Popular English Girl Names
English names, meaning names that originate in the English language, sometimes get overlooked because we tend to think of all names used by English speakers as English names.
But of course, many of the names we consider English are actually Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and so on. So then which names for girls truly might be considered English, and which of those English girls' names are most popular?
The most common English girl name is Harper. Along with Harper, other English girl names in the US Top 50 include Evelyn, Scarlett, Madison, Hazel, Lily, Everly, Aubrey, Willow, and Addison. Many nature names for girls are authentically English, such as Marigold, River, Wren, and Clover.
Not all of the English girl names listed here are currently common, but these are some of the best-known girl names with authentic English roots, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.
Origin:English variation of Lucia, Latin
Description:Lucy is both saucy and solid, a saint's name and heroine of several great novels. First fashionable in England and Wales, Lucy is now popular in the US as well.
Origin:Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
Meaning:"bitter or pearl"
Description:Mae, a sweet and springlike old-fashioned name, hadn't been on the national charts in forty years, but finally made it back in 2010. Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood.
Origin:Diminutive of Margaret or flower name, English
Description:Daisy, fresh, wholesome, and energetic, is one of the flower names that burst back into bloom after a century's hibernation. Originally a nickname for Margaret (the French Marguerite is the word for the flower), Daisy comes from the phrase "day's eye," because it opens its petals at daybreak.
Origin:English, from Latin, nature name
Description:Though greatly overshadowed by the trendy Olivia, Olive has a quiet, subtle appeal of its own -- and is now enjoying a remarkable comeback. Olive is one of only four girl names starting with O on the US Top 1000. Cool couple Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen chose it for their daughter, reviving the name to stylishness, and now Drew Barrymore has a little Olive too, as has country singer Jake Owen.
Description:Audrey is one of the girls' names that have been rising due to their connection to Old Hollywood glamour—in this case the eternally chic and radiant Audrey Hepburn. Audrey has another very different appeal as one of the elite group of girl names that mean strong, brave, or powerful.
Origin:English flower name
Description:Lily came into use as a given name as a direct influence of the flower. The floral name was derived from the Latin lilium, itself derived from the Greek leirion. Lily later became an adjective to describe whiteness and purity.
Meaning:"the hazelnut tree"
Description:Hazel has a pleasantly hazy, brownish-green-eyed, old-fashioned image that more and more parents are choosing to share. Former Old Lady name Hazel reentered the popularity lists in 1998 and now is near the top of the charts.
Description:Scarlett originated as an occupation surname, designating a person who sold scarlet, a luxury wool cloth produced in Medieval Europe. The word is thought to derive from the Arabic siklāt, referring to silks dyed with kermes. The fanciest, favorited color was scarlet red.
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:No, we don't consider Jane too plain. In fact, for a venerable and short one-syllable name, we think it packs a surprising amount of punch, as compared to the related Jean and Joan.
Description:Wren, a lilting songbird name, could be the next Robin. It makes a particularly pleasing middle name choice, as does her newly discovered cousin Lark. Wren entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2012 and is among the new wave of popular English names for girls.
Origin:Flower name, from Old English
Description:Clover is a charming, perky choice if you want to move beyond hothouse blooms like Rose and Lily, and it's recently become a new celeb favorite, chosen by both Neal McDonough and Natasha Gregson Wagner, who used it to honor her mother, Natalie Wood, one of whose most iconic films was Inside Daisy Clover.
Origin:English nature name
Description:Willow came into use as a given name after the willow tree, whose name was derived from the Old English word welig, meaning "willow." Willow trees are associated with grace and elegance, which gave way to the adjective "willowy." Other names with meanings related to willows include Arava, Willoughby, Dozier, Wellesley, Selby, and Salton.
Origin:English from French and German
Meaning:"desired; or water, island"
Description:Evelyn derives from the French feminine given name Aveline, which is from an obscure Germanic root which may mean "desired, wished for" or "water, island". The name Aveline was brought over to England by the Normans, but it first became popular as a masculine name – a transferred use of the surname Evelyn, which comes from the same source. Variations include Evaline, Evalyn, Evelin, and Eveline.
Description:Birdie was until recently a middle-aged Ladies' Club member wearing a bird-decorated hat --but now it's just the kind of vintage nickname (think Hattie, Josie, Mamie, Millie) that's coming back into style in a big way. Actress Busy Philipps named her baby Birdie (inspired by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson), as did soap star Maura West.
Description:Ivy is derived from the name of the ivy plant, which got its name from the Old English word ifig. Ancient Greeks presented an ivy wreath to newlyweds as a symbol of fidelity. In the language of flowers, Ivy signifies faithfulness.
Description:Does Fay really need that e at the end? We vote no, but modern parents disagree: The Faye spelling was used for nearly 300 girls in 2014, vaulting the name back onto the Top 1000 after a 35-year absence, nearly ten times as many babies as received the Fay spelling.
Origin:English word name
Description:Word names may not be gendered in English, but Royal was used mostly for boys—as in Wes Anderson's anti-hero Royal Tennenbaum—until Lil' Kim named her daughter Royal. And why not? It's got a rich sound and a meaning fit for a rap princess....or prince. This puts a new spin on royal baby names.
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:English variation of French Henriette
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.
Description:Lavender lags far behind sweet-smelling purple-hued sister names Violet and Lila, but is starting to get some enthusiastic attention from cutting-edge namers along with other adventurous nature names like Clementine and Marigold.