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Piper Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Piper Overview

  • Meaning: Piper means “pipe player.” It may also be related to the Irish word for pepper, “peppard.”
  • Gender: Piper is typically a female name.
  • Origin: Piper comes of English and Irish origin. Because it is an occupational name, examples of Piper are found in centuries-old Middle English.
  • Pronunciation: “PIE-per”
  • Popularity: Piper exploded in popularity in the 2000s. At present, Piper ranks as a “very popular” name, consistently within the top 100 names for girls.
  • Nicknames: Pip, Pips, Pippy, and Pippa.
  • Variations: Pfeiffer, Pijper, Pyper.
  • Namesakes: Piper Halliwell; Piper Laurie, Piper Perabo, Pyper Americal.

What Does Piper Mean?

This spunky girl’s name contains three different meanings. Piper can mean someone who plays a pipe, bagpipes, or flute. This trendy name can also refer to someone who cleans pipes for a living. This theory reflects other popular names today like Hunter or Cooper (1).

Ireland claims the third Piper name meaning. Piper may derive from “Peppard” which is an Irish name meaning pepper. Spicy and strong-willed girls embody this possible meaning of the name Piper.

Pipers led armies into battle throughout history, helping to signal tactical changes and intimidate enemy armies. Choose this name for someone who is a brave leader.

What is the Origin of the Name Piper?

The name Piper began in the North Sea, with both England and Ireland claiming the moniker. Most of the name meanings refer to traditional English and Irish music, especially bagpipes.

Pipes remain an essential part of the culture in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Bagpipes earned the distinction of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Item in 2017 (2).

How Popular is the Name Piper?

The name Piper soared into popularity in the 2000s, after emerging in the top 1,000 baby names in 1999. Both pop culture and Internet virality helped boost this girl’s name.

Currently, this name hovers around the top 100 baby names in the United States, making it very popular.

Piper reached peak popularity in 2015, cracking the top 70 baby names for the first time that year. This quick rise traces to several occurrences of the name Piper in pop culture, including a

2016 Pixar movie and the TV show Orange Is the New Black from the streaming service Netflix.

How Do I Pronounce Piper?

Piper holds one straightforward pronunciation: PIE-per. The emphasis is on the first syllable.

Is Piper a Boy or Girl Name?

This name is most commonly assigned to girls. Boys named Piper are less frequent, but still appropriate. Because this name links to an occupation, it is more believable and historically accurate to name a boy Piper.

Variations of Piper

Very few variations exist for the name Piper. As this name connects to a noun used in a common language for generations, the traditional spelling persists. Other languages also offer variations on Piper, and some people exercise their creativity with the spelling of Piper.

  • Pfeiffer (German)
  • Piper (English, Irish)
  • Pijper (Dutch)
  • Pyper (English)

Nicknames for Piper

While already a short name, this spunky moniker delivers several exciting nickname options. The following list all offers cute and feminine nickname choices.

  • Pip
  • Pips
  • Pippa
  • Pippy

Similar Names to Piper

The name Piper evokes the culture of the United Kingdom, nature, and music. Similar names to Piper widen this theme to provide delightful choices for boys and girls.

Middle Names for Piper

Consider pairing Piper with long, multi-syllable names to balance this short, feisty first name. Middle names evoking British or Irish culture also fit nicely. Get creative with the middle name and choose a complex, botanical-themed option.

Sibling Names for Piper

Sibling names for Piper borrow from the occupational names trend. Names related to our natural surroundings and sound-alikes to Piper make terrific sibling names for Piper.

Famous People Named Piper

Famous people named Piper helped raise this name to its very popular status today. Notable people throughout history hold the name Piper, including men and women.

One of the earliest instances of the name Piper arrives with Piper Laurie. This American actress inspired other actresses to adopt this name, including 2000s movie star Piper Perabo.

  • Piper Campbell: American ambassador to Mongolia.
  • Piper Curda: American singer, actor.
  • Piper Davis: American baseball player for Negro League.
  • Piper Gilles: American-Canadian ice dancer.
  • Piper Harris: American child actress.
  • Piper Laurie: American actor.
  • Piper Perabo: American actor.
  • Piper Reese: American actor and reporter.
  • Piper Rockell Smith: American YouTuber and social media personality.
  • Pyper America: American model, musician.

Piper in Popular Culture

Starting in the 1990s, the name Piper drew attention across popular culture. From TV to books and the big screen, Pipers reign across popular culture.

  • Pied Piper: lead character in the famous folk tale.
  • Piper Chapman: star of book and TV series, Orange Is the New Black.
  • Piper Halliwell: lead character in TV series, Charmed.
  • Piper McLean: fiction book character by Rick Riordan.
  • Piper: lead character in Pixar short film, Piper.

Piper FAQs

It feels like the name Piper burst onto the scene within the last decade. Want to know more? Read on to learn about this exciting baby name for girls.

Is Piper a Cute Name?

Yes! Piper is undoubtedly a cute name for babies and toddlers. However, this name easily transitions to adulthood. Famous actors, singers, and diplomats all wear the name Piper.

Is There Any Slang Involving Piper?

Yes! It’s important to review the slang meanings associated with your potential name choice. Piper appears in the phrase “pay the piper”, which means to face the consequences of your behavior.

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