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What Does the Name Scarlet Mean?


Choosing a name for your child is a big decision, and many parents look for names that have a special meaning or significance. One popular choice for baby girls is the name Scarlet, which is both a color name and a traditional given name. But what does the name Scarlet actually mean, and where does it come from?

The Meaning of Scarlet

The name Scarlet is derived from the Old French word escarlate, which originally referred to a type of rich, bright red cloth. Over time, the word came to be associated with the color itself, and eventually became a popular name for girls. In terms of meaning, Scarlet is often associated with passion, love, and courage, as well as with the color red itself. Some people also see Scarlet as a symbol of strength and resilience, as the color red is often associated with power and vitality.

Popularity of the Name Scarlet

Despite its relatively recent origins as a given name, Scarlet has become a popular choice for baby girls in recent years. According to the Social Security Administration, Scarlet was the 343rd most popular name for girls in the United States in 2020, up from 372nd in 2019. This puts it in the top 1,000 names for girls, making it a relatively common choice. Scarlet is also popular in other English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia.

Variations of the Name Scarlet

Like many traditional names, Scarlet has a number of variations and alternative spellings. Some of the most common variations include Scarlett (with two T's), Scarlette (with an extra E), and Scarletta (with an A at the end). These variations can give the name a slightly different feel or sound, and may be preferred by some parents. Other names that are similar to Scarlet in meaning or sound include Ruby, Rose, and Crimson.

Symbolism of the Color Red

As a color name, Scarlet is often associated with the symbolism of the color red. In many cultures, red is seen as a powerful and important color, with a range of different meanings and associations. Some of the most common symbolic meanings of the color red include:

Love and Passion

One of the most common associations with the color red is love and passion. Red is often seen as a symbol of romantic love, desire, and attraction, and is frequently used in Valentine's Day decorations and gifts. This association with love and passion may be part of the reason why Scarlet is such a popular name for baby girls.

Power and Vitality

Red is also associated with power, vitality, and energy. In many cultures, red is seen as a symbol of strength and courage, and is often used in military or athletic contexts. This association with power and vitality may be part of the reason why Scarlet is sometimes seen as a symbol of strength and resilience.

Danger and Warning

In some contexts, red is also associated with danger and warning. For example, red is often used as a warning color in traffic signs and signals, and is sometimes used to indicate danger or caution in other contexts. This association with danger and warning may be less common in the context of the name Scarlet, but it is still worth noting as part of the broader symbolism of the color red.


Overall, the name Scarlet is a popular and meaningful choice for baby girls. Whether you choose to spell it with one T or two, or opt for a variation like Scarlett or Scarlette, the name Scarlet is sure to make a bold and memorable statement. With its associations with love, passion, strength, and resilience, Scarlet is a name that is both beautiful and powerful, and is sure to inspire your child as they grow and develop.