Scarlett

When I hear that name all I can think about it Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With The Wind. Actually her name was Katie Scarlett O’Hara. I can hear the father in the movie saying her name – he was Irish – I love the accent!

I looked through a few different places on the internet to try to figure out the meaning and origin of the name Scarlett. There is some conflicting information on different sites. One says that the origin is Old French and the others say English or Old English. Either way it’s still a pretty name!

Information I got from Meaning-Of-Baby-Girl-Names.org.uk says that the meaning of the name Scarlett is “Bright Red” and the origin is Old English. (English: 1  French: 0) There is also a Numerology meaning of the name Scarlett – if you’re into that kind of thing.

For those not understanding Numerology – you assign a number to each letter of the alphabet then take the numbers and add them together. Then you take that number like say 25 and go 2 + 5 equals 7. You would then look up the meaning for the number 7. The numbers and meanings only go up to nine so you have to add until you get a single number. This system was developed by Pythagoras. If you’ve taken algebra – you know that name.

Okay – so the Numerology number for Scarlett is: 8. According to ol’ Pythagoras system the number 8 means Organizer. They have leadership skills, are a high achievers and have sound judgment. I totally don’t believe that a number and a meaning will totally describe your kid when they grow up but – who knows. On to the next one!

Behindthename.com also says that Scarlett is of English origin (English:2  French: 0) They say that it comes from a surname denoted to a person who sold or made clothes made of Scarlet (a kind of cloth) which was derived from Persia.

Answers.com only states that it is defined as a variable color the vivid shade of red used to describe cherries, tomatoes and rubies. They to reference a cloth made from wool which was common in England in Medieval times.

Babynames.com only says that it means red and is of English origin. Babynamesworld.com also says English origin (English: 4  French: 0) They also have a graph of the popularity of the name. In 2002 it was ranked #806 on the list of the most popular name, it has risen since then and in 2009 it was #169 on the list.

Lastly – Thinkbabynames.com says it is of FRENCH origin (English: 4  French:1) and also means red. It mentions Scarlett O’Hara and a few other famous Scarlett”s. Mike Jagger gave it as a middle name to one of his children. Mfnames.com states – gasp! – the name is of PERSIAN origin but most often used in English to describe a woolen cloth. Sound familiar??

The name Scarlett is derived from the word “scarlet”, a type of woolen cloth common in medieval England. The word “scarlet” is derived from the Latin word “scarlata”, which was itself derived from the Persian word “saqirlat”.

CONCLUSION: Scarlett means red. The origins can be traced to England and Persia. I don’t count the French reference because there was only one. It was used to describe a cloth that came from Persia and used in England during the Medieval period.

ox – S.J.

PS: If you know of anything else as far as other origins or meanings, leave a comment!!

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2 thoughts on “Scarlett

  1. Hi Southern Jane,

    You’ve done a nice job. My name is Igor; I am the owner of MFnames.com.

    Let’s briefly discuss the terms. There is a difference between the origin and usage of a given name. The origin usually refers to the beginning or ultimate source, from which a name is derived. That’s why I say that the name Scarlett is of Persian origin.

    The usage may refer to the language, nationality, or geographic area where a name is used (English in our case).

    Here is the whole chain: English <- Old/Middle English <- Old French <- Latin <- Persian.

    From my point of view, if an author says that the name Scarlett is of French or English origin, it is not an obvious mistake; the only problem is that the information is incomplete.

    By the way, some sources state that the ultimate origin of the name is not clear. There is a theory that it could be of Semitic origin (probably because there is a cognate of "säqirlāt" in the Arabic language, and it's not 100% clear which one was the first).

    Regarding the meaning of the name – it is not simply 'red'. Scarlet denoted an expensive type of cloth which could have different colors (according to some sources, the red one was the most expensive).

    Hope this helps a bit. I've recently updated the definition of the name Scarlett on MFnames.com, so you can take a look at it if you have a second:

    http://www.mfnames.com/fnames/s/origin-and-meaning-of-scarlett.htm

    Please let me know if you have any comments or questions. And thanks for the good article!

    thank you,
    Igor.

    • Thank you Igor for the clarification!! Since we recently found out we’re expecting – looking up meanings and origins of names can be frustrating. Heck – even some of the baby name books get it wrong. Thank you again!

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