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American Girl Names

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, Sage, 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.

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.

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.

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.

SavannahHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "flat tropical grassland"
  • Description:

    A place name with a deep Southern accent, the once-obscure Savannah shot to fame, with others of its genre, on the heels of the best seller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was set in the mossy Georgia city of Savannah. Originally a substitute for the overused Samantha, Savannah is now becoming overused itself, long among the top girls' names starting with S.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

WinonaHeart

  • Origin:

    Sioux Indian
  • Meaning:

    "firstborn daughter"
  • Description:

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

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.

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.

DreamHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

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

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.

BrooklynHeart

  • Origin:

    Place-name
  • Description:

    Extreme makeover: Brooklyn has gone from jokey Borough Boy name in the 1990s to the leading girls' name starting with B. The status of New York's Brooklyn as hipster heaven is ironic as few bona fide Brooklyn hipsters would choose this name.

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.

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.

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.

TulaHeart

  • Origin:

    Choctaw, Hindi, or Kiswahili
  • Meaning:

    "mountain peak, a Libra, or to be tranquil"
  • Description:

    Tula is a polyethnic name which, spelled Toula, was used for the heroine of the hit film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

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.

AmaHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Cherokee
  • Meaning:

    "born on a Saturday; water"
  • Description:

    Ama is a day name used by the Akan people of Ghana for girls born on Saturday. Names that reference a baby's birth by day of the week, time of day, or season of the year are common in many African cultures. Ama is one that can be used happily by parents who live in English-speaking countries. While there are many girls' names that contain Ama as an element and might use it as a short form -- from Amalia to Amaryllis to Samara -- there were only a handful of girls named Ama in the US in a recent year.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

HolidayHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name
  • Meaning:

    "holy day"
  • Description:

    Free and fun name if you don't want to be pinned down to Noelle, Pasqua, or Valentine.

InolaHeart

  • Origin:

    Cherokee
  • Meaning:

    "black fox"
  • Description:

    One of three Cherokee names with the same meaning, along with Inali and Enoli, both male names.

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.

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.

AnnistonHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname, also Alabama place name
  • Description:

    Actor couple Chyler Leigh and Nathan West added this one to the lexicon when they adapted the surname of actress Jennifer Aniston as their daughter's first name. Aniston, which theoretically might mean "Agnes town," was actually Anglicized from the Greek Anastasopoulos. With its similarity to both Addison and Anna and its relationship to the attractive star, Anniston is taking off a la Jolie.

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.
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