Best H Names for Girls
Girl names that start with H tend to fall on the extreme ends of the spectrum — very vintage or ultra-modern.
At least, the most popular ones do. Harper, the top H name for girls, is a contemporary name that has only been in the Top 1000 since 2004. On the other hand, old-fashioned Hazel was a top 100 name from 1886 to 1936 and after decades of neglect, has regained that status.
If your personal style is more balanced — don't worry. The best H names for girls span the range of traditional to modern and come from a host of backgrounds and histories.
Rhythmic Arabic girl names like Aaliyah, Amina, and Fatima have been well-used in the US for decades, yet many deserving Muslim names haven't yet had the spotlight. We particularly love Hadiya, which is the feminine variation of Hadi, one of the 99 names of Allah in Islam. Its inspirational meaning, "path to righteousness," is an additional selling point. Hadiya can also be spelled Hadia or Hadya, and Hadiye is the Turkish form.
This fashionable name calls to mind the mononymous designer, born Roy Halston Frowick. Halston combines many top trends, including unisex-style Ha- names for girls (think Hadley and Harlow) and the -ston ending (more common among boy names like Weston and Kingston). It's currently a rarity, but not for long. Halston has been one of the fastest-rising girl names of recent years, practically doubling in use between 2020 and 2021.
Hawaiian names for girls, inspired by Leilani and company, are more abundant than ever on the mainland. Hanalei is an under-the-radar place name — a river, bay, and village in Kaua'i — ready to be discovered. It means "crescent bay," "lei valley," and "lei-making" in Hawaiian, which refers to the shape of Hanalei Bay and the colorful foliage in the valley.
Harper has been a Top 20 name for almost a decade, so we're looking toward what's next. Similar-sounding Harbor — which boasts peaceful imagery of water and a place of refuge — is our favorite alternative.
Old Hollywood starlet Jean Harlow (born Harlean Carpenter) gives this contemporary choice a dose of glamour and femininity. Despite its androgynous sound, Harlow is used for girls more than 90% of the time. It's currently ranked in the Top 300, but Nicole Richie and Joel Madden were ahead of the trend when they named their daughter Harlow in 2008.
For all of Harriet's history (and a great host of honorees, including Harriet Tubman and Harriet the Spy), it's surprisingly underused in the US. Harriet dropped out of the Top 1000 in the 1970s, only to reappear for a single year in 2019. Yet Harriet is currently a Top 100 choice in England, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as a favorite on Nameberry. Yes, it's a serious name, but nicknames like Hattie, Hetty, and Hatsy round out Harriet's sharp edges.
Top H Names for Girls in the US
It's hard to resist the appeal of Hazel, a spunky vintage choice with that zingy Z. Hazel is extremely popular — currently Number 28 and rising — but that doesn't lessen our love for this name. It's a botanical choice, associated with the hazelnut tree, which was once a symbol of protection. Other hazy H names for girls include Hayes, Hazen, and Haze itself.
International favorite Heidi is still stuck in the Alps to many Americans, while others may consider it a mom name. But at a time when Adelaide is more fashionable than ever, we think its German nickname (via Adelheidis) is fresher and more distinctive than Addie.
Ancient, serious Helen is at an all-time low, but the more romantic Helena lightens it up a few notches. If three syllables is a bit much for everyday use, try one of the myriad of nicknames for Helena — Ellie, Elle, Lena, Lenny, or Nell. Our favored pronunciation of this name is hell-AYN-a, but HELL-ehn-a and hell-EEN-a are also correct.
In Greek mythology, Hero fell in love with Leander, who would swim to his beloved each night by the light of her lamp. Shakespeare later used her name in Much Ado About Nothing, as the cousin of Beatrice. With these two eponyms, we prefer Hero as a girl name, despite rising rapidly in popularity among boys.
Unique Girl Names That Start with H
Hester's star (it means star) has been dropping since, oh, the 1890s, with the name leaving the Top 1000 entirely in 1950. Last year, in 2021, there were no baby girls named Hester in the US. Zero! That may change next month, when Laurie Lico Albanese's novel Hester Is published, telling the story of The Scarlet Letter from heroine Hester Prynne's point of view. This is a near-extinct name we predict will rise again.
According to the 100-year rule, Hilda is overdue for a comeback. It last peaked around the turn of the 19th century, when Germanic names were everywhere. But modern parents have not shown a willingness to embrace their clunky consonants again. Hilda, with its soft H, is more delicate than similar choices Gilda and Tilda. It's a Top 100 choice in Sweden and Finland.
Hira is a multicultural gem — literally, it means "diamond" — common in South Asia and Turkey. It's an important Islamic choice, as Mount Hira is where Muhammad received revelations from Allah. In Turkey, Hira is more often used as a part of the name Hiranur, a modern compound name.
Jolly Holiday conjures up good vibes, whether it makes you think more of the winter holidays or summer vacation. Holly is a familiar nickname, and Holloway is an intriguing unisex alternative.
Hollis is one of the hottest gender-neutral names around, used nearly equally for girls and boys and rising for both. It has a botanical, via holly, related meaning.
Currently on the rise for both girls and boys, Honor is a striking virtue name that feels refreshingly understated as names like Legendary and Noble ascend alongside it. Elaborations Honora and Honoria have appeared in notable works of fiction and were commonly used by the Puritans.
Hope is one of the most classic virtue names, simple and straightforward. One of the surprising girl names that's always been in the US Top 1000, Hope's popularity has held more or less steady for more than a century, never rising into the Top 100 or dropping below the Top 500. That's an amazing accomplishment in the world of names.
The name of the youngest Bridgerton sister has attracted much interest since the show premiered in 2020, yet the Netflix series didn't give Hyacinth the popularity boost it deserved. This flower name is more saucy than sweet — similar to sassy nature names like Juniper and Clementine.