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Gender: Female Meaning of Harriet: "estate ruler" Origin of Harriet: English variation of French Henriette

The name Harriet is a girl's name of French, English origin meaning "estate ruler". Harriet and is often added to lists like Old Lady Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Names on NB that make you go WOW!".

From the experts:

Harriet has long been considered a stylish, upscale name in England, but it's still waiting to be revived in the US—though some parents seeking a solid, serious semi-classic are beginning to consider it.

Distinguished namesakes include Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the influential Uncle Tom's Cabin; Harriet Tubman (born Araminta), the famed abolitionist; and in pop culture, Harriet Hilliard Nelson, of Ozzie & Harriet TV fame. Many will associate it with the protagonist of the childhood classic Harriet the Spy. Harriet has appeared in other books ranging from Jane Austen's Emma to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Harriet, a Top 100 name at the turn of the last century, hasn't appeared on the list since 1970. On the other hand, it is currently Number 61 in England and Wales.

Cutesy nicknames for Harriet include Hattie, Hetty, and Hatsy. A related idea: Henrietta.

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

Famous People Named Harriet

Harriet Beecher Stowe, American novelist
Harriet Nelson (born Peggy Louise Snyder), American singer and actress, wife of Ozzie Nelson
Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross), American abolitionist
Harriet Mary Walter, English actress
Harriet Ruth Harman, British Shadow Deputy Prime Minister
Harriet Martineau, English social theorist
Harriet Ellan Miers, 31st U.S. White House Counsel
Harriet Ann Jacobs, American slave narrative author
Harriet Sansom Harris, American actress
Harriet Andersson, Swedish actress
Harriet Roberts, English dance pop singer
Harriet Elizabeth Georgiana (Howard) Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland, British Mistress of the Robes
Harriet Sarah, Lady Mordaunt, Scottish divorcee of MP Charles Mordaunt and friend of King Edward VII
Harriet Arbuthnot, English diarist and friend of the Duke of Wellington
Harriet Hemings, daughter of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson

Pop Culture References for the name Harriet

Harriet Chetwode-Talbot, main character in film "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"
Harriet Welsch, main character in Louise Fitzhugh's "Harriet the Spy"
Harriet Jones, character on TV's "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood"
Harriet Vanger, character in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Harriet Smith, character in Jane Austen's "Emma"
Harriet Vane, character in Dorothy L. Sayers' "Gaudy Night"
Harriet Oleson, character on TV's "Little House on the Prairie"
Harriet Goodcharm, character on TV's "The Worst Witch"
Harriet "Harry" Watson, sister of Dr. John Watson on TV's "Sherlock"
Harriet Beadle "Tattycoram," character in Charles Dickens' "Little Dorrit"
Harriet Townsend, character in "Yesterday's Child" by Barbara Woo
Harriet Bentley, character in film "Wild Child"
Harriet Schulenburg, character on British TV's Green Wing"
Harriet Hayward, character on TV's "Twin Peaks"
Harriet, dog character in children's books by Nancy Carlson
Harriet, character in "The Maze Runner" series
Harriet Kepner-Avery, daughter of Dr. Jackson Avery and Dr. April Kepner on "Grey's Anatomy"
Mad Harriet, villain in DC Comics
Harriet Arkham, character in Batman comics
Harriet Hyde, alter-ego in British TV series "Julia Jekyll and Harriet Hyde"
Harriet Morton, character in Eva Ibbotson's novel "A Company of Swans"
Harriet Sims, U.S. Navy officer in the TV show JAG
Harriet, character in the videogame “Super Mario Odyssey”


catcher5 Says:


Hard-hearted harbinger of haggis
Beautiful, bemuse-ed, bellicose butcher.
Un-trust... ing.
Un-know... ing.
Un-love... ed?
He wants you back, he screams into the night air like a fireman going to a window that has no fire...
except the passion of his heart.
I am lonely!
It's really hard!
This poem... sucks.

rubylark Says:


I prefer the spelling Harriett, but I think this name is super pretty.

HarrietKimberleyG Says:


My name is Harriet and I prefer the spelling Harriette. Harriet just looks incomplete and a bit lazy to me. Beautiful, strong and smart name though. Hazza is my nickname but you can have Hattie so it can be edgy or cute.

Toronto87 Says:


LOL my husband does that all the time...hates a name and then a year later acts like he invented it.

connor Says:


Why is this name only meant for females?

peachydane Says:


This is my name :) but there aren't many nicknames that people would use for me, but i do get called harry a LOT. Hattie/Hetty, to me, are a little ugly but hey that's just my preference. At school i do sometimes feel a little... old? Because i'm surrounded by Jessica's and Chloe's and Ellie's.

NameLover 11 Says:


I love this name with the nickname Hattie!!

NameLover 11 Says:


I love this name with the nick name Hattie!!

gummybear0724 Says:


A really cute nickname would be Ree

CharlieBear Says:


My sister who is a year older than me is called Harriet and we call he Harri for short, I'm called Charlotte and get called Charlie for short. Quite often people comment on our names saying how cute they are and how well Harri and Charlie go together and growing up we both liked having shortened boyish names but still pretty names when on paper.

JossieChris Says:


This was my grandmothers name. She actually didn't care for it and went by Rhett instead. I wonder how surprised she'd be to know how popular it is now. She made me promise not to use it. But promises were meant to be broken. I love Hattie and Harry nicknames. Rhett was used by my cousin for his son which was a perfect homage to her. I think she wouldve loved it and Gone with the Wind was her personal fav. It really is perfect. So maybe I just let them have it and honor her wishes. Awe, but Harriet Arden Josephine makes me so happy! HattieJoe!

QuxxnAphrosephone Says:


Ha. That's a great story.

Carolina Says:


Love Harriet. Mother-in-law has it as first name. May use for future little girl. Ideas for using it as a first or a middle name? Current little girl is Maxine!

foreverharriet Says:


This is my name and I adore it :D I've never gone by Hattie - my nickname has always been Harry.

Waverly123 Says:


GREAT IDEA! I only just saw this now, but what a great idea!!! Thank you!

AriellaBar Says:


You could use Etta. :)

Waverly123 Says:


I really love the name Harriet, but I don't actually like Hattie! I don't know if I like any of her nicknames :( I just think the name Harriet looks so pretty when written down - so balanced with the high letters at either end, the double R's in the middle, "Sigh".

DottiPanda Says:


I love the name Harriet. It comes with a lot of cool literary role models from Harriet the Spy to Lady Harriet in "Wives and Daughters". There are also some great nickname options from cooky Hattie, tom-boyish Harry and sophisticated Jette (Yett-uh) to the cute baby nickname Yeti. Just imagine a truculent toddler being called "Yeti"... <3

ThistleThorn Says:


I absolutely love this, but everyone I know thinks it sounds too much like Harry or is an old lady name. Hattie is a super cute nickname!

headintheclouds Says:


One of the names that I like in theory, when I see a fictional character named Harriet. Don't like it as much if it's on a real-life person, I think. I suppose Harriet is a name I'd like to see other people using, but wouldn't use for myself. I'd more likely use Henrietta than Harriet.

amberdaydream Says:


I know a lot of girls called Harriet. They all go by Hattie.

beeba Says:


I love this name. It's my pseudonym when I write stories. Harriet has an old-fashioned but spunky feel to it.

HarrietB Says:


Yes! I'm 18 and pretty much the most stubborn, free and wild person ever haha the name really suits me. I used to really hate it but now I like it :)

AnonymousPerson Says:


I have never liked this name. Well, maybe I'm biased, since I went to school with a Harriet who was an absolute pest.

SunKissedChild Says:


Yay! I can finally put Harriet with my favourite girl names! I told my husband I loved the name Harriet a year ago, and he hated it. And then recently, he came to me and said he found the name Harriet and thought it was amazing! Men are annoying, but I'm thrilled to be able to add it to my list! :)

MaryKathryn Says:


Couldn't agree with you more!

DryLake Says:


Harriet is more or less the name that is associated with "badass-ery", expecially since the name Harry often is used as word to describe that something is rough and cool. Harriet must be a dream of a name for parents who want an independent and confident daughter, so I hope you Harriet's out there are able to express yourself as well as your name wants you to~

Sunshine Kid Says:


I think I would use Harriet just for the nickname "Hattie" alone!