Best Baby Names for Girls: Magnolia, Maisie, Mirabelle and Matilda

We’re happy to announce the birth of our third Nameberry Guide ebook, Best Baby Names for Girls! In it we’ve selected from the over 20,000 girls’ names on Nameberry the 650 choices we think most likely to succeed at containing the perfect choice for your baby daughter. Now we’re going even further. We’ve winnowed that 650 down to a single representative entry plus two runners-up in a dozen popular categories, with a taste of what’s said about each one in the book. Get your copy to see the full list today!

Best classic name: Alice

Alice is a classic name that’s both strong and sweet, which got a big bounce via Tina Fey’s choice of the name for her daughter. Alice is quite unique among traditional girls’ names—more feminine and dainty than Mary and Helen, more substantive than Ann and Jean, yet with more lightness and innocent charm than Margaret or Katherine. Runners-up: Susannah and Jane

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


24 Responses to “Best Baby Names for Girls: Magnolia, Maisie, Mirabelle and Matilda”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

AprilRobin Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 12:47 am

Deborah- It’s a cute name
Winnie- My niece’s name
Beatrice- See Deborah
Reese- See Deborah
Verity- I like virtue names
Story- I like that is unique and you don’t hear it often

Alice- It’s cute but I can’t see using it for my own kids
Saskia- Not my style
Melisande- See Saskia
Juno- I think if the movie when I hear this name
Willow- See Saskia
Clara-See Saskia

OpheliaFlora Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 6:51 am

I only like Alice (Description fits perfectly) and Clara (im surprised it’s still seen as an old name here) from you “winners”.

Saskia – I find very harsh sounding
Willow – has become a bit boring
Juno – reminds me of the movie
Melisande – is just “too much”
Story – I don’t get word names
Verity – reminds me of variety, also I find virtue names hard to live up to
Deborah – I can’t picture it on a little girl, only on a 30+ year old women
Beatrice – is quite nice but I like it’s runner ups better
Winnie – the Pooh, while it’s cute a linger name with nn Winnie would be great
Reese – is just the actress to me atm

iamamiam Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 7:41 am

Love Paloma! That’s the best international name imo.
Melisande sounds slightly evil to me because of the GoT association. And agree that it’s a bit much.
Even though my name is Amity (and I love it), I agree with Verity being here. Clarity is odd imo, though. I think about clear vision or clarified butter rather than of it as a virtue. Favorite virtue-type names: Charis, Merit, Kerensa, Mira, Eira, Halona, Esperanza, Vera, Cairedas, Truman, Valor

Mischa Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 10:16 am

Those baby photos are too cute!

I love Alice as well as her runners-up Susannah and Jane. I love the spunky Verity, the exotic Saskia and the vintage Beatrice too. Winnie is a great nickname for a Winifred but I wouldn’t use it as a first name (I wouldn’t want people thinking I named a child after Minnie Mouse). Names like Story and Fable don’t resonate with me and I don’t think they age well. I knew a horrid Deborah growing up so that name is tainted. Her runner-up Dinah would be a more interesting choice. I prefer Corisande to Melisande. Reese is so harsh in sound that I find it unattractive. Willow has a soft and pretty sound.

Dear Pam or Linda, I have a question for you. I have the book forms of “The Nameberry Guide to the Best Names for Boys” and “The Nameberry Guide to Off-The-Grid Baby Names”. When will a book form of this new Girls version be available to purchase? Thanks.

linda Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 10:43 am

@Mischa–It’s available now!
PS. I always enjoy your comments on the new babyberry names.

tararyaz Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 11:15 am

Alice & Beatrice are so lovely. Deborah would feel surprisingly fresh, though I might assume a little one was named after grandma. Runner up Naomi is so gorgeous. Dinah is sweet, but sadly here on the east coast a lot of people would think I named my daughter “Diner” if I used that one. We do love our diners in NJ, but not that much!!

charmingwitch Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 11:20 am

I’ve noticed in the last few years that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been quite popular with the under 30 crowd (not that it was ever obscure but y’know with all the etsy items, movies, tattoos, etc that have cropped up more recently), so I’m willing to bet Mr. Dodgson has quite a bit to do with it’s rise as well! It’s on my lists because I have a love of fairy tale-esque names :).

I already said this in the Doctor Who blog post comments, but I’m so so in love with the combo Clara Jane so it makes me happy both names are mentioned here! And speaking of Doctor Who… Verity is very much a Who name as well! Verity Ann Lambert was the first ever producer of Doctor Who, way back in the 60s when women were rarely given that sort of position. I believe in her time she was the only female drama producer at the BBC. Great namesake.

I also liked:
Dinah (This will be strange but this came to my attention thanks to the game Super Mario RPG as did Valentina and Gino)
Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite play!)
Matilda (Roald Dahl!)
Persephone (I like the idea of Percy nn for a girl)

joel613 Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

I do like Deborah the problem with it is that almost invariably it would end up as Debbie, Debi, Debby etc. which is not so lovely. Much prefer the alternates Naomi and Dinah, two names that are both resistant to nicknames and quite beautiful.

Whirligig Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

My parents are delighted that my name is a runner up!

Saskia – 🙂
Willow – has become a bit boring as a first but as a middle for a more usual name, it is adorable [Amelia Willow]
Juno – Nah
Melisande – 🙂
Story – 🙂
Verity – I have never been bowled over by this but it is cute compared to some names.
Deborah – I am warming to this although Debbie is grrr
Beatrice – I prefer the more energetic Beatrix.
Winnie – :D!!!!
Reese –Nah

Kateri Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I can’t get past the bore/boar sound of Deborah.

linda Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I’m always happy when someone shares my love for Dinah!

momto2 Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Love Winnie, Verity and Juno the best 🙂 great list

Mischa Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

@Linda – Thanks for informing me! I know what I’m buying myself for an early Christimas present! Ha!

katybug Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

What a fun list! Looking forward to checking out the ebook! I would add Ruth to the Biblical names list and Ingrid to the international names list.

KickinKay Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I agree with most of these and I am really inspired as a namer by all these different styles of naming from nature to international themes.

The only one I don’t agree with Melisande, I have never met a person with this name nor do I think I will anytime in the near future. A girly-girl is the last thing that comes to mind when saying Melisande for me, it sounds too harsh to me. However, I believe the runner-ups, Mirabelle and Araminta, were spot on. I propose the best girly-girl name to be Mirabelle, with runner-ups Araminta and Seraphina.

indiefendi Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

The pictures are so cute!!!

-I’ve loved Saskia ever since I heard it on the model Saskia de Brauw. It’s kinda sassy!
-I love Reese but would never use it because it sounds too close to my own name. Whenever people say Reese I always do a double take so it’s pretty much out of the question for a kid of mine. Oy vey.
-I used to gag at Beatrice but it’s growing on me. Especially the Spanish version Beatriz.
-Alice is pretty but too goody-goody, sugary-sweet, dainty for me.
-I love Willow and all the other nature names like River, Meadow, Lake–or even Garden!
-Clara and Claire are the only classics I actually really love.
-Verity, Justice, and Charity are my favorite virtue names besides Grace and Faith.
-Juno forever reminds me of the movie.
-Deborah is very “old-lady” to me. I used to feel the same way about Vivian but now I’m in love with the Vivian. Especially Viviana–it’s my favorite name!

julyhare Says:

November 29th, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Beatrice – sweet and classic
Reese – charming
Story – unique but I don’t feel it’s trashy
Alice – exactly what it says in the description
Melisande – charming, I’ve warmed up to it
Juno – simple and quirky
Willow – just lovely!

Winnie – doesn’t age well
Verity – not a fan of the “-ity” names (Clarity, Amity as well)
Saskia – not for me
Clara – my name is Claire so I might be a little jealous of Clara, but I also find it to be a little plain

Sorceress Says:

November 30th, 2013 at 8:11 am

Love Melisande!

arunciblespoon Says:

November 30th, 2013 at 8:45 am

Alice, Beatrice and Juno are the winners here for me.

nieke Says:

November 30th, 2013 at 11:32 am

Alice, Winnie and Beatrice are my favourites! For the categories I’d chose (because FUN!):

Classic: Lucy, Caroline and Mary (although Alice still wins)

Biblical: Tabitha, Vashti, Selah and Jemima

Nickname: Lilou, Tess, Elfie and Bea

International: Cosima, Ebba and Noa

Vintage: Agnes, Greta, Lois and Cora

Boyish: Frankie, Sidney/Sid and Marlow

Girly: Eulalie, Serafina and Cloelia

Mythological: Artemis, Iole and Ceridwen

Nature: Maple, Fern and Season

Virtue: Merit, Joy, Clemence and Serenity

Preppy: Loreta, Imogen and Adelaide

Unusual: Reverie, Season, Bluebell and Evening

tori101 Says:

November 30th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Such a gorgeous images & names!!

My only dislike is Melisande & Deborah. Melisande is too over the top and Deborah just feels harsh, for me the name would feel odd on a baby. Furthermore Story I would only use as a middle name.

I love and would use for my own child…

Side note about Alice, she is gorgeous BUT I have an ex best friend with this name who turned out to be a horrible individual. It’s like this name is cursed because ever since the events that occurred with my ex best friend ‘Alice’ every Alice I’ve met has been horrendous.

moxielove Says:

November 30th, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Now I understand the conflicting pleasure and trepidation Nameberries feel when a long loved and “secret” name appears on one of your lists!

I adore Saskia and my husband and I have always considered that one of 2 names we would use on a second daughter (the other being Ursula – no doubt another name many would find not their style lol). While I love seeing it get the recognition that I clearly believe it deserves, I also want it to stay precious, unusual.

moxielove Says:

November 30th, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Ps nieke Love your list!

liarose Says:

December 3rd, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Hey guys! Please go check out my blog post from yesterday, where I respond to this AMAZING post with MY choices for each of these name categories!!

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.