Pretty Girl Names

pretty girl names by Georgia Brizuela

by Pamela Redmond Satran

One of the search terms that sends a lot of people to Nameberry every day is “pretty girl names.”

Are they searching for names that are pretty, we wonder, or names that sound as if they belong to pretty girls?  Or maybe what people are after is names that mean pretty or beautiful?

Or probably, all of the above.

We do have a list called Pretty Girl Names, which is admittedly subjective, a compendium of names that carry the literal meaning as well as those that convey prettiness in our minds.

A selection of possibilities:

AmaraAmara is a Greek name that means “lovely forever” and is a fresh spin on — or almost a smoosh of — Mara or Amanda.

Angelina — The angel association along with the Angelina Jolie namesake makes this name suggest beauty without literally carrying the meaning.  Angelica works too.

AuroraAurora relates to the Roman goddess of the dawn as well as to Sleeping Beauty and the Northern Lights, all images steeped in beauty.

Ava — The gorgeous Ava Gardner undoubtedly does much to beautify the image of this name, and its similarity to the Biblical Eve, mother of all alluring women, helps too.

BelleBelle means beautiful and lends its power to a range of fashionable names, from Isabella to Arabella to Mirabelle to just plain (but not unpretty) Belle and Bella.

Callista — Actress Callista Flockhart introduced her Greek name meaning beautiful to the American lexicon.

Juliet — The ultimate romantic heroine Juliet has a name that sounds as lovely as its image, qualities that carry over to sister names Juliette, Julietta, and Juliana.

Luciana — Elaborate feminine names that carry a lush sound and an exotic image — Luciana along with Liliana, Francesca, Gabriella, Sophia — feel luscious on the tongue.

Ramana — A Sanskrit name that means beautiful and would make an unusual choice.

Rosalind — The Shakespearean Rosalind has been off the Top 1000 since the 1970s and means pretty rose.

ShainaShaina or Shana means beautiful in Hebrew and is popular among Jewish families.

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Venus — The name of the Goddess of Beauty has an athletic spin in the modern world thanks to tennis star Venus Williams.

Photo by Georgia Brizuela.

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15 Responses to “Pretty Girl Names”

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TaylorBlueSkye Says:

June 18th, 2013 at 4:32 am

Am I the only one who doesn’t care for “pretty girl names” at all?
I mean there are lots of things I’d like to give my daughter on the way, there are lots of great qualities you can find names for, but being pretty? No, that ain’t one of them. Qualities that I think are maybe nice to have in your name could be “beloved”, “happy”, “miracle”, “loved by god”, whatever you like. But the idea to give daugthers “pretty names” and boys “strong names” or whatever really bothers me.

bananie21 Says:

June 19th, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I Love Pretty Girl Names! All of the above are on my list except for Ramana. Some others that I love are

Giselle
Francine
Daphne
Lorelei
Pricilla
Vanessa
Rosalie
Gabriella

All remind me of beautiful!

brynnash Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 7:15 am

I’m with TaylorBlueSkye. I’m not one for giving my child a name with a gender-stereotyped meaning. I don’t love frilly names, and feel like they reduce a person from a person to just something cute and precious, like an accessory almost. I much prefer classic or strong names for girls that allow them to create their own identity, aside from the meaning or “feel” of their name.

slightlymore Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 8:39 am

To each their own, I love pretty names and strong names and classic names and quirky names. I know two grown women named Venus, neither is overly frilly and neither has a problem with their name. I will say I’d stay away from actual pretty word names like Pretty, Beauty, Princess etc. Is it really that likely that a girl named Amara is going to gripe that her name means lovely forever?

Mischa Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 10:51 am

There’s nothing wrong with pretty names for girls and no parent should be made to feel bad for liking them and choosing them for their daughters. For me, pretty means “feminine” and I don’t see why femininity can’t be strong too. Why do people automatically associate “pretty” with weakness? Juliet and Rosalind are gorgeous Shakespearean names that any woman would be proud to wear. I do draw the line with descriptive word names like Belle (Belle is an adjective in French that means “beautiful”). I think names like Precious, Princess and the like are keeping females forever in childhood. The world still needs grown-ups.

iamamiam Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 11:13 am

Yes, to each his/her own. I love pretty names and can’t stand the current trend of giving girls names that belong on boys (in my opinion) or are androgynous!

Khaatje Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I missing Jamila on this list, it´s a bit oldfashioned but litteraly means beautiful too…

gregariouspeach Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 8:04 pm

One of the most common comments I get on our daughters name (Priya) is “oh how pretty” so it’s funny she is pictured with this post. I guess the PREE sound at the beginning lends to ‘pretty’ but I am so happy her name has a meaning beyond beauty being ‘beloved’.

mrs_anton_yelchin1990 Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 8:21 pm

I’m one of those people that prefer more frilly names on girls. It’s not because I want to enforce some sort of stereotype…it’s just what I like. I would also consider flower names to be “beautiful” as they always remind me of that imagery.

@Mischa : I do like Belle…but only as a middle name.

mrs_anton_yelchin1990 Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 8:22 pm

I’m one of those people that prefer more frilly names on girls. It’s not because I want to enforce some sort of stereotype…it’s just what I like. I would also consider flower names to be “beautiful” as they always remind me of that imagery.

@Mischa : I do like Belle…but only as a middle name.

alphabetdem Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I agree, TaylorBlueSkye! I like Aurora, and maybe a couple other of these names, but I would much rather give my daughter a name with connections to strength, intelligence, wisdom and knowledge, or something more empowering. She’s gonna have enough people pushing beauty standards on her without me starting her on it at birth.

kathrync Says:

June 25th, 2013 at 4:43 am

TaylorBlueSkye, I can understand your argument, but I think, if meaning is what’s important when choosing a name for your child, balance is key. I have four names, in order the meanings are: pure, warrior, grace, victorious (family name meaning). I might have been a different person entirely if my name meanings were only warrior and victorious, and conversely pure and grace. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with beauty or strength for either gender. Though, again, ideally these would be balanced with other name meanings.

Netta5187 Says:

July 31st, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I love girly-girl names! I think it’s silly to get offended by them. If anything, It’s become a pet peeve of mine to see clearly masculine names on girls (charlie, frankie, Jamie) and unisex names clearly meant for a boy through their meaning (madison, emerson, addison) on girls too. Feminine names are names created solely for a girl in mind. These names give a girl an identity, a seperation from the boys. I also find it quite annoying when people consider beauty a stereotype, but love names like Beau, because it means handsome for their little boy. There is nothing wrong with beauty, and a girl can still have strength, character and intelligence with names like Anastasia and Giselle. My name is a feminine, old-fashioned name that ends in ‘ette’, and I have strong writing skills, am a feminist and activist and have a mind of my own. If that doesn’t say something about having a girly name, then I don’t know what else does.

withinreason Says:

August 9th, 2013 at 11:56 pm

The most tomboyish women I know are named Angela, Angelina and Athena, conversely, the “frilly” women I know are named Jordan, Justine and Andy – although names have a great deal of influence, I do not think a “frillier” put a woman at a disadvantage. Current U.S. Senators are named Heidi, Kirsten, and Mazie (I consider these names at least “girlie”) and I am sure they are all thought of as strong etc..

jessamine13 Says:

November 26th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I like pretty names, and I think a girl can have a pretty name and be strong and intelligent. My favorite are Amara, Amanda, Juliet, and Juliana.

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