First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Pretty

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Pretty mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Pretty

User Submitted Meanings

  • A submission from South Africa says the name Pretty means "Beautiful" and is of African origin.
  • A user from South Africa says the name Pretty is of African origin and means "Beautiful".
  • According to a user from South Africa, the name Pretty is of English origin and means "Beautiful".
Other origins: Indian (Sanskrit) and Hindu

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International Interest
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective Pret"ty
  1. Pleasing by delicacy or grace; attracting, but not striking or impressing; of a pleasing and attractive form a color; having slight or diminutive beauty; neat or elegant without elevation or grandeur; pleasingly, but not grandly, conceived or expressed; as, a pretty face; a pretty flower; a pretty poem. "This is the prettiest lowborn lass that ever Ran on the greensward." [Shak.]
  2. Moderately large; considerable; as, he had saved a pretty fortune."Wavering a prettywhile." [Evelyn.]
  3. Affectedly nice; foppish; -- used in an ill sense."The pretty gentleman is the most complaisant in the world." [Spectator.]
  4. Mean; despicable; contemptible; -- used ironically; as, a pretty trick; a pretty fellow.
  5. Stout; strong and brave; intrepid; valiant.(Scot)"He] observed they were pretty men, meaning not handsome." [Sir W. Scott.]
    synonyms: Elegant; neat; fine. See Handsome.

Etymology: OE. prati, AS. prættig prætig, crafty, sly, akin to præt prætt, deceit, trickery, Icel. prettugr tricky, prettr a trick; probably fr. Latin, perhaps through Celtic; cf. W. praith act, deed, practice, LL. practica execution, practice, plot. See Practice

adverb Pret"ty
In some degree; moderately; considerably; rather; almost; -- less emphatic than very; as, I am pretty sure of the fact; pretty cold weather.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Pleasing by delicacy or grace; not imposing ("pretty girl", "pretty song", and "pretty room")
  2. (used ironically) unexpectedly bad ("a pretty mess" and "a pretty kettle of fish")
  3. To certain extent or degree ("pretty big" and "pretty bad")

From Middle English prety, preti, praty, prati, from Old English prættiġ (“tricky, crafty, sly, cunning, wily, astute”), from Proto-Germanic *prattugaz (“boastful, sly, slick, deceitful, tricky, cunning”), corresponding to prat (“trick”) +‎ -y. Cognate with Dutch prettig (“nice, pleasant”), dialectal German (East Frisia) prettig (“funny”), German protzig (“showy, ostentatious, swanky, pretentious”), Icelandic prettugur (“deceitful, tricky”). For the sense-development, compare canny, clever, cute.

  1. A pretty person; a term of address to a pretty person.
  2. Something that is pretty.
    "We'll stop at the knife store a look at the sharp .

Notable Persons Named Pretty

Pretty Boy Floyd is a gangster and bank robbery.


Pretty was born on March 6th, 1985.



Pretty was born in 1856. She breathed her last breath in 1944.



Pretty was born in 1846 in Near Crow Agency, Montana. He breathed his last breath on November 11th, 1903.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Pretty

Anne Heywood is an actress. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1951 to 1951. Anne was given the name Violet Pretty on December 11th, 1932 in Handsworth, Birmingham, England, UK. Anne is also known as Pretty and Violet.


Edith was born in 1883. She died in 1942.



Nathan was born on July 7th, 1973 in Albury.


His military service ended in 1966. Walter was born on May 2nd, 1909. He breathed his last breath on January 17th, 1975.


Edward was born in 1957.


Where is the name Pretty popular?

International Interest for Pretty

Interest is based how many people viewed this name from each country and is scaled based on the total views by each country so that large countries do not always show the most interest. Darker blue on the map indicates that people in the country are more likely to search for this name.

Longer bars in the bar graph indicate that people in the country are more interested in the name. Not all countries that have shown an interest in the name are listed in the bar graph.

United States
South Africa
United Kingdom

Popularity in the US

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Popularity of Pretty as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Pretty as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in North Carolina, Michigan, or Ohio.

Common first names for Pretty

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Pretty U.S.
  White 66.41% 64.26%
  African American 24.03% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 1.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.67% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.67% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 6.23% 16.26%

Of Last Name Pretty

People with the last name Pretty are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Pretty

  • How Popular is the name Pretty? Pretty is the 43,458th most popular name of all time. As a last name Pretty was the 26,975th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Pretty have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 64 babies born with the first name Pretty in the United States.
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Pretty? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1982 when it was given as a first name to 6 new born babies.
  • When was Pretty first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Pretty is Friday, May 15th, 1896.
  • What year had the most people named Pretty born? The highest recorded use of the first name Pretty was in 2010 with a total of 9 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Pretty: Your name in reverse order is Ytterp. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Etyprt. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Pretty? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 899 people with the last name Pretty.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Pretty? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Pretty as their last name since less than 1 person in 333k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Prettys Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Pretty

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Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.