Favorite Girl Names

  1. Austen
    • Origin:

      Literary surname and shortened form of Augustine, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      While Austin is a popular boys' name, this spelling, honoring novelist Jane, nudges the name toward gender-neutral, chosen last year for 67 baby boys and 57 girls.
  2. Avia
    • Origin:

      Latin, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "bird; God is my father"
  3. Callista
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "most beautiful"
    • Description:

      Calista Flockhart spotlighted this lovely Greek name that has a long future in the English-speaking world. Kallista is another spelling; Calixta and Calixto are related.
  4. Camden
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "winding valley"
    • Description:

      Newly popular boys' name could cross over in much the way the related Cameron has.
  5. Cassandra
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "shining or excelling man"
    • Description:

      The name of the tragic mythological Trojan princess who was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but was condemned never to be believed, Cassandra has been used for striking characters in movies and soap operas. Ethereal and delicate, Cassandra was in the Top 70 throughout the 1990s but is now descending in popularity.
  6. Cassia
    • Origin:

      Feminine form of Cassius or Greek
    • Meaning:

      "cinnamon"
    • Description:

      Cassia is related to the cassia tree, which has yellow flowers and produces a spice that can be a substitute for cinnamon. Keziah, the name of Job’s daughter in the Old Testament, derives from the name of the plant as well. Cassia also has ties to the Ancient Roman name Cassius, an Ancient Roman family name meaning "hollow."
  7. Clara
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Clara is a strong, lovely girls' name that's always ranked among the US Top 1000 girl names but has been climbing since the turn of this century. It now ranks right around Number 100, making it a modern classic that's neither too popular nor unfamiliar.
  8. Coral
    • Origin:

      Nature name
    • Description:

      First used during the Victorian craze for jewel names; it could rise again, along with Ruby and Pearl, though it doesn't have as much luster.
  9. Ever
    • Origin:

      Word name
    • Description:

      Ever is a name we first heard via the now grown-up Ever Carradine, daughter of Robert. It's a truly unusual and simple name with an evocative meaning. Milla Jovovich and Paul Anderson chose it for their daughter.
  10. Genevieve
    • Origin:

      English from French
    • Meaning:

      "tribe woman"
    • Description:

      Genevieve is derived from the Germanic medieval name Genovefa, or Kenowefa, which consists of the elements kuni, meaning "kin", and wefa, meaning "woman." The medieval saint Genevieve, patroness of Paris, defended the city against Attila the Hun through her rational thinking, courage and prayer.
  11. Harper
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "harp player"
    • Description:

      You might think of Harper as the hottest name of the last decade, jumping from obscurity to the Top 10, where it remained until last year.
  12. Havilah
    • Origin:

      Biblical place-name
    • Meaning:

      "stretch of sand"
    • Description:

      Though there are a few (male) people named Havilah in the Bible, it's also a Biblical place-name that can work as an original choice for modern girls.
  13. Hazel
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "the hazelnut tree"
    • Description:

      Hazel has a pleasantly hazy, brownish-green-eyed, old-fashioned image that more and more parents are choosing to share. Former Old Lady name Hazel reentered the popularity lists in 1998 and now is near the top of the charts.
  14. Helen
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "torch; shining light"
    • Description:

      Helen is a name that has connoted beauty since ancient times – Helen of Troy was the the mythological "face that launched a thousand ships," over whom the ten-year Trojan War was fought.
  15. Hermione
    • Origin:

      Greek, feminine version of Hermes, "messenger, earthly"
    • Meaning:

      "messenger, earthly"
    • Description:

      Hermione's costarring role in Harry Potter has made this previously ignored, once stodgy name suddenly viable. Hermione could really take off once today's children start having kids of their own.
  16. Jenna
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Jennifer
    • Meaning:

      "white shadow, white wave"
    • Description:

      Jenna was first noted on the 1980s TV series Dallas, later associated with one of the First Twin Daughters. Jenna is still being used, but no longer feels much fresher than Jennifer. You can also spell it Jena, but then many people will pronounce it jeen-a, as in Gina.
  17. Katherine
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pure"
    • Description:

      Katherine is one of the oldest, most diverse, and all-around best names: it's powerful, feminine, royal, saintly, classic, popular, and adaptable. Long one of the top girls' names starting with K, Katherine has now been unseated on the popularity list by upstarts Kennedy and Kinsley, but a dip in popularity only adds to its charm.
  18. Kendall
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "valley of the river Kent"
    • Description:

      Kendall, as used for a girl, was initially propelled by a soap opera character (Sarah Michelle Gellar as Kendall Hart in All My Children) and reality star and Kardashian sister Kendall Jenner.
  19. Langley
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "long meadow"
    • Description:

      This somewhat snobby-sounding surname popped onto the name map when Mariel Hemingway used it for one of her daughters.
  20. Layla
    • Origin:

      Variation of Leila, Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "night"
    • Description:

      A lovely musical name (remember the old Eric Clapton-Derek & the Dominos song?), Layla's seen a significant surge in popularity, partly partly all names with a double L are stylish, and partly because all the forms of the name push it into the Top 15 for girls.