Badass Princess Names
Badass princess names carry an image that appeals not only to contemporary little girls but to many parents. These unusual girl names are attractive not so much because of their sound or their style but because of the complicated image they convey: royal and rebel, warrior and princess.
The badass princess names are rare baby girl names that are both decidedly feminine and rooted in tradition, but are not at all conventional or conservative. They’re creative and edgy, but not invented or unorthodox, like Aurelia and Magnolia.
Along with Aurelia and Magnolia, other badass princess names among the most popular baby names include Anastasia, Antonella, Aurora, Clarissa, Emmeline, Estelle, Evangeline, and Tatiana. Among the quirkier, unique girl names that qualify as badass princess names are Alouette, Fuchsia, Theodosia, and Xanthippe.
Meaning:"the golden one"
Description:Aurelia is the female form of the Latin name Aurelius, an ancient Roman surname. Aurelius is derived from the Latin word aureus, meaning "golden," which was also the name of a gold coin used in Ancient Rome. Aurelius was a cognomen, a third name in Roman culture that often referenced a personal characteristic or trait, likely used for someone with golden hair.
Description:Ophelia is a beautiful name that has long been hampered by the stigma of Hamlet's tragic heroine—for whom he seems to have invented the name—but more and more parents are beginning to put that association aside. There is also a gutsy Ophelia in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 Uncle Tom's Cabin, which seems to have had some influence on baby namers at the time.
Description:Aurora is the name of the Roman goddess of sunrise whose tears turned into the morning dew. She was said to renew herself by traveling from East to West across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun each dawn. Aurora is also associated with the scientific term for the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis.
Meaning:"bearer of good news"
Description:Evangeline is a romantic old name enjoying a major comeback, thanks to its religious overtones, Eva's popularity, and the star of the TV megahit Lost, Evangeline Lilly. Evangelia and Evangelina — two variants of Evangeline — are sure to tag along for the ride.
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.
Description:Seraphina is one of the most-searched name on Nameberry, destined for even greater popularity. The highest-ranking angels, the six-winged seraphim, inspired the lovely name Seraphina, which was brought into the contemporary spotlight when chosen by high-profile parents Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck for their second daughter, following the influential choice of Violet for their first.
Meaning:"she who brings happiness; blessed"
Description:Beatrix has a solid history of its own apart from Beatrice, with that final x adding a playful, animated note to the name's imposing history.
Origin:Greek mythology name
Meaning:"advising like a man"
Description:One of the stellar unique baby names from mythology, Andromeda was the beautiful daughter of Cassiopeia who, like her mother, literally became a star--the constellation that bears her name.The Bohemian Andromeda makes a dramatic and adventurous choice in a time when four-syllable mythological names are gradually making their way into the mainstream.
Description:Now that Tristan has been rediscovered, maybe it's time for his fabled lover in the Arthurian romances and Wagnerian opera, a beautiful Irish princess, to be brought back into the light as well.
Meaning:"white shadow, white wave"
Description:Guinevere was the name of the beautiful but ill-fated queen of Camelot, for so many years eclipsed by its modern Cornish form Jennifer. Today, Guinevere could be a cool possibility for adventurous parents intrigued by this richly evocative and romantic choice.
Origin:Old French form of archaic German Amal
Description:Emmeline is an Emma relative and Emily cousin that is destined for greater use in the wake of the megapopularity of those two names. A recommended Nameberry fave, Emmeline hopped onto the US Top 1000 in 2014 for the first time ever. While it is genuinely an old name, it was rarely used a century ago; only 17 baby girls were named Emmeline in 1915, the same number as were named Ernie!
Description:Maybe it's because she shares that winning -elle sound with Isabel and Bella, but Estelle is no longer seen as a muumuu-wearing canasta player of a certain age (think George Costanza's mother on Seinfeld or Joey Tribbiani's talent agent in Friends). This could be in part thanks to the young Royal Couple of Sweden, who chose it for their firstborn daughter, or the single-named British R&B singer. It reentered the US Top 1000 in 2012 after a nearly fifty-year absence.
Meaning:"gift of Isis"
Description:Why is Isabella megapopular while Isadora goes virtually ignored? Too close a tie with tragic modern dancer Isadora Duncan (born Angela Isadora), who was done in by her long flowing scarf, perhaps, or with fusty male version Isidore. But we think Isadora is well worth reevaluating as an Isabella alternative. Quirky couple singer Bjork and artist Matthew Barney did just that and named their daughter Isadora. Isidora would be an alternative, just as proper but not quite as charming spelling--the one used as the spelling of a fourth century saint's name.
Origin:Flower name, from English
Description:Marigold, once found almost exclusively in English novels and aristocratic nurseries, is beginning to be talked about and considered here. It has a sweet, sunny, quirky feel. The marigold was the symbol of the Virgin Mary.
Origin:Feminine form of Cassius or Greek
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."
Description:Cressida is a pretty mythological and Shakespearean heroine name much better known in Britain than it is here — an imbalance the adventurous baby namer might want to correct. For although the Trojan heroine of that name in the tale told by Boccaccio, then Chaucer, then Shakespeare, didn't have the greatest reputation — she was faithless to Troilus and broke his heart — the name today sounds fresh, crisp and creative.
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:German, feminine variation of Wilhelm
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.
Origin:Flower name, from French surname
Description:Magnolia, a sweet-smelling Southern belle of a name made famous via the iconic Edna Ferber novel and musical Showboat, is one of the latest wave of botanical names, along with unexpected blossoms Azalea and Zinnia. It is named for French botanist Pierre Magnol.
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.
Origin:Spanish and Portuguese
Description:Esmeralda came into use as an applied use of the Spanish word for emerald, esmeralda. In the 1831 Victor Hugo novel Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, the heroine was born Agnes, but called La Esmeralda in reference to the jewel she wears around her neck. The name Esmeralda got increased visibility via the Disney version of the story.
Origin:Latin, from ancient place name Lavinium
Description:Lavinia is a charmingly prim and proper Victorian-sounding name which actually dates back to classical mythology, where it was the name of the wife of the Trojan hero Aeneas, who was considered the mother of the Roman people.
Meaning:"flower and color name"
Description:Lavender lags far behind sweet-smelling purple-hued sister names Violet and Lilac, but is starting to get some enthusiastic attention from cutting-edge namers. It does have a history as a name, going back to the eighteenth century, when it was also used for boys. But its recent attention comes from Lavender Brown, a witch character in the Harry Potter saga – though Lavender had also been previously featured as a best friend character in Roald Dahl's Matilda.
Meaning:"of the mind, intellect"
Description:Minerva is the long-neglected name of the Roman goddess of wisdom and invention, the arts and martial strength, one of the mythology names for girls that might appeal to adventurous feminist parents.
Meaning:"gift of God"
Description:Dorothea is a flowing and romantic Victorian-sounding name which was popular in the early decades of the twentieth century, but has been off the charts since 1970. Definitely on the brink of a revival!
Meaning:"citizen of Rome"
Description:Originally a surname deriving from the Roman twin Romulus, this attractive name was introduced to the English-speaking world as a first name by painter Augustus John who used it for his son. Romilly John became Admiral of the Fleet in England.
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:Invented hybrid name from Arabella and Aminta
Description:Araminta is an enchanting eighteenth-century invention familiar in Britain and just beginning to be discovered here. It was used in 1693 by William Congreve in his comedy The Old Bachelor, and in 1705 by the versatile Sir John Vanbrugh, architect of Blenheim Palace as well as a playwright, for his comedy The Confederacy.
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.
Description:Alouette is a sweet Gallic twist in the stylish bird name genre made familiar via the charming French children's song, Alouette, gentile alouette.
Description:Eulalia is a melodious name with a southern drawl, thanks to those lilting double Ls.
Origin:English, contracted form of Thomasina
Description:Tamsin is an offbeat name occasionally heard in Britain and just waiting to be discovered here. U.K. actress Tamsin Greig is a star of the show Episodes, Tamsin Olivier is the daughter of Joan Plowright and Sir Laurence Olivier..
Origin:Latin flower name
Description:Bryony is an unusually strong plant name --the bryony is a wild climbing vine with green flowers --that caught on in the U.K. before sprouting here. The name of the young character in the Ian McEwan novel Atonement is spelled Briony, which is the variation and Bryony the original.
Description:Magdalena is a pretty name forever associated with the fallen-yet-redeemed Mary Magdalen; often heard in the Hispanic community. But forward thinking parents are reviving Magdalena along with Magdalene and the unrelated but similar-sounding Marguerite.
Origin:Greek mythology name or feminine form of Ambrose, Latin
Description:Ambrosia combines some of the more whimsical qualities of more popular Aurora and Isabella, with a heavenly meaning.
Meaning:"region offering peace and contentment"
Description:Arcadia, a name for an unspoiled paradise, makes an attractive secular alternative to Nevaeh or Eden. For parents who want an unusual name with a friendlier nickname, Arcadia has the advantage of cute Cady.
Description:Ancient martyr's name that, though not especially appealing, might still be mildly possible, especially for Anglophiles. It was widely used in early Scotland, but was overtaken by its nickname, EFFIE.
Origin:Feminine variation of Henry
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.
Meaning:"from Mount Olympus"
Description:With its relation to Mount Olympus, home of the Greek gods, and to the Olympic games, this name has an athletic, goddess-like aura, making it the perfect Olivia substitute.
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.
Origin:Elaboration of Clara
Description:Clarissa, the daintier version of Claire, has a long literary history of its own, having been featured in the novels of Samuel Richardson, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf—Clarissa was the title character of Mrs. Dalloway—not to mention the 1990s teen sitcom, Clarissa Explains it All.
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:Flower name, from Greek
Meaning:"blue larkspur; precious stone"
Description:Though it may not be as sweet and gentle as, say, Violet, the purple-hued Hyacinth still might hold some appeal for the parent seeking a truly unusual flower name.
Description:A soft and interesting Hebrew name long popular in France, where it has ranked in the Top 400 since 1986 (as Salomé). Ex-ER star Alex Kingston named her daughter Salome Violetta.
Origin:Variation of Larisa, Greek and Russian
Description:Larissa is a nymph name that's daintily pretty and a fresh alternative to Melissa or Alyssa. Though this is the more common variation in the Western World, the original is actually Larisa.
Description:Calista Flockhart spotlighted this lovely Greek name that has a long future in the English-speaking world. Kallista is another spelling; Calixta and Calixto are related.
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.
Meaning:"giving to God"
Description:This feminine form of Theodosius has long been buried deep in the attic, but might be a good discovery for the parent who wants to move beyond Theodora. Vice President Aaron Burr named a daughter Theodosia ("Dear Theodosia" is a song in the smash musical Hamilton), and it was the birth name of silent screen vamp Theda Bara. Theodosia actually appeared on the US popularity lists in the 1880s and 90s.
Origin:Feminine variation of Zephyr, Greek
Description:Zephyr may not be a name often heard in the U.S., but its variations are used throughout Europe. Zephyrine, a cousin in sound and feel if not in fact to such lovely names as Severine and Seraphina, has distinctive possibilities.
Origin:Variation of Lucia
Description:Lucinda, an elaboration of Lucia created by Cervantes for his 1605 novel Don Quixote, is a pleasingly pretty alternative to Lucy. It was subsequently used by Moliere in his play The Doctor in Spite of Himself' (1666). More in tune with the times than Linda, Belinda and Melinda, it could be used to honor someone with one of those dated names.