Chloe x Halle

Origin: Germanic and Norse
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: "Hall" or "Rock"
Pronunciation: HAL-ee
Other Forms: Halley, Halli

Soft but strong, Halle is hovering just on the inside of the top 1000, making it the perfect choice for those who wasn't something unusual, yet recognizable.

The first person who comes to mind when we hear Halle is actress Halle Berry, but she is certainly not the first bearer of this name. For women, and as a first name, that honor belongs to Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson, the first woman to become a licensed physician in Alabama.

Born Halle Tanner in 1864 Pittsburgh, she was the eldest daughter of Benjamin Tucker Tanner, a minister, and Sarah Elizabeth Tanner, prominent members of the local African-American community. She married Charles Dillon, but he sadly died after the birth of the child only two years later. She then returned home, and ended up graduating from Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania with honors.
As providence would have it, right around the time of her graduation Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, was looking for an African-American physician. She readily accepted the offer. Because not only of her gender but her race, she was heavily scrutinized while undergoing the ten-day oral examination held by the leading physicians of the state, but she passed with flying colors. During her time at Tuskegee she taught classes, founded a nursing school, and even founded the Lafayette Dispensary for Locals.
Later on she married the Rev. John Quincy Johnson, which of course, ended her career. They had three children before she would tragically die in childbirth at age 36.

Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson
Halle Berry was named after the department in which she was born in. It was owned by the Jewish-American Halle brothers, and at the time was the most prominent department store in Cleveland. As a surname Halle is Germanic in origin, and means "hall". It makes me wonder where Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson's parents came by her name.

In Norwegian Halle is a boy's name, derived from the Old Norse Halli, which means "rock". In "Morkinskinna", written around 1220, there is a story called "The Tale of Sarcastic Halli", in which the eponymous Halli is challenged to a battle of wits against the master-poet Thjodolg, with both trying to impress King Harald.

Other namesakes include Halle Bailey of musical sister duo Chloe X Halle - see her soon as Ariel in Disney's live-action "The Little Mermaid", tennis player Halle Cioffi, and Halle Suggs from Toni Morrison's "Beloved".


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