Arlo (pronounced AR-low) is an Old English name meaning "fortified hill" that dates back to the Middle Ages. As short as it is, Arlo is actually made up of two Old English words: "hoer," meaning strong, and "hlaew," meaning hill. These words combine to create the name Arlo. In a modern sense, the name Arlo means something that's strong, guarded, and protected.
The names Harlow and Harlowe are cousins to the name Arlo. They also originate from Old English and have a similar meaning, "hill."
Arlo is more commonly given to boys, but you can find Arlos across genders and nationalities. The name is also spelled as:
A note about the French spelling variations: Arleau and Arleaux are pronounced the same way as Arlo, but are commonly found as last names in France and French-speaking countries, like Canada.
Arlo is fairly rare in the United States. You won 't hear "Arlo" shouted on every playground or have several Arlos in every class. But the name is picking up speed for baby boys and girls. And you can see why – Arlo has a lot going for it: It's short and sweet, and has plenty of vowel sounds like the top baby names Noah, Lucas, Ava, and Mia. It 's gender-neutral, which is a big trend in baby names now.
Plus, Arlo fell out of fashion from 1944 until recently, so it feels fresh and new since it's been out of commission for so long. The best-known Arlo in America is probably Arlo Guthrie, the '60s folk singer-songwriter and activist.
There's also a good chance that celebrities have had a hand in Arlo 's rising popularity over the last decade. Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester and husband Adam Brody named their daughter Arlo in 2015; actress Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine, United States of Tara) welcomed son Arlo in 2011; and stuntman and actor Johnny Knoxville named his daughter Arlo in 2011.
The name has been on the Social Security Administration 's list of the top 1,000 baby boy names in the United States off and on since 1900, but it 2011 it started a steady climb upward.
A classic, charming name that's been passed down through the ages, Arlo seems poised for a big moment.
Arlo Brunsberg : Former professional baseball player
Arlo U. Landolt : Astronomer
Arlo Looking Cloud : Native American activist
Arlo Guthrie : American folk singer and activist
Arlo Parks : Stage name of Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho, an award-winning British musician
Arlo West : American guitarist and singer turned forensic expert
Arlo Brunsberg : baseball player
Arlo Bates : author
Arlo West : singer-songwriter