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Scottish Girl Names

Scottish Girl Names
Scottish baby names for girls are a lovely bunch, including choices that a very familiar to American ears, such as Isla and Fiona, as well as names that have yet to cross over, like Elspeth and Eilidh.

Along with Fiona and Isla, other Scottish girl names in the US Top 1000 include Annabel and Maisie. Baby girl names popular in Scotland include Isla—one of the top names of Scottish origins on their popularity charts—Olivia, Sophie, and Emily.

Shown here are names of Scottish derivation as well as the girls' names traditionally popular in Scotland, though there is some overlap. Whether you want to honor your Scottish heritage or simply love the culture, consider these lovely Scottish names for girls.

IslaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish place-name or Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "island"
  • Description:

    Isla, the Spanish word for island, is also the name of a Scottish river, an island (spelled Islay), and the red-haired actress Isla Fisher, married to Sacha Baron Cohen. A top girls' name in the US, Isla is also popular overseas, especially in England, Wales, and her native Scotland.

EsmeHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "beloved"
  • Description:

    Esmé comes from the past participle of the Old French verb esmer, meaing "to esteem" or "to love." It can also be considered a derivative of the Spanish name Esmeralda, which means "emerald".

ArabellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • 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.

MaisieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish diminutive of Margaret or Mary
  • Meaning:

    "pearl or bitter"
  • Description:

    Maisie, a hundred-year-old favorite, is in perfect tune with today, rising in tandem with cousin Daisy. Spelled Maisy, it's a popular children's book series.

ElsieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Elizabeth via its Scottish variation, Elspeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Not so long ago, Elsie might have been on a list of Names Least Likely to Succeed—but look at her now! She is currently ranked very highly in the U.K., and in the US, she's widely used as well, having returned to the popular names list in 2005 after a thirty-year hiatus. Elsie is now one of the fastest-rising girl names starting with E.

FloraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "flower"
  • Description:

    Flora, the name of the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, who enjoyed eternal youth, is one of the gently old-fashioned girls' flower names we think is due for a comeback--alongside cousins Cora and Dora. Also the name of a saint, Flora has long been a favorite in Scotland where it was the name of the young heroine who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie make his way to France. Florence, Fiorella, Fleur, and Flower are translations, but we like Flora best of all.

FloraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "flower"
  • Description:

    Flora, the name of the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, who enjoyed eternal youth, is one of the gently old-fashioned girls' flower names we think is due for a comeback--alongside cousins Cora and Dora. Also the name of a saint, Flora has long been a favorite in Scotland where it was the name of the young heroine who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie make his way to France. Florence, Fiorella, Fleur, and Flower are translations, but we like Flora best of all.

RowanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rowan tree; little redhead"
  • Description:

    Rowan is the name of a tree with red berries that's commonly found in Scotland (and said to ward off witches). Some scholars say this name has been used for girls as well as boys since the Middle Ages, though no Rowans are found outside literature until modern times. It's also a genial Irish surname choice, especially for a redhead – girl or boy.

BlairHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "dweller on the plain"
  • Description:

    In the USA, Blair is gaining momentum. In England and Wales, Blair is incredibly unpopular for girls, sitting well outside the Top 2000.

AlbaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "white"
  • Description:

    Alba is quietly making a behind-the-scenes comeback, perhaps thanks to actress turned baby-product mogul Jessica Alba. Last on the Top 1000 a century ago, the name was given to more than 150 baby girls in the US last year. Alba might be tomorrow's successor to Ava and Ella. In Spain, Alba ranks among the Top 10 girls' names. Alba is the name of a character in The Time Traveler's Wife.

BonnieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "beautiful, cheerful"
  • Description:

    Bonnie is a word the Scots really do use for pretty, thus the root of this name, from the French bonne. Bonnie is teetering on the edge of a comeback right now, along with Betty and Bea one of the girls' names starting with Bthat are so far out they're heading back in, especially in the UK.

OrlaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "golden princess"
  • Description:

    Orla is an Irish name closely associated with the high king Brian Boru, as it was the name of his sister, daughter and niece. It was very popular in the Middle Ages – the fourth most popular name in twelfth century Ireland – and has become popular again in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales today. In Irish, the name is commonly spelled Orlaith or Orlagh.

FionaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "white, fair"
  • Description:

    Fiona entered the American consciousness with the opening of the 1954 Broadway musical Brigadoon, but didn't come onto the U.S. popularity list until 1990.

KatieHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Katherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Friendly mega-popular short form of Katherine that has definitively replaced Kathy, Katie is often given on its own. Going forward, though, Katie is more stylishly clipped itself to the grownup Kate.

EilidhHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic form of Eleanor
  • Description:

    Long popular in Scotland, this attractive name is strictly-speaking the Gaelic version of Eleanor, but is also often considered part of the Helen family of names. After the Normans introduced it into the British Isles, it was transformed into Aileen or Evelyn. It has rarely been heard in the US, but it is slowly starting to be used here too.

EilidhHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic form of Eleanor
  • Description:

    Long popular in Scotland, this attractive name is strictly-speaking the Gaelic version of Eleanor, but is also often considered part of the Helen family of names. After the Normans introduced it into the British Isles, it was transformed into Aileen or Evelyn. It has rarely been heard in the US, but it is slowly starting to be used here too.

SkyeHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish place-name
  • Description:

    The e-addition takes the name from slightly hippie-ish nature name to the place name of a picturesque island off the coast of Scotland, and for baby namers it's by far the more popular spelling.

UnaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "one; also, lamb"
  • Description:

    In an epic poem, the personification of truth, beauty, and unity; this ancient name is popular in Ireland but rarely heard here. The Oona spelling has more oomph.

ElspethHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Elizabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Elspeth is one of those names that never quite made it out of the British Isles--particularly Scotland, but possesses a winningly childlike charm. Elspeth was used by Sir Walter Scott for several of his female characters.

AilsaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish from Norse
  • Meaning:

    "elf victory"
  • Description:

    Ailsa is a traditional Scottish name for girls related to a rocky island in the Firth of Clyde called Ailsa Craig. It might make an interesting alternative to the outdated Ashley or overly popular Ella, and could also be thought of as a relative of Elizabeth or Elsa.

NessaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "headlands, promontory"
  • Description:

    Like its cousin Tessa, Nessa -- a shortening of Vanessa or Agnes or Anastasia among other possibilities -- is an attractive nickname that can stand on its own.

PaisleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "church, cemetery"
  • Description:

    For a name related to a Scottish town, a richly patterned Indian fabric, and a country singer named Brad, Paisley has been a remarkable success story. She entered the Top 1000 in 2006, and broke into the Top 50 for the first time in 2015, and is now one of the most popular girl names that start with P.

MoragHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "great"
  • Description:

    Morag is one of the quintessential Scottish names for girls. Actually a diminutive of Mor, it has always been used more than the original. Commonly heard in Scotland, but could lead to pronunciation problems elsewhere, and the second syllable could prove very confusing. Morag is sometimes used as the Gaelic equivalent of Sarah. In the Harry Potter books, Morag MacDougal was a witch who attended Hogwarts in the same year as Harry.

IsobelHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Isabel
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    The Scottish spelling of Isabel has a definite character of her own, the 'o' giving her an extra infusion of strength but also an element of confusion. How do you pronounce that? Answer: Exactly like Isabel or Isabelle.

AnnabelHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Amabel
  • Meaning:

    "loving"
  • Description:

    Annabel is a spirited name that embodies quirky British gentility, and is gaining increading favor in the U.S. in the wake of the mega-popular Isabel. Appearing in Scotland as early as the twelfth century, where it was a royal name, it also recalls the romantic Edgar Allan Poe poem Annabel Lee, written upon the death of his young wife, Virginia.

AnnabelHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Amabel
  • Meaning:

    "loving"
  • Description:

    Annabel is a spirited name that embodies quirky British gentility, and is gaining increading favor in the U.S. in the wake of the mega-popular Isabel. Appearing in Scotland as early as the twelfth century, where it was a royal name, it also recalls the romantic Edgar Allan Poe poem Annabel Lee, written upon the death of his young wife, Virginia.

YvaineHeart

  • Origin:

    Female variation of Yvain or Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "evening star"
  • Description:

    A mix of Yvonne and Elaine, Yvaine was first noticed in the Neil Gaiman fantasy novel and then movie Stardust, in which Claire Danes played the 'fallen star' Yvaine. This In all its forms, one of the most classic Scottish names for girls is now attracting namer attention--just as that other Gaiman-inspired name, Coraline, did. Yvaine has a definite romantic, medieval charm. A small segment of namers are definitely taking notice.

MackenzieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of Kenneth"
  • Description:

    Originally inspired as a a girls’ name by eighties TV actress Mackenzie Phillips, parents have flocked to Mackenzie – once only a male name – for their daughters. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is one of the thousands who've chosen Mackenzie. Other Mac names, such as Makayla and McKenna, are also newly popular for girls.

GreerHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish, contraction of surname Gregor; Latin
  • Meaning:

    "alert, watchful"
  • Description:

    This attractive Scottish surname choice, has a certain amount of glamour thanks to feisty British-born red-haired forties Academy Award winner Greer Garson, who was born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson--Greer was her Irish mother's maiden name). Greer was chosen much more recently by Kelsey Grammer for his daughter and by Brooke Shields in the Grier form. As a surname, it's associated with feminist writer/activist Germaine Greer.

IonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish place-name
  • Description:

    This name of a small island off the coast of Scotland is trending upwards along with other I names.

CameronHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "crooked nose"
  • Description:

    Cameron Diaz almost single-handedly transported this sophisticated Scottish male surname into the girls' camp, where it has had a rapid rise to popularity -- though it's never caught up with the boys. Another actress, Camryn Manheim (born Debra), did the same thing for the phonetic spelling.

LexiHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alexandra
  • Description:

    Lexi and Lexie, pixieish offshoots of the prolific Alex family, have come into their own.

AilishHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "noble"
  • Description:

    This Anglicized spelling makes the pronunciation of Ailís or Aileas – the Irish and Scottish forms of Alice, respectively – slightly more obvious to English-speakers. Ailis or Aileas are more authentic spellings, but may be fighting a losing battle against the influence of Billie Eilish.

MirrenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
  • Description:

    Mirren is a lively and attractive Scottish name, popular in its native country but best known outside Scotland as the surname of the English actor Dame Helen Mirren. It is thought to be a Scottish derivative of the name Marion, from Mary.

FenellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "white-shouldered one"
  • Description:

    More unusual than Fiona and more user-friendly than Fionnuala, the engaging Scottish Fenella, has been scarcely heard in this country.

CampbellHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "crooked mouth"
  • Description:

    This unisex name, the seventh most popular surname in Scotland, can make a more unusual Cameron alternative. It is represented on the girls' side by TV news correspondent Campbell Brown, for whom it was a family name, Brown was born Alma Dale Campbell, Alma Dale being her grandmother's name,and Campbell her mother's maiden name.

KenzieHeart

  • Origin:

    Short form of Mackenzie
  • Description:

    Kenzie freshens up Mackenzie.

AdairHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "shallow place in a river near oaks"
  • Description:

    This undiscovered unisex name has lots of flair. It was first noticed as a girl's name, starting in the 1980's, on the long-running daytime drama Search for Tomorrow, with the character Adair McCleary, who had ahead-of-their-time brothers named brothers Hogan, Cagney and Quinn. But since Adair has yet to find many takers, it would make a fresh and appealing choice.

MckinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the fair hero"
  • Description:

    Presidential name that makes a fresh substitute for MacKenzie or McKenna. Possible spelling variations include MacKinley, MacKinlee, Makinleigh ad almost infinitum. McKinley is one of the Scottish names for girls that can work equally well for boys.

KirstenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian variation of Christine
  • Description:

    Lovely, authentic name -- but any Kirsten will be condemned to a lifetime of hearing "Did you say Kristen?" They're both genuine Scandinavian names but too interchangeable.

MarsaliHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "warrior"
  • Description:

    This spelling variation of Marsaili simplifies and sleekens one of the most distinctive Scottish names for girls.

MorvenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish, poetic place-name
  • Description:

    In the Ossianic poems, Morven is the name of Fingal's kingdom. This name, borne by young Scottish actress Morven Christie, has a darkly seductive quality to it.

CaitrionaHeart

  • Origin:

    Gaelic variation of Catherine
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Both Caitriona and Catriona are commonly heard in Scotland and Ireland. The name was brought to Ireland by the Anglo-Normans, and is the source of nicknames Cait, Caitin, Caitlin and Triona. Actress Caitrona Balfe has gained recognition for her role on Outlander. Pronunciation is like Katrina.

MairiHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish variation of Mary
  • Meaning:

    "bitter"
  • Description:

    Why does Mairi, pronounced MAW-re, seem so much cooler than Mary? This Irish form of Mary was not used before the seventeenth century, as it was considered too sacred. Some of its Anglicized forms include Moira, Maura and Maurya.

RonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish spelling variation of Rhona; Norwegian; Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "might; song"
  • Description:

    Rona ranked in the US Top 1000 in the mid-20th century but holds new meaning in the 2020s. "Rona" has become slang for coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, which gives the name a dark and somber edge. In 2019, Rona was given to 26 baby girls — we expect it to drop off the list entirely in the years to come.

ShonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Anglicized form of Seònaid, the Scottish Gaelic equivalent of Janet. It has historically been quite popular in Scotland, although it hasn't ranked in the Top 100 there since 1995.

LeithHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish, river name
  • Description:

    Traditionally a male name, Leith now can make a highly unusual, strong but soft, and intriguing girls' possibility.

LiliasHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lily"
  • Description:

    An unusual flower name deriving from the Latin word for lily (lilium), this variant has always been popular in Scotland.

IslayHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish place-name
  • Description:

    Islay is the name of a Hebridian island famous for its whisky. Don't be fooled by the "y" at the end - this name is pronounced exactly like the more well-known Isla.

VailaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "foreign Isle"
  • Description:

    The name of a small, inhabited Shetland island in Scotland makes one of the unique Scottish names for girls. While it’s an uncommon name internationally, it's also a traditional girls’ name in its native country, where it ranks in the top 400 (though that still equates to fewer than 10 babies born in any given year).
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