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Feminizations of Male Names

Feminizations of Male Names
Feminizations are feminine variations of male names rather than unisex baby names: Alexandra not Alex, Charlotte not Charlie. You may be attracted to these baby names because you want to name a daughter after dad or grandpa but give her a distinctly feminine name. Or maybe you simply love the traditional feel of many of these classic baby girl names, which are rooted in tradition.

Along with Alexandra and Charlotte, other feminizations of male names in the US Top 200 include Emilia, Gabriella, Gianna, Josephine, Lucia, Samantha, Valentina, and Victoria. A number of feminizations are now considered mom — or even grandma — names, such as Paula, Christine, Nicole, and Carla.

There are many names you may not realize are feminizations because the feminine form is much more common than the male. Anastasia, for example, derives from the male name Anastasios, and Cecilia comes from Cecil. Below, explore our collection of feminizations of male names.

OttilieHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of German OTTO,
  • Meaning:

    "prosperous in battle"
  • Description:

    Ottilie and its diminutive Ottiline are a pair of names heard among the British upper crust, but have rarely been seen here since the 1880's. Though it has German roots via Otto, Ottilie has a distinctively delicate French feel.

CharlotteHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine diminutive of Charles
  • Meaning:

    "free man"
  • Description:

    Charlotte is the feminine form of the male given name Charles. It derived from Charlot, a French diminutive of Charles meaning "little Charles," and the name of Charlemagne’s son in French literature and legend. The name was popularized by England's Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III.

JosephineHeart

  • Origin:

    French feminine variation of Joseph
  • Meaning:

    "Jehovah increases"
  • Description:

    Josephine is the feminine form of Joseph, a name ultimately derived from the Hebrew Yosef, meaning "Jehovah increases." In French it has an accent over the first E, which was omitted in the English, German, and Dutch translations of the name. Empress Joséphine du Beauharnais was born Marie-Josephe-Rose, but called Josephine by her husband, Napolean Bonaparte.

ClementineHeart

  • Origin:

    French feminine version of Clement, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "mild, merciful"
  • Description:

    Clementine is a Nameberry favorite that has finally broken back into the US Top 1000 after more than half a century off the list. Still, its style value may mean there are more Clementines than you might guess in your neighborhood—it may be a name that raises Mom's eyebrows, but it won't surprise your friends.

AnastasiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, feminine variation of Anastasios
  • Meaning:

    "resurrection"
  • 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.

OliviaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "olive tree"
  • Description:

    Olivia is one of the top US baby names as well as one of the top girl names in English-speaking and European countries around the world.

WillaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of William
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    Willa has become increasingly fashionable, with its combination of Willa (born Wilella) Cather-like pioneer strength and the graceful beauty of the willow tree.

AlexandraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, feminine form of Alexander
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • 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.

CeciliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine form of Cecil, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "blind"
  • Description:

    Cecilia is a feminine form of Cecil, which was derived from a Roman clan name related to the Latin caecus, meaning "blind." The martyred Saint Cecilia was designated the patron of musicians, either because she supposedly sang directly to God while the musicians played at her wedding, or because she sang to God as she was dying. The name was popularized in the Middle Ages as an homage to the Saint.

EmiliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Emil, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "rival"
  • Description:

    Emilia is the feminine form of the Roman clan name Aemilius, which derived from the Latin aemulus, meaning "rival." In Shakespeare’s Othello, Emilia is the wife of Iago and confidante of Desdemona. Amelia, although homonymous, has a different root and meaning.

CarolineHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine variation of Charles
  • Meaning:

    "free man"
  • Description:

    Caroline is a perennial classic, in the Top 100 since 1994. Caroline is elegant, calling to mind the Kennedy Camelot years and Princess Caroline of Monaco.

TheodoraHeart

  • 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.

LuciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, feminine variation of Lucius, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Lucia is derived from lux, the Latin word for light. It is considered to be the feminine form of Lucius as well as the Latinate spelling of Lucy. Due to its connection to light, Lucia was traditionally given to babies born as daylight was breaking.

HarrietHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of French Henriette
  • Meaning:

    "estate ruler"
  • Description:

    Harriet has long been considered a stylish, upscale name in England, but it's still waiting to be revived in the US—though some parents seeking a solid, serious semi-classic are beginning to consider it.

ClaudiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Claude
  • Meaning:

    "lame; enclosure"
  • Description:

    A classic name with a hint of ancient Roman splendor that has never been truly in or truly out, Claudia still feels like a strong, modern choice — one of our "sweet spot" names.

GeorgiaHeart

  • Origin:

    English, feminine variation of George
  • Meaning:

    "farmer"
  • Description:

    Georgia is so rich, lush and luscious, it's almost irresistible. Georgia's now a rising star among the feminizations of George, helped by associations with the southern state (named for British King Geogre II) and painter Georgia O'Keeffe, with the Ray Charles song "Georgia On My Mind" or maybe "Sweet Georgia Brown" playing in the background.

VictoriaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "victory"
  • Description:

    Victoria is the Latin word for “victory” and a feminine form of Victor. It is the name of the ancient Roman goddess of victory, the equivalent of the Greek Nike, and also a popular third century saint. Queen Victoria, for whom the Victorian Era is named, ruled over England for over sixty-three years.

LauraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "bay laurel"
  • Description:

    Laura is a hauntingly evocative perennial, never trendy, never dated, feminine without being fussy, with literary links stretching back to Dante. All this makes Laura a more solid choice than any of its more decorative counterparts and one of the most classic girl names starting with L.

SamanthaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, feminization of Samuel
  • Meaning:

    "told by God"
  • Description:

    The origins of Samantha are not entirely clear, although it is commonly thought to be a feminization of Samuel with the suffix derived from the Greek anthos, meaning “flower.” Samantha has been in English-speaking use since the eighteenth century, particularly in the American South, and drew attention via Grace Kelly's Tracy Samantha Lord character in High Society, featuring the song "I love you, Samantha.”

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.

StephanieHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, feminine variation of Stephen
  • Meaning:

    "garland, crown"
  • Description:

    Stephanie is the feminine form of Stephen, derived from the Greek name Stephanos, meaning "crown." It’s been the name of several royal women throughout history, including the medieval Stephanie, Queen of Navarre, and Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, the daughter Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco. International variations of Stephanie include the German Stefanie, Italian Stefania, and Spanish Estefanía.

CassiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine form of Cassius or Greek
  • Meaning:

    "cinnamon"
  • Description:

    Cassia is related to the cassia tree, which has yellow flowers and produces a spice that can be a substitute for cinnamon. Keziah, the name of Job’s daughter in the Old Testament, derives from the name of the plant as well. Cassia also has ties to the Ancient Roman name Cassius, an Ancient Roman family name meaning "hollow."

LouisaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latinate feminine variation of Louis
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Louisa, a quaint vintage name, is an example of the idea that these days, old-style girls’ names are more fashionable when they end with an a rather than with an e, as in Julie/Julia, Diane/Diana. So for the next generation, Louisa may rise again, especially with the growing popularity of other Lou/Lu-starting names, like Lucy and Luna. Louisa reentered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after a 45 year absence.

CosimaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian feminine variation of Cosmo, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "order, beauty"
  • 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.

PetraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "rock, stone"
  • Description:

    A strong Greek name with pan-European charm, Petra is a relatively recent feminization of Peter, though it relates back to an incredible ancient city in Jordan that was rediscovered in the early nineteenth century.

LouiseHeart

  • Origin:

    French and English, feminine variation of Louis
  • Meaning:

    "renowned warrior"
  • Description:

    Louise has for several decades now been seen as competent, studious, and efficient—desirable if not dramatic qualities. But now along with a raft of other L names, as well as cousin Eloise, Louise is up for reappreciation—sleek and chic, stylish in Paris, and starting to become so in the US as well. Louisa is perhaps more in tune with the times, but Louise has more edge. Louise has been on the rise lately, and reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time in a quarter century in 2016.

HermioneHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, feminine version of Hermes, "messenger, earthly"
  • Meaning:

    "messenger, earthly"
  • Description:

    Hermione's costarring role in Harry Potter has made this previously ignored, once stodgy name suddenly viable. Hermione could really take off once today's children start having kids of their own.

WilhelminaHeart

  • Origin:

    German, feminine variation of Wilhelm
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    Wilhelmina was long burdened with the Old Dutch cleanser image of thick blond braids and clunky wooden clogs, but that started to be changed somewhat by the dynamic Vanessa Williams character on Ugly Betty, and even further by the choice of Wilhelmina by ace baby namers Natalie and Taylor Hanson. For the less adventurous, Willa is, for now, still a more user-friendly female equivalent of William.

ValentinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • 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.

MichelleHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Michael
  • Meaning:

    "who is like God"
  • Description:

    Michelle is the feminine form of Michel, the French variation of Michael. Michael was derived from the Hebrew name Mihka’el, meaning “who is like God.” The alternate spelling Michele, with one “L,” was the original version of the name. Michelle appeared as a later Anglicization in the 20th century.

RamonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, feminine variation of Ramon
  • Meaning:

    "wise protector"
  • Description:

    Ramona is a sweet spot name – neither too trendy nor too eccentric. Kids will associate it with the clever Ramona Quimby character in the series of books by Beverly Cleary, also seen on TV. It was chosen by starcouple Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard for their little girl, who would be joined by sister Gloria.

NicoleHeart

  • Origin:

    French feminine variation of Nicholas, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "people of victory"
  • Description:

    Nicole was derived from Nicholas, the English variation of the Greek Nikolaos, composed of the compounds nike, meaning "victory," and laos, "people." The variation Nicole arose in the Middle Ages in France to honor St. Nicholas. Names related to Nicole include Colette, Nicolette, Nika, Nicola, and Nicolina.

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.

AdrianaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, feminine variation of Adrian
  • Meaning:

    "man of Adria"
  • Description:

    This a-ending feminine form of Adrian, from the northern Italian city of Adria, is a soft and lovely Italian choice. It appears as a character in Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.

GabriellaHeart

  • 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.

JacquelineHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine diminutive of Jacques
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    Jacqueline originated as a feminine form of Jacques, the French variation of James, and therefore Jacob. Jacob was ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov, and gets its meaning, “supplanter” from the story of Jacob supplanting his brother Esau as the first-born son in the Bible. Jacqueline was first used in France in the Middle Ages.

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

PatriciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "noble, patrician"
  • Description:

    Patricia still sounds patrician, though its scores of nicknames definitely don't. Wildly popular from the forties (alternately Number 3 and 4 throughout the decade) to the sixties, Patricia has been fading ever since. But a comeback in its full form is definitely conceivable—just look at Penelope.

DanielleHeart

  • Origin:

    French feminine variation of Daniel, Hebrew,"God is my judge"
  • Meaning:

    "God is my judge"
  • Description:

    Along with Daniela, Michelle, Nicole, and Denise, Danielle was a big hit from the 1960s to the nineties, sitting comfortably in the Top 20 for several years. Parents then responded to its chic, sophisticated Gallic image, and though it has lost some of its sheen, it's still a widely used choice. Novelist Danielle Steele is its most well-known bearer; it's also the name of Elvis's granddaughter.

BernadetteHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "brave as a bear"
  • Description:

    Although feminizations ending in "ette" are not particularly popular now, Bernadette is a pleasant, feminine, but strong name that doesn't feel prohibitively dated. And though strongly associated with the saint who saw visions of the Virgin Mary—Saint Bernadette of Lourdes—it is now no longer strictly inhabiting the Catholic diocese.

PhilippaHeart

  • 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.

HenriettaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Henry
  • Meaning:

    "estate ruler"
  • Description:

    Despite a return to such feminizations of male names as Josephine, Clementine, and Theodora, starchy Henrietta has not made it into that group. Still, if you look hard enough, you'll see that Henrietta has the same vintage charm.

MarcellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "warlike"
  • Description:

    Marcella has been in mothballs for so long it's starting to feel stylish again. Depicted as the world's most beautiful woman in Don Quixote (where it's spelled Marcela), this long neglected name seemed dated for decades but just might be ready for restoration. Another so-old-it's-new-again relative: Marcellina. Saint Marcella was a Roman matron of strength and intellect who organized a religious sisterhood at her mansion, which St. Jerome guided in religion and learning.

GabrielleHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine variation of Gabriel
  • Meaning:

    "God is my Strength"
  • Description:

    The quintessentially elegant and worldly Gabrielle -- designer Coco Chanel's real name -- is on its descent after years on the rise.

EricaHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse, feminine form of Eric
  • Meaning:

    "eternal ruler"
  • Description:

    The straightforward Erica is a Norse feminization that was long associated with the complex, mega-popular character Erica Kane, played by Susan Lucci for decades on the soap opera All My Children. Used in Scandinavia since the early eighteenth century, where it was usually spelled Erika, it was in the Top 50 girls' list in the USA in the 1970s and eighties.

CorneliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Cornelius, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "horn"
  • Description:

    In ancient Rome, Cornelia was considered the paragon of womanly virtue, making it a handsome name with an excellent pedigree. It's rare today, so if you want a name no one else is using, somewhat reminiscent of Amelia and the Shakespearean Cordelia, Cornelia should be on your list. Cornelia's short forms might include Cora, Nelia or Nell--anything but Corny.

MaxineHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "greatest"
  • Description:

    With the success of all names Max, from Max itself to Maxwell to Maxfield to Maximilian, it's just possible that Maxine could be lured away from her mah-jongg game at the clubhouse and into the nursery. She's already been chosen by hip musician Nick Hexum for his daughter, sister to Echo.

KylaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Kyle, Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "narrow spit of land"
  • Description:

    Kyle is stronger and sharper, though many parents will prefer the more distinctly feminine Kyla for their daughters. Kyla may owe much of its popularity to trendy cousin Kayla.

AntoniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "priceless one"
  • Description:

    Antonia is stronger than most feminized boys’ names, reflecting the pioneer spirit of Willa Cather's classic novel My Antonia. Antonia is hovering near the bottom of the US popularity list, which may be an excellent reason for you to use it.

YvetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine of Yves
  • Meaning:

    "yew tree"
  • Description:

    This French name has the elegance of other '-ette' names such as Colette and is a botanical name without being too obvious about it.
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