Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Harper

Harper is the transferred use of an English surname originating as an occupation name; in other words, it was used to identify a harp player. The word comes from the Olde English “hearpere” which later became “harper” in Middle and Modern English. The “-ere” suffix was used to designate an “agent of” or a person “who has to do with” playing the harp. Written evidence of the Olde English “hearpe” appeared in the 8th century, although the instrument predates that by a long shot. The English word is derived from a Proto-Germanic root meaning “instrument of fortune”. The earliest versions of a harp (and its related lyre) date back to the 35th century B.C. in Mesopotamia (over 5000 years old!). In medieval England, harp-playing was a highly respected occupation (especially in Ireland and Scotland) and considered a musical art form deserving of the noble classes. The concept of “to harp on” (i.e., to talk too much about) dates back to the 16th century. As a given name, Harper is considered gender-neutral (although it is much more common for baby girls), and is most popular in the United States and Australia. Notable name bearer Harper Lee (b. 1926) is the author of the American classic “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

All About the Baby Name – Harper

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME HARPER

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME HARPER

In the United States, the name Harper is considered unisex, although it originally started out as a masculine name dating back to the late 19th century. Today, however, Harper is an ultra-trendy girl’s name. Although it’s been less than 10 years since Harper came into circulation on the Top 1000 list, she has already managed to secure a position on the Top 100 list. In fact she’s headed straight toward the Top 50. As a masculine name, Harper came back into circulation in 2006, but has only climbed to low-moderate levels of popularity. In other words, Harper is far more common for girls than for boys (almost eight-times more popular, in fact). It’s not clear what’s fueling the sudden popularity of this name for baby girls. Harper is an obvious choice for music-loving parents – just ask musicians Paul Simon who named his son Harper or Eddie Vedder who has a daughter named Harper. Not to mention that the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, is the posthumous grandfather to a Harper (Lisa-Marie Presley’s daughter).

Quick Facts

ON HARPER

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

660

PRONUNCIATION:

HAHR-pər

SIMPLE MEANING:

Harp player (instrument of fortune)

Characteristics

OF HARPER

Communicative

Creative

Optimistic

Popular

Social

Dramatic

Happy

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Harper

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME HARPER

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Harper

Popular Songs

ON HARPER

Joe Harper Saturday Morning
a song by Van Morrison

Hats Off to (Roy) Harper
a song by Led Zeppelin

Harper Valley P.T.A.
a song by Jeannie C. Riley

Emily Harper
a song by Mark Wills

Famous People

NAMED HARPER

Harper Lee (author)
Harper LeBel (football player)
Harper Simon (musician, son of Paul Simon)
Harper Williams (basketball player)
Harper Lee (author)
Harper LeBel (football player)
Harper Simon (musician, son of Paul Simon)
Harper Williams (basketball player)
Harper Lee (author)
Harper LeBel (football player)
Harper Simon (musician, son of Paul Simon)
Harper Williams (basketball player)

Children of Famous People

NAMED HARPER

Victoria Beckham; David Beckham;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME HARPER

Harper Lee is an important American figure by virtue of her publication of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1960 which won the Pulitzer Prize. Her contribution to American literature would eventually win her the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in 2007. Harper grew up in Alabama and modeled the book’s heroine, Scout Finch, after herself. She was the daughter of a small town, respected attorney, and she herself was a precocious tomboy. The novel deals with 10-year-old Scout’s observations of racial injustice as her father defends a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. Her innate, innocent belief in the goodness of human nature is sorely tested as she and her family end up on the receiving end of this hatred. She emerges triumphantly in the end with a more adult perspective on the existence of evil while still keeping her sense of goodness intact.

Harper Lee is an important American figure by virtue of her publication of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1960 which won the Pulitzer Prize. Her contribution to American literature would eventually win her the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in 2007. Harper grew up in Alabama and modeled the book’s heroine, Scout Finch, after herself. She was the daughter of a small town, respected attorney, and she herself was a precocious tomboy. The novel deals with 10-year-old Scout’s observations of racial injustice as her father defends a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. Her innate, innocent belief in the goodness of human nature is sorely tested as she and her family end up on the receiving end of this hatred. She emerges triumphantly in the end with a more adult perspective on the existence of evil while still keeping her sense of goodness intact.

Harper Lee is an important American figure by virtue of her publication of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1960 which won the Pulitzer Prize. Her contribution to American literature would eventually win her the Presidential Medal of Freedom award in 2007. Harper grew up in Alabama and modeled the book’s heroine, Scout Finch, after herself. She was the daughter of a small town, respected attorney, and she herself was a precocious tomboy. The novel deals with 10-year-old Scout’s observations of racial injustice as her father defends a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. Her innate, innocent belief in the goodness of human nature is sorely tested as she and her family end up on the receiving end of this hatred. She emerges triumphantly in the end with a more adult perspective on the existence of evil while still keeping her sense of goodness intact.