September 16, 2015

Hannah

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.

History
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.

Meaning
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.

Popularity
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.

Variations
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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