Greek Names for Girls
Greek names for girls include several classic names that have ranked highly in the the US for its entire history, most notably Catherine, Helen, and Margaret. One of the most enduring popular Greek names for girls in recent times, not only in the US but around the world, is Sophia, the name of the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom. Sofia, the name’s alternate spelling, also ranks in the Top 25, along with the Greek name Penelope. Along with Sophia and Penelope, other Greek girls' names in the US Top 1000 include Alexandra, Arianna, Chloe, Cora, Evangeline, Iris, Lydia, Maya, Ophelia, Thea, and Zoe. Baby girl names popular in Greece include Konstantina, Katerina, Dimitra, and Anna. Unique Greek girl names currently in style include Anastasia, Anthea, Calypso, Cassia, Dorothea, Eulalia, Ione, Lyra, and Phoebe. But there are so many other Greek girl names worth consideration, from Acacia to Zephyrine, that the entire list bears a closer look. Greek female names were a big favorite of Shakespeare's, with such Greek names as Desdemona and Cressida playing a major part in some of his greatest tragedies. If Greek girl names are good enough for the Bard, surely our list of Greek names for girls is worth exploring! You might also want to narrow the selection to Greek goddess names or browse our list of Greek boy names.
Description:Sophia was derived from sophia, the Greek word for wisdom. The name was first famous via St. Sophia, venerated in the Greek Orthodox church—St. Sophia was the mother of three daughters named Faith, Hope and Love. It was first used in England in the seventeenth century and was the name of George I's both mother and wife.
Description:Sofia is a variation of the Greek name Sophia, which was derived directly from sophia, the Greek word for wisdom. It was the name of a Roman saint—the mother of Faith, Hope, and Charity—and queens of Russia and Spain. Sonya is the Russian form of Sofia.
Description:Penelope is a name from Greek mythology; she was the wife of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. It has two possible origin stories—Penelope was either derived from the Greek pēnē, meaning "thread of a bobbin," or penelops, a type of duck. Mythological Penelope was cared for by a duck as an infant, and later was known for delaying her suiters by pretending to weave a garment while her husband was at sea.
Meaning:"young green shoot"
Description:Chloe appeared in Greek mythology as an alternative name for the goddess of agriculture and fertility, Demeter. She was referred to as Chloe in the spring months, due to the name’s relation to sprouts and growth. Chloe is also mentioned in the New Testament as the name of a Greek Christian woman.
Origin:Spelling variation of Zoe
Description:Zoey is a modern spelling variation of Zoe, the Greek Jewish translation of Eve. Despite its Jewish origins, Zoe was historically more popular among Christians. Two early saints were named Zoe—Saint Zoe of Rome and Saint Zoe of Pamphylia.
Description:The history of Zoe begins in the third century when the Alexandrian Jews translated Eve, which means 'life,' to the Greek equivalent Zoe. Zoe was in use as far back as the Roman classical period, and was popular with the early Christians, who bestowed it with hopes of eternal life, but it didn't migrate to the English-speaking world until the mid-nineteenth century. Alternate spellings include Zoey, Zoie, and Zooey.
Meaning:"my God has answered"
Description:The Hebrew variation of Eliana was taken from the elements el, meaning "God" and ana, meaning "answered." Eliana also has roots as a variation of the Late Latin name Aeliana, a feminization of the male given name Aelianus, itself derived from the Roman family name Aelius. Aelius is related to the Greek word helios, which refers to the Sun.
Origin:Spanish, Italian, German, Greek variation of Helen
Meaning:"bright, shining light"
Description:Elena, a pan-European version of Helen, has roots in Spanish, Italian, Slavic, and Romanian, among others. Helen, the name from which it derives, came from the Greek word helene, meaning "torch." Alternate spellings include Elaina, Ellena, and Alena.
Origin:Greek mythology name; Central American Indian empire name; Latinate variation of May; Spanish, diminutive of Amalia; variation of Maia; Hebrew
Description:In addition to being the name of a Central American culture, Maya was the legendary Greek mother of Hermes by Zeus, and means "illusion" in Sanskrit and Eastern Pantheism. It can also be spelled Maia, though both names have so many possible origins and meanings that not all of them are related. To the Romans, Maia/Maya was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, after whom they named the month of May.
Origin:French variation of Sophia
Description:Sophie is the French form of the Greek Sophia, for which it is also commonly used as a nickname. Sophies are scattered throughout European royal history, including Sophie of Thuringia, Duchess of Brabant, Princess Sophie of Sweden, and in modern times, Sophie, Duchess of Wessex, the wife of Britain's Prince Edward. German-born Catherine the Great was born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, but changed her name to Catherine upon her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy.
Description:In classical mythology, Cora—or Kore—was a euphemistic name of Persephone, goddess of fertility and the underworld. Kore was the name used when referencing her identity as the goddess of Spring, while Persephone referred to her role as queen of the Underworld. Cora gained popularity as a given name after James Fenimore Cooper used it as the name of his heroine, Cora Munro, in his 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.
Meaning:"woman from Lydia"
Description:Lydia is a very early place name, that of an area of Asia Minor whose inhabitants are credited with the invention of coinage and of having strong musical talent—as well as great wealth.
Description:Gone with the Wind inspired a generation of girls named Melanie, though it looks as though Scarlett will triumph in the end.
Description:A melodious choice big in the sixties, Melody is now starting to pick up tempo again. It cracked the Top 150 for the first time ever in 2015.
Origin:Greek mythology name
Description:The given name Athena was derived from the city name Athens, which is of uncertain origins. In Greek mythology, Athena is the name of the daughter of Zeus who was the goddess of wisdom, warfare, handicrafts, mathematics, and courage, among others. She was the great patroness-goddess of the city of Athens. In the Odyssey, Homer describes her as 'sparkling-eyed Athena.'
Origin:Italian form of Ariadne, Greek
Description:A smooth, attractive choice, Arianna's on the rise with both single and double 'r's and 'n's. Single 'r' double 'n' Arianna — the second most popular version of the name — is these days associated with Greek-born blog queen Arianna Huffington.
Description:Margaret is derived from the French Marguerite, which in turn came from Margarita, the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. Margarites was based on the Old Persian word margārīta, meaning "pearl."
Origin:Flower name; also Greek
Description:Iris is directly derived from the Greek word iris, meaning “rainbow.” In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, a messenger for Zeus and Hera who rode the rainbow as a multicolored bridge from heaven to earth. In ancient times, the Iris was considered a symbol of power and majesty, the three petal segments representing faith, wisdom and valor. This colorful image led to the naming of the flower and to the colored part of the eye.
Description:Katherine is one of the oldest, most diverse, and all-around best names: it's powerful, feminine, royal, saintly, classic, popular, and adaptable. Long one of the top girls' names starting with K, Katherine has now been unseated on the popularity list by upstarts Kennedy and Kinsley, but a dip in popularity only adds to its charm.
Origin:Greek, feminine form of Alexander
Description:Alexandra is the feminine form of Alexander, which ultimately derived from the Greek components alexein, meaning "to defend," and anēr, "man." In Greek mythology, Alexandra was an epithet of the goddess Hera. International variations include Alessandra and Alejandra.
Origin:Igbo, Sanskrit, Arabic
Meaning:"grace, immortal, tribe"
Description:Amara is the Italian word for bitter, from the same root as Mary and Miriam. It has separate roots in West Africa as a name that means "grace" in the Igbo language. These two meanings are the best-known, but Amara is also a Sanskrit name meaning "immortal", an Arabic word meaning "tribe" and a Mongolian name meaning "peaceful".
Origin:Greek, feminine variation of Anastasios
Description:Anastasia is the feminine form on Anastasius, a Greek name derived from the word anastasis, meaning "resurrection." It was a common name among early Christians, who often gave it to daughters born around Christmas or Easter. There are handful of saints named Anastasia, including the patron saint of weavers.
Origin:Variation of Chloe
Meaning:"young green shoot"
Description:Khloe's a variation of the popular Chloe, thanks to reality star Karshadian of the K-named family. Khloe jumped a whopping 101 places into 2009's Top 100 and peaked at 42 in 2010 but has declined in popularity in recent years.
Description:This Hallie-esque nickname name is starting to dip, while the sleeker, more nouveau Cali is rising.
Description:If Melody and Lyric are on your style sheet, the peaceful Harmony, popularized by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, should be too.
Description:Alexa was a steadily popular modern classic until Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa was released in 2013. It remains relatively well used in the US despite this, but has dropped from #50 in 2010 to #230 in 2020 as a result.
Origin:Variation of Maya, Greek mythology and Central American Indian name
Description:This distinctive spelling was popularized by the R&B singer Mya (Harrison) and has inspired many baby namers to adopt Mya for themselves.
Description:Angela was a Top 10 name from 1965 to 1979, the fifth most popular name for three years, and staying in the double digits until the turn of the 21st century. Today, though, Angelina or Angelica would be more fashionable options.
Meaning:"radiant, shining one"
Description:Phoebe is the Latin variation of the Greek name Phoibe, which derived from phoibos, meaning “bright.” In classical mythology, Phoebe is the by-name of Artemis, goddess of the moon and of hunting. The masculine version of Phoebe is Phoebus.
Meaning:"bearer of good news"
Description:Evangeline is a romantic old name enjoying a major comeback, thanks to its religious overtones, Eva's popularity, and the star of the TV megahit Lost, Evangeline Lilly. Evangelia and Evangelina — two variants of Evangeline — are sure to tag along for the ride.
Origin:French feminine variation of Nicholas, Greek
Meaning:"people of victory"
Description:Nicole was derived from Nicholas, the English variation of the Greek Nikolaos, composed of the compounds nike, meaning "victory," and laos, "people." The variation Nicole arose in the Middle Ages in France to honor St. Nicholas. Names related to Nicole include Colette, Nicolette, Nika, Nicola, and Nicolina.
Description:Catherine is one of the oldest and most consistently well-used girls’ names, with endless variations and nicknames. The Catherine form feels more gently old-fashioned and feminine than the more popular K versions. Most stylish nickname for Catherine right now: Kate...or Cate, a la Blanchett.
Origin:Diminutive of Theresa
Meaning:"to reap, to gather"
Description:Among baby girl names, Tessa's much more popular than either mother name Theresa or shorter form Tess. Today, many people may not even remember that Tessa originated as a short form of Theresa as it stands quite nicely on its own.
Description:Phoenix is a New Age name symbolizing rebirth and immortality; Scary Spice chose Phoenix for her daughter.
Origin:Greek, Italian, Spanish, Russian diminutive of Angela
Description:The gorgeous Angelina Jolie has promoted the star power of her name and changed Angelina's image from delicate to intense, from older Italian mama to stylish multi-cultural child. Kids might relate to the dancing mouse in the series of charming children's books, Angelina Ballerina, or to the Harry Potter character, Angelina Johnson Weasley, a member of Dumbledore's army.
Description:Thea is a diminutive of names ending in -thea, including Dorothea, Althea, and Anthea. It is also the Anglicized spelling of Theia, the Titan of sight, goddess of light, and mother of the moon. She was the consort of Hyperion, and mother of Helios, Selene, and Eos.
Description:Alexis, a one-time exclusively-boys’ name, was more popular than its sister Alexandra for quite a while, but in recent years Alexandra has overtaken it once again. Alexis was a Top 20 girls’ name from 1994-2010 but has experienced a decline in popularity in recent years, though now it's one of the top unisex names.
Origin:Variation of Alexandra, Greek
Description:Alexandria turns Alexandra into a more distinctive place-name, in both Egypt and Virginia.
Origin:Diminutive of Demetria or Greek
Description:Demi appeared in the US as a baby name thanks to a single celebrity, actress Demi Moore, who put it on the Top 1000 throughout the 1990s. As her star faded, so did the visibility of the name, though now it is rising again on its own steam. It's popular in Europe, too, especially in The Netherlands. Demi may be that unusual name that's launched by a celebrity and then maintains its visibility all by itself.
Description:Melissa derives from the Greek word mélissa, meaning "bee," which was taken from the word for honey, meli. In Greek mythology, Melissa was a nymph who nursed the infant god Zeus with honey. Melissa was used as a given name by the early Greeks, as well as for fairies by Italian Renaissance poets.
Origin:Surname derived from Nicholas or Colin
Description:Collins is a surname name that has made the girls' Top 1000 thanks to its use for the daughter of the real-life Blind Side heroine. This derivation of the Greek Nicholas—which means "people of victory"—or the Irish and Scottish Colin—which may itself be a Nicholas derivation or an Anglicization of the word for pup—has a stylish feel made more so by that final s.
Description:Ophelia is a beautiful name that has long been hampered by the stigma of Hamlet's tragic heroine—for whom he seems to have invented the name—but more and more parents are beginning to put that association aside. There is also a gutsy Ophelia in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 Uncle Tom's Cabin, which seems to have had some influence on baby namers at the time.
Description:A musical name with Greek roots, appealing to parents who like such other names as Harmony, Melody, and Cadence.
Meaning:"laurel tree, bay tree"
Description:In Greek mythology, Daphne was the nymph daughter of Peneus, a river god. Peneus saved Daphne from Apollo’s romantic obsessions by transforming her into a laurel tree. It is from this myth that the plant genus daphne, which contains the laurel species, gets its name.
Meaning:"torch; shining light"
Description:Helen is a name that has connoted beauty since ancient times – Helen of Troy was the the mythological "face that launched a thousand ships," over whom the ten-year Trojan War was fought.
Origin:Greek, feminine variation of Stephen
Description:Stephanie is the feminine form of Stephen, derived from the Greek name Stephanos, meaning "crown." It’s been the name of several royal women throughout history, including the medieval Stephanie, Queen of Navarre, and Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, the daughter Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco. International variations of Stephanie include the German Stefanie, Italian Stefania, and Spanish Estefanía.
Origin:English, diminutive of Katherine
Description:Friendly mega-popular short form of Katherine that has definitively replaced Kathy, Katie is often given on its own. Going forward, though, Katie is more stylishly clipped itself to the grownup Kate.
Description:Maia was derived from the Greek word maia, meaning "mother." In Greek legend, she was the fair-haired daughter of Atlas who mothered Zeus's favorite illegitimate son, Hermes. To the Romans, Maia was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, after whom they named the month of May. Maya is the more common spelling.
Origin:Hebrew, Arabic, Iranian
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:As Mary falls further out of favor, her variations become more appealing, whether you're honoring an ancestral Mary or Marie or Miriam or simply love the tradition of the name.
Origin:Latinate form of Helen, Greek
Meaning:"torch; shining light"
Description:Helena is a more delicate and dainty version of Helen, a favorite of Shakespeare, who used it in both All's Well That Ends Well and A Midsummer's Night Dream. Historically, Helena was the mother of Constantine the Great (and, supposedly, the daughter of Old King Cole), who became a fourth century saint--Evelyn Waugh wrote his only historical novel, Helena, based on her story.