While originally used as a surname in Medieval England, Scarlett is now a common given name for girls. By exploring its etymological origins, I’ve learned the meaning of the name Scarlett, which is revealed on this page.
Meaning of the name Scarlett: Derived from the surname Scarlett, the meaning of the name Scarlett is “seller of scarlet cloth” or “person who sells scarlet cloth.” The surname Scarlett is used to describe merchants who sold scarlet cloth, hence the given name’s meaning.
Origins of the Name Scarlett
The name Scarlett originated in Medieval England where it was first used as a surname. Etymologists believe that the surname Scarlett was used to describe merchants of scarlet cloth.
Featuring a fine woolen construction, scarlet was among the most prized textiles in all of Europe. It is soft, supple and available in bright colors, including red. In England during the Middle Ages, merchants who sold this prized textile were referred to as Scarlett.
Sometime during the Middle Ages – etymologists aren’t sure when exactly – the surname Scarlett was converted into a feminine given name. With that said, Scarlett was rarely used as a given name for many centuries. It wasn’t until the award-winning novel “Gone with the Wind” was published when Scarlett gained traction as a given name. Written by Margaret Mitchell, “Gone with the Wind” told the story of Scarlett O’Hara from when she was just 16 years old to 28 years old.
The popularity of the Name Scarlett
The name Scarlett has experienced its fair share of ups and downs. In 1920, Scarlett was the 1,657th most popular girls’ name in the United States. By 1940, Scarlett fell to the 2,916th most popular girls’ name in the country. Around the mid-1900s, however, Scarlett began an increasingly common given name. In 1957, it was the 1,772nd most popular girls’ name in the United States. In 1966, Scarlett was the 1,641st most popular girls’ name in the country.
Scarlett peaked in 1985 when it ranked as the 518th most popular girls’ name in the United States. For over two decades, the name Scarlett remained a top-ranked girls’ name. It wasn’t until 1998 when Scarlett’s popularity began to decline once again, falling to the 1,188th most popular girls’ name in the country.
Famous women named Scarlett include American actress Scarlett Johansson, German athlete Scarlett Werner, American actress Scarlett Pomers, English actress Scarlett Johnson.
Popular variants of the name Scarlett include Scarlet and Scarlette and Scarlete.
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