Scarlett is an English girl's name that feels classic, yet modern. The name comes from the bright-red shade, but with an ancient history rooted in cross-cultural trade, it evokes so much more than a color.
Before Scarlett was a box-office hit (think Scarlett O'Hara of Gone with the Wind or actress Scarlett Johansson of Marvel Comics fame), it was a last name. Like many surnames, Scarlett was related to a trade. During the Middle Ages, Scarlett was the surname for people who sold a luxurious wool cloth known as scarlet. The word "scarlet" is thought to come from the Arabic word "siklat," which referred to silks dyed red with insects called kermes.
Kermes dye was one of the earliest ways of coloring cloth, dating back to ancient Egypt. During the Roman Empire, items dyed scarlet were second only to the purple worn by emperors – solidifying red as a color that symbolized wealth and power. It also signifies passion, life force, and love in cultures around the world.
Scarlett moved into the first-name category after Gone with the Wind – the first blockbuster film – was released in 1939. That's when parents fell in love with the passionate and determined female lead character, Scarlett O'Hara.
Of course, modern audiences might be more familiar with Scarlett Johansson. The star of Marvel Comics movies, including The Avengers, was the highest-paid actress in the world in 2018 and 2019. She's also the ninth-highest grossing film star of all time, with movies that have brought in more than $14.3 billion globally.
Scarlett is pronounced "SKAR-let." Scarlett is the most popular spelling, but some parents opt for Scarlet or Scarlette. The name also has great nickname potential. Little Scarlett can go by Lottie, Lettie, Etta, or Scar.
Scarlett first appeared on baby name popularity charts in 1940. It fell out of favor for a few decades, but came back with a vengeance in the '90s and has been climbing the charts ever since. It broke into the top 100 names in 2011 and peaked at number 18 in 2017, according to data from the Social Security Administration.
Scarlett is a dynamic name for a modern little girl. It will also fit the woman she'll grow into. Scarlett is lively, passionate, and energetic. If you want a name that will encourage your daughter to live life to the fullest, consider naming her Scarlett.
Scarlett Bordeaux : Stage name of professional wrestler Elizabeth Chihaia
Scarlett Johansson : American actress known for her role as Black Widow in the Marvel Comics movies
Scarlett Pomers : American actress and singer known for her roles in the TV shows Star Trek: Voyager and Reba
Scarlett Werner : Former German professional tennis player
Scarlett Johansson : actress
Scarlett Pomers : actress