Baby Name of the Day: Harlow


Publicity still

Jean Harlow publicity still from 1930; Image via Wikipedia

She’s a 21st century discovery rich with Golden Age Hollywood glamor.

Thanks to Virginia for suggesting Harlow as our Baby Name of the Day.

Harlow started out as a surname, and like many a surname, there is more than one possible origin.

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24 Comments

my aunt whose own middle name was Quinn and was horribly obsessed with comic books though naming me Harlow Quinn à la Harley Quinn would be cool, 16 years down the line and I don’t refgret her choice at all, it’s spunky and kind of gothic, which is very me, I simply adore Jean Harlow and Good Charlotte, so when Joel named his daughter Harlow I was over the moon, some people hate it but most people I met love it and think it’s very unique

Love it. Reminds me the of the “cool” era of Hollywood, where the people were genuinely talented and the beauties were genuinely beautiful and not filled with collagen and plastic. It’s got a retro vibe and is one of those names that flow off the tongue rhythmically. I would definitely consider it.

It’s one of the names that divide people – which isn’t a bad thing. That means, that it probably won’t get too popular, but when you know someone with the name, your association changes.

The “harlot” bit doesn’t phase me, as the most common of names have bad rhymes e.g. Luke Puke.

Sorry for being late! Had a busy week, just checked my email.
Having a niece named Harlow, who just turned two, I immediately thing of a little girl bouncing around and waiting to be tickled. When I first heard the name I thought, “What was my brother thinking?” Now I have gotten used to it, the name doesn’t bother me anymore.

I was racking my brain trying to figure out what it was about this name that makes it unappealing to me when I realised it was that ends-in-o sound. Still not a fan (except for Margot). The harlot thing doesn’t really phase me, however, since my own name rhymes with the word.

I don’t see harlot. I like the sound of Harlow…makes me think of Willow and “wind blows.”

I don’t care for Hallow at all due to Halloween (All Hallows Eve)! And doesn’t one of the Harry Potter books have “Deathly Hallows” in the title?

Loved the mention of Foy–my grandfather had a cousin named Foy, probably born around 1905.

Just another trendy, celebrity-inspired surname. I find it both boring and ugly (along with all the other Ha- names you mentioned). Plus, I see harlot too.

@Virginia–Harlow is also a guilty pleasure for me; I enjoy the sound and hearing it on other people’s kids; however, due to the variety of possible problems presented here by others, personally, I would be more likely to use either Marlow or Harrow for a girl.

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of Hallow ever since I saw it in a birth announcement at ForReal – only then I saw Megamind with the kids and it reminds me the tiniest bit of how Will Ferrell’s character botches the word “hello.” Still – also sidesteps the problems!

My dad had cousins named Harlan, Marlowe and Arlo, (they were not siblings,) so to my ear Harlow sounds male.

Honestly, I’ve never seen any of Jean Harlow’s films and I’m not sure I could pick her out from other blonde actresses of the era. For me, since I’m not a fan, It would seem disingenuous to pick a name so tied to a particular Hollywood figure.

Harlow doesn’t make me think of harlot as much as Charlotte does. I’m glad you pointed out that Patricia Arquette and Nancy McKeon both used the name before Nicole Richie did (if you hadn’t, I would have). My friend has a daughter named Harlow who was born a year before Nicole’s daughter and naturally, everyone thinks she got the idea for the name from her. Harlow is a guilty pleasure name for me. I wouldn’t use it myself, but I love the way it sounds on my friend’s daughter and think it’s a nicer choice than Harper or Harley.

I absolutely adore Hadley. I like Piper and Parker better than Harper. And I do not understand Harley. I still like Haley/Hayley, mostly because I really, really, really wanted an identical twin in England, and I wanted to share my name with a comet. But these days, it is far too common – and confusing!

I have to completely agree with Panya (surprise!). I only see harlot and think wh**e when I see it as a first name. As a surname it’s innocuous enough. Blech, Harlot, I mean Harlow. And I absolutely adore Arlo, funny that.

Harlow makes me think of Jean and Nicole Ritchie’s baby pretty equally. The name is too much surname for it to conjure up ‘Hollywood glam’ though I see how others could think so. I personally would use a surname from my own family tree before using someone else’s like Harlow.

Also, as huge movie buffs, we would probably use a character name before the name of an actress (Ilsa rather than Ingrid).

All I hear/see is harlot and wh*re. Arlo is fine for a boy, but those two extra letters turn this into something very unappealing to me.