Strong Female Names
Strong female names have a powerful appeal for many parents today. Our favorite short and strong names for girls range from classics like Kate, Eve, and Anna, to cool vintage revivals like Alma, Ida, and Tess, to modern girl names with a punch, like Nico, Rue, and Lux.
Many of the fabulous strong female names on this list have powerful meanings to match. Try Cleo "glory", Veda "wisdom" or Zoya "life". This list includes female names that mean strong or strength, power or powerful, brave or bravery, along with related terms.
Strong female names may be inspiring for a baby girl. They also might appeal to writers seeking strong names for female characters. You might also want to check out this list of Strong Boy Names. For more ideas, go to the complete list of Name Meanings.
Meaning:"she who intoxicates"
Description:Maeve is a short and sweet name that has become one of the most stylish Irish names for girls in the modern US. Maeve would make an excellent first or middle name choice, with more heft than Mae/May and more modern charm than Mavis.
Meaning:"a noble woman"
Description:Freya has long been popular in the U.K. but has only taken off in the US in the last decade, along with the entire category of mythological names. Derived from the Old Norse name Freyja, meaning "Lady, noble woman", Freya is the name of the Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.
Description:Lyra is a name with ancient and celestial roots that's finding new popularity thanks to its starring role in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, seen in the movie The Golden Compass. Simple yet unique, Lyra hits the sweet spot between too popular and too unusual.
Origin:German or Turkish
Meaning:"noble, nobility, or island"
Description:Ada is one of the classic baby names for girls that is suddenly super stylish again. A favorite at the end of the nineteenth century, Ada is an alternative to the over-popular Ava. Ada is also part of the trend toward simple, old-fashioned names beginning with a vowel, like Ivy and Ella.
Description:Emma originated as a diminutive for Germanic names beginning with the ermen root. A very old royal name well used throughout the centuries—Queen Emma married King Ethelred the Unready in 1002—Emma is also historically associated with Lady Hamilton, the mistress of Lord Nelson and muse of painter George Romney.
Origin:Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
Description:Anna has become the dominant form of the Ann family, having been firmly in the Top 25 for years and only slipping in the past couple of years. Anna offers a touch of the international and a bit more style than the oversimplified Ann, used for generations throughout Europe, from Russia to Italy, Spain to The Netherlands.
Origin:Latin, Slavic, Arabic, Sanskrit
Meaning:"admirable; peace; female ruler; ocean"
Description:This name owes its present life to actress Sorvino. Mira and Mirra have an arty aura.
Origin:Herb name; Latin
Description:Sage is an evocatively fragrant herbal name that also connotes wisdom, giving it a double advantage. It entered the Top 1000 at about the same time for both genders in the early 1990s, but it has pulled ahead for the girls. Toni Collette named her daughter Sage Florence.
Description:Cleo, one of the few girls' names to boast the cool-yet-lively o ending, is of course short for Cleopatra, the name of one of the most powerful women in history.
Description:Vera was the height of fashion in 1910, then was for a long time difficult to picture embroidered on a baby blanket. Now, though, it has come back into style along with other old-fashioned simple names such as Ada and Iris.
Origin:Hebrew and Arabic
Meaning:"blooming flower; God remembers"
Description:Zara has multiple origins, but most notably is a variation of Zahrah, a name derived from the Arabic zahrah, meaning “blooming flower.” Zara can also be a diminutive of the Bulgarian name Zaharina, a feminine form of the Hebrew Zechariah. Today, Zara is heavily associated with the Spanish fast-fashion empire of the same name.
Origin:Short form of names that end in -nina
Description:Nina is as multiethnic as you can get: Nina is a common nickname name in Spain and Russia, a Babylonian goddess of the oceans, and an Incan goddess of fire. Here and now, it's a stylish possibility that's been underused. "Weird Al" Yankovic chose this decidedly nonweird name for his daughter.
Origin:English, Scottish, Dutch, German, and Scandinavian, diminutive of various names ending in lena
Description:This pet form of Helena and other ena-ending names, long used as an independent name, is attracting notice again as an option both multicultural and simple. Lena was a Top 100 name from 1880 to 1920.
Description:Many vowel names stylish a century ago are coming back, and Ida seems like a possible, logical successor to Ada and Ava.
Meaning:"descendent of Conn"
Description:Quinn is the Anglicized version of the Irish patronymic surname Ó Cuinn, meaning "descendent of Conn." Conn has two possible derivations—the Old Irish cond, meaning "intellect," or cenn, meaning "chief." One of the most notable Quinn clans was from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.
Description:Maren is one of the many twenty-first-century takes on Mary--but we find the more classic Marin spelling preferable. When spelled Maren, the pronunciation seems more clearly to resemble Mary, with the emphasis on the first syllable. Marin, the spelling also used for the beautiful coastal county north of San Francisco, is often pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable, as in Marie.
Description:Gemma is a jewel of a name, an Italian classic that was very popular in 1980s England, but has only recently been started to be used here; it entered the list in 2008.
Description:Nova is a name that has the feel of both newness, from his meaning, and great energy from being an astronomical term for a star that suddenly increases in brightness, then fades.
Origin:English, occupational name
Meaning:"page to a lord"
Description:Paige is more name, and less word than the occupational Page. Paige is also sleek and sophisticated a la Brooke and Blair and reached as high as Number 47 in 2003, when there was a very popular television show, Trading Spaces, hosted by the energetic Paige Davis.
Description:Eve, the oldest name in the Book, is now coming back into style, having the virtues of simplicity and purity, yet with more strength and resonance than other single-syllable names like Ann. British actor Clive Owen chose Eve for his daughter, as did Jessica Capshaw.