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Names That Mean Small, Little, or Tiny

Names That Mean Small, Little, or Tiny
Names meaning little or tiny probably first came into being as a way to describe someone small or short in stature. Today, that original meaning is all but, well, meaningless.

The top name meaning small or little is Logan. Along with Logan, other names with tiny meanings in the US Top 1000 include Paul, Aiden, Lane, Brooke, Roan, and Kiera. There are many unusual but usable names with small meanings, including Fiorella, Oisin, Sweeney, and Sonnet.

Baby names that mean small can be found in cultures around the globe and range from common American names to truly one-of-a-kind choices. But despite their meaning, they convey big personality. Here, our collection of baby names with tiny meanings.

Names That Mean Small, Little, or Tiny

RowanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rowan tree; little redhead"
  • Description:

    Rowan – a strong surname and nature name (it's a tree with red berries) – is deservedly growing in popularity. Some scholars identify Rowan as originally a girls’ name, related to Rowena and Rhonwen, while others say Rowan's always been used for both genders. Sharon Stone chose the Roan spelling, which also relates to the reddish color, for her son, while Brooke Shields used Rowan for her daughter. Yet another increasingly popular spelling is Rowen.

RonanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little seal"
  • Description:

    Ronan is the compelling legendary name of twelve Irish and Scottish saints that is now drawing some deserved attention; this cousin of the ascending Roman and Rowan was chosen by actor Daniel Day-Lewis and his writer-director wife Rebecca Miller in 1998, and more recently by actress Catherine Bell.

KieranHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Long popular in Ireland and England, Kieran, the name of Ireland's first-born saint and twenty-five other saints, has been building its U.S. fan base thanks to its strong and attractive sound, and its fashionable Irish brogue. While Ciaran is the more authentic Irish spelling, Kieran is more popular this side of the Atlantic.

LoganHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "small hollow"
  • Description:

    Logan originated as a Scottish surname which was derived from a place of that name in Ayrshire. The place name came from lagan, a Scottish Gaelic diminutive of lag, meaning “hollow.” Alternate spellings include Logon, Logen, and Logyn, which is more common among girls.

BeckettHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "bee hive, little brook or bee cottage"
  • Description:

    Beckett is one of the big baby name hits of the decade.

RyanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little king"
  • Description:

    Ryan’s use as a given name was inspired by the surname Ryan, a variation of the Irish O’Riain meaning "son of Rían." Rían is composed of the Irish-Gaelic elements , meaning "king" and an, a diminutive suffix. Ryan is considered a unisex name in the US, where variant spellings Ryann and Ryanne are also valid for girls.

RowanHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rowan tree; little redhead"
  • Description:

    Rowan is the name of a tree with red berries that's commonly found in Scotland (and said to ward off witches). Some scholars say this name has been used for girls as well as boys since the Middle Ages, though no Rowans are found outside literature until modern times. It's also a genial Irish surname choice, especially for a redhead – girl or boy.

KiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of the Italian Chiara or the Irish Ciara or Aboriginal Australian, Korean
  • Meaning:

    "light, clear; little dark one; cockatoo; first ray of sun"
  • Description:

    Kiara can be considered a variation of both the Italian name Chiara and the Irish name Ciara. Chiara is the Italian form of Clara, meaning "bright" or "clear," while Ciara is the feminine form of male given name Ciar, derived from the old Irish cíar, meaning "dark." Kiara is also an Australian name derived from an Aboriginal word for the white cockatoo, and has roots as a Korean name meaning "first ray of sun".

AidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aidan, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little and fiery"
  • Description:

    Aiden is a variation of Aidan, the anglicized version of the Irish Aodhán. Aidan/Aodhán was originally a pet form of the Irish name Aodh (pronounced 'ee'), who was the old Celtic god of the sun and fire. St. Aidan was a famous seventh century Irish saint, noted for his kindness and generosity and for spreading Christianity.

YaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "friend, helper"
  • Description:

    The multicultural Yara is also the name of a beautiful green-skinned Brazilian goddess and might make a more unusual spin on Mara or Sara.

LorcanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little, fierce"
  • Description:

    Lorcan is a name rich in Irish history as belonging to several kings, including the grandfather of the most famous high king of Ireland, Brian Boru. Lorcan O'Toole, known in English as Laurence O'Toole, is the patron saint of Dublin, so it's not too surprising that Irish-born actor Peter O'Toole named his son Lorcan.

BrookeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "small stream"
  • Description:

    Brooke has long projected an aura of sleek sophistication, and can also be seen as a stylish water name.

OisinHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little deer"
  • Description:

    Oisin is one of the most popular Irish baby names in its native land, though largely unknown in the US. The original Oisin was the mythological son of Finn McCool and Sadb, the goddess who was changed into a deer. A legendary war hero and poet, Oisin had a name that is also reminiscent in sound of the ocean. Pronounced correctly, this name has an attractive sheen.

PaulHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "small"
  • Description:

    To the thousands of girls who screamed the name of their favorite Beatle in the 1960s, the boys' name Paul had a thrillingly unique image, but to the rest of the world, then and now, it's a name that's so simple and yet so widely diffuse that it could belong to almost anyone. Paul is an ancient name for boys -- popular in Roman and medieval times -- that's not very fashionable now, which can work in its favor, scarcity balancing simplicity.

TeaganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish or Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "little poet or fair"
  • Description:

    As Meghan/Megan and Reagan/Regan show signs of wilting, along comes Teagan to take up the slack: definitely one to consider. The vast majority of American babies named Teagan are now girls. A variant spelling is Teaghan.

KeiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Keira is an attractive girls’ name that's gotten a huge boost from the meteoric rise of Keira Knightley. Original spelling Kiera, which relates more directly to the male Kieran, was the more popular form until the rise of Keira Knightley reversed the order. Both are Anglicized versions of the Irish Ciara.

AidanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little and fiery"
  • Description:

    Aidan was originally a pet form of the Irish name Aodh (pronounced 'ee'), the name of the old Celtic god of the sun and fire. The name was borne by numerous early Irish saints, one of whom was noted for his kindness and generosity. Aidan has many variations, among them, Aiden, Aden, Adan, Aedan, and Ayden.

KieraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Kiera entered the American popularity list in 1988, though it lags behind the alternate spelling Keira, largely due to the fame of actress Keira Knightley.

LaneHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "a small roadway or path"
  • Description:

    Lane is a recent hit name, that could be used for either gender, but is much more popular for boys. It's a surname that projects the pleasant picture of narrow, tree-lined country roads.

LennonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "lover"
  • Description:

    A growing number of high-profile (and other) parents are choosing to honor their musical idols, such as Hendrix, Presley, Jagger, and now Lennon. Lennon first came to notice when Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit used it for their son in 1999, and singer-musician Adam Pascal followed their lead in two years later. Thanks in part to female singer and actress Lennon Stella, it's now more popular for girls than for boys.

CosetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French literary nickname
  • Meaning:

    "little thing"
  • Description:

    Cosette is best known as the heroine of Les Miserables. In the Victor Hugo novel, Cosette was the nickname given to the girl named Euphrasie by her mother. Although Hugo invented the name, some etymologists believe it's a spin on Colette, originally a female short form of Nicolas.

ZebulonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "exaltation or little dwelling"
  • Description:

    An Old Testament name with a Puritan feel and post-Zachary possibilities--one of several routes to the cool nickname Zeb.

BeckHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "small stream"
  • Description:

    The popular single-named alternative singer (born Bek) has given this cool nature-meets-surname name a new lease of life. Another notable bearer is Beck Weathers, a Texan pathologist who survived the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which was covered in the book and film Into Thin Air.

ReaganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little king"
  • Description:

    A strong, straightforward Irish unisex surname, with a merry glint in its eye, Reagan has been leaping up the popularity lists, to become one of the top girl names starting with R. Some will inevitably link it to President Ronald, but spell it Regan and it's a Shakespearean name: a daughter of King Lear.

OranHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Irish, Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "light, song, little green one"
  • Description:

    A calm and gentle multicultural choice. Oran is popular in Ireland, where its Gaelic form is Odhrán, meaning "little green one". In Scottish Gaelic, the name means "song", and in Hebrew, it's a combination of Or "light" + Ran "singing".

CiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Ciara is very popular in Ireland, more familiar here as the Anglicized Kiera or Keira. The uninitiated will tend to pronounce Ciara as the Italian Chiara, a form of Claire—kee-AHR-a or even see-AHR-a, like the American singer-songwriter Ciara. In the US, Ciara peaked in 2005, when it was the Number 150 name; it's since fallen down to Number 882.

RoanHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Rowan
  • Meaning:

    "little redhead"
  • Description:

    Warm-hued spelling spin on Rowan that was chosen by Sharon Stone for one of her three young sons.

RoisinHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little rose"
  • Description:

    No, the pronunciation--ro-SHEEN--isn't immediately obvious to the non-Gaelic viewer, but the sound of this shiny Irish version of Rose is pretty enough to make it worth considering. Very popular in its native Ireland, it's one of many Irish girl names finding a wider audience. Earlier generations Anglicized at as Rosaleen, but we stay stick to the original.

MarcelHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Marcellus
  • Meaning:

    "little warrior"
  • Description:

    Marcel, despite distinguished namesakes including Proust and Duchamp, suffers from a terminal headwaiter image in this country. But along with its sister name Marcella and French variation (and Jolie-Pitt pick) Marcheline, Marcel may be on the brink of a style renaissance.

TalithaHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "little girl"
  • Description:

    Talitha appears in the Bible as words Jesus says to awaken a young girl whose parents feared she was dead. It has been used in the US since colonial times. Talitha is also the name of two stars in Ursa Major, where it's related to the Arabic word for "third." Talitha definitely makes a fresh spin on Tabitha or Talisa.

BrodieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish surname
  • Meaning:

    "little ridge"
  • Description:

    This geographic Scottish surname is more often spelled Brody in the US. Both forms have seen decreasing popularity, which may be linked to its association with club-hopping Hills star Brody Jenner.

AlainaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Alana, variation of Alana
  • Meaning:

    " or :harmony"
  • Description:

    Alaina, part Alana and part Elena and maybe also a little bit Elaine, is one of the many feminine forms of Alan (or its French form Alain) that have grown in popularity over recent decades, surpassing the male original. Not quite fashionable but also not quite un, Alaina is a choice that may feel more distinctive than it really is.

DavinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "little deer"
  • Description:

    A Scottish favorite that could make it here thanks to its similarity to the word divine. It's the most popular of several feminizations of David used in Scotland, including Davida, Davinia and Davidina, which have less of a chance in the U.S. It reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time in two decades in 2016.

CiaranHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Extremely popular in Ireland, Ciaran is also well used in England and is beginning to be adopted by parents in the U.S., though usually via the more American-friendly Kieran spelling. The Irish spelling is, however, becoming more familiar on this side of the Atlantic, due to the rising popularity of Belfast-born actor Ciaran Hinds.

VaughnHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "small"
  • Description:

    Vaughn, also commonly spelled Vaughan, has been used quietly over the years, reaching a peak of Number 349 in 1949. It is now in the process of rediscovery, being seen as a good Sean alternative or an updated way to honor an ancestral Paul (which also means small).

ConanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little wolf"
  • Description:

    The fierce image of the Barbarian made a complete turnaround thanks to amiable talk show host O'Brien, making Conan one of the newly desirable Irish choices, a perfect alternative to Conor/Connor.

MaddenHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dog"
  • Description:

    Madden is an Irish surname relative of Madigan rising through the charts thanks to its trendy two-syllable, -en ending sound along with its appeal to Madden Football video game-playing dads. John Madden is a former pro football player who went on to coach the Oakland Raiders and become a popular NFL commentator. Madden is also the surname of groovy Nicole Richie baby daddy Joel Madden.

MelinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "little honey"
  • Description:

    This traditional Greek name feels somewhat more distinctive than Melissa, though after a recent upward blip in popularity, it seems to be sliding back down -- which may not be a bad thing for parents looking for a name that both fits in and stands out.

SantinoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "little saint"
  • Description:

    A name introduced here by The Godfather: James Caan played the anything-but-saintly Santino "Sonny" Corleone, and comedian Adam Carolla used it for his son.

UrsulaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "little female bear"
  • Description:

    A saint's name with a noteworthy literary background, including uses by Shakespeare in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Much Ado About Nothing, by Ben Johnson, Walter Scott, Longfellow, D. H. Lawrence and Neil Gaiman. In real life, her two most well known representatives are writer Ursula Le Guin and actress Ursula Andress. In literature, there is also Ursula Iguaran, a key, long-lived character in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's major work, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

KeiranHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Kieran
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    While Kieran is the class and most-used male form of this name, some people spell it Keiran in keeping with the female Keira, the version popularized by the gorgeous Ms. Knightley.

RyanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little king"
  • Description:

    This ultrapopular boys' name is rapidly becoming a hot name for girls; admired for its buoyant Irish spirit.

TiernanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little lord"
  • Description:

    Tiernan is the slightly edgier and more seductive cousin of Kiernan. This is one Irish surname that is attractive but distinctive; Tierney is another, related, option.

CarinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "dear little one"
  • Description:

    Carina is a pretty feminissima name whose fall from popularity may be speeded by similarity to (hurricane name) Katrina.

LaneHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "a small roadway or path"
  • Description:

    Lane is a unisex name equally accessible to boys and girls. As a common surname, Lane is attached to such celebrities as Diane and Nathan.

DarrenHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little great one"
  • Description:

    Darren and wife Sharon shop for fifties memorabilia on eBay. The Connecticut place-name Darien might offer an update.

LoganHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish surname
  • Meaning:

    "little hollow"
  • Description:

    Logan, with its appealing Scottish burr, is a very hot boys' name—it's in the national Top 10 and heading for Number 1 in some states—and can also make a rich and resonant choice for a girl. Jason and Jordan Mewes have a daughter named Logan Lee.

EttieHeart

  • Origin:

    French diminutive
  • Meaning:

    "little"
  • Description:

    Ettie or Etty works as a nickname for any name with a prominent "et" sound, usually at the end: think Henrietta, Juliette or Colette. The -ette ending is a French diminutive suffix.

PaulineHeart

  • Origin:

    French, feminine variation of Paul
  • Meaning:

    "small"
  • Description:

    Pauline had its moment of glory almost a century ago, when movie audiences were thrilling to the silent serial The Perils of Pauline; it's a sweet and gentle name that just might be due for reconsideration. Off the list since the late 1990s, Pauline was a Top 50 name from around 1908 to 1930.

FiorellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "little flower"
  • Description:

    Not only are individual flower names more popular (and out-there) than ever, but so too are the more generic names like Florence and Flora. While brother name Fiorello became known via long-term New York Mayor LaGuardia, the lovely Fiorella has never crossed cultures. She could join Arabella as a post-Isabella ella choice.
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