Fancy Girl Names
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.
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.
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 Guiomar, Spanish, Portuguese
Meaning:"famous in battle"
Description:The gorgeous and romantic name Xiomara popped into the Top 1000 from 2004-2011 after a contestant on America's Next Top Model increased interest in her rare name.
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.
Origin:Latin, feminine form of Ambrose
Description:Ambrosia combines some of the more whimsical qualities of more popular Aurora and Isabella, with a heavenly meaning.
Origin:Greek variation of Sapphire, Hebrew jewel name
Description:Sapphira is a lovely name which unfortunately has an unsavory Biblical history. The New Testament Sapphira was killed by God for lying about a tax payment.
Origin:Flower name, from English surname
Description:A frilly southern-accented flower name yet to be planted on many birth certificates. In the language of flowers, the wisteria is a symbol of devotion. It is named for American horticulturalist John Caspar Wister.
Origin:Greek, Feminine variation of Apollo, Greek sun god.
Description:This name of a third-century Christian martyr has an romantic, appealing feel in the modern world. It first came to American attention via Prince's love interest in the film Purple Rain.
Description:Iolanthe is known primarily through the 1882 Gilbert & Sullivan operetta of that name, in which the title character is a fairy. Iolanthe is a softer version of Yolanda, and is the kind of multi-syllabic classical name once considered too weighty for a modern baby girl, but now within the realm of possibility--this one as a dramatic twist on Violet. The biggest drawback is its variety of legitimate pronunciations in English.
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.
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.
Origin:Greek, variation of Artemis
Description:You might think Artemisia is the feminine form of the name, but in fact the original Artemis is feminine too, the name of the Greek mythological goddess of the moon. Artemisia Gentileschi was an esteemed Italian Baroque painter, unusual in an era when not many women were acknowledged. Artemisia is also a genus of plants which include sagebrush and tarragon.
Origin:Variation of Alexandra, Greek
Description:Alexandria turns Alexandra into a more distinctive place-name, in both Egypt and Virginia.
Meaning:"worthy of one's parents, in place of one's parents"
Description:In Greek mytholgy, Antigone was the noble and courageous daughter of Oedipus, who acts as his guide after he blinds himself. Antigone is also the eponymous heroine of a play by Jean Anouilh.
Description:Kassiani, also spelled Kasiani or Cassiane, is an ancient Greek name best known as the name of a saint famous as a hymnographer. The Hymn of Kassiani, traditionally sung on Tuesday of Easter Week in the Greek Orthodox Church, is associated with fallen women. The 9th century saint Kassiani was supposed to be in love with the Emperor Theophilos, who rejected her when she proved to be more intelligent than he.
Origin:Italian and Spanish variation of Alexandra
Description:This softened version is even prettier than the original.
Description:Corisande is a very unusual, haunting choice, with the aura of medieval romance--it is found in early Spanish romantic tales, arriving in the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century.
Description:Antonella is an Italian version more feminine and unusual than Antonia. Antonina is a similarly appealing possibility, heard in Poland and Russia.
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.