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European Girl Names

European Girl Names
European girl names are the most common group of names by origin in the US. The names on this list , though, are well-used for baby girls throughout Europe but remain largely undiscovered by American parents.

A handful of these distinctly European choices are beginning to catch on in the US, with parents embracing names such as the Italian Alessia and the French Anais. Along with Alessia and Anais, other European girl names in the US Top 1000 include Amelie, Esperanza, Giovanna, Jimena, Noa, Valeria, Xiomara, and Yara.

But most of these European names for girls will appeal to parents in search of something different. A name like Puck, among the Top 100 for girls in the Netherlands, or Saga, popular in Sweden, will definitely make you stand out in the US. Names including Iolanthe, Madelief, Milou, and Thessaly make for one-of-a-kind — but incredibly fashionable — names, as each was given to fewer than five American baby girls in 2018.

You may wish to honor your culture of origin or seek a unique name with internationally endorsed style with European girl names. Here, search our curated collection of European names for girls.

NoaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "motion"
  • Description:

    This Old Testament female name has been one of the most popular girls’ names in Israel over the last decade. Also highly popular in Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, and a new entrant to the US Top 1000, it may be misunderstood here as an attempt to streamline and feminize the more familiar Noah – although it's a separate name with a separate derivation.

AmelieHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Amelia
  • Meaning:

    "work"
  • Description:

    Emily gets a Bohemian spin and a French accent when it becomes Amelie. This favorite among French girl names has been gaining notice here thanks to the charming 2001 French film Amelie; it entered the American popularity list in 2002 and is now solidly established in the Top 1000.

InesHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian, Portuguese, Slovene and Croatian variation of Agnes
  • Meaning:

    "pure, virginal"
  • Description:

    This form of Agnes, Ines has always been popular since the true story of the thwarted lovers Queen Ines of Castro and King Peter of Portugal. This has to be one of the most heartbreaking and bloody true romances in history!

FleurHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "flower"
  • Description:

    Fleur is a generic, delicate flower name that emigrated into the English-speaking world when John Galsworthy bestowed it on one of the Forsytes in his celebrated saga. More recently, there was Fleur Delacour, a French witch and the Beauxbatons champion for the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter.

GaiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "earth mother"
  • Description:

    The name of the Greek mythological earth goddess and universal mother; actress Emma Thompson stated that she was attracted by its ecological element, so other "green" parents may want to follow her lead.

ChiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "light, clear"
  • Description:

    Chiara is a lovely and romantic Italian name that's familiar but not widely used here: a real winner. You might consider Chiara instead of Claire, Clara, Cara, or even Keira.

AlessiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian variation of Alexis
  • Meaning:

    "defending warrior"
  • Description:

    Young Canadian pop singer Alessia Cara has given this spicy-sounding name a new lease on life, propelling it into the Top 1000 in 2016. (It was one of the year's fastest-rising girls' names.) The main risk is that it feels so close to Alexa, Alicia, Alexis and Alyssa-- all becoming overused -- that it could be mistaken for one of those more familiar names.

AnaisHeart

  • Origin:

    Catalan and Provencal pet form of Hebrew Anna
  • Meaning:

    "grace"
  • Description:

    Anais is an unusual, alluring name forever attached to the daring French-born American novelist and diarist Anais Nin (born Angela, with Anais as one of her middle names), who became the inspiration for the naming of the daughter of musician Noel Gallagher. Anais is also the name of a popular perfume.

SaskiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "Saxon"
  • Description:

    From the first time we saw the name Saskia attached to a portrait of Rembrandt's wife (her full name was Saakje van Uylenburgh, but she was always called Saskia), we have found it utterly charming and wondered why it hasn't attracted more fans In this country--she's appreciated by the Brits, who have moved her to Number 392. Saskia is one of those names that's been used in Europe since the Middle Ages, but has never crossed the ocean.

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.

LeonieHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lion"
  • Description:

    Leonie is a chic French and German form of a name that exists in a range of variations from Leona to Leonia to Leon to Leo to Lionel, all newly fashionable after a couple of generations in style limbo.

LisetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Elizabeth or Lise
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Lisette, also spelled Lizette, is a dainty,, if somewhat dated, Gallic offshoot of Elizabeth. It reached its U.S. peak of popularity in 1999, then fell off the list in 2001.

ValeriaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    Valeria -- the original form of the name, used by early Christians -- is now more popular than the Franco-American Valerie.

AyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "colorful, bird, sign"
  • Description:

    Simple names have their appeal, but Aya, barely more than a breath, maybe be too simple. It debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2012.

ElviraHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "white, fair"
  • Description:

    Before there was the campy TV Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Elvira was the long-suffering wife of Don Juan, and remnants of those negative, gothic images still cling to it, though they are fading.

    Other references include the romantic film Elvira Madigan, based on a real person, and the main ghostly character in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, as well as appearances in several operas.

ManonHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Marie
  • Meaning:

    "bitter"
  • Description:

    Manon is an endearing French pet name for Marie or Marianne; it has the international yet straightforward feel that makes it a viable import. Manon of the Spring was a gorgeous French film, Manon Lescaut a 1731 novel by Abbe Prevost, set in France and Louisiana, that was controversial in its day. It formed the basis of operas by Puccini and Massenet, and several films and TV series.

IrinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "peace"
  • Description:

    Irina is a Russian ballet-inflected classic, one of the Three Sisters in the Chekhov play. While some Americans will pronounce this like Irene with three syllables, the pronunciation used throughout Europe, where it's widely used, starts with a short i as in it or if and a strong emphasis on the second syllable.

LilouHeart

  • Origin:

    Occitan pet form of French Liliane
  • Meaning:

    "lily"
  • Description:

    Lilou is a charming, rarely heard import. Occitan is a language spoken in Provence, in the south of France, in which the suffix "ou" denotes a pet form — thus, Lilou as a short form of Liliane or its Occitan form Liliana or Liliano. Its popularity in France--where it's currently Number 12--can be traced to the 1997 film The Fifth Element.

SolanaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "sunshine"
  • Description:

    A bright and warm possibility for a summertime girl, Solana has been heard in a few video games. Solana Rowe is the real name of the singer known as SZA.

ThaisHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "beloved, bandage"
  • Description:

    A paramour of Alexander the Great and the heroine of a Jules Massenet opera based on the life of a fourth century Egyptian saint, this name is nothing if not dramatic. Often spelled with a diaeresis or umlaut -- aka two dots -- over the letter i, Thais is a Top 100 girls' name in France and is also popular in Spain.

IsaHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "strong-willed"
  • Description:

    Isa is a name unto itself but might also be a short form of Isabel or Isadora. With the new popularity of Isabel and Isabella and even Bella, Isa may become more familiar.

SigneHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "new victory"
  • Description:

    Signe could make an offbeat, more unusual alternative to Sydney or Sigrid. In Norse mythology, Signe was the twin sister of Sigmund. Can also be spelled Signy.

XiomaraHeart

  • 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.

MaelleHeart

  • Origin:

    French or Breton
  • Meaning:

    "chief or prince"
  • Description:

    This feminine form of Mael has the distinctive "aelle" ending found in Brittany. Usually spelled in its native France with a diaeresis or umlaut -- two dots -- over the first e, Maelle is a Top 100 girls' name in France.

MilanHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian place name or Slavic
  • Meaning:

    "gracious, dear"
  • Description:

    In many Slavic and other European countries, Milan is purely a boys’ name, but in the US, it's also popular for girls – no doubt inspired by the fashionable Italian city. It entered the Top 1000 for boys in 2013, while for girls it has been in the Top 1000 since 2009.

OttolineHeart

  • Origin:

    French and English, diminutive of Ottolie
  • Meaning:

    "prospers in battle"
  • Description:

    Curiously appealing, in a hoop-skirted, wasp-waisted way, Ottoline has recently entered the realm of modern possibility, especially since Sienna Miller chose it as the middle name of her daughter Marlowe.

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.

AraceliHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "altar of the sky"
  • Description:

    Obscure but intriguing Spanish name. Araceli Segarra is a noted mountain climber.

ElinHeart

  • Origin:

    Swedish variation of Ellen
  • Description:

    The Elin variation makes an old favorite sleeker and more modern. Elin came to prominence via the ex-Mrs.Tiger Woods. It entered the US Top 1000 in 2010, though it's now in danger of dropping off.

LuzHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Pronounced LOOSE, this name that refers to the Virgin Mary—"Our Lady of Light"—is one of the most widely used Spanish name for girls. Its sleekness and stylish final z gives it a modern appeal, like sister name Lux. Nicknames and variations include Chitta, Lucecita, Lucelida, Lucelita, Lucha, Lucida, Lucila, Lusa, and Luzana.

EstrellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "star"
  • Description:

    Rising star among Hispanic families that would make a good cross-cultural choice. A morepopular name with the same stellar meaning is Esther

SigridHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "fair victory"
  • Description:

    Sigrid is a distinctly Scandinavian name that is starting to edge out into the wider world, a la cousin Ingrid. Unfortunately, short form Siri is now off the table, but Sigrid is still a possibility.

GiadaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "jade"
  • Description:

    Giada is a fresh spin on Jade, which has been quietly and stylishly used in English-speaking countries for several years now. Popular cook Giada De Laurentiis made this a possibility, then semi-subtly self-referenced when she named her daughter Jade.

EulalieHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Eulalia, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sweetly speaking"
  • Description:

    Eulalie hasn't ranked in the US Top 1000 since 1899, but its French roots might make it more appealing to modern ears than its sister Eulalia.

ElkeHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch, German, and Frisian, diminutive of Adelheid
  • Meaning:

    "noble"
  • Description:

    Though she has long stood on her own, Elke has many longer cross-cultural connections, to the Dutch/German/Scandinavian Adelheid and Alice and the English Adelaide, as a feminine version of Elkanah and as a Yiddish form of Eleanor.

JunaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of June, month name
  • Description:

    Juna, a variation of the newly stylish month name June, was introduced in the U.S. by actor Bradford Anderson, who chose it for his daughter, whose middle name, Meredith, is the name of Anderson's New Hampshire hometown.

EsperanzaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "hope, expectation"
  • Description:

    Esperanza is a Spanish classic that's found its way onto the national popularity list in recent years. It came into the spotlight not long ago when jazz singer Esperanza Spalding "stole" the Best New Artist Grammy from favorite Justin Bieber. It's also the name of the main character in the novel The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, about a young Latina growing up in Chicago.

CorisandeHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "chorus-singer"
  • 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.

AurelieHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Aurelia, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "the golden one"
  • Description:

    Aurelie is the delicate French variation of Aurelia, one of the most improbable popular names of recent years. Both versions of the name are lovely, but it might be difficult to insist that Americans pronounce Aurelie the attractive French way rather than like plain old orally.

OdileHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of German Otthild
  • Meaning:

    "prospers in battle"
  • Description:

    Odette's evil Swan Lake twin -- gives the name a sinuous, sensuous appeal.

XimenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminization of Ximeno, Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "son"
  • Description:

    Ximena, sometimes spelled Jimena, is a variation of boys’ name Ximeno. Spanish origins and popularity in the Latino community have boosted this name's popularity. Ximena Diaz was the wife of the Spanish national hero known as El Cid. Several well known Latin American actresses bear this name.

ApollineHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Apollonia
  • Description:

    Apolline is a luscious French name chic in Paris and ripe for the plucking in the English-speaking world. Derived from the mythological name Apollo, the name may mean strength; Apollo was the god of sun and light. Apolline is a perfect choice for those attracted to the name Apple who don't want to go quite that far.

SagaHeart

  • Origin:

    Swedish word name
  • Meaning:

    "story; seeress"
  • Description:

    Apt name for a little drama queen with a long future ahead of her. Saga is a Top 30 girls' name in Sweden.

AlvaHeart

  • Origin:

    English form of Irish Ailbhe
  • Meaning:

    "white"
  • Description:

    While the male Alva or Alvah relates directly to the minor Biblical character, the female version is more likely an Anglicized form of the Irish name Ailbhe. Best known as Thomas Edison's middle name, Alva has true unisex roots.

LieslHeart

  • Origin:

    German, diminutive of Elizabeth
  • Description:

    While we long dismissed Liesl as being stuck in the Alps with Heidi, the Nameberry community has forced us to reconsider. Yes, like Heidi, Liesl is an old German nickname-name that has never quite moved beyond its Alpine image. But the same thing might have been said of Elsa a few years ago, and many other names that once seemed inextricably tied to their countries of origin -- think Enzo and Saoirse and Freya and Soren. So c'mon down, Liesl, and join the multicultural gang of names prime for picking the world over. Many people associate the name with Liesl von Trapp, the eldest daughter in The Sound of Music</>, who is "Sixteen Going on Seventeen", as her song famously says. Liesl is also one of the more unusual girl names starting with L, the most fashionable starting consonant of the moment.

VegaHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "swooping eagle"
  • Description:

    Another astral name, this one relating to one of the largest and brightest stars in the heavens, is popular in Scandinavia and Spain, where it ranks among the Top 50 girls' names. In the US, it was used for only a handful of children of both sexes.

SolveigHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "the strong house or daughter of the sun"
  • Description:

    Common in Scandinavia, this name has rarely come to our shores. The name of the heroine in Ibsen's Peer Gynt, Solveig is currently a widely-used name in Norway. Pronounced authentically, with a silent 'g', it becomes much more appealing.

JuniHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "June"
  • Description:

    Juni is the Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Finnish form of the month name June. While Juni feels cute and fresh, most Americans would assume it was a nickname or a Joni variation. We prefer Juna or the English June.

GriseldaHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "grey battle"
  • Description:

    Griselda is a famous folklore figure, noted for her patience and obedience. Her story has been told by Petrarch, Chaucer, Boccaccio and set to music by Scarlatti, Vivaldi and Massenet.

SanneHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch, diminutive of Susanne
  • Meaning:

    "lily"
  • Description:

    Sanne is hugely popular in the Netherlands, but almost unknown here — which makes it an interesting prospect for the parent in search of an unusual name. Pronounced sah-na, Sanne is in keeping with the Dutch taste for nicknames plucked from the middle or end of a name vs. the beginning, such as Bas for Sebastien or Bram for Abram.
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