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Heather Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Heather including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Heather Overview

  • Meaning: Heather means “evergreen flowering plant.”
  • Gender: Heather is traditionally a female’s name.
  • Origin: Heather comes from the English word hather, referencing the plant.
  • Pronunciation: “HEH-ther”
  • Popularity: Heather is an uncommon name for baby girls in the United States.
  • Nicknames: Heath, Hattie, Haddy.
  • Variations: Hether, Hethar, Heidi, Hyewon.
  • Namesakes: Heather Bratton, model. Heather McHugh, poet.

What Does Heather Mean?

The name Heather means “evergreen flowering plant.” It typically refers to a flower native to the rocky lands of Scotland. The flower is resilient and well-beloved in its native land, which makes it a perfect name for a strong child that’s overcome the odds. Heather also refers to a color mixture of pale blue, pink, purple, and gray. Heather is commonly used to describe any color that includes gray and is known as Heather fabric.

What is the Origin of the Name Heather?

Heather comes from the Middle English word “hather,” a small shrub with beautiful pink, purple, and white flowers in Scotland and England (1). These flowers are said to symbolize different meanings based on their colors. Purple symbolizes beauty and admiration, white symbolizes good luck, protection, and purity.

The first record of Heather as a given name is in 1852 by the New York Times. Heather Campbell emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland, with her mother. The name didn’t become popular until 1935 when it first ranked within the top 1000 names in the United States for girls.

How Popular is the Name Heather?

The name Heather hit peak popularity in the seventies and eighties, reaching number three on the top 1000 baby names list in 1975. Starting in the nineties, the name Heather began declining on the list. It was ranked 125 in 2000, but fell to 977 in 2016 before falling out of the top 1000 entirely, making it an uncommon name for girls these days (2).

How Do I Pronounce Heather?

The proper pronunciation for Heather is “HEH-ther,” though you may occasionally hear the name pronounced as “HEH-thar” depending on the region you’re in.

Is Heather a Boy or Girl Name?

Heather is usually used as a girl’s name, though it has a masculine variant. The masculine form of Heather is Heath, pronounced “HEETH.”

Variations of Heather

Though Heather is an Old English name, many cultures around the world have put their spin on it. We’ve assembled a few of the most interesting and distinct for you below!

  • Erica (Latin, also references the Heather plant)
  • Hether (English)
  • Heidi (German, also references the Heather plant)
  • Hethar (English)
  • Hether (English)
  • Hyewon (Korean)

Nicknames for Heather

Now that you’ve thought about a first name and middle name, you might also want to choose a nickname for Heather in your life. We’ve put together a few for you to consider.

  • Eder
  • Hattie
  • Hea
  • Heath (pronounced hehth)
  • Heddie
  • Hedy
  • Hettie
  • Hetty

Similar Names to Heather

If the name Heather isn’t quite what you’re looking for, below is a list of similar names that give off similar vibes.

Middle Names for Heather

Now that you’ve chosen Heather for your child, you might want a middle name that complements it. We’ve put together a list of middle names that pair wonderfully with the first name Heather for you to choose from.

Sibling Names for Heather

Looking for a name to pair with Heather? We have plenty of options below for a new brother or sister.



Famous People Named Heather

The name Heather is quite common among celebrities throughout the United States. It’s a common name in England as well.

  • Heather Anne Mills: English model.
  • Heather Blaine Mitts: American soccer player.
  • Heather Bratton: American model.
  • Heather Deen Locklear: American actress.
  • Heather Elizabeth Morris: American actress and dancer.
  • Heather Headley: Trinidadian, American singer.
  • Heather McHugh: American poet.
  • Heather Paige DuBrow: American reality TV personality (“Real Housewives of Orange County”).
  • Heather Small: British R&B singer.
  • Heather Thomson: American reality TV personality (“Real Housewives of NYC”).
  • Heather Williams: pen name of Venezuelan, American novelist Tui T. Sutherland.

Heather in Popular Culture

Arguably, the most famous use of the name Heather is in the 1988 movie “Heathers.” However, there are plenty of other characters named Heather throughout TV and film.

  • ‘Heather’: song by Conan Gray
  • Heather: character on animated TV series “Total Drama Island” & “Total Drama Action.”
  • “Heathers”: Heather Duke, Heather Chandler, and Heather McNamara, are titular characters of the 1988 movie “Heathers.”
  • Heather Biblow: character on the TV series “The Nanny.”
  • Heather Dante: character on the TV series “The Sopranos.”
  • Heather Farrell: character on TV series “Degrassi.”
  • Heather Hart: character in the novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick.
  • Heather Hills: character from the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Heather Mason: main character in the video game “Silent Hill 3.”
  • Heather Sinclair: character on TV series “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Heather FAQs

If you still have questions about the name Heather, we may have answers for you to check out! Read on to see some of the most frequently asked questions about the name Heather.

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of the Name Heather?

The name shares the same spiritual meanings attached to the resilient Scottish shrub. Heather flowers often symbolize good luck, admiration, and protection. Queen Victoria had a hand in popularizing the meaning of heather as good luck in England. Nowadays, adding heather to a bride’s bouquet is also a symbol of good luck.

Is Heather a Viking Name?

Heather is an Old English/Anglo Saxon name that comes from the planet heather, or “hather.” The last Viking invasion of England happened in 1066, almost two hundred years before the name started being used in England, so it’s not likely that it has a Danish influence.

Is Heather an 80s Name?

Heather was a popular name in the 70s and 80s, which may explain why it was chosen for the title of the film Heathers to capture and poke fun at the feminine zeitgeist of the decade.

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