International Baby Girl Names
International baby 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 baby girl names among the most popular names in the US 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 names for your baby girl, choosing one from another country can be a way to combine tradition with innovation. Consider these international baby girl names from around the world.
RELATED: International Baby Boy Names
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.
Origin:French, variation of Greek Alodia
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.
Origin:French variation of Latin Sylvia
Meaning:"from the forest"
Description:Although Sylvia seems to be having somewhat of a revival among trendsetting baby namers, 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 international without being unfamiliar and has a cosmopolitan, international air. It debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2016.
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.
Origin:French from Greek
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Description:The multicultural Yara is also the name of a beautiful green-skinned Brazilian goddess and might make a more unusual spin on Mara or Sara.
Origin:Italian feminine variation of Cosmo, Greek
Description:Cosima, the kind of elegant and unusual 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.
Origin:French variation of Amelia
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.
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.
Origin:Diminutive of Olivia or Latin
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.
Description:Valentina is a more romantic 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.
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.
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.
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.
Origin:Italian variation of Alexis
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.
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.
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.
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.
Origin:French, feminine variation of Hebrew Simon
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
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.
Origin:Spanish variation of Agnes
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.
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.
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".
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.
Origin:Spanish variation of Carmel
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.
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.
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.
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.
Origin:Italian and Spanish variation of Naomi
Description:Noemi is a charming Latin spin on Naomi, with the accent on the last syllable; another twist is Neomi.
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.
Origin:Swahili; Welsh form of the Irish Niamh,"resolve; brilliance"
Description:Short but energetic and substantial, Nia has special meaning for African-American parents, as it's one of the days of Kwanza. Nia also benefits by its similarity to (yet differentness from) the megapopular Mia.
Origin:Arabic, Basque, Hausa
Meaning:"shawl; star; section of tree"
Description:Attractive, rhythmic choice with roots in several languages and cultures. It's a lesser-known a celestial name, meaning "star" in Basque and referring to a star in the constellation Boötes in Arabic.
Meaning:"from Mount Olympus"
Description:Soft name in the Mia-Nia-Tia family, Pia is heard in both European and Hindi languages.
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 searching for names that mean new beginnings or dawn.
Description:Priya originated in India as a name derived from the Sanskrit word for “beloved.” In India, where names are often given based on one’s birthday and horoscope, Priya is traditionally given to girls born in August. Priya is used in Hindu mythology as the name of a daughter of King Daksha—known for fathering 146 daughters.
Description:Soraya is a Persian name made famous in the Western world by the one-time empress of Iran, who settled in Europe, primarily in France. Soraya is a relative of Sarah and sisters Sarai, Zahara, Zara, and so on.
Origin:Spelling variation of Layla (Arabic); Sami variation of Helga (Finland)
Description:Beguiling 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.
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.
Origin:Occitan pet form of French Liliane
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.
Origin:Feminine variation of Lucianus
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.
Meaning:"to give thanks"
Description:Zendaya has propelled her unusual African name into the spotlight and up the popularity charts. Zendaya is one of the major baby name influencers of our era. What does Zendaya's name mean? The name Zendaya comes from the word for thanks, Tendai, in the Shona language, spoken in Zimbabwe and southern Zambia. The name Zendaya's popularity is directly connected to this actress-singer's rising celebrity, as it made its first appearance on the US Top 1000 in 2014. It's a distinctive choice, and thanks to our affection for the letter Z and Zendaya's great meaning, more parents are choosing it for their daughters.
Origin:Russian from Greek
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.
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.
Description:Xochitl is a Nahuatl or Aztec floral name used in southern Mexico and pronounced SO-chee-tl or SHO-chee-tl, although sometimes the "tl" at the end is not pronounced. Internet entrepreneur Xochi Birch is probably the best-known bearer in the US – except for the Xochitl brand tortilla chips. Definitely among the most intriguing international flower names and a beautiful choice for those looking to honor Nahuatl heritage.