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Warrior Girl Names: Finding the Right Fit for a Fighter

August 7, 2018 Abby Sandel

Their new daughter will need surgery shortly after birth. Time to find a strong name with the right meaning to encourage their little fighter!

Kristen writes:

We recently found out we were having our third girl and we were absolutely thrilled. Of course, I immediately dug up the master list we used for the last two, Daphne Evangeline and Adele Emmanuelle. We knew we wanted Elizabeth for a middle, but other than that we were at a total loss.

My husband jokingly calls our naming style “Old British Ladies”, but it seems we’re not the only ones with that taste. The remaining names on our list that we loved three years ago have either shot up the popularity charts (Hazel, Isla) or sound too similar to our daughters’ names (Elodie, Mabel).

But then we got some news that put name confusion on the back burner. Turns out our little lady has a hole in her heart. We’ve met with specialists and they’re optimistic, so we are too. In the meantime, we are back to hunting for the perfect name. Our search has definitely acquired some new parameters now. We’d like to give her a name that is inspiring, encouraging, the perfect name for a little fighter. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know that our daughter is already strong. But every name we’ve found with a meaning we like doesn’t seem to work. I love the idea of “strong protection,” but Walburga isn’t really doing it for us.

We’re hoping that the fresh eyes of naming expert can give us a few options.

The Name Sage replies:

This is one of those moments where the right name can be so very powerful. It’s not just a name; it’s a talisman.

While meaning matters, I think it’s equally important to find a name that feels like a sister for Daphne and Adele. Vintage, but at home in the twenty-first century; tailored, but clearly feminine; and familiar, but not too common.

That certainly rules out Walburga!

Let’s look at meaning and history to find some strong warrior girl names.

Bridget Bridget means strength, which is perfect. But there’s more. In Irish myth, she’s a goddess associated with spring, poetry, and healing. That’s a lot of optimism packed into one name. It fits the other requirements nicely, too, a familiar name that’s seldom heard, with a tailored sound that doesn’t conflict with Daphne and Adele.

Diana – In Roman myth, Diana is the huntress, fearless and strong. It’s also, appropriately, the given name of Wonder Woman. Is that a little too obvious? That’s up to you, but I think it’s a classic name that evokes tremendous courage.

Edith Edith comes from the Old English words for prosperous and battle – so, one who fares well in a fight. This one nails the Old British Ladies style exactly, and while all three names share a D sound, Daphne, Adele, and Edith all sound distinct.

Louise – We’ve ruled out Walburga, but those Germanic choices pack a punch! Louise means famous in battle, or renowned warrior. That’s quite the sentiment. There’s the Latinate Louisa, too, but I think spare Louise sounds more like a sister for Daphne and Adele.

Maeve How do you feel about legendary warrior queens? Boudicca and Mulan might not be wearable, but Maeve is a fast-rising twenty-first century favorite. In Irish legend, she’s the strong-willed, ambitious Queen of Connacht. There’s also a Westworld character by the name, but that goes to show how very wearable Maeve feels today.

Matilda – This name came to mind immediately. Matilda means battle-mighty. Roald Dahl’s Matilda makes this a literary hero name, too. Maud was the medieval English form of Matilda, so I think that also has potential. But Matilda strikes me as a sister for Daphne and Adele.

Millicent – Another name with Germanic roots, Millicent sounds demure. But this name means strong in work. Vintage nickname Millie feels vivacious and upbeat, but Millicent is someone to be reckoned with, a name with quiet strength.

Tamar Tamar the Great ruled Georgia in the late twelfth century, a woman so powerful they referred to her as king rather than queen. The name’s meaning is gentle – it comes from the Hebrew word for a date palm tree. That makes it a subtle nature name, just like Daphne.

Valerie – In Latin, valere means to be strong. It’s ranked in the US Top 200 since the 1940s, but has never reached the Top 50. I’m not sure that’s quite your style – but the meaning is a lock.

Willa – We list Willa’s meaning as “resolute protection,” just like William, another Germanic gem. I’d call Willa homespun and understated, but still quite substantial. It makes me think of all those great Willa Cather tales of the American frontier.

My favorites are Matilda and Louise. I think they make great sister names for Daphne and Adele. But more importantly, they’re rich with meanings that will uplift and encourage you and your daughter. Let’s have a poll to see if one of those is a favorite, or if there’s another name that would be just right.

Readers, let’s hear your best strong names for girls!

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

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