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.
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
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