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Scarlett Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Scarlett Overview

  • Meaning: Scarlett as a modern name comes from the vivid red color scarlet and is associated with passion, courage, strength, and power.
  • Gender: Traditionally feminine.
  • Origin: English in origin.
  • Pronunciation: “SKAHR-lit”. It rhymes with “starlet” and “Charlotte.”
  • Popularity: Scarlett has become very popular in recent years, staying in the top 100 for about a decade.
  • Nicknames: Cara, Carly, Ettie, Lettie, Lottie, Red, Scar, Scarlove, Scarly, Scarsy, Sky, Starlett.
  • Variations: Saqerlȃt, Scarlat, Scarlatum, Scarlet.
  • Namesakes: Scarlett Johansson, Scarlett Alice Johnson, Scarlett Pomers.

What Does Scarlett Mean?

The name Scarlett originally comes from the color scarlet, a vivid red (1). Because of this, Scarlett shares its meaning with the corresponding color scarlet.

Compared to other colors, a bright scarlet red provokes a noticeable reaction in humans, both psychologically and physically. The reaction is why you often see red used in advertisements, as a way to draw attention and stay in the viewer’s head.

The color scarlet (and thus the name Scarlett) is associated with passion, courage, strength, and power (2).

Throughout history, the color scarlet was often associated with power and wealth because clothing or decorations that were bright red were rare and considered very attractive.

Scarlett is also associated with wealth, although someone with the name Scarlett would have a “wealth of joy or passion”.

What Is the Origin of the Name Scarlett?

Scarlett as a name evolved along with the color scarlet. The English word to describe the bright, vivid red color was used as early as 1250 (3).

The English word for scarlet came from the Old French “escarlate,” the Latin “scarlatum,” and the Middle English “scarlat,” which were all early predecessors of the English word.

The name Scarlett originally described a person who sold scarlet fabric, a bright red cloth present in Medieval Europe. The scarlet cloth was a luxury product, and the scarlet sellers were considered talented artisans.

How Popular Is the Name Scarlett?

Scarlett has only become popular in the United States over the last decade, though it has been popular in the United Kingdom for far longer.

The American film “Gone with the Wind” came out in 1939 (based on the 1936 novel of the same name) and featured the character of Scarlett O’Hara. The movie was incredibly successful, and you can see this displayed by the jump in babies named Scarlett in the corresponding years.

Over the next few years, Scarlett jumped into the top 1000 baby names for girls and stayed there for many years. Before this, the name had not been in the top 1000 names in the United States before.

It was not until 1992 that the name Scarlett again jumped into the top 1000 for a consistent number of years. Since 1992, Scarlett has reached the rank of #18 twice in 2016 and 2017. It has remained in the top 50 names for almost a decade and is considered a very popular name (4).

How Do I Pronounce Scarlett?

The name Scarlett is pronounced as “SKAHR-lit”. The name rhymes with the word “starlet” and the name Charlotte.

Is Scarlett a Boy or Girl Name?

Scarlett has traditionally been a feminine name, with the majority of the people carrying the name being female.

Variations of Scarlett

Scarlett has a few variations based on the color scarlet in various languages.

  • Saqerlȃt (Persian)
  • Scarlat (Middle English)
  • Scarlatum (Latin)
  • Scarlet (English)

Nicknames for Scarlett

Scarlett has many lovely and catchy nicknames for friends to use.

  • Cara
  • Carly
  • Ettie
  • Lettie
  • Lottie
  • Red
  • Scar
  • Scarlove
  • Scarly
  • Scarsy
  • Sky

Similar Names to Scarlett

If Scarlett is appealing to you, you will love some of these similar names we picked out:

Middle Names for Scarlett

Here we have gathered some of the best middle names that go well with Scarlett:

Sibling Names for Scarlett

Scarlett pairs well with these selected sibling names that we found:

Famous People Named Scarlett

While Scarlett Johansson is probably the most popular modern example of someone named Scarlett, there are many other famous Scarletts in the world of note.

  • Scarlett Bordeaux: American professional wrestler.
  • Scarlett Johansson: American actress well known for her role as “Black Widow” in the “Avengers” movies.
  • Scarlett Alice Johnson: English actress.
  • Scarlett Keegan: American model and actress.
  • Scarlett Pomers: American actress well known for her role in “Star Trek: Voyager.”
  • Scarlett Westbrook: British journalist and climate justice activist.

Scarlett in Popular Culture

Here are some of the famous fictional characters who share the name, Scarlett:

  • Scarlett: a character in the TV series “Skins.”
  • Scarlett Nichols: a character from the British soap opera “Emmerdale.”
  • Scarlett O’Connor: a character in the American TV series “Nashville.”
  • Scarlett O’Hara: the main character from the 1936 novel and 1939 film adaption of “Gone with the Wind.”

Scarlett FAQs

What Does the Color Scarlet Have To Do With the Name Scarlett?

The name Scarlett did originate from the color scarlet. Scarlett was the name given to the medieval artisans who made and sold “scarlet”, a type of fabric that had a bright red color.

Scarlet was a luxury product because getting such a bright tone on fabric in medieval times was a difficult and often expensive process. Because the name Scarlett was associated with attractiveness (such as the luxury fabric), wealth, and power, people began to use it as a given name.

Is Scarlett a Biblical Name?

While the word “scarlet” is mentioned in the Bible, namely in Isaiah 1:18 and Revelation 17:1–6, Scarlett is not a Biblical girl’s name.

However, the Catholic church makes ample use of the color, which is worn by high-level members on their ceremonial clothes.

Is Scarlett a Good Name?

Yes, Scarlett is a great option for your new arrival if you like a popular, yet a distinct name for a baby girl. It does not lend itself to mispronunciations and it has a fresh feel!

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