Alternatives to Alexandra
Alexandra is one of the original elaborate feminizations, classy and classic. It's a gorgeous name, but there are an awful lot of little girls named Alexandra, Alexa, Alexis, Alex and so on around these days. If you want something more unusual, consider one of these Alexandra equivalents.
Meaning:"yielding to prayer"
Description:Arabella was used as a given name beginning in the 12th century with the birth of Arabella de Leuchars, granddaughter of William the Lion, King of Scotland. It is derived from the Latin orabilis, from which Arabella gets its meaning. Some scholars tie Arabella to Amabel, claiming that the former developed as a variation of the latter in Scotland, much like the name Annabel.
Origin:Greek, feminine variation of Anastasios
Description:Anastasia is the feminine form on Anastasius, a Greek name derived from the word anastasis, meaning "resurrection." It was a common name among early Christians, who often gave it to daughters born around Christmas or Easter. There are handful of saints named Anastasia, including the patron saint of weavers.
Origin:Greek, feminine form of Alexander
Description:Alexandra is the feminine form of Alexander, which ultimately derived from the Greek components alexein, meaning "to defend," and anēr, "man." In Greek mythology, Alexandra was an epithet of the goddess Hera. International variations include Alessandra and Alejandra.
Origin:Feminine variation of Theodore
Meaning:"gift of God"
Description:Theodora is one of the most revival-worthy of the charmingly old-fashioned Victorian valentine names, softly evocative but still substantial, as is the reversed-syllable Dorothea. It was borne by several saints and by the beautiful ninth wife of the Emperor Justinian, who became the power behind his throne. A later royal was Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark, the older sister of the present Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
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.
Origin:Latin, Feminine variation of Valentine
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.
Origin:Italian feminine variation of Gabriel
Meaning:"God is my strength"
Description:Gabriella is the feminine form of Gabriel, a name derived from the Hebrew Gavri’el. Gavri’el is composed of the elements gever, meaning "strong," and ’el, referring to God. Gabriella is used among a variety of cultures in the US, including Italian Americans, Latinos, and in the Jewish community. Gabriela is the Spanish spelling.
Meaning:"birthday [of the Lord]"
Description:Natalia was derived from the Latin word natalis, meaning “birthday.” It refers to the birthday of Jesus Christ, and thus originated as a name for girls born on Christmas Day. Related forms include the French Natalie, Portuguese Natalina, and Russian diminutive Natasha.
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:Italian and Spanish variations of Lilian
Meaning:"lily, a flower"
Description:This melodious and feminine Latin variation of the Lily family is a favorite in the Hispanic community and would work beautifully with an Anglo surname as well. It's among the Spanish and Italian names for girls that make smooth transitions to the English-speaking world. The late Sopranos star James Gandolfini has a daughter named Liliana Ruth.
Description:In music, the term allegro means "quickly, lively tempo," which makes this quintessential Bohemian ballet dancer's name all the more appealing. Allegra is one of the most distinctive yet accessible girl names starting with A.
Origin:Greek, feminine variation of Philip
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:Philippa is a prime example of a boy's name adapted for girls that was common as crumpets in Cornwall, but rarely heard stateside, never having appeared in the Top 1000. That was before the advent of royal sister-in-law Philippa Middleton, who goes by the lively nickname Pippa.
Origin:Latinate form of Estelle
Description:Estella is a pretty Latin name that's sounding more and more stylish, remembered as the ward of Miss Haversham in Dickens's Great Expectations. Though Estella ranked as high as Number 110 in the 1880s, it now sits near the bottom of the US Top 1000 along with near-twin Estelle. Either would be well worth considering as an alternative to the popular Stella.
Origin:Italian, Polish, Russian diminutive of Angela
Meaning:"angel or angelic"
Description:Angelica is by far the choicest form of the angelic names -- more delicate than Angelina, more feminine than Angel, more modern than Angela. But though Angelica is so lacy and poetic, it lags behind the bolder Angelina (probably for obvious reasons).
Origin:English, feminine variation of George
Description:Long a popular upper-crust form in England, where it's pronounced George-ee-AH-na, Georgiana has been been neglected here. But with Georgia growing more popular and the general fashion for elaborate feminine names, Georgiana might have room to grow.
Origin:Diminutive of Alexandria
Description:This diminutive, similar to Alex or Alexis, has been yo-yoing in popularity since the turn of the 21st century.
Origin:Italian variation of Mirabelle
Description:The short-lived magazine edited by former Vogue chief Grace Mirabella put this beautiful name off-limits for a while, but now it's perfectly fit to join the fashionable Bella pantheon. More distinctive than Isabella.
Origin:Italian, feminine variation of Dominic
Meaning:"belonging to the Lord"
Description:Fashionably Continental and much fresher than Dominique, though it's been used since the Middle Ages. Dominica can be spelled any number of ways, from Dominika to Domenica, but we prefer this version.
Origin:Spanish feminine form of Clement, Latin
Description:The Spanish version, with its -eena ending, takes the name out of the Oh My Darlin' realm, which for many American parents may be just the thing.
Origin:Feminine variation of Christian
Meaning:"follower of Christ"
Description:Not cutting edge, but still graceful and feminine.
Origin:Spanish variation of Juliet
Description:Julietta feels newly fresh and friendly thanks to the growing familiarity of Juliet and French sister Juliette.
Origin:Italian, feminine variation of Frederick
Description:Federica is the Latin version of Frederica, one of those formerly stuffy female names -- think Josephine and Eleanor -- that feels fresh and elegant again. And Federica has more energy without that first r.
Origin:German variation of Hebrew Raphaela
Description:Whether spelled Raffaela, Rafaela, Raffaella, or Raphaela, a euphonius and exotic name with a dark-eyed, long-flowing-haired image. Like Gabriella and Isabella, is beginning to be drawn into the American mainstream.