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Feminist Names For Empowered Children

Feminist Names For Empowered Children

Feminist names reflect the values of feminism: equality, justice, and strong independent women.

If you’re looking for a name for your little feminist, whatever their gender, there are so many strong and stylish options. From ancient goddesses to modern virtues, evergreen classics to clever new inventions, get inspired with names that will smash that glass ceiling.

Feminist Symbol Names

These names are inspired by the values and symbols of feminism, and are full of fierce female energy.

Virtue names including:

Names connected to hammers (a symbol of feminism), such as:

Names that mean purple: one of the Suffragettes’ colors, and now the color of International Women’s Day. Purple names for girls and boys include:

Names meaning (up)rising, such as:

Goddess names that channel divine feminine power — including male names derived from goddesses.

“Bad girl” names: once-disreputable names are being reclaimed as strong, independent women (especially if they sound on-trend):

Famous Feminist Names

If you’re thinking of naming a child (of any gender) after a strong, empowered woman, there are plenty to choose from. Here’s a selection of women who not only are feminist icons, but also have particularly stylish first names and/or surnames. Who would you add?

Politics: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emmeline Pankhurst, Ida B. Wells, Kamala Harris, Kate Shepperd, Nancy Astor, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony

Writers: Audre Lorde, George Eliot, Helen Keller, Jane Austen, Maya Angelou, Virginia Woolf

Artists/performers: Adele, Alicia Alonso, Frida Kahlo, Isadora Duncan, Joan Jett, Lorna Simpson, Louise Bourgeois

Scientists: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Jane Goodall, Mae C. Jemison, Rachel Carson, Rosalind Franklin, Sally Ride, Tiera Fletcher, Vera Rubin

Masculinized Names

Many girl names are feminizations of male ones, but you could tip the patriarchy on its head by using a masculine version (whether traditional or recently-invented) of a female name.

Bonus points if it also has a fierce feminist namesake. Some examples:

August (Augusta Ada King, aka mathematician Ada Lovelace)

Billy (Billie Jean King, tennis player)

Grayson (Grace Hopper, computer scientist)

Elio (Eleanor Roosevelt, Ella Fitzgerald)

Emile or Emilian (Emmeline Pankhurst,Amelia Earhart, Emily Dickinson, Emily Wilding Davison...)

Florent (Florence Nightingale, nursing pioneer)

Harry or Henry (Harriet Tubman, abolitionist)

German (Germaine Greer, writer)

Marius (Marie Curie, Nobel Prize-winning scientist)

Michael or Michel (Michelle Obama)

Ninian (Nina Simone, singer)

Simon (Simone de Beauvoir, writer and philosopher)

Valentin (Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space)

Feminine Surnames

Hundreds of surname names derive from male names — Jackson and Harris, for instance — but there’s also a special group that come from female names and occupations. They could honor special women, or maybe you just love them for their style. Here are some of our favorites:

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. She has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at clare@nameberry.com