Harlan is a strong baby name used for boys and girls that began as an English surname. It was even once a top 300 name option in the early twentieth century. As of the year 2020, however, it is a top 700 name.

Meaning of the name Harlan:

English: hare land, rocky land

Origin of the name Harlan:

The baby name Harlan originated as a surname in the Middle Ages in England. It was for families who lived among rocky areas, where rabbits and hare commonly resided. The name became a popular first name option within the last couple of centuries.

Symbolism of the name Harlan:

Harlan retains the meaning of the old English surname. It was regarded as the place that people lived in.

Harlan baby name meaning and origin

Style of the name Harlan:


Gender of the name Harlan:

Harlan is used for boys and girls, but it is much more popular for boys.

Pronunciation of the name Harlan:


Number of syllables in the name Harlan:


Emotion evoked from the name Harlan:

Harlan is a strong name that feels somewhat rugged. It is very unique too in the popularity of the trend of using surnames.

Alternative spellings for the name Harlan:

  • Harlen
  • Harlyn
  • Harllan
  • Harllen
  • Harllyn

Nicknames for the name Harlan:

  • Har
  • Harry
  • Lan
  • Lannie 
  • Lanny
  • Lanney

Popularity of the name Harlan:

Harlan was a top 300 baby name option from 1921 to 1939. It did remain on the top 1,000 list until 1982 when it was rank 937 before having a steep drop off. Harlan returned to the top 1,000 list in 2013 at rank 846. As of 2020, the name ranks at number 686.

Related names for the name Harlan:

Great middle names for Harlan and their meanings:

  • Avery (ruler of elves)
  • Frances (free one)
  • Ada (nobility)
  • May (wished-for-child, bitter)
  • Nola (white shoulder)
  • Wyatt (hardy, brave, strong)
  • Keats (shed worker)
  • Isaac (one who laughs)
  • Wells (spring, stream)
  • Gregory (to be awake)

Famous people with the name Harlan:

  • Harlan Stone (twelfth chief justice in America)
  • Harlan Coben (novelist)
  • Harlan Ellison (fiction novelist)
  • Harlan Lattimore (jazz singer)
  • Harlan Briggs (actor, “Dodsworth”)
  • Harlan Howard (songwriter)
  • Harlan Hubbard (painter)

Harlans in popular culture:

  • Harlan Carruthers (character from “Down in the Valley”)
  • Harlan Whitford (character from “Safe House”)
  • Harlan Wade (character from “F.E.A.R.”)
  • Harlan Jeeters (character from “American Gothic”)
  • Harlan Carson (character from “The Walking Dead”)
  • Harlan Puckett (character from “Thelma and Louise”)
  • Harlan Ogilvy (character from “War of the Worlds”)