Top UK Girl Names
Browse this list of UK girl names from the Nameberry database that originate in the English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish, Cornish and Manx languages and cultures. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.
Origin:English from French and German
Meaning:"desired; or water, island"
Description:Evelyn derives from the French feminine given name Aveline, which is from an obscure Germanic root which may mean "desired, wished for" or "water, island". The name Aveline was brought over to England by the Normans, but it first became popular as a masculine name – a transferred use of the surname Evelyn, which comes from the same source. Variations include Evaline, Evalyn, Evelin, and Eveline.
Description:Harper is a red hot name for girls, having jumped from obscurity to near the top of the popularity list in less than a decade; it entered the Top 10 for the first time in 2015, and has stayed near there since. Harper is a prime example of the trend of surnames that turn into boys' names and then become girls' names. Harper was rarely heard for either sex before the mid-2000s, entering the girls' list in 2004. (For boys, it was in use until 1906 when it dropped off the scope and didn't reappear until a full century later.)
Meaning:"all, completely; fairy maiden"
Description:Ella has parallel derivations, first as the Norman variation of the Germanic Alia—itself a nickname for names containing the element ali. It’s also a Hebrew name, referring to a tree in the pistachio family or in modern Hebrew, "goddess." In English speaking countries and Scandinavia, Ella developed as a diminutive for names beginning with El-, such as Eleanor and Elizabeth.
Meaning:"ruler of the elves"
Description:Avery originated in the Middle Ages as a Norman-French pronunciation variation of the Anglo-Saxon name Alfred and the Ancient Germanic name Alberich. The elements aelf, meaning "elf" and ric, meaning "ruler" give Avery its meaning. While Avery is considered by many to be a surname name, it was a given name first. It was used as a patronymic surname when England began to require last names.
Description:Scarlett originated as an occupation surname, designating a person who sold scarlet, a luxury wool cloth produced in Medieval Europe. The word is thought to derive from the Arabic siklāt, referring to silks dyed with kermes. The fanciest, favorited color was scarlet red.
Origin:English variation of French Provencal Alienor, meaning unknown
Description:While some think Eleanor is a variation of Helen via Ellen, it actually derives from the Provencal name Aliénor, of highly-debated meaning. It may come from the Germanic name Adenorde, meaning "ancient north" or "noble north". Another theory is that it derives from the Latin phrase alia Aenor, meaning "other Aenor," used to distinguish some original Eleanor, who was named after her mother Aenor. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine brought it from France to England in the twelfth century. Other spellings include Elinor and Eleanore.
Meaning:"son of Matthew"
Description:Madison originated as an English surname, a variant of Mathieson, meaning "son of Matthew." It is occasionally translated as "son of Maud," as Maddy was historically a nickname for Maud. It was introduced as a feminine given name in the 1984 movie Splash, in which the main character takes her name from New York’s Madison Avenue street sign.
Origin:English, diminutive of Eleanor and Ellen
Meaning:"bright shining one"
Description:Ellie derived as a nickname for names beginning with El-, such as Eleanor, Ellen, and Elizabeth. It is increasingly being used as a standalone name, particularly in the UK. Ellie is the standard spelling, but Elly and Elli are occasionally seen as variations.
Meaning:"the hazelnut tree"
Description:Hazel is a name applied from the English word hazel, referring to the hazelnut tree. The word was derived from the Old English hæsel of the same meaning. Historically, a wand of hazel symbolized protection and authority.
Origin:English flower name
Description:Lily came into use as a given name as a direct influence of the flower. The floral name was derived from the Latin lilium, itself derived from the Greek leirion. Lily later became an adjective to describe whiteness and purity.
Meaning:"wild boar in woodland clearing"
Description:Everly originated as a toponymic surname derived from the Old English roots eofor, meaning "boar," and leah, "clearing." It is related to the Germanic name Eberhard, meaning "brave as a wild boar," from which popular name Everett also derived. Wild boars represented strength and courage to ancient Germanic peoples, who often took on names with animal meanings.
Origin:Scottish place-name or Spanish
Description:Isla, the Spanish word for island, is also the name of a Scottish river, an island (spelled Islay), and the red-haired actress Isla Fisher, married to Sacha Baron Cohen. A top girls' name in the US, Isla is also popular overseas, especially in England, Wales, and her native Scotland.
Origin:English from Latin
Meaning:"lily; pledged to God"
Description:Lillian is having a remarkable revival, rising to a peak of Number 21 in 2010 (the highest it's been since the 1920's) before dipping slightly in recent years. It was a Top 10 name in its Lillian Gish-Lillian (born Helen Louise) Russell-Floradora Girl heyday at the turn of the last century.
Meaning:"son of Adam"
Description:Addison, a TV-generated name (Dr. Addison Shephard, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice) took off in hot pursuit of predecessor Madison, sounding sharper and more modern--at least until its own rapid climb up the ladder. Addison, one of the few patronymics ('son of') names to be totally accepted for girls, is now near the top of the girls' charts and is among the most popular of the popular girl names starting with A.
Origin:English nature name
Description:Willow came into use as a given name after the willow tree, whose name was derived from the Old English word welig, meaning "willow." Willow trees are associated with grace and elegance, which gave way to the adjective "willowy." Other names with meanings related to willows include Arava, Willoughby, Dozier, Wellesley, Selby, and Salton.
Origin:English, variation of Lucia
Description:Lucy is the English form of the Roman Lucia, which derives from the Latin word "lux" meaning "light." Lucy and Lucia were at one time given to girls born at dawn. Lucy can alternatively be spelled Luci or Lucie.
Description:For a name related to a Scottish town, a richly patterned Indian fabric, and a country singer named Brad, Paisley has been a remarkable success story. She entered the Top 1000 in 2006, and broke into the Top 50 for the first time in 2015, and is now one of the most popular girl names that start with P.
Origin:English from French version of German Alberic
Description:The unisex name Aubrey is scooting up the girls' popularity charts, along with the revived Audrey. After being a 100% male name, it tipped to female in 1974, and is now 98% girls, among the most popular girls' names starting with A.
Description:Ivy is derived from the name of the ivy plant, which got its name from the Old English word ifig. Ancient Greeks presented an ivy wreath to newlyweds as a symbol of fidelity. In the language of flowers, Ivy signifies faithfulness.
Description:Kinsley, a name that straddles the line between cute and classy, continues to rise in popularity and is now one of the top girls' names starting with K. Kinsey is the name of the heroine of Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries and Tinsley gives the name a high society spin.
Description:Audrey is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Aethelthryth, the name that later evolved into Ethelred. St. Audrey was a seventh century saint who was particularly revered in the Middle Ages. Her name led to the term tawdry, as cheap lace necklaces were sold at the St. Audrey fair. Shakespeare bestowed her name on a character in As You Like It.
Origin:Scottish, diminutive of Alice
Description:Widely used here since the fifties, Allison -- a derivative of Alice -- has far surpassed the original in popularity, though now it's eclipsed by Addison. Alice itself is also rising again. Ellison -- another Allison-inspired variant -- is another fresh spin. For more, see Alison.
Origin:English and Scottish clan name
Description:There are no less than ten different variations of Hailey on the current Most Popular list, but this is the spelling that brought it into the Top 10 of 2010, although it has recently dipped a bit in popularity. So, although Hailey has a shiny, unpretentious charm, its mass popularity makes it very much of the moment. Look for the Hailee spelling to rise via Hailee Steinfeld, the young actress Oscar-nominated for her performance in True Grit.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"pipe or flute player"
Description:Piper is a bright, musical name that entered the list in 1999, one year after the debut of the TV series Charmed, which featured a Piper, and it's been a consistent riser since. Piper Kerman is the memoirist whose prison experiences provided the basis for the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black.
Origin:Variation of Everly
Description:A trendy version of Everly that is more feminine and substantial thanks to its -'leigh' suffix. Ahead of the curve, hunky actor Cam Gigandet used it for his daughter in 2009, and it broke into the Top 1000 in 2013. Don't be surprised if it climbs even higher in coming years.
Origin:English variation of Magdalen
Meaning:"high tower or woman from Magdala"
Description:This lovely name with a soft and delicate image is an old-fashioned favorite that returned to favor in the 1990's, combining a classic pedigree with a cute nickname option: Maddy.
Description:Peyton is a unisex surname that's not only survived but continues to grow in popularity because of its rich southern-accented softness combined with the pre-Desperate Housewives naughtiness of Peyton Place. In recent years, more boys have been named Peyton thanks to football star Peyton Manning, but the projected film of William Styron's Lie Down in Darkness which features heroine Peyton Loftis may further popularize Peyton as a girls' name.
Description:Hadley, most famous as the name of Ernest Hemingway's first wife, is more sophisticated, professional, and modern than cousins Harley, Haley, or Hayden. The hit book The Paris Wife, a novel told from the point of view of Hadley Hemingway (born Elizabeth Hadley Richardson), has helped popularize the name, which also appears on the vampire show True Blood. Hadley could become this generation's Hailey.
Meaning:"son of Kenneth"
Description:Originally inspired as a a girls’ name by eighties TV actress Mackenzie Phillips, parents have flocked to Mackenzie – once only a male name – for their daughters. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is one of the thousands who've chosen Mackenzie. Other Mac names, such as Makayla and McKenna, are also newly popular for girls.
Origin:Diminutive of Charles or Charlotte
Description:Charlie is one of the friendly, tomboyish male nickname names--another is Sam-- now used almost as frequently for girls: in 2015, it ranked higher on the girls list than on the boys list for the first time. That makes Charlie one of the most popular unisex names around today. The name Charlie, for females, has been jumping up the charts since it reappeared, after a 50-year hibernation, in 2005.
Origin:English occupational name
Description:Indie actress Parker Posey put a female imprint on this sophisticated surname that's still about three times as common for boys but rising for both sexes. Parker has the advantage of its nature connection, relating it to such occupational names as Gardener and Forester.
Description:Popular pop name, inspired by Australian singer Kylie Minogue. Youngest sister of the Kardashians, Kylie Jenner, is undoubtedly keeping its style going.
Origin:English, diminutive of Josephine, feminine of Joseph
Description:Josie is jaunty and friendly: among the most winning of all nickname names. She's been on the social security list since records began being kept.
Description:Faith is one of the most straightforward of the virtue names popularized by the Puritans in the seventeenth century, many parents still choosing it as an indicator of their religious conviction. Faith peaked in 2002 at Number 48.
Origin:French and English variation of Heloise
Description:To some, Eloise will forever be the imperious little girl making mischief at the Plaza Hotel, while the original version Heloise recalls the beautiful and learned wife of the French philosopher Peter Abelard, admired for her fidelity and piety.
Along with many other names with the El- beginning and featuring the L sound in any place, Eloise is newly chic. Eloise jumped back onto the popularity list in 2009, possibly thanks in part to the Eloise Hawking character on the popular TV series Lost. Eloise was the name of Jennifer Aniston's character in Love Happens. Denise Richards named one of her daughters Eloise.
Origin:Diminutive of Margaret or flower name, from English
Description:Daisy, fresh, wholesome, and energetic, is one of the flower names that burst back into bloom after a century's hibernation. Daisy is now second only to Delilah among most popular girl names starting with D. Originally a nickname for Margaret (the French Marguerite is the word for the flower), Daisy comes from the phrase "day's eye," because it opens its petals at daybreak.
Description:The sassy, steel magnolia appeal of Oscar-winning Reese (born Laura Jeanne—Reese is her mother's maiden name) Witherspoon has single-handedly propelled this formerly boys’ name into girls' popularity.
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:"dweller near the ash tree meadow"
Description:Ashley was a sensation in the 1980s and 1990s; it hit Number 1 in 1991. Ashley is still pretty but more and more parents are turning to newer names like Ashlyn and Aubrey, and spellings such as Ashleigh and Ashlea. If you hear the name Ashley in a playground today, it's more likely to be the mom than the little girl.
Origin:English occupational name
Description:Taylor is one of the prime unisex surnames used for girls and has also been a soap opera favorite. Taylor was in the Top 10 for the last several years of the twentieth century, so that now it tends to feel a little nineties – though Taylor Swift is keeping it in the spotlight and Tay is a charming nickname. Garth Brooks and Bryan Cranston have daughters named Taylor; Taylor Schilling portrays lead Piper Chapman in Orange is the New Black.
Meaning:"dark wood or clearing"
Description:Blakely, along with Blakeley, Blakelee and Blakeleigh, is one of the post-Ashley surname names that end with the lee sound so stylish today. Reality stars Trista and Ryan Sutter named their daughter Blakesley. These surname-names are among the most stylish English names for girls.
Origin:English, feminine variation of George
Description:Georgia is so rich, lush and luscious, it's almost irresistible. Georgia's now a rising star among the feminizations of George, helped by associations with the southern state (named for British King Geogre II) and painter Georgia O'Keeffe, with the Ray Charles song "Georgia On My Mind" or maybe "Sweet Georgia Brown" playing in the background.
Description:Though Kimberly -- a South African diamond town name -- hasn't been stylish for decades, it was in the Top 5 throughout the sixties and seventies and long ranked among the top girls' names starting with K. Names with the -ly or -ley ending continue to be trendy, though, with Ashley falling while new choices such as Hadley and Kinsley are rising.
Description:Most of the notable Rivers have been male, but this nature name certainly flows as well for a girl. Kelly Clarkson's choice of River for her newborn daughter further raised the profile of the name for girls.
Origin:Diminutive of Mildred or Millicent
Meaning:"gentle strength; strong in work"
Description:Millie is back. It's a Top 100 name throughout much of the English-speaking world, though not yet in the US. Millicent would be an appealing long form, but many people are using Millie all by its cute self -- so many, in fact, that it returned to the Top 500 in 2015 for the first time since World War 2 and continues to climb.
Meaning:"sea-born, sea-song or sea-circle"
Description:Morgan has long been a traditional Welsh male name, a variant of the Old Welsh name Morcant, from the Welsh elements mor, meaning “sea” and cant, “circle.” The female Morgan is unrelated to the male version—it is a name from Arthurian legend created for Morgan le Fay, King Arthur's half-sister and famed sorceress. Her name comes from Morgen, an Old Welsh name meaning “sea-born,” and is related to the Irish name Muirgen.
Description:The capital of the United Kingdom makes a solid and attractive twenty-first-century choice, with a lot more substance than Paris. It's in the unisex column, with one boy starbaby (Saul 'Slash' Hudson) and one girl (Neal McDonough).
Origin:English, from Latin, nature name
Description:Though greatly overshadowed by the trendy Olivia, Olive has a quiet, subtle appeal of its own -- and is now enjoying a remarkable comeback. Olive is one of only four girl names starting with O on the US Top 1000. Cool couple Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen chose it for their daughter, reviving the name to stylishness, and now Drew Barrymore has a little Olive too, as has country singer Jake Owen.
Origin:English variation of Alicia
Description:Alyssa was in the Top 20 from 1997-2010 and peaked as the 11th most popular girls’ name in 1998 and 1999 but has become less popular in recent years. It's related to the flower alyssum as well as to the classic Alice and variants. Alyssa Milano helped give it a bounce back when she was still a child sitcom star.
Origin:Irish and Scottish