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Cool International Girl Names

Cool international girl names from a range of cultures and countries are ripe for the picking no matter where you live. As the world becomes a smaller place, baby names for girls become more international, with names like Lucy and Jenna being swapped for Luciana and Gemma.

Along with Luciana and Gemma, other cool international girls’ names in the US Top 1000 include Antonella, Carmen, Ingrid, Maeve, Malia, Noemi, Paloma, Sylvie. Names that are cool in other countries but remain undiscovered in the US include Anoush, Fiorella, Kalindi, and Xanthe.

If you're looking for a cool international name for your baby girl, choosing one from another country can be a way to combine tradition with innovation. Consider these cool girl names from around the world.
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MaeveHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "she who intoxicates"
  • Description:

    Maeve appears in Irish mythology in two forms, one as the powerful Queen of Connacht, the other as the queen of the fairies. Maeve of Connacht was a warrior queen, famous for starting a war in attempt to steal her ex-husband’s stud bull. Other spellings are Meabh, Medb and Meadhbh, which are connected to mead, a honey-based wine that was produced in many ancient cultures.

ElodieHeart

  • Origin:

    French, variation of Greek Alodia
  • Meaning:

    "foreign riches"
  • Description:

    Elodie derives from Elodia, the Spanish variation of Alodia, a gothic German name associated with Saint Alodia. Saint Alodia was a child martyr in 9th century Spain, along with her sister Nunilo. In France, Elodie is spelled Élodie, with an accent over the E.

ElianaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my God has answered"
  • Description:

    The Hebrew variation of Eliana was taken from the elements el, meaning “God” and ana, meaning “answered.” Eliana also has roots as a variation of the Late Latin name Aeliana, a feminization of the male given name Aelianus, itself derived from the Roman family name Aelius. Aelius is related to the Greek word helios, which refers to the Sun.

GemmaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "precious stone"
  • 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.

ValentinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Feminine variation of Valentine
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    Valentina is a more exotic and artistic ballerina-type successor to Valerie; a pretty, recommended choice. Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek and husband Francois-Henri Pinault named their daughter Valentina Paloma.
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DelphineHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "dolphin"
  • Description:

    Delphine is a sleek, chic French name with two nature associations—the dolphin and the delphinium, a bluebell-like flower, a well as to the ancient city of Delphi, which the Greeks believed to be the womb of the earth. It is definitely a fresher choice than over-the-hill Danielle.

AmelieHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Amelia
  • Meaning:

    "work"
  • Description:

    Emily gets a Bohemian spin and a French accent when it becomes Amelie. This favorite among French girl names has been gaining notice here thanks to the charming 2001 French film Amelie; it entered the American popularity list in 2002 and is now solidly established in the Top 1000.

FleurHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "flower"
  • Description:

    Fleur is a generic, delicate flower name that emigrated into the English-speaking world when John Galsworthy bestowed it on one of the Forsytes in his celebrated saga. More recently, there was Fleur Delacour, a French witch and the Beauxbatons champion for the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter.

XantheHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "golden, yellow"
  • Description:

    X marks the spot in names these days, usually at the middles or ends of names, but here is one that puts it squarely up front.

NiamhHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "bright"
  • Description:

    Niamh, derived from the Old Irish Niam, is an ancient Irish name that was originally a term for a goddess. In Irish myth, one who bore it was Niamh of the Golden Hair, daughter of the sea god, who falls in love with Finn's son Oisin and takes him to the Land of Promise, where they stayed for three hundred years. Niamh can be Anglicized as Neve, Nieve, or Neave.
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LiviaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive or Olivia or Latin
  • Meaning:

    "blue, envious"
  • Description:

    Though it sounds like a chopped-off variation of Olivia, which means olive, the distinctively attractive Livia has been an independent name since the days of the ancient Romans, when it belonged to Livia Drusilla—the powerful wife of the Emperor Augustus—and is still commonly heard in modern Italy.

IngridHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "fair; Ing is beautiful"
  • Description:

    The luminous Ingrid Bergman's appeal was strong enough to lend universal charisma to this classic Scandinavian name, which has been somewhat neglected in the US. Even today, a child named Ingrid would be assumed to be of Scandinavian ancestry, signaling the name has never been fully integrated into the English lexicon the way other European choices from the same era like Danielle or Kathleen have.

FrancescaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Frances
  • Meaning:

    "from France or free man"
  • Description:

    Francesca is a lighter and much more feminine choice than the classic Frances, and one that is increasingly popular with upscale parents.

SylvieHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Latin Sylvia
  • Meaning:

    "from the forest"
  • Description:

    Although Sylvia seems to be having somewhat of a revival among trendsetting babynamers, we'd still opt for the even gentler and more unusual Sylvie. Despite being dated in its native France (where it was popular during the 1950s and 60s), in English-speaking regions it still feels fresh and exotic without being unfamiliar and has a cosmopolitan, international air. It debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2016.

CosimaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian feminine variation of Cosmo, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "order, beauty"
  • Description:

    Cosima, the kind of elegant and exotic name the British upper classes love to use for their daughters, will almost certainly come into wider use here after being chosen by two high-profile celebs in the same month — cool couple Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars as well as supermodel Claudia Schiffer. It was used earlier by celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, while the male form, Cosimo, was given to the son of Marissa Ribisi and Beck.
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SaskiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "Saxon"
  • Description:

    From the first time we saw the name Saskia attached to a portrait of Rembrandt's wife (her full name was Saakje van Uylenburgh, but she was always called Saskia), we have found it utterly charming and wondered why it hasn't attracted more fans In this country--she's appreciated by the Brits, who have moved her to Number 392. Saskia is one of those names that's been used in Europe since the Middle Ages, but has never crossed the ocean.

CarmenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Carmel
  • Meaning:

    "garden"
  • Description:

    Carmen has long been associated with the sensuous, tragic heroine of Bizet's opera, based on a novel by Prosper Merimee; more recently it has called to mind two other bombshells: Carmen Miranda (born Maria) and Carmen Electra (born Tara), as well as the great jazz singer Carmen McRae. In the celebrity baby name world, this classic Spanish name for girls was used by Hilaria and Alec Baldwin for their daughter.

ChiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "light, clear"
  • Description:

    Chiara is a lovely and romantic Italian name that's familiar but not widely used here: a real winner. You might consider Chiara instead of Claire, Clara, Cara, or even Keira.

CallaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "beautiful"
  • Description:

    Calla is a lily name that is much more distinctive and delicate than Lily. Rarely heard today, it did appear in the popularity lists in the last decades of the nineteenth century.

AlessiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Alexis
  • Meaning:

    "defending warrior"
  • Description:

    Young Canadian pop singer Alessia Cara has given this spicy-sounding name a new lease on life, propelling it into the Top 1000 in 2016. (It was one of the year's fastest-rising girls' names.) The main risk is that it feels so close to Alexa, Alicia, Alexis and Alyssa-- all becoming overused -- that it could be mistaken for one of those more familiar names.
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GiannaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, diminutive of Giovanna
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is gracious"
  • Description:

    Gianna originated as a diminutive for Giovanna—a Latin feminization of John. The root name among these is the Hebrew name Yochanen, meaning “the Lord is gracious.” Common nickname include Gia and Gigi, and the English form of Gianna is Joanna.

TatianaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian from Latin family name
  • Description:

    Tatiana was derived from Tatius, a Sabine-Latin family name of unknown origin. Titus Tatius was the name of an ancient king who ruled over the Sabines, an ancient Italic tribe who lived near Rome. The Romans used the name Tatius even after the Sabines died out and created the short forms Tatianus and Tatiana. The names were eventually disseminated throughout the Orthodox Christian world, including Russia.

RumiHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "beauty, flow, lapis lazuli"
  • Description:

    Rumi is a Japanese girls' name that sounds like a couple of other choices more familiar in the West -- Rumer and Remi -- that is achieving notice because of its choice by two celebrities, including Beyonce and Jay-Z.

LiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Leah
  • Description:

    Used throughout Europe and in Hawaii, Lia sounds just like its mother name Leah, but looks particularly pretty on paper.

PalomaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "dove"
  • Description:

    Paloma is vibrant and ruby-lipped a la jewelry designer Paloma Picasso, but it also suggests peace, as symbolized by the dove. Paloma is a highly recommended striking but soft name, one of the best of the names that mean peace and girls' names starting with P.
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NoemiHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish variation of Naomi
  • Meaning:

    "my delight"
  • Description:

    Noemi is a charming Latin spin on Naomi, with the accent on the last syllable; another twist is Neomi.

SimoneHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine variation of Hebrew Simon
  • Meaning:

    "hearkening"
  • Description:

    Simone, the elegant French feminization of Simon, strikes that all-important balance between unusual and familiar, and it's oozing with Gallic sophistication. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has a daughter named Simone; Chris Rock used it in the middle place for his daughter, as did Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates

MarisolHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, contracted form of Maria de la Soledad
  • Meaning:

    "Mary of Solitude"
  • Description:

    Marisol is a favorite Spanish name for girls, and an excellent candidate to cross the culture line, a la Soledad and Paz.

IndieHeart

  • Origin:

    Short form of India, Indigo etc
  • Description:

    Indie is an independent-sounding nickname name that is in the Top 100 in Wales. As a diminutive, it's growing in popularity -- along with indie films, indie publishing -- and the reason some parents are choosing names like India and Indigo. The Indie version seems more feminine, while Indy as in Indiana Jones tends toward the boyish.

FiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish or Portuguese or Italian
  • Meaning:

    "wild or weaver"
  • Description:

    Fia may be most notable at this moment as the Anglicized version of the Irish Fiadh, one of the fastest-rising names in the Republic of Ireland. The meaning of Fia or Fiadh is sometimes given as "deer" but that's in the sense of a wild deer, as the name relates to the ancient word for wild.
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OrianaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "dawn"
  • Description:

    Oriana is a dashing medieval name, with a meaning similar to Aurora. At this point, though, Oriana is much more unusual than Aurora and makes a unique choice if you're search for names that mean new beginnings or dawn.

LailaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Layla (Arabic); Sami variation of Helga (Finland)
  • Meaning:

    "night; holy"
  • Description:

    Exotic and lovely, Laila is one of the lilting variations of Leila and Layla. It's the name of the former-boxer daughter of Muhammad Ali and of actor Shawn Wayans. In Finland, the Sami people use this in place of the Scandinavian name Helga.

InezHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Agnes
  • Meaning:

    "pure, virginal"
  • Description:

    Also spelled Ines, this name of the prudish mother of Don Juan in the Byron poem has a touch of mystery, but has also been fully integrated into the American name pool.

LucianaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Lucianus
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Lushly elaborate name that makes Lucy more grownup and sensual. Carnie Wilson chose it for her daughter. Lucianus is an ancient Roman family name and Lucianus of Samosata was an early satirist. Heard most often in the Italian and Spanish cultures, Luciana is usually pronounced loo-chee-anna.

AnikaHeart

  • Origin:

    Nordic diminutive of Anne or African, Hausa
  • Meaning:

    "sweetness of face"
  • Description:

    Anike is an attractive name with ties to several cultures, both African and Scandinavian. The African pronunciation emphasizes the second syllable while the Nordic one emphasizes the first. While there will be inevitable confusion over pronunciation, either form is "correct".
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PiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "from Mount Olympus"
  • Description:

    Soft name in the Mia-Nia-Tia family, Pia is heard in both European and Hindi languages.

ManonHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Marie
  • Meaning:

    "bitter"
  • Description:

    Manon is an endearing French pet name for Marie or Marianne; it has the exotic yet straightforward feel that makes it a viable import. Manon of the Spring was a gorgeous French film, Manon Lescaut a 1731 novel by Abbe Prevost, set in France and Louisiana, that was controversial in its day. It formed the basis of operas by Puccini and Massenet, and several films and TV series.

EugenieHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Eugenia, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "wellborn"
  • Description:

    Eugenie enjoyed a major dusting off when Fergie and Prince Andrew chose it for their daughter, restoring a patina of royal sheen it hadn't had since the time of Napoleon III's glamorous empress--who spent much of her life in England. It was also borne by Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, after whom Prince Andrew's younger daughter was named.

LilouHeart

  • Origin:

    Occitan pet form of French Liliane
  • Meaning:

    "lily"
  • Description:

    Lilou is a charming, rarely heard import. Occitan is a language spoken in Provence, in the south of France, in which the suffix "ou" denotes a pet form — thus, Lilou as a short form of Liliane or its Occitan form Liliana or Liliano. Its popularity in France--where it's currently Number 12--can be traced to the 1997 film The Fifth Element.

AmaiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish or Basque
  • Meaning:

    "high place or end"
  • Description:

    This pretty and uncommon Basque name is all but unheard of in this country. Amaya is a spelling variation as well as a similar Japanese name meaning "night rain." With the newfound popularity of Amara and Amora, Amaia and Amaya are among the Spanish names for girls we'll be hearing a lot more of in the US.
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MercedesHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "gracious gifts, benefits"
  • Description:

    Mercedes is one of the few names attached to luxury living that we can wholeheartedly recommend, it being a legitimate Spanish appellation stemming from one of the epithets given to the Virgin Mary--Santa Maria de las Mercedes, or Our Lady of the Mercies. The car, by the way was named after the eleven-year-old daughter of the Daimler company's French distributor in 1901.

AnjaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Anna
  • Meaning:

    "grace"
  • Description:

    Anja is one of the most exotic of several versions of Ann/Anna now being imported, also including Anya and Annika.

MaliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian variation of Mary
  • Meaning:

    "bitter"
  • Description:

    Makes Grandma Mary or Maria's name fresh and modern. A fairly unusual name made more familiar by one of Barack and Michelle Obama's young daughters.

OceaneHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "ocean"
  • Description:

    Oceane (oh-see-EN) has been one of the chicest names in France for several years, ranking in the French Top 50. This is a sophisticated name that could easily cross the ocean, and is much more stylish than the English Ocean or Oceana.

ViolettaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "purple"
  • Description:

    Violetta is a more vibrantly colored, feminissima form of Violet. It is the name of the heroine of the Verdi opera La Traviata--in fact Violetta was the original title of the work.
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TamarHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "date palm tree"
  • Description:

    Tamar is a rich, strong Old Testament name sometimes given to girls born on the holiday of Sukkoth, as palm branches were used to make the roof of the sukkah. In the Bible, there are several Tamars, including a daughter of King David and also Absalom's daughter, who is praised for her 'fair countenance'.

IrinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "peace"
  • Description:

    Irina is a Russian ballet-inflected classic, one of the Three Sisters in the Chekhov play. While some Americans will pronounce this like Irene with three syllables, the pronunciation used throughout Europe, where it's widely used, starts with a short i as in it or if and a strong emphasis on the second syllable.

PazHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "gold; peace"
  • Description:

    Paz, currently represented by actresses Paz Vega and Paz de la Huerts, would make a sparkling middle name choice. It originated as a title of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Peace, and is one of the names that mean peace.

DanicaHeart

  • Origin:

    Slavic
  • Meaning:

    "Morning Star"
  • Description:

    While Danica may sound similar to Dana, Danielle, and Daniela, Danica is not a variation. Danica, a delicate and unique Slavic name meaning “Morning Star,” is synonymous with Venus in many countries. Though it's slipped down the charts a bit since its peak in 2007, we think Danica deserves even more attention given that it is at once feminine without being frilly, and easy to spell without being too common.

AntonellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "first born"
  • Description:

    Antonella is an Italian version more feminine and exotic than Antonia. Antonina is a similarly appealing possibility, heard in Poland and Russia.
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