Hazel Name Meaning

Baby girl with burnt orange headband and mint onesie looking at camera

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Hazel is a vintage name that has once again become trendy. From the old English haesel, the name Hazel refers to the hazel plant and the greenish-brown color hazel. 

The hazel tree or shrub is a producer of a variety of products. Hazelnuts can be eaten or ground into flour, while the oil from hazelnuts is extracted for beauty products. The wood is highly prized for its durability and elasticity, used to create numerous items like tool handles and fishing rods. 

Ancient folklore holds hazel trees in high regard. Celts and Druids believed that hazel trees were sacred and that eating hazelnuts gave people wisdom. In Greek mythology, goddesses wore headpieces woven from hazel branches for protection from evil. Irish folklore tells the tale of hazelnut beverages that help people develop prophetic powers.  

Origin: English

Gender: Hazel is most commonly used as a girl name although it was once used as a boy name as well.

Pronunciation: HAY- zl

Although baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It is important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular is the Name Hazel?

Hazel follows the trend of vintage names that have recently become popular again. It entered the Social Security Administration's list of the top 1,000 names for baby girls in 1900 as No. 29. The name Hazel hovered around that range for the next 15 years, reaching its highest rank of No. 23 for a few of those years. After that point, it steadily decreased in popularity until it fell off the charts in 1976.

Hazel resurfaced on the list in 1998 as No. 943. It then jumped approximately 600 spots in the following decade. The name has continued to become more popular each year and it looks like it is not done climbing the charts. Hazel is still trending upwards, with the latest data from 2020 showing it ranked as No. 31.

Its rise in popularity as a girl name might be attributed to the general resurgence of interest in flower and plant names, as well as the popularity of the character Hazel Grace in John Green's novel "The Fault in Our Stars." The book was later made into a movie which eventually made over $300 million at the box office.

As a boy name, Hazel ranked as No. 660 in 1900. It increased in popularity until it hit its peak as a boy name in 1904 when it was ranked No. 438. For the following 40 years after that, the name bounced up and down the boy list but eventually dropped off the charts altogether in 1940. 

Name Variations

The following are variations of the name Hazel:

  • Haize
  • Hayzaline
  • Hazelle
  • Hasel
  • Heizle

Similar Names

Similar sounding names to Hazel:

  • Angel
  • Avril
  • Basil
  • Crystal
  • Ethel
  • Hayden
  • Wendell

Other plant and flower names:

  • Clementine
  • Clover
  • Daisy
  • Fern
  • Flora
  • Ginger
  • Iris
  • Juniper
  • Laurel
  • Maple
  • Myrtle
  • Pepper

Other names of English origin:

  • Avery
  • Elvina
  • Georgia
  • Ivy
  • Maisie
  • Peyton
  • Poppy
  • Ruby

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for a sibling name for Hazel? Here are some popular options:

  • Archie
  • Benjamin
  • Clara
  • Evelyn
  • Everett
  • George
  • Hattie
  • Lily
  • Oliver
  • Rose
  • Sheldon
  • Winston

Famous People Named Hazel

The name Hazel has been a fashionable moniker for over a century, with many parents choosing it for their baby girls. During the early part of the 1900s, the name was also used for boys. However, Hazel is mainly used as a girl name today. In recent years, celebrities have taken a liking to the name as well. Famous parents like John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, as well as Julia Roberts and Danny Moder, have chosen the name Hazel for their daughters.  

Famous Hazels:

  • Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, American tennis player and founder of the Wightman Cup, an annual team competition for British and American women 
  • Hazel Mountain Walker, a lawyer who was among the first African-American women to pass the Ohio bar in 1919
  • Hazel Scott, critically acclaimed Trinidadian-born jazz and classical pianist, singer, and actor from the 1930’s and 1940’s, and hosted her own TV show; "The Hazel Scott Show"
  • Hazel Crowney, Bollywood film actress
  • Hazel Reid O'Leary, the first woman and first African American to hold the position of United States Secretary of Energy from 1993 to 1997

Fictional Hazels:

  • Hazel Grace Lancaster, narrator in John Green's novel "The Fault in Our Stars" which was also made into a popular movie
  • Hazel Motes, main character in in Flannery O'Connor's first novel "Wise Blood"
  • Hazel Levesque, demigod and daughter of Pluto who is one of the seven heroes of the Prophecy of Seven in Rick Riordan's "Heroes of Olympus" book series
  • Hazel Frost, mother of Emma Frost, a powerful mutant telepath character in the X-Men comics

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name.

  2. West K. How a low budget teen rom-com became a phenomenon at the box office. Business Insider.

By Vicky Yip
Vicky is a freelance writer specializing on topics relating to prenatal care, motherhood, parenting, family, and home life. She is also a Senior Contributor for HoustonMoms (City Mom Collective).