Fanciful Girl Names Go Over-the-Top
There’s never been a better time to give a daughter a fanciful, over-the-top name. Over the past year, everyone has had to cut back and restrain themselves from life’s normal luxuries. But one place where you can still really go for it is with your child’s name.
Fanciful girl names are indulgent and elaborate, often frilly and feminine, but length is the most notable qualifier. Decadent girl names tend to have at least three syllables, often more.
Another factor to consider is exoticism — the more unusual a name, the more indulgent it will seem. Familiar names that were once considered extravagant, such as Isabella and Penelope, are now so common that they no longer register as bold, dramatic choices.
Here, we’ve gathered over 100 of the best fanciful names for girls.
Over-the-Top and At the Top
In an era when we’re relying less on nicknames, you might expect parents to shy away from extravagant, multi-syllabic names. However, we’ve observed the opposite. Choices such as Beatrix, Persephone, and Xiomara were some of the fastest rising girl names last year, and Cataleya, Estrella, and Esperanza feature among the hottest Nameberry names of 2020.
Romantic botanicals including Magnolia, Clementine, and Violeta have seen a big boost in recent years, and names connected to characters with controversial legacies — such as Ophelia, Persephone, and Khaleesi — reflect our top trend of 2021, Magic Names.
Below, a selection of the most elaborate girl names in the US Top 1000, listed in order of popularity:
Fabulous namesakes are driving the rise of these over-the-top girl names to watch.
Those with legendary or classic literary namesakes, such as Guinevere, Cordelia, and Avonlea are particularly notable, but modern heroines with extravagant names are inspiring parents as well. Marceline took off after the 2010 premiere of Adventure Time, and Primrose charted for the first time since 1982 in 2012, the year The Hunger Games movie was released.
Even invented names from pop culture are on the rise, including Renesmee (Twilight) and Vanellope (Wreck It Ralph), which also profit off the popularity of their stylish, traditional parent names, Esme and Penelope.
These names rank outside of the US Top 1000 (but maybe not for long!):
Indulgent girl names are most common in countries that speak Romance languages, such as France, Spain, and Italy.
In some cases, a simpler name becomes fanciful just because it’s been given the international treatment. Océane is more luxurious than Ocean, Zuzanna more ornate than Susanna. This can be true even when they have the same pronunciation — to an English-speaker, French-ified Margaux feels more decadent than Margot or Margo.
Here are 20 extravagant girl names drawn from international Top 100s:
Perhaps the ultimate luxury is a name that is both dramatic and distinctive, like the ones listed here.
There are whimsical compound names, such as Elizabella and Stellaluna, names with literary connections, like Melisande and Sheherazade, and those connected to powerful women from history, including Cleopatra and Nefertari.
The one thing they all have in common is that they’re extremely rare. Some, such as Leocadia and Zephyrine, are truly one-of-a-kind (but no less wearable!).
The fanciful girl names here were given to fewer than 50 baby girls in 2019: