Friday, February 14, 2014


Photo Courtesy of JME Portraits

If you're looking for a nature name inspired by Valentines Day, it's pretty hard to go past Hart. While the sound of it conjures up images of lovehearts, flowers and romance, its' meaning 'stag' brings to mind grace, strength and power.

Hart is an Old English name that is traditionally used for boys. In the US it has never been in the top 1000, but has appeared on the charts (used more than 5 times in a year) more times than not. In 1987 it also appeared on the chart for girls, and it seems a little surprising that this was the only year this has happened.

Hart fits in well alongside other short, sharp names that are favoured as masculine names. It'd be easy to imagine an athlete with this name, or a writer, poet, artist or actor. And thanks to 'Hart of Dixie', a Doctor Hart seems familiar and reasonable too. Hart (and Harte) is also a surname, so could be used to honour a family member with this name.

However for many the imagery of love-hearts (and the likelihood of a lifetime of people misspelling the name) would be enough reason not to use Hart as a first name. In this case Hart would definitely make a great middle name – rare, sentimental sounding, but with a strong meaning.

Or you could go for a Hart related name instead.

Hartley, meaning 'stag meadow' would be a great option. It is right on trend with Hadley (currently #130 for girls and #2510 for boys in the US) and Harley (currently a top 1000 name in America for both boys and girls), but is far less popular, positioned at #1929 for girls and #5526 for boys in 2012. And it comes with plenty of alternate spellings, such as Hartlee, Hartleigh, Hartlea and Hartlie, depending on your personal style.

Other names starting with Hart include Hartigan, Hartinsia, Hartman, Hartwell, Hartnell and Hartwig, but these all feel much harder to use next to the sleek Hart and friendly Hartley.

No matter how you like to show your Hart, I love it as an idea for a baby born on or around Valentines Day. It may seem slightly mushy and sentimental, but then again, isn't that what Valentines Day is all about?

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