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Gender: female
Pronunciation: WIT-nee
Meaning: by the white island
Related Names: Whit, White, Whiteney, Whitman, Whitnea, Whitneigh, Whitnee, Whitni, Whitnie, Whitny, Whittaney, Whittany, Whittney, Whittnie, Wit, -ey(1)

Length: 7 Gender: {{#if female



Rank in 2000s: 401


Name: whitney Origin: English,, Meaning (no case): by the white island



Whitney is primarily English and is one of the many names that evolved from a surname to a first name. This was often done to keep the name present and visible in the family lines and history – especially in cases where it risked being “married out” with many family women losing their surnames to their husbands. Whitney was originally a localized name (meaning that it represented a locale and the inhabitants from there) from a number of places in England named with the Middle English phrase "atten whiten ey" meaning “by the white island.” Whitney also graced a family line related to the Vanderbilts and many of the barons of the “Gilded Age” at the turn of the 20th Century in the United States. It also increased in popularity in the 1980s with the fame and popularity of American singer Whitney Houston.[1]


According to the Social Security Administration, Whitney did not even appear on the top 1000 most popular names in the United States until 1962. During that debut year, Whitney came in at 757th and maintained a steady and strong showing for the next 15 years. Then, in the early 1980s, Whitney spiked dramatically and by 1986 and 1987, it reached the 32nd most popular name in the country for both years. It is possible that the popularity of singer and performer Whitney Houston, then at the height of her fame, influenced this. Then, in 1995, after moving above 100 for the first time since 1984, Whitney has experienced a steady decline in popularity. Whitney dropped into the 300s and 400s since the turn of this century and now stands at 563rd as of 2007 (see chart below).

Social Security Administration

Year of Birth Rank
2007 563
2006 533
2005 470
2004 450
2003 446
2002 350
2001 342
2000 270
1999 222
1998 193
1997 158
1996 140
1995 115
1994 91
1993 82


  • The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City contains one of the most important collections of 20th Century art in the world. The museum was founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney after she offered the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) 700 pieces of contemporary art work and they declined to accept it.[1]


  • Mount Whitney is a mountain in the Sierra Nevada mountains of east-central California. Its peak, at 4,420.7 mile or 14,494 ft high, makes it the highest elevation in the continental United States.[1]


  • Eli Whitney (surname) (1765 - 1825) was the American inventor and manufacturer. His invention of the cotton gin in 1793 "revolutionized the cotton industry. Until that time, cotton had to be separated from the seeds either by hand or with crude, hand-held devices. He also established the first factory to assemble muskets with interchangeable parts, marking the advent of modern mass production."[1]

Author: Mike Szimanski


Facts about WhitneyRDF feed
Gender female  +
Length 7  +
Meaning by the white island  +
Meaningnc by the white island  +
Name whitney  +
Origin English  +
Popularity 2  +
Pronunciation WIT-nee  +
Rank in 2000s 401  +
Related Whit  +, White  +, Whiteney  +, Whitman  +, Whitnea  +, Whitneigh  +, Whitnee  +, Whitni  +, Whitnie  +, Whitny  +, Whittaney  +, Whittany  +, Whittney  +, Whittnie  +, Wit  +, and -ey(1)  +
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