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Gender: Female Meaning of Pearl: "pearl" Origin of Pearl: Latin gem name Pearl's Popularity in 2017: #652

The name Pearl is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "pearl". Pearl is ranked #652 on our popularity charts 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:

Pearl, like Ruby, has begun to be polished up for a new generation of fashionable children after a century of jewelry box storage. The birthstone for the month of June, Pearl could also make a fresher middle name alternative to the overused Rose. Cool couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughter Pearl Minnie, followed by Jack Osbourne, and several celebs have put it in the middle spot, as in Busy Philipps's Cricket Pearl, Jake Owen's Olive Pearl and Caleb Followill's Dixie Pearl .

After being a Top 25 name in the late nineteenth century, Pearl went into a long slide, but is showing signs of a strong comeback -- it reentered the Top 1000 in 2010.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Pearl is the illegitimate daughter of Hester Prynne, who gives her the name because she is 'her mother's only treasure.'

Pearl was also the alter ego name of Janis Joplin, tied to singer Pearl Bailey, and---hmm--the birth name of western writer Zane Gray.

Variations are PERLE and PERLA.

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

Famous People Named Pearl

Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, American novelist
Pearl Mae Bailey, American actress and singer
Pearl Cleage, American novelist
Pearl Lowe, English singer-songwriter
Pearl Mary Teresa Craigie, American novelist and dramatist under the pen name John Oliver Hobbes
Pearl Hart, American Old West outlaw
Pearl Liaison, stage name of Matthew James Lent, American drag queen of RuPaul's Drag Race season 7
Pearl Clementine Osbourne (b. 2012), daughter of TV personality Jack and Lisa Osbourne
Pearl Aday, American singer and daughter of singer Meat Loaf
Pearl Minnie Anderson (b. 2005), daughter of actress Maya Rudolph and director Paul Thomas Anderson
Pearl Ryder, daughter of singer Shaun Ryder of Black Grape
Pearl Miriam Dunstan, daughter of Australian youtubers Rohan and Chloe Dunstan (Life with Beans)
Pearl Pentland (b. 2018), daughter of Louise Pentland, of YouTube channel "SprinkleofGlitter"
India Pearl Weinstein (b. 2010), daughter of producer Harvey Weinstein and designer Georgina Chapman
Cricket Pearl Silverstein (b. 2013), daughter of actress Busy Phillips and Marc Silverstein
Lily Pearl Black (b. 2010), daughter of singer Clint Black
Marina Pearl LeBlanc (b. 2004), daughter of actor Matt LeBlanc
Dixie Pearl Followill (b. 2012), daughter of Lily Aldridge and Caleb Followill.
Daisy Pearl Schlapman (b. 2007), daugher of singer Kimberly Roads and Steven Schlapman
Taylor Mayne Pearl Brooks, daughter of singer Garth Brooks
(Pearl) Zane Grey, male American novelist

Pop Culture References for the name Pearl

Pearl Zhu, character on TV's "The Vampire Diaries"
Pearl, daughter of Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
Pearl, Mr. Krabs' daughter on animated series "SpongeBob SquarePants"
Pearl, character in song cycle Ghost Quartet
Pearl Gallagher, character on TV's "Diff'rent Strokes"
Pearl Caraldo, main character on TV's "Pearl"
The Pearl, character in anime "One Piece"
Pearl, late 14th-century Middle English poem
Pearl Fey, character in video game "Ace Attorney"
Pearl Slattery, character in "Redhill Rococo" by Shena Mackay
Pearl Cunningham, character in Ray Lawler's "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll"
Pearl Shay, character on TV's "227"
Pearl Forrester, character on TV's "Mystery Science Theater 3000"
Pearl, character on animated series "Steven Universe"
Pearl, character in Disney's "The Little Mermaid"
Pearl, character in Disney's "Home on the Range"
"The Pearl," short story by John Steinbeck
Pearl Jam, American rock band
Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian U.S. military base bombed in 1941 by Japan
Pearl, drums manufacturer
Pearl, main character in novel "My Sister Jodie"
Pearl, main character in novel "The Year of The Rat"
Pearl Ada Lennox, character in novel 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' by Kate Atkinson (twin sister of Ruby Lennox)
Grandma Pearl, character in "Big Fat Liar"
Granny Pearl, character in Nadia Aguiar's children's fantasy book series "Adventures in Tamarind"
Pearl, character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
Pearl Serpentine, daughter of the Hydra in "Monster High" show and series (twin sister of Peri Serpentine)
Pearl, a character from the video game Splatoon 2

Perlie, Perl, Pearleen, Perlina, Pearli, Perley, Pearle, Pearline, Pearla, Pearlie, Pearlina, Perlline, Pearly

Pearl's International Variations

Perle, Perline, Perlette (French) Perlezenn (Breton) Perlita, Perla (Spanish)


ginnnn Says:


my middle name is pearl. like a lot of people here, i do think the name sounds dated (by itself), but it can sound really nice if paired up with other names that makes it sound more "appealing". i also think it would work better as a middle name, although that might be me just being naturally biased.

Daiseymae Says:



Skittlewiddles Says:


I absolutely am in love with Pearl as first name. It is familiar, yet not over-used, has history and the old-lady vibe is slowly being shaken of, it is a water word-name, plus it just sounds pretty!

However, the absolute worst thing I can imagine is being known as "Mother of Pearl". I like puns but I think I'll side-step this label and opt for Pearla or find something similar.

mill1020 Says:


I really like this, but my husband immediately makes a joke about a "pearl necklace"

disqus_elAXLS4ZP1 Says:


Reminds me of a bird for some reason.

pixelatedinfants Says:


i think of pearl the bird mom from steven univese

danirose01 Says:



indiefendi2 Says:


I want to like this but I don't at all.

paulapuddephatt Says:


So beautiful

headintheclouds Says:


I don't see this as the name of an old lady since I've never met an elderly Pearl (I don't think it was that popular, at least compared to other generational names like Dorothy and Marguerite?). It's more the association of pearls as jewelry older ladies are more likely to wear, that gives me the vibe of Pearl being an "older" name.

Personally, I don't really like it because the sound grates at me-- I just hear a Southern-drawling "earl" with a p- tacked on the front. Concept-wise though, I think Pearl is adorable, fitting in with the vintage resurgence and gem jewel names along with Ruby and Opal, and it has a real classy luminous image.

Taterkay Says:


Does anyone know the masculine alternative to Pearl?

JaceyAcey Says:


Finding nemo ♡

Eleri Gwenllian Says:


Adorable. It makes such a good middle name as well.

FantasyandPrayer Says:


I'm trying hard to like it but I can't get rid of the 'old lady' image, even though I love vintage names I think this one is just a step too far for me. Pretty though.

priviledgedpistachios Says:


I love this name! Just like Theodora said, because I've never meta Pearl, I think it would make her feel more special. Since I love the name Marguerite, this could be a great nickname, or full name if Future Hubby likes it too!

malloree Says:


I love this name! It's cute and strong, and it's vintage, but I love those names!

Peapz88 Says:


I think ur yiaya is my wife..

indiefendi2 Says:


To my ears, there's something too gothic and haunting about this 😕

bootsie Says:


I think it's really pretty.

pearlrg Says:


My name is Pearl and I love it now that I am older but as a child I hated it . My daughter named her little girl Pearl also so she must love it to

csd267 Says:


I don't see this as an "old lady" name at all. I work at a giant retirement facility and haven't met one person named Pearl. Lots of Shirley's and Elizabeths, though! Pearl is so stylish.

LittleHeifer02 Says:


I can imagine Pearl as a sweet little girl, a creative adolescent, an intelligent business woman AND a loving grandmother - it's the full package.

Zoey_Artemisia Says:


I honestly feel so out of the loop with the whole 'old lady image' everyones talking about. When I see this name I picture mermaids lol

Caroline Says:


I think its very cute!! :-)

MiaMoulopoulos Says:


I love this name! My Yiayia is named Pearl and I plan on naming my first daughter Pearl after her and maybe call her "Pearlie."

Guest Says:


I guess cool people are bringing it back but it's up there with Mildred to me. I think with the right first name it's pretty though: India Pearl from the Weinsteins and Dixie Pearl from Caleb Followill and Lily Aldridge are great. But otherwise I think it's "old".

jordalini Says:


This still feels really dated

clairels Says:


Middle-aged, overweight Southern church lady in a big hat.

MaryKathryn Says:


This is such a beautiful name

Vespertinerose Says:


Pearline is another great option...

Guest Says:


I think of "old woman clutching her pearls". I don't get the appeal of this name.

fuzzycub Says:



Theodora_Phoenix Says:


This is a beautiful name. I don't know anyone named Pearl, so that makes me love it even more.