Harriet Meaning, Origin, and Significance

Harriet is a name that has been around for centuries. It has roots in Old Germanic, French, and English languages, and can be traced back to the Middle Ages. In this article, we will explore the meaning, origin, and significance of the name Harriet.

What is the meaning of the name Harriet?

The name Harriet means “ruler of the home”. It is derived from the Old Germanic words “heri” which means army or warrior, and “rīc” which means power or ruler. This combination of words gives the name Harriet its unique meaning.

What is the origin of the name Harriet?

The name Harriet has English, French, and Germanic origins. It is derived from the name Henrietta, which was a feminine form of the name Henry. The name Henry was popular among the Normans and was brought to England by William the Conqueror. Over time, different variations of the name emerged, including Harriet.

How popular is the name Harriet?

The popularity of the name Harriet has varied over time. In the United States, it was most popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, it declined in popularity after that and is now considered a rare name. In recent years, there has been a slight increase in the number of babies named Harriet.

Pros and cons of naming your child Harriet


  • Unique name: Harriet is not a very common name, so your child will likely stand out among their peers.
  • Strong meaning: The name Harriet has a strong and positive meaning, which can serve as a source of inspiration for your child.
  • Historical significance: The name Harriet has been associated with several notable figures throughout history, including abolitionist Harriet Tubman.


  • Difficult to pronounce: The name Harriet may be difficult for some people to pronounce or spell correctly.
  • Teasing potential: Children can be cruel, and the unique nature of the name Harriet could potentially make your child a target for teasing or bullying.

Alternatives to the name Harriet

If you like the meaning and historical significance of the name Harriet but are looking for an alternative, here are some options:

  • Henrietta
  • Hattie
  • Etta
  • Harry (for a boy)

Tips for choosing the name Harriet

  • Consider the pronunciation and spelling of the name when making your decision.
  • Think about how the name will sound with your last name.
  • Take into account any potential teasing or bullying that your child may experience because of their name.
  • Research the historical significance of the name Harriet to see if it aligns with your values and beliefs.

Step-by-step guide to naming your child Harriet

  1. Research the meaning and origin of the name Harriet.
  2. Consider the pros and cons of the name Harriet, as well as potential alternatives.
  3. Discuss the name with your partner or other family members to get their input.
  4. Say the name out loud to see how it sounds and feels.
  5. Make sure the name works well with your last name.
  6. Check the popularity of the name in your area and among your social circle.
  7. Consider any potential nicknames or shortened versions of the name that may arise.

Compare the name Harriet to other names

Harriet is a unique name with a strong meaning and historical significance. Here’s how it compares to some other popular names:

  • Emily: Emily is a very popular name that means “rival”.
  • Sophia: Sophia is a Greek name that means “wisdom”.
  • Charlotte: Charlotte is a French name that means “free man”.

The best middle names for Harriet

If you decide to name your child Harriet, here are some middle name options:

  • Rose
  • Elizabeth
  • Grace
  • Louise
  • Jane


The name Harriet is a unique and meaningful choice for your child. Whether you’re drawn to its historical significance or simply like the way it sounds, the name Harriet is a great option to consider.


  1. Was Harriet Tubman the only notable person named Harriet?
    No, there have been several notable people throughout history named Harriet, including author Harriet Beecher Stowe and actress Harriet Andersson.
  1. Is Harriet a popular name in any other countries besides the United States?
    Yes, Harriet is a popular name in the United Kingdom and several other English-speaking countries.
  1. Can the name Harriet be used for boys?
    While Harriet is traditionally a female name, there is no reason why it cannot be used for boys if desired.
  1. What are some potential nicknames for the name Harriet?
    Some potential nicknames for Harriet include Hattie, Harry, and Etta.
  1. How do you pronounce the name Harriet?
    The name Harriet is pronounced HARR-ee-et.

I am Patricia Mann, an experienced professional in the art of naming children. With a wealth of knowledge in the field of baby names, I aim to assist parents in choosing a meaningful and beautiful name for their little ones. My expertise lies in the Name Meaning section, where I delve deep into the origins and significance of names, providing valuable insights that I hope will be beneficial for parents.

Understanding the profound impact a name can have on a child's life, I strive to offer comprehensive guidance. The Name Meaning section is not just a repository of information but a resource where parents can discover the rich tapestry of meanings associated with different names. It is my belief that a child's name is more than just a label; it encapsulates the desires, hopes, and love of the parents.

In this journey of baby naming, my goal is to make the process enjoyable and meaningful for parents, ensuring that the chosen name resonates with the family's values and cultural background. I invite you to explore the Name Meaning of Impeccable Nest section as we embark on the delightful and important task of naming the newest members of your family.

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