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Best American Girl Names

Best American Girl Names
American girl names include US place-names, newly-minted names, American hero names, and of course Native American names.

The top American baby name for girls is place name Savannah. Along with Savannah, American girl names in the US Top 100 include Brooklyn, Kennedy, Paisley, Everly, Genesis, Serenity, Nevaeh, Kaylee, and Brielle.

A little further down the list, we find American names Sage, Lyric, Presley, Monroe, Harlow, Justice, Jolie, Georgia, Carolina, and Scout. Of course, not all those names are technically American in origin, but they are used as names nearly exclusively in the US.

Unique American girl names on our recommended list include Kailani, Denali, Memphis, Indiana, Snow, North, Talullah, and Sojourner.

If you want to give your baby girl a distinctly American name, consider one of the following.
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SageHeart

  • Origin:

    Herb name; Latin
  • Meaning:

    "wise"
  • Description:

    Sage is an evocatively fragrant herbal name that also connotes wisdom, giving it a double advantage. It entered the Top 1000 at about the same time for both genders in the early 1990s, but it has pulled ahead for the girls. Toni Collette named her daughter Sage Florence.

HarlowHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname
  • Meaning:

    "rock hill or army hill"
  • Description:

    Jean Harlow (born Harlean Carpenter), the original platinum blonde bombshell, was a symbol of 1930s glamour, a factor that first Patricia Arquette and then Nicole Richie and Joel Madden probably had in mind when they gave their daughters the distinctive surname name Harlow.

EverlyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "wild boar in woodland clearing"
  • Description:

    Everly originated as a toponymic surname derived from the Old English roots eofor, meaning “boar,” and leah, “clearing.” It is related to the Germanic name Eberhard, meaning “brave as a wild boar,” from which popular name Everett also derived. Wild boars represented strength and courage to ancient Germanic peoples, who often took on names with animal meanings.

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.

IndigoHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "Indian dye"
  • Description:

    Indigo is one of the most appealing and evocative of the new generation of color names. Color names have joined flower and jewel names -- in a big way -- and Indigo, a deep blue-purple dye from plants native to India, is particularly striking for both girls and boys. Indigo is the name of a character in the Ntozake Shange novel Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and was used for his daughter by Lou Diamond Phillips.
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PhoenixHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "dark red"
  • Description:

    Phoenix is a New Age name symbolizing rebirth and immortality; Scary Spice chose Phoenix for her daughter.

LeilaniHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "a heavenly flower"
  • Description:

    Leilani is derived from the Hawaiian elements lei, meaning “flower,” and lani, “heavenly.” It can also be translated as “royal child,” as lani is connected to high-birth and aristocracy, and leis—flower garlands worn around the neck—are associated with children. “Sweet Leilani” is an Academy Award-winning song by Bing Crosby.

BrielleHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "hunting grounds"
  • Description:

    Though it sounds so modern, Brielle is, among other things, a traditional Cajun contraction of Gabrielle, but it has now spread far beyond that community. Brielle is also the name of a historic seaport in the western Netherlands.

SierraHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "saw"
  • Description:

    Sierra is a name borrowed from the western mountain range, with Latin rhythm and cowboy charm, that has led to many offshoots: Cierra, Cyara, and so on. It is now probably past its peak but retains its pretty-yet-strong sound. The meaning refers to the sharp, irregular peaks of some of the Western mountains such as the Sierra Nevada.

ScoutHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Scout, a character nickname from To Kill a Mockingbird (her real name was Jean Louise), became a real-life possibility when Bruce Willis and Demi Moore used it for their now grown middle daughter, followed by Tom Berenger a few years later. A unisex choice that is growing in popularity for both genders -- but given to girls about four times more often than to boys -- it was picked by skater Tai Babilonia for her son and Kerri Walsh for her daughter Scout Margery.
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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.

SerenityHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "peaceful"
  • Description:

    Serenity's a pretty virtue choice, having risen quickly since entering the Social Security list in 1997. It was also the title of the 2005 movie spinoff of the Joss Whedon TV show Firefly.

KayleeHeart

  • Origin:

    American variation of Kayla
  • Meaning:

    "laurel, crown"
  • Description:

    A widely used name, Kaylee pulls together something from Kayla and something from Hailey, yet somehow loses something in the process. It has surpassed cousin Kayla on the charts and is one of three girls' names starting with Kthat ranks in the US Top 100.

KennedyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "misshapen head"
  • Description:

    This attractive surname name still projects that Kennedy family charisma. While it didn't come into widespread use until long after the deaths of martyred heroes President John F. or Senator Robert Kennedy, Kennedy is now one of the most popular unisex names for girls as well as the top girls' name starting with K. This is one name that manages to sound trendy and classic at the same time.

AshlynHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aislinn, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "dream"
  • Description:

    Though it relates to the Irish original, Ashlyn and its next most popular form, Ashlynn, owe more of their popularity as baby names in the US to the megastar Ashley, though all three have been dropping on the charts lately.
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FrankieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Frances
  • Meaning:

    "from France; free man"
  • Description:

    Vintage nickname name, with a down-to-earth country feel. This renewed interest placed Frankie back in the US Top 1000 in 2015 after a 41-year hiatus. For girls, it's a popular choice in England and Wales, Australia, and New Zealand. Drew Barrymore, who helped popularize and glamorize boyish names for girls, has a daughter named Frankie. On TV's Better Things, Pamela Adlon's middle daughter is named Frankie (sister to Max and Duke, both girls).

NavyHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    When R & B singer Nivea made this highly original choice for her daughter's name, she claimed to have thought of it in terms of the color and not the seagoing armed service. You can look at it either way.

MonroeHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "mouth of the Roe river"
  • Description:

    Monroe is a presidential name which, thanks to the immortal beauty of Marilyn Monroe, is catching on fast for baby girls. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon chose it for their twin daughter, honoring Marilyn Monroe. Their use of Monroe as a girls’ name did much to revive this Old Man name, a la Sydney, as a newly fashionable choice for girls.

DakotaHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American tribe and place name; Sioux
  • Meaning:

    "friendly one"
  • Description:

    A Native American tribe name which is found in the names of two US states, Dakota was one of the first trendy nineties place names, but is now flagging a little in popularity. The cultural question around using a Native American tribe name as a baby name may be partly to blame.

JolieHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "pretty"
  • Description:

    Jolie is as pretty as its literal meaning; nowadays it is also seen as a girls’ name, via Angelina for whom Jolie was originally her middle name.
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AlaskaHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American
  • Meaning:

    "great land"
  • Description:

    State name Alaska stems from an Aleutian word for the land mass itself. The number of baby girls named Alaska has doubled in the past five years, and is sure to continue increasing as more place names are annexed as baby names. Wilder but as habitable as Dakota or Cheyenne, Alaska is a girls' name choice for the future.

DreamHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Singular and serene noun name that's been used by a couple of celebs.

StoryHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    An imaginative choice with an uptempo Cory/Rory/Tori sound, perfect for the child of a writer — or anyone with a good story to tell. Story has been finding some appreciation among celebs like Minnie Driver and others as a middle name. This is just one of the literary word names that have recently entered the realm of possibility, such as Fable, Sonnet and Poem.

MaliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian variation of Mary
  • Meaning:

    "bitter"
  • Description:

    Makes Grandma Mary or Maria's name fresh and modern. A fairly unusual name made more familiar by one of Barack and Michelle Obama's young daughters.

PepperHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "berry"
  • Description:

    Parents are beginning to scan the whole spice shelf for inspiration, picking up on Saffron, Sage, and Cinnamon -- and opening up a chance for this spiciest possibility of all; used for peppy TV characters.
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WinonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Sioux Indian
  • Meaning:

    "firstborn daughter"
  • Description:

    Rode two rockets to fame, with actress Winona Ryder and singer Wynonna Judd.

LyricHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "lyre"
  • Description:

    A musical name with Greek roots, appealing to parents who like such other names as Harmony, Melody, and Cadence.

CarolinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Caroline; also place-name
  • Meaning:

    "free man"
  • Description:

    Languid, romantic, and classy, this variation heats up Caroline and modernizes Carol, adding a southern accent.

SundayHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Sunday is among the most usable of the day names, with its sunny opening syllable, made famous when Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban chose it for their newborn daughter. Although it had been widely written that Kidman and Urban named their baby after art patron Sunday Reed, Kidman recently was quoted saying that was a myth, they just liked the name. There were 34 baby girls named Sunday last year, but perhaps more parents will be inspired by the Kidman-Urban choice.

SnowHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Description:

    There's definitely a cold front of names for winter babies moving in, with Summer, Spring and Autumn giving way to Winter--plus North, January, Frost--and Snow. This name feels brisk, fresh, pure, evocative -- and magical. A haunting middle name choice.
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KailaniHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "sea and sky"
  • Description:

    This name's similarity to Kalani and pretty Hawaiian origin helped catapult it into the Top 1000 for the first time in 2013.

TalaHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian, Arabic, Tagalog, Samoan, Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "gold; turmeric; star; story; noble"
  • Description:

    Tala is a super multicultural name with roots in many diverse languages and cultures. In Northern Europe, especially in Scandinavia, it is a diminutive derived from Adelheid "noble", long used as a standalone name.

PresleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "priest's meadow"
  • Description:

    For those not ready to name their daughters Elvis; and used more often than you might think ever since Tanya Tucker chose it for her little girl.

NevaehHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    Nevaeh has had phenomenal success since singer Sonny Sandoval introduced the idea of turning Heaven around and using it as a baby name. Especially popular with religious parents, Nevaeh has been in the Top 100 for a decade now, though is off its peak as the spelling spin gets less clever and more familiar.

RebelHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Meaning:

    "rebel"
  • Description:

    Asking for trouble. Rebel Wilson is a hilarious Australian actress who puts a female spin on this contemporary badass baby name. Still, we think this name is truly gender neutral – though hardly neutral in any other way. Rebel is undoubtedly one of the edgiest girls' names starting with the letter R.
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EmoryHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Emery
  • Description:

    She might get nail jokes her whole life (think Emery board), but a child will find this name is neat, easy to pronounce, and able to fit in with the crowd.

IndianaHeart

  • Origin:

    American place-name
  • Meaning:

    "land of the Indians"
  • Description:

    Indiana is one of those place-names (think Camden and Trenton) that sounds cooler than the place that inspired it. Its fashionable -ana ending certainly sounds eminently name-like, and Indie/Indy/Indi is one of the hottest nickname names for girls right now.

AppleHeart

  • Origin:

    English nature name
  • Meaning:

    "apple"
  • Description:

    When people talk about unique baby names, Apple is often one of the first examples they mention. Apple made international headlines when Gwyneth Paltrow chose this wholesome fruit name for her daughter. Many have called it ridiculous, but we have to admit, we find it appealing enough to list as one of our top cute baby names. Rocker Bob Geldof named one of his daughters Peaches; Banana Yoshimoto is a hipster writer. Another choice in this genre is the luscious Plum, though for different reasons, neither Prune nor Cherry will fly.

GenesisHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Genesis -- the name of the first book of the Bible -- is not nearly as original for babies as you'd think; Genesis has been quite popular for several years now. Genesis entered the Top 1000 girl names in 1988 and the Top 100 names for girls in 2008, though it only entered the boys' Top 1000 in 2018.

HeavenHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Among the children named Heaven are the daughters of TV personality Brooke Burke and rap singer Lil' Mo, who also has a daughter named God'iss Love. Some parents have taken to using Nevaeh instead—Heaven spelled backwards.
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TopangaHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American
  • Meaning:

    "where the mountain meets the sea"
  • Description:

    Used for a free-spirited character on a 1990s sitcom, this name of a beautiful Southern California canyon does have an unconventional aura.

JusticeHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Justice is a fashionable word name, used for both girls and boys. Justice has the distinction of being a virtue name without the religious implications of Faith or Grace. It still feels more male than female, perhaps partly due to the classic Roman name Justus, but Justice has become a more common pick for girls in recent years.

TalullahHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, Anglicized variation of Tuilelaith
  • Meaning:

    "lady of abundance"
  • Description:

    Talullah or Talulla, the old Irish name of two early saints, is almost identical to the Native-American Tallulah. A modern hipster favorite, however it's spelled.

TrueHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Inspirational, aspirational word name that would work especially well as a middle name; it was used by Forest Whitaker for his daughter, and more recently by Khloe Kardashian.

KayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American, Hopi
  • Meaning:

    "my elder sister"
  • Description:

    One of the currently trendy Kaia-Maya-Mia family, with a meaning that suggests wisdom.
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MileyHeart

  • Origin:

    Modern invented name
  • Description:

    One-time overnight success name, thanks to Hannah Montana actress and singer Miley Cyrus, Miley has fallen quickly from her peak of Number 127 in 2008. For Miley Cyrus, Miley was a childhood nickname (because she was so smiley); Destiny is her real name. Miley is a good lesson in avoiding trendy names. Popular opinion of the source can sour leaving a fresh name looking dated.

SequoiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Native American, Cherokee
  • Meaning:

    "sparrow"
  • Description:

    This name of a giant tree, itself named for a nineteenth-century Cherokee who invented a way to write his tribe's language, makes a strong, stately statement.

AmericaHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name
  • Description:

    Given to children of both sexes as far back as colonial times, this carries a lot of baggage. However, parents continue to take the risk. Actress America Ferrera may be have inspired some families to choose the name. Ferrera's Honduras-born mother shares her unusual name.

ArizonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name from Papago Indian
  • Meaning:

    "little springs"
  • Description:

    We usually think of place-names as a modern invention, but in fact Arizona ranked on the US Top 1000 from its inception in 1880 until 1911, when it vanished below the surface. It peaked at Number 510 in 1882, before Arizona became a state. One notorious vintage bearer: criminal "Ma" Barker, born Arizona Clark.

DenaliHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name and Native American
  • Meaning:

    "the great one"
  • Description:

    Alaska's Denali National Park is the home of the highest mountain in the US, officially renamed Denali in 2014, endowing the name with a lofty feel. Four times as many girls as boys were given the name in 2018.
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