Girl Names That Start With N
Girl names that start with N have never been wildly popular, making the N initial a great place to start your search for an underused gem.
Five N names for girls currently rank in the US Top 100: Nora, Natalie, Nova, Naomi and Nevaeh. Along with these and variations like Natalia and Norah in the Top 200, there are also many gorgeous uncommon N girl names which feature lower in the Top 1000 but are still widely familiar, like Noelle, Nina and Nola.
Arabic names like Noor and Nyla and Russian names like Natasha and Nadia have also charted in the US in recent years, and some rare N names for girls actually rank highly in other countries, such as Noa (Top 10 in Israel), Niamh (Top 50 in Ireland), and Nia (Top 100 in Wales).
Unique N-starting names for girls we recommend include sweet retro nicknames Nell and Nancy, both currently stylish in the UK, and exotic international options like Nadine, Noemi, Nahla and Nalani.
Here, our entire menu of girl names that start with N. You also might want to check out our lists of Boy Names That Start With N, Unisex Names That Start with N or our full list of Baby Names That Start With N.
Origin:Irish, diminutive of Honora, or Greek
Description:Nora has two separate origin stories, as a derivative of both Honora and Eleanor. The Irish and Anglo-Norman version derives from Honora, based on the Latin word honor. The Hungarians spawned Nora as a short form of Eleonora, a variation of Eleanor.
Description:Nova is a name that has the feel of both newness, from his meaning, and great energy from being an astronomical term for a star that suddenly increases in brightness, then fades.
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.
Description:Naomi was once a primarily Jewish name from the Old Testament that referenced the mother-in-law of Ruth. Because of this, it is a symbolic name given to girls on Shavuot when the story of Ruth is read in the synagogue. The French version is Noemie, in Italian Noemi. Naomi also has separate Japanese origins as a unisex name meaning “straight and beautiful.”
Meaning:"birthday [of the Lord]"
Description:Natalia was derived from the Latin word natalis, meaning “birthday.” It refers to the birthday of Jesus Christ, and thus originated as a name for girls born on Christmas Day. Related forms include the French Natalie, Portuguese Natalina, and Russian diminutive Natasha.
Description:Noelle is the feminine variation of Noël, a masculine given name derived from the French word for "Christmas." As a word, Noël originated as a variant of nael, which evolved from the Latin natalis, meaning "birth." Noelle and Noel have traditionally been given to children born around Christmastime, particularly in the Middle ages.
Origin:Short form of names that end in -nina
Description:Nina is as multiethnic as you can get: Nina is a common nickname name in Spain and Russia, a Babylonian goddess of the oceans, and an Incan goddess of fire. Here and now, it's a stylish possibility that's been underused. "Weird Al" Yankovic chose this decidedly nonweird name for his daughter.
Origin:French variation of Russian Natalia
Meaning:"birthday of the Lord"
Description:Natalie is the French variation of Natalia, a name originally derived from the Latin phrase natale domini, meaning “birthday of the Lord.” It was historically given to girls born around Christmas for this reason. Nathalie is an additional, though less common, spelling of the name.
Description:Nola, a name with a sleek, enigmatic quality, was used for the much-pursued heroine of Spike Lee's 1986 breakout film, She's Gotta Have It, and again by Woody Allen in Match Point. It's a short form of the traditional Irish name Fionnuala. Nola reentered the US Top 1000 in 2008, for the first time in 50 years.
Meaning:"hope; tender, delicate"
Description:Nadia, an accessible Slavic favorite, has a strong run of popularity in the US in the early 2000s, partially thanks to the character on Lost called Nadia but actually named Noor, but it's since slumped down the rankings. An earlier inspiration was Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, who won the 1976 Olympics.
Origin:French feminine variation of Nicholas, Greek
Meaning:"people of victory"
Description:Nicole was derived from Nicholas, the English variation of the Greek Nikolaos, composed of the compounds nike, meaning "victory," and laos, "people." The variation Nicole arose in the Middle Ages in France to honor St. Nicholas. Names related to Nicole include Colette, Nicolette, Nika, Nicola, and Nicolina.
Origin:English diminutive of Ann
Description:Nancy originated as a contraction of “mine Ancy,” with Ancy being a nickname for Annis, a Medieval English variation of Agnes. In the 18th century it began being used in its own right, as well as a nickname for Ann. Related names include Nan, Nance, Nanette, Nanny, and Nanou.
Origin:Russian diminutive of Natalya
Meaning:"birthday of the Lord"
Description:Natasha, an appealing, still unusual name, entered the American mainstream post-Cold War but seems to have peaked in the eighties, replaced by the more straightforward Natalie. As is common for Natashas the world over, the Obamas shorten their Natasha's name to Sasha.
Origin:Diminutive of Helen, Eleanor, et al
Description:This ready-for-revival nickname name recalls the old Gay Nineties and bicycles-built-for-two era. In the US, Nellie is one of the most popular unique girl names, lying just beneath the Top 1000. About five times as many baby girls are named Nellie in the US today as shorter form Nell.
Meaning:"winner, one who achieves"
Description:This name of an ancient Egyptian princess could make a fitting choice for a bicoastal child.
Origin:Italian and Spanish variation of Naomi
Description:Noemi is a charming Latin spin on Naomi, with the accent on the last syllable; another twist is Neomi.
Origin:Swahili; Welsh form of the Irish Niamh,"resolve; brilliance"
Description:Short but energetic and substantial, Nia has special meaning for African-American parents, as it's one of the days of Kwanza. Nia also benefits by its similarity to (yet differentness from) the megapopular Mia.
Meaning:"woman of honor, light"
Description:The skyrocketing success of singer Norah Jones brought this spelling of the name onto the pop charts in 2003. As well as being a spelling variant of Nora in English, it's also an alternative transcription of the Arabic name Nura, from Nur/Noor "light".
Description:Okay, this is going to be confusing...
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.
Meaning:"I love you"
Description:A name rarely heard outside the Latino community, but it was popular enough in the early 2000s to crack the Top 200. Since then, it's lost ground.
Origin:African, meaning unknown
Description:A Disney name—Nala was the friend who became the wife of Simba, hero of The Lion King. It debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2015.
Description:Nylah is the Arabic name of a princess -- Nyla is another variation -- that's rising quickly through the ranks, partly thanks to an adorable kitty that enjoyed 15 minutes of YouTube fame. But we predict this attractive and unusual name will get a longer turn in the sun than the pop-culture cat.
Origin:Arabic; Dutch variation of Eleonora
Description:An interesting name associated with the elegant American-born Queen Noor of Jordan. Noor is very popular among modern Muslim parents around the world and is beginning to cross over, perhaps because of its simplicity and its resemblance to the stylish Western Nora. It appeared in the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2015.
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.
Origin:Spelling variation of Nia
Description:Related to Nia and Naia, Naya was new to the US Top 1000 in 2014 and benefits from the short and simple pronunciation that many parents are seeking in fresh names. It also has obvious similarities to popular Mia and Maya.
Description:Evocative of tranquil island escapes. One of several Hawaiian (and pseudo-Hawaiian) names ending in "-ani" that's soaring in popularity, Nalani made its debut on the US Top 1000 in 2016.
Origin:Portuguese form of Natalia
Description:The more familiar spelling Natalia currently sits much further up the list and has even made two brief appearances in the Top 100 during the last decade. Nathalia on the other hand has never been a particularly popular choice. Choosing this spelling will undoubtedly create some confusion, but it still makes a good choice especially if you have a Portuguese heritage.
Description:Can be shortened to Nova. Appeared on the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2016.
Description:A French variation of Natalie that's used occasionally in contemporary America. In England and Wales Natalie remains about 10 times as popular as Nathalie.
Origin:Spelling variation of Natalie
Description:This version of the popular name ranks in the middle of its sisters—Natalie and Nathalie sit higher up the US Top 1000, while Nathaly sits slightly lower. While adding a y is a trendy choice these days, it will most likely create unnecessary spelling errors.
Origin:Variant of Nova
Description:The fastest-rising of the many Nova-adjacent names now fashionable for girls -- Nova, Novalee, Novaleigh -- which could all be seen as either classier alternatives to Neveah or feminine takes on ultra-popular Noah. This H-ending version has a slightly Hebrew air -- compare to Tovah. It's gotten a boost from rising R&B songstress Jade Novah.