Meaning and Origin of the Name Whitney

The Whitney name can be used as both a girl’s name as well as a boy’s name, although it enjoys far more popularity for girls. The meaning of Whitney is white island, derived from two Old English words, hwit, meaning white, and ey,meaning island. There are a variety of English variations on the spelling, including Whitnee and Witney. The Whitney name was originally used as an English surname.


The popularity of Whitney for christening a baby girl can be attributed in recent years to the admiration many parents had for American singer and actress Whitney Houston, an internationally beloved entertainer. Other famous women who enjoyed the first name of Whitney include Olympic swimming champion Whitney Hedgepeth, comedian/actress Whitney Cummings, actress Whitney Blake, mother of actress Meredith Baxter, super-model Whitney Thompson, and reality TV star Whitney Port.

Popularity of the Name Whitney

The popularity of Whitney as a favoured name for girl babies seems to have enjoyed its summit in the 1980s, when an estimated 1,179 girls per million were christened with this charming Old English name. This name was not in the top 100 baby girls names in England in 2013.

Useful Resources

  • Discover the meaning and origin of other English names on our website

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