Absolutely Unique Historical, Mythological, and Literary Girl Names

Unique girl names with idiosyncratic elegance, historical significance, and a vintage flair. Names include Alice, Lavinia, Juliet, Eloise, Athena, and others. Credit to Behind the Name (behindthename.com) for name origin, usage, and namesakes. - Created by KylieLocke

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  • Adeliza

    Medieval English, Old Swedish. Medieval English and Old Swedish form of Adelais, an Ancient Germanic name. Adeline of Louvain was Queen of England from 1121 to 1135; she was the wife of King Henry I.

  • Alethea

    Greek, Greek mythology. Derived from a Greek word meaning “truth,” “disclosure,” or “unclosedness.” Alethea was the Greek personification of Truth in mythology (exchangeable with Veritas). Alethea was also a Greek philosophical term for truth or disclosure. Spelling variations include Aletheia. Nicknames include Allie and Thea.

  • Alexandria

    English. Feminine form of Alexander. Alexandria is a famous, historical port city in Egypt, which was founded by Alexander in 331 BC and was the center of Hellenistic civilization (known for its many ancient wonders, including the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Great Library of Alexandria, and the Necropolis). Possible nicknames for Alexandria include Alex and Allie.

  • Alice

    English, French. Derived from the Old French name, Aalis, a short form of Adelais, a diminutive of Adelaide. Popular name in France and England in the 12th century. Famous because of the heroine of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ (1865) and ‘Through the Looking Glass’ (1871). Other notable namesakes include Alice Longbottom (Harry Potter), Nobel Prize Winner Alice Munro, Alice from William Shakespeare’s Henry V.

  • Alina

    Arabic, Romanian, German. Short form of Adelina and names that end in “alina." Means "noble" in Arabic. Romanian, German, Italian, and Polish usage.

  • Althea

    Greek mythology. Greek mythological figure (the mother of Meleager). Nicknames include Thea, and Allie. Spelling variations include Althaea and Altheia.

  • Ariadne

    Greek mythology. Means "most holy" in Cretan Greek. Greek mythological figure (a princess, the daughter of King Minos, who fell in love with Theseus and helped him to escape the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, but was later abandoned by him; she eventually married the god Dionysus). Other notable namesakes include Saint Ariadne of Phrygia. Nicknames include Aria and Ari.

  • Athena

    Greek mythology. Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare, daughter of Zeus and patron of the city of Athens, Greece. Other notable namesakes include Princess Athena of Denmark.

  • Aurelia

    Latin. Ancient Roman name. Feminine form of Aurelius, a Roman family name which was derived from the Latin word, aureus, meaning “golden, gilded.” Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor and philosophical writer. Romanian, Italian, Spanish, and Polish usage.

  • Charlotte

    French. French feminine diminutive of Charles, derived from a Germanic word meaning “man.” A notable bearer was Charlotte Bronte, the author of Jane Eyre and Villette. French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Dutch usage. Other notable namesakes include the character Charlotte Lukas from Pride and Prejudice (1813), the character Charlottee A. Cavatina from Charlotte’s Web (1952), and Blessed Charlotte Lucas.

  • Ellera

    Italian. A small town in the province of Perugia in Umbria, Italy.

  • Ellisse

    Italian. From the Italian word, “ellisse,” meaning “ellipse.”

  • Eloise

    English. Derived from the Old French Name Heloise, which was borne in the 12th century by Saint Eloise, the wife of French theologian Peter Abelard; she became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle; the story of Abelard and Heloise is now one of history’s most passionate and romantic true love stories. Heloise probably means “hale, healthy” and “wide” in Germanic. Eloise came to the English-speaking world in the 19th century. English usage. Nicknames include Elly and Ellie.

  • Elvina

    English. Variant form of Alvina, which was itself derived from Old English name elements meaning “elf” and “friend.” Possible nicknames include Ellie and Elvie.

  • Elvira

    Spanish, Italian. Spanish form of the Visigoth name, Allovera, which is possibly a combination of Germanic name elements meaning “all” and “true.” Most popular in the U.S. during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Possible nicknames include Ellie and Elvie.

  • Elysia

    Greek and Roman mythology. Derived from Elysium, the name of the realm of dead heroes in Greek and Roman mythology, which means “blissful.” Variation of Elisa, Alicia, Eliza, etc. Nicknames include Ellie and Elly. Spelling variations include Elyssia.

  • Evadne

    Greek mythology. In Greek mythology, Evadne was was the wife of Capaneus.

  • Evelina

    English, Italian. Latinate form of Aveline, a Norman French form of the Germanic name Avelina, introduced to Britain by the Normans. Evelina was a popular name in the Middle Ages. The name Evelina was revived by the author Fanny Burney for the heroine of her first novel “Evelina” (1776). A variant of the name Evelyn. English, Italian, and Swedish usage. Nicknames include Eve and Evie.

  • Evelyn

    English, German. Derived from an English surname which was derived from the given name, Aveline. Commonly used as a given name for boys in the 17th century. Nicknames include Evie and Eve.

  • Heloise

    French. Saint Heloïse was a French nun, writer, scholar, and abbess of the 12th century; she was the wife of French theologian, Peter Abelard, but she became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle; the story of Abelard and Heloise is now one of history’s most passionate and romantic true love stories. Heloise probably means “hale, healthy” and “wide” in Germanic.

  • Juliet

    English. English form of Juliette or Giulietta. This spelling was first used by William Shakespeare in his Romeo and Juliet (1596). Spelling variations include Juliett and Juliette.

  • Juliette

    French. French diminutive of Julie, the French form of Julia, the feminine form of Julius, a Roman family name possibly derived from the Greek word for “downy-bearded” or from the name of the Roman god Jupiter. French usage. Alternative spelling is Juliet, used by William Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet (1596). Other notable namesakes include actresses Juliette Binoche and Juliette Lewis.

  • Lavinia

    Roman mythology. Roman mythological figure (a princess, the daughter of King Latinus and the last wife of Aeneas; the ancestor of the Roman people; according to Roman legend, Aeneas named the town of Lavinium in honor of Lavinia). Other notable namesakes include Lavinia from William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.

  • Leila

    Arabic. Variant of Layla, which means “night” in Arabic. Leila was popularized by Lord Byron, who used the name for characters in The Giaour (1813) and Don Juan (1819)

  • Levana

    Hebrew, Latin, Roman mythology. Means “the moon, white” in Hebrew. Derived from the Latin word, “levare,” meaning “to lift.” An ancient Roman goddess involved in rituals pertaining to childbirth, likely believed to protect newborn children. Alternate form is Livana.

  • Liliana

    Italian, Spanish, English. Derived from Lillian, a diminutive of Elizabeth; may be an elaborated form of Lily. English usage. Nicknames include Lili, Lily, Lil. Other notable amesakes include rowing Olympic gold medalist Liliana Gafencu. Spelling variations include Lilliana.

  • Lilliale

    Italian. From the Italian word, "liliale," meaning "lily-like"

  • Livana

    Hebrew. Means “the moon, white” in Hebrew. Possible nicknames include Liv.

  • Livia

    Latin. Ancient Roman name. Italian and Romanian usage. Feminine form of Livius, a Roman family name which may be related to the Latin word, liveo, “to envy,” or lividus, “blue, envious.” Titus Livius was a Roman historian who wrote a history of the city of Rome. Livia was the name of the wife of Roman emperor Augustus. Other notable namesakes include Saint Agostina Livia Pietrantoni. Nicknames include Liv.

  • Lucrezia

    Italian. Italian form of Lucretia, the feminine form of the Roman family name Lucretius, possibly from the latin word, lucrum, meaning “profit, wealth.” Lucretia was a figure in Roman mythology. Lucrezia was a very popular name in Renaissance Italy (15th and 16th century). Lucrezia Borgia was the daughter of Pope Alexander VI; she was a prominent figure in Rome, a patron of the arts, and the subject of some scandal.

  • Laelette

    Popular culture. A character in the 2011 video game Skyrim. Possible nicknames include Laela, or Layla.

  • Liliallie

    Invented. Derived from "liliale," an Italian word meaning "lily-like"

  • Liliella

    Invented. Combination of the classic names, Lily and Ella.

  • Liliet

    Invented. Combination of the classic names, Lily and Juliet. Spelling variations include Liliette, Liliett, and Lilliet.

  • Marcella

    Italian, Latin. Ancient Roman family name (masculine form is Marcellus), which was a diminutive of Marcus. Most popular in the U.S. during the early 20th century. Notable namesakes include Saint Marcella of the 4th and 5th centuries. Possible nicknames include Marcy, Mel, and Mell.

  • Selene

    Greek mythology, Greek. Means “moon” in Greek. Name of a Greek goddess of the moon.

  • Serena

    Late Latin. From a Late Latin name which was derived from Latin word, serenus, meaning “clear, tranquil, serene.” Popular name in Florence, Italy during the Renaissance. Notable namesakes include Serena Williams.

  • Serenella

    Italian. Means "lilac" in Italian.

  • Seraphia

    Invented. Combination of the classic names, Sophia and Seraphina.

  • Valeria

    Latin. Ancient Roman family name, from the Latin word, “valere,” meaning, “to be strong.” Notable namesakes include a 2nd-century Roman saint and martyr, and a character from William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. Nicknames include Val.

  • Vera

    Russian, Latin. Means “faith” in Russian. Associated with the Latin word, “verus,” meaning “true.” Verus was also an Ancient Roman cognomen. Various usages.

  • Verena

    Late Roman, German. Possibly related to the Latin word, “verus,” meaning “true.” Notable namesakes include Saint Verena, a 3rd-century Egyptian-born nurse.

  • Verona

    Italian. From the name of the city in Italy, which served as the setting for William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” (1595).

  • Vittoria

    Italian. Italian form of Victoria, meaning “victory” in Latin and borne by the Roman goddess of Victory. Popular name during the Italian Renaissance.

  • Victavia

    Invented. Combination of the classic names, Victoria and Octavia.