September 16, 2015


Hannah ~ God has favored me with a child ~ Hebrew

Between its lovely, soft sound and its melt-our-hearts meaning, Hannah has become an American staple. I also love that this name happens to be a palindrome; perfect from beginning to end...and back again.

We've been in love with Hannah for a long time, but not nearly as long as it's been in existence. As the mother of the leader and judge Samuel, Hannah is a biblical heroine who believed that God would give her a child, and her faithful spirit gives the name a noble, motherly presence.

This gorgeous classic didn't take off until Puritans rediscovered it in the 16th century. It experienced another revival during the pioneer era of American history and a little slump afterwards, making this name feel like an old-fashioned choice today. It sits equally well beside classics like Elizabeth or Victorian choices like Emma.

Hannah's meaning comes from a Hebrew word that means "He has favored me," but the rest of the meaning is implied, making it God has favored me with a child. Some sources will simply say Hannah means favor or grace, but I find the full Hebrew to be not only more accurate, but more, well, meaningful.

Hannah has been in the top 20s for the past seven years. For this name, that's a bit low, but I don't expect it to fall very far at all. Hannah is recovering from a huge surge, hitting a peak at #2 in the year 2000.

Hannah isn't just popular in the US. It's also doing very well in Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria, and across the UK.

Hannah's simplicity is a large part of its charm, and variations are rare. Here's all I have to offer.
  • Hana
  • Hanna
Celebrity Babies
Celebrities who chose the name Hannah for their daughter include...
  • Sarah Drew, actress
  • Bill Hader, actor
  • Mel Gibson, actor
  • Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange, actors
Famous Namesakes
Because this name is a biblical classic, there are loads of important and famous ladies bearing the name Hannah! Here are a select few.
  • Hannah van Buren, wife of President Martin van Buren (she died before he took office)
  • Hannah More, English author and philanthropist
  • Hannah Arendt, philosopher
  • Hannah Webster Foster, author
  • Hannah Teter, snowboarder
  • Hannah Kearney, athlete
  • Hannah Wood, actress (sister to Elijah)
  • Hannah Davis, model
  • Hannah Ware, model and actress
  • Hannah Hart, internet personality
Fictional Namesakes & Pop Culture References
  • Hannah Longbottom Abbott, character in the Harry Potter Series
  • Hannah Hunt, song by Vampire Weekend
  • Hannah Montana, Disney Channel TV show
  • Hannah Horvath, main character on HBO TV series Girls
  • Hannah McKay, character on Showtime TV series Dexter
  • Hanna Marin, character on ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars

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