Description:Amalia is a widely cross-cultural name, heard from Italy to Romania, Germany to Scandinavia. The current heir to the Dutch throne is Princess Catharina-Amalia of Orange. It can be pronounced ah-MAH-lee-a or ah-mah-LEE-a.
Description:Mara is the evocative ancient root of Mary, appearing in the Book of Ruth, in which Naomi, devastated after the death of her two sons, says "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara." It's one of the girl names starting with M that both fits in and stands out.
Origin:Feminine variation of Andrew, Greek
Meaning:"strong and manly"
Description:Andrea — a feminine form of Andrew (and a male name in several European cultures) — comes with a good selection of pronunciations — ANN-dree-a, AHN-dree-a, or ahn-DRAY-a — each with a slightly different image: girl next door/slightly affected/downright mysterious
Meaning:"love, warmth, grace"
Description:This popular name in various Slavic countries and in Italy holds considerable Continental appeal. It is the full name of Ukranian-born actress Mila Kunis, most noted for her award-winning role in the film Black Swan. Another actress bearing the name is Milena Govitch, of Law & Order.
Description:Magdalena is a pretty name forever associated with the fallen-yet-redeemed Mary Magdalen; often heard in the Hispanic community. But forward thinking parents are reviving Magdalena along with Magdalene and the unrelated but similar-sounding Marguerite.
Origin:Hebrew, Hawaiian, Maori, Japanese
Meaning:"grace, work, glow, flower"
Description:Many things to many peoples: a flower name, also spelled Hanae, to the Japanese; a Czech and Polish short form of Johana; and an alternate form of the biblical name Hannah in the US. It also means "craft, work" in Hawaiian and "glow" in Maori.
Origin:French, German, Russian, Czech, Scandinavian variation of Valentine
Description:Romantic name used throughout Europe, though sure to lead to pronunciation problems here. Though it's never been too widely used in the US, it's quite popular in Switzerland, France, Austria, and Romania.
Origin:Czech diminutive of Susan
Description:Zuzu is heard every Christmas as the name of Jimmy Stewart's little girl in "It's a Wonderful Life." Hard to think of a nickname name with more sizzle.
"Top Chef" 's Tania Peterson named her daughter Zuzu Audrey.
Origin:Slovak variation of Katherine
Description:The Russian version of Katherine is usually Ekaterina, but this Slovak form is used throughout Eastern Europe and may be more friendly to the American ear.
Origin:Italian, Polish, Czech, feminine variation of Daniel
Description:Daniella, Daniela, and Danielle were among the hottest names for twenty years, but now, though still popular, they can no longer be considered stylish options, lagging behind the newer Ella, Stella, Bella, Gabriella, and Isabella.
Description:Albin is a modern form of the ancient Roman Albinus or Albus, meaning white or bright. There was a Saint Albinus who was also known as Aubin. In the contemporary world, Albin is popular in Sweden and ripe for export as a simple, unusual name with deep history.
Origin:International feminine variation of Jan
Description:A sweet name with many cross-cultural ties: it's an equivalent of Jane in languages including Czech, Slovak, Dutch, German, Slovene, Catalan, Estonian, and Latvian.
Description:Verona is a scenic place-name with the added attraction of a Shakespearean connection, as in Two Gentlemen of....
Origin:Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak variation of Mark, Latin
Description:A wearable update to the New Testament classic.
Origin:Czech and Russian variation of Vera
Description:With the rise of both Russian names and those that start with the letter V, this sharp Eastern European choice may become more familiar in the English-speaking world.
Origin:Czech from Hebrew, pet form of Elisheva
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Eliška is warm and friendly, in the MISHA/SASHA mode.
Description:Murakami's Kafka on the Shore features a character named after the famous Czech author of The Metamorphoses.
Description:Despite the light, pretty sound of Bella for a girl, the boys' name Bela has dark and mysterious undertones, thanks to Dracula actor Bela Lugosi. Béla is also the first name of composer Bartók.
Description:Short form of the Russian Varvara, a feistier version of Barbara.