baby name SloaneThe baby name Sloane traveled from fashionable London to suburban Chicago and sunny Los Angeles before becoming a mainstream favorite.

Thanks to Christy for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.


As you can probably guess, the baby name Sloane started out as a surname.

It comes from the Gaelic O’Sluagháin – raider. As in pirate or marauder or football team.

But in the 1980s, Sloane took on a very different association, thanks to Lady Diana Spencer.

Right before she became the most famous woman in the world, Diana belonged to a circle of young, well-born Londoners. Their address of choice? A Chelsea neighborhood called Sloane Square. That, naturally, made them the Sloane Rangers.

The world watched as Lady Di became a princess in a fairytale wedding broadcast around the world. We all learned the term Sloanie – the rough equivalent of “preppy” in 1980s American slang.

Named for Sir Hans Sloane, an eighteenth century physician and landowner, Sloane Square remains quite stylish all these years later. Think reality series Made in Chelsea.

Of course, it’s no surprise that Sloane didn’t catch on back then. It was understood that Sloanie wasn’t exactly praise – and certainly wasn’t considered a given name.


It wasn’t much longer until Sloane transitioned to given name status.

The year was 1986. Matthew Broderick was Ferris Bueller. And Ferris? He was taking a day off.

The John Hughes classic sent Ferris on adventures across Chicago in the company of his best friend Cameron and girlfriend Sloane.

Mia Sara played the girlfriend, wearing an unforgettable white leather fringed jacket. As high school girl characters from the 1980s go, she’s memorable for being level-headed and very kind.

The movie was a box office hit. Four decades later, it remains a favorite for many.

You might expect that the name baby name Sloane would have taken off, bolstered by the combined power of Diana and Ferris. After all, Cameron got a big bump in the 80s.

That’s not what happened.

In 1980, seven girls were given the name, along with ten boys. By 1990, those numbers were 67 girls and 5 boys.

A handful of uses kept the name in the public eye, like essayist Sloane Crosley’s best-selling I Was Told There’d Be Cake.

But it would take one more pop culture push before the baby name Sloane started to climb.


In 2004, the world met Vincent Chase, a rising star in a fictional/but not version of Hollywood. The headliner of Entourage was, obviously, surrounded by his friends and family.

That included childhood BFF Eric, now promoted to manager. As the series progresses, we meet recurring Entourage character Sloan McQuewick, his on-again, off-again girlfriend.

That Sloan – hold the E – boosted the name. The character debuted on the HBO series in 2005. That year, the name was given to 120 girls. By 2007, that number was 217.

Long-running series Grey’s Anatomy gave us Sloan Riley, the long-lost daughter of Dr. Mark Sloan, in 2009.

The baby name Sloan also doubled in use between 2005 and 2007, going from 56 girls to 115 girls, and kept on climbing from there.


The baby name Sloane finally broke into the US Top 1000 in 2009, ranked at #885. Since then, it has risen steadily in use. As of 2020, the name stands at #181.

Sloan followed behind, currently ranked #663.

How high will it rise?

It’s sleek and modern, a cool and sophisticated name for a daughter. But it’s joyful, too. And just like Blair echoes classic Claire, Sloane’s success owes a little something to the time-tested Joan.

Parents who love Harper and Grace might agree on the baby name Sloane.

It’s a sister for Sutton, an alternative to Quinn.

And for now, it’s a just slightly unexpected name that feels effortlessly stylish.

What do you think of the baby name Sloane? Do you prefer it with or without the e?

This post was originally published on August 12, 2010. It was substantially revised and re-posted on May 30, 2016 and again on February 24, 2022.

baby name Sloane

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I’ve met 2 Sloane’s in my Lifetime 1 man and 1 girl. It looks weird without the “E” but I like being unique. My Dad liked what it meant and he got it from a Baby name book in 1972. Sloanie Bologna is about the worst I was called. Ehh. It never bothered me.

  2. The name has a different connotation than in Britain. Most Americans associate the name with iconic pop culture and nothing to do with Sloane square.

  3. Sloane is definitely trendy. I even like it without the E as an androgynous, tomboyish name. Pair it with something equally spunky like Robin as a middle name. It reminds me of:

    1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    2. Entourage and Newsroom
    3. The Toronto-based pop band

    I’m vibing on it, because we’re staying in a hotel in Slovenia called Slon, pronounced Sloane. It means “elephant” in English. I also think of the Sloane Rangers and the lyrics from Morrissey’s “Hairdresser On Fire”. It’s chic and uncommon and creative.