Heather (given name)

Heather is a common English feminine given name.

Calluna vulgaris 1.jpg
Flowering Calluna vulgaris, an example of the common heather from which the female name is derived
Word/nameEnglish derived from Middle English, hather
MeaningNamed after the plant Heather, which are a variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers which commonly grow in rocky areas
Region of originScotland
Other names
Related namesHeath (Masculine form), Hyewon (Korean form).

Origin and meaningEdit

The name Heather refers to a variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers which commonly grow in rocky areas. The brush is native to Scotland and England, but it is more commonly found in Scotland due to its rocky territories. The name is derived from Middle English hather.[1]

Heather has several other definitions. The most commonly known is as a reference to a color mixture; it is most often a pale shade of blue from blue itself to pink to even purple mixed with gray. However, many times it refers to any color that includes gray or gray streaks within it, such as what is known as Heather fabric.

The masculine form of the name is Heath.

Popularity and variationsEdit

Newspapers.com records the use of "Miss Heather" in reference to a girl's name as early as 2 August 1852, in The New York Times. An infant by the name of Miss Heather Campbell arrived on a ship from Glasgow in New York, with her mother.[2]

The American Social Security Administration's records show it to already be in use in 1935, though it was rare at the time coming in at #997, barely making the top 1000 names of that era.[3][4] The name is currently popular among the people of Generations X and Generation Y.[4] The name itself peaked in popularity at #3, in 1975.[4]

Heather, though a name found primarily in English speaking countries, has other variants simply because of its definition as a flowering plant. However its foreign names often closely resemble other words with meanings so is difficult to distinguish a given variant's origin as arising from the flower, or from that of another word. For example, the name Heidi in German resembles Heidekraut, which is the German word for the Heather shrubs,[5] though the name Heidi is usually thought to mean "of noble birth" (a diminutive of the name Adelheid). The 1988 dark comedy film, Heathers, satirized the name by associating it with "in-crowd" cliques of teen-age high school girls.

The name Erica actually has two meanings, one of which is related to the Heather plant whose Latin name is Ericaceae. Its other meaning of "ruler" is similar to that of the German meaning of Heidi. This leaves the impression that the shrub name and the meaning of "a noble" or "ruler" are similar, or it is a large coincidence.

Notable peopleEdit

Fictional charactersEdit


  1. ^ Behind the Name: Heather
  2. ^ "Passengers Arrived". Newspapers.com (archive of The New York Times). Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  3. ^ "1000 Most Popular Names of the 1930s". Baby2See.com. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Popularity for Heather in the United States". BehindtheName.com. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "Google Translate English to German". Google. Retrieved December 10, 2016.