexibatt Says:


This name is so pretty and the sound of it is very feminine.

sixbillionsouls6 Says:


Whenever i hear Piper, i think of peter piper picked a pack of pickle peppers

Caroline Says:


Cute name!

ara_b_09 Says:


I think Harlow, Hadley, and Piper are much better choices. Whenever I hear Harper, a harpy is the first thing to come to mind. Not pleasant. (However I have met a littler Harper who was darling.)

Alicia1 Says:


Such a cool name, too bad it's so popular! I've heard it for celeb babies, not on any regular kids. I also love Hadley.

mabespark Says:


I kind of like it. It sounds sweet and tomboyish, but alas, the popularity...

Guest Says:


I prefer Harlow. Harper is so weird to me for whatever reason, it reminds me of plumbing.

Nicole4383 Says:


I really like the name, but it's just too popular.

ldougie Says:


The only thing that could hold me back from using this name is its popularity :(

christina Says:


I have loved this name for YEARS long before it became super popular, now that I'm expecting I am very disappointed that its gotten so popular. Hadley is also getting popular, but not nearly as much

krissinickel Says:


The character Harper in Wizards of Waverly Place really turned me off of this name, and I was really starting to like it again until the Name Info brought it back up. I still like it, but...the character killed it for me a little bit.

Shishi Says:


this is my little sisters name. She says "Nobody ever says my name right!" but maybe it's just cause she's 7 and cant talk very well...

Giinkies Says:


This name is growing on me. First time I heard it I really didn't care for it, but now I keep seeing it popping up on here and I must say I like it. The imagery of an angel playing a harp in heaven is lovely.

Then again... there is the phrase "to harp on something" which does turn me off a bit.