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Gender: Female Meaning of Hortense: "of the garden" Origin of Hortense: Latin

The name Hortense is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "of the garden". Hortense and is often added to lists like Old People Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Picky Parents BNG".

From the experts:

The long unfashionable Hortense is actually the French feminine form of Hortensia, the name of a strong, politically active early Roman woman. Hortense began to be used in the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century. Napoleon had a stepdaughter named Hortense, it was the name of one of the main characters in the film Secrets and Lies and is also associated with novelist Hortense Calisher. As unappealing as it might be to most American parents, Hortense is now Number 311 in France.

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

Famous People Named Hortense

Hortense Eugénie Cécile de Beauharnais, Queen consort of Louis Bonaparte of Holland; stepdaughter of Napoleon I
Hortense Mancini, Duchesse Mazarin, mistress of King Charles II of England
Hortense Powdermaker, American anthropologist
Hortense Catherine Schneider, French soprano
Hortense Calisher, American novelist
Hortense Ellis, Jamaican reggae singer
Hortense Allart de Méritens aka Prudence de Saman L'Esbatx, Italian-French feminist novelist
Hortense Rhéa, Belgian-French actress
Hortense Diédhiou, Senegalese Olympic judoka
Eugénie Hortense Auguste Napoléone, Princess of Leuchtenberg; Princess of Hohenzollern-Hechingen; granddaughter of Empress Josephine of France

Pop Culture References for the name Hortense

Hortense, a Spotted Owl in the "Guardians of Ga'hoole" series
Hortense Joseph, a character in "Small Island" by Andrea Levy
Hortense McDuck, character in the "Scrooge McDuck" comics
Hortense Sage, character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
Hortense "Horty" Hathaway, a 1920s showgirl in the movie "Bloodhounds of Broadway"

Hortencia, Ortense, Hortensia, Hartinsia

Hortense's International Variations

Ortensia (Italian)


mamanmia Says:


Phyllis means 'green bough'

Hortense Says:


BEST NAME EVER! Hortense or Tense Whore?

Q: "Hey! Is that Hortense?"
A: "Well, yes. But, she's always tense!"

Miri Says:



Daiseymae Says:


You are killing me. LOL

Floris Says:


I really like Helga and Phyllis is surprisingly appealing, I have to look up the meaning of Phyllis...
The French pronounciation of Hortense is actually surprisingly pretty. Not a name I'd use, but still.

snowsbeloved Says:


I think of snort, or warthog or...whore :( The French pronunciation (OR-tonse) is only slightly better. I think of tonsils. This name is just hopeless for me. Someone name your beautiful baby girl this and maybe it'll turn over a new leaf.

Catastroffy Says:


Pronounced correctly, I love this name. It is very elegant with such a pretty meaning.

AldabellaxWulfe Says:


To be honest, I really want to see 'ugly old woman' names make a comeback. Geraldine, Helga, Mildred, Phyllis - they're just so unique and powerful, as well as cultured and elegant in their own individual ways. Having said that, I admit that I'm not too sure about Hortense.

In truth, I absolutely adored it a few years back and thought it was probably one of the most distinctive names going. And clearly I was right if its popularity in France is anything to go on. However, upon closer inspection, while it was definitely a hit several hundred years ago amongst common folk and royalty alike, within an English speaking country during the 21st century... methinks the obvious 'whore-' beginning poses a bit of a risk of teasing potential. And that's unlikely to change, unless everyone is on board with adopting the 'OR-tonse' pronunciation from France?

lesliemarion Says:


I love Hortense. I thinks she is classy and strong.