Heroine Names for Girls Rise Up!

Heroine Names for Girls Rise Up!

Dramatic heroine names are big, bold and boast a notorious namesake (or sometimes several) from history, mythology or the arts. They are unapologetically extravagant — that’s part of the appeal!

And, thanks to high-flying examples like Athena, Delilah, Lorelei and Ophelia, they’re really starting to catch on with parents looking for girl names that feel both beautiful and powerful.

Here, we’ve collected 100 of the best.

Top Dramatic Heroine Names

The explosive popularity of Penelope and Luna — both of which have gone from outside the Top 300 to inside the Top 30 girl names over the past decade — has paved the way for more obscure names from Greek and Roman mythology to rise up the ranks, too. Think Athena and Artemis, Calliope and Cleo.

Similarly, the names of controversial Biblical figures like Lilith and Salome now seem much more wearable, in light of Delilah’s rapid rise up the charts in recent years.

Other fast-rising choices which seem finally to be shedding their problematic associations include legendary Guinevere and gothic Persephone.

And Ophelia — perhaps the ultimate “tragic heroine” name — has now been well and truly reclaimed. It’s seen a ten-fold increase in use compared with a decade ago, and now ranks in the Top 350 girl names in the US (and the Top 150 in the UK!)

These are the 20 fastest-rising dramatic heroine names within the US Top 1000 right now:

Other Heroine Names Rising

As well as a whole host of positive namesakes, like Shakespearean heroines Cordelia, Hermione and Rosalind, this list contains a cheering number of more complex — or downright dastardly — figures, like Calypso, Livia and Pandora. Well, why should the boys have all the fun?

Many of these names are still well outside of the US Top 1000, but all have seen a marked uptick in usage across the past decade.

They range from pop culture anti-heroines Bellatrix and Wednesday, to ancient queens Cleopatra, Nefertiti and Zenobia, to underused mythological names like Aphrodite, Morrigan and Vesper.

Here, 20 more heroine names on the rise:

Unique Heroine Names

If you love the idea of using a big, bold, dramatic name for a daughter — but hate the idea that it might become popular — then this is the list for you!

These highly unusual heroine names range from the familiar but chronically underused, like Atalanta and Morgana, to the little-known and never-used, like Violaine and Seraphita. And their popularity over the past decade has either remained constant, or even dropped.

Although many of these uber-rare names might raise eyebrows (Blanchefleur and Esclarmonde, we’re looking at you!) there are also plenty on this list that feel more than wearable in 2023: think Briseis and Lucasta, Azenor and Thalassa.

Here is a selection of the best unique heroine names for girls:

About the Author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from the top baby name trends 2023 to how not to choose the next big baby name. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active forums community ticking.

Emma's articles on names and naming trends have been featured in publications including the Huffington Post, People, Today's Parent, Fatherly, and Good Housekeeping.

A linguist by background, Emma speaks several languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and four young children. You can reach her at