Maybe you’ve chosen your favorite baby names forever, or maybe you’re having a hard time deciding on your new family member’s name (or you and your partner just don’t seem to agree) . If you like the name Harper but can’t or don’t want to use it for some reason (let’s say your best friend just had a baby with the same name, or it doesn’t seem to match your name. family), you’re unlucky. These names are similar to Harper’s (and would pair well with an older brother of the same name), but they also stand out strongly.
Interestingly, Harper was historically used as a last name for someone who played the harp (the name is quite literal). In the 1800s and early 1900s, Harper was primarily used as a boy’s name, by Family Education, but now it’s used most often as a baby name for girls (although it could still go both ways. ). Celebrities who like the name include Paul Simon (his son is Harper) and Neil Patrick Harris, who has a daughter of the same name.
From names that sound like Parker or Hartford, to names that share a similar musical meaning, like Piper or Aria, these names are perfect if you like Harper.
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Piper is a super cute name that also has its origins in music; while Harper means one who plays the harp, the name Piper usually refers to a flautist or a person who plays a pipe. It has roots in both English and Romanian. Like Harper, the name Piper has the same round “p” sound in the middle and ends with the “er” sound. He also has a ton of cute nicknames, like Pip, Pippa, or Pipes.
There aren’t a ton of celebrities named Piper, but you may recognize her as the name of one of the sisters on
Hudson is most often used as a boy’s name, but it’s also quite cute for a girl. He’s not currently in the Social Security Administration’s top 20 boy or girl names, so your little one has a chance to be the only Hudson in their class.
This name is always cute for babies born in or near New York (because of the river), but Hudson usually means “son of Hugh”; it was commonly used as a surname before gaining popularity in recent years. If an H name is what you do, this is a great choice.
Harley is another cute name that starts with the same “Har” sound as Harper. The name is neutral and gives fierce vibes thanks to Harley Quinn and Harley Davidson. One of the cute things about this name is that it has two nicknames; she could be called Har or Lee. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an increase in the popularity of the name Harley in the years to come.
If what appeals to you about the name Harper is the fact that the name has musical meaning, you might also like the name Aria (which also has the same ‘ar’ sound as Harper). Aria has many different meanings depending on the language, but in Italian it translates to “melody” or “song”. it is also a piece of music designed to be sung by one voice.
Aria has been steadily growing in popularity since around 2011, and he is now number 26 on the Social Security Administration’s list of names (although it should be noted that he was more popular in 2019 than in 2020) .
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Juniper would be a super cute name for a Harper sister, but it’s also a good substitution if you can’t use the name for some reason (maybe your friend or sister-in-law got ahead of you). You get the same lip-smacking “par” sound at the end, but the beginning of the name is different enough to work for siblings. Juni is a type of tree, so it’s a botanical name with a bold sound and Juni is a cute nickname too.
Aster is a nice alternative to Astrid or Astra. It has the same “er” ending as Harper, plus the same “a” sound, but it’s different enough that you can certainly use this as your sibling’s name. It means “star” in Greek and has a regal and glamorous sound. Aster is also the name of a flower with purple petals and a bright yellow center, which, unsurprisingly, resembles a star.
Another name that is experiencing a resurgence is Hazel (Julia Roberts and Emma Blunt both have daughters with this name). Whether you can’t use the name Harper for some reason or you already have a child named Harper, Hazel is both a good substitution or a good match for the name.
It refers to a greenish gray color (like hazel eyes) but also to hazel; this name would also pair well with Juniper, or other tree names that have become baby names, such as Willow, Magnolia, or Olive.
Lyra is another name that fits a musical family perfectly, and it’s about as close to Harper’s meaning as it gets. One of the meanings of the name Lyra is “lyre”, the string instrument; another meaning is a “small constellation” so if you like the zodiac and astrology this is a good choice as well.
Lyra and Harper may not sound like each other phonetically, but they pair wonderfully, especially if your family enjoys classical music or stringed instruments.
I can’t hear Harper’s name without thinking of Harper Lee, the author of
Kill a mockingbird, and more recently, Go define a keeper. Lee is a beautiful, neutral name that can also be spelled Leigh. Relatively unknown information is that Harper Lee’s first name was actually Nelle, another beautiful girl name that is strong without being overly popular.
The name Lee means “meadow” or “glade” and is of English origin.
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Hadley is a cute name and it works well for a Harper sister or as a close alternative to the name. It has a slightly preppy and sophisticated vibe. Like Harper, it is often heard as a last name but has become increasingly popular as a first name in recent years. Hadley means ‘heather field’ and heather is a beautiful purple plant that would bring good luck, protection and admiration, whatever you would like your daughter to have.
Hartford may not be the most common name, but Stassi Schroeder and Beau Clark from Bravo,
Vanderpump Rules, recently named their first child this sweet name. This is another example of a name that gives you options for nicknames: Hart is undeniably cute, and Ford has quiet strength. It should be noted that Hartford is also a city in Connecticut.
Like Harper, the name begins with the sound “Har” and ends with a loud sound.
The name River has a big moment; after Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara named their son River, after Phoenix’s late brother, that name pops up everywhere, and for good reason. Eva Chen (director of fashion partnerships at Instagram) has just named her third child, a boy, by this first name.
While you mostly hear the name River Us for boys, it’s a sweet and unique name for a girl. He pairs well with Harper because of the “uh” ending, and Riv is a sweet nickname.
Parker is another family name that is starting to be used more and more as a first name. It means “park warden” and is suitable for the child who will one day tear up a playground. It might be a little too close to Harper to use as sibling names (they almost rhyme), but it’s a great alternative if your best friend has ever named her baby Harper, or if you just want something a little less common.
Additionally, your child would share a name with Parker Posey, who was in
Dazed and confused and several hilarious Christopher Guest films.
Whether it’s the Harper sound you like or the musical connotations, any of these names would make a nice substitution.