feminine names beginning with i

an imaginative list of girly i names! some would make lovely middle names rather than first names
  1. Ida
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "industrious one"
    • Description:

      Many vowel names stylish a century ago are coming back, and Ida seems like a possible, logical successor to Ada and Ava.
  2. Idalia
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "behold the sun"
    • Description:

      A pretty, if unusual choice for a summer baby, particularly a girl with an ancestor named Ida. An epithet of the goddess Aphrodite, Idalia is derived from the Greek place name Idalion.
  3. Ilaria
    • Origin:

      Italian variation of Hilary
    • Meaning:

      "cheerful, happy"
    • Description:

      Hilary is now too connected to a single personality, but this version offers a fresh and interesting alternative.
  4. Ilona
    • Origin:

      Hungarian variation of Helen
    • Description:

      Ilona has never been used much in the U.S. and is not a likely candidate for success.
  5. Ilsa
    • Origin:

      German variation of Elizabeth
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Ilsa is remembered as the radiant but tragic heroine of "Casablanca," and it's having something of a European resurgence.
  6. Ilse
    • Origin:

      Dutch variation of Ilsa
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Pronounced with two syllables, as if spelled Ilsa, Ilse is popular in The Netherlands and may rise here with cousin Elsa.
  7. Imani
    • Origin:

      Arabic, Swahili
    • Meaning:

      "faith"
    • Description:

      Another strong Arabic name, related to Iman. Imani one is popular throughout the Muslim world but especially East Africa. It was chosen for her daughter by actress Jasmine Guy.
  8. Imelda
    • Origin:

      Italian and Spanish from German
    • Meaning:

      "all-consuming fight"
    • Description:

      Saint's name made infamous by Philippine dictator's wife Imelda Marcos. A more positive famous bearer is the British actress Imelda Staunton, best known for playing Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies.
  9. Imogen
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "maiden"
    • Description:

      Imogen has long been fashionable in England and is gaining favor in the US among stylish parents. Pronounced the British way — the initial i is short as in Kim, as is the final E as in Ken — Imogen is as pretty and classy as it is distinctive.
  10. India
    • Origin:

      Place name, from the River Indus
    • Description:

      Euphonious and long stylish in England, India was one of the fastest-rising names on the 2013 list, after jumping 240 spots back into the Top 1000.
  11. Indiana
    • Origin:

      American place-name
    • Meaning:

      "land of the Indians"
    • Description:

      Indiana is one of those place-names (think Camden and Trenton) that sounds cooler than the place that inspired it. Its fashionable -ana ending certainly sounds eminently name-like, and Indie/Indy/Indi is one of the hottest nickname names for girls right now.
  12. Indira
    • Origin:

      Sanskrit
    • Meaning:

      "beauty"
    • Description:

      A striking and feminine possibility associated with a modern hero — longtime Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi.
  13. Inessa
    • Origin:

      Russian variation of Ines; Spanish from Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pure, chaste"
    • Description:

      Inessa is a truly multi-cultural name, heard in Spain, Germany and Russia, and is related to the names Agnes and Ines/Inez.
  14. Inez
    • Origin:

      Spanish variation of Agnes
    • Meaning:

      "pure, virginal"
    • Description:

      Also spelled Ines, this name of the prudish mother of Don Juan in the Byron poem has a touch of mystery, but has also been fully integrated into the American name pool.
  15. Ingrid
    • Origin:

      Norse
    • Meaning:

      "fair; Ing is beautiful"
    • Description:

      The luminous Ingrid Bergman's appeal was strong enough to lend universal charisma to this classic Scandinavian name, which has been somewhat neglected in the US. Even today, a child named Ingrid would be assumed to be of Scandinavian ancestry, signaling the name has never been fully integrated into the English lexicon the way other European choices from the same era like Danielle or Kathleen have.
  16. Iolana
    • Origin:

      Hawaiian
    • Meaning:

      "soaring like a hawk"
    • Description:

      Iolana is a hip-swaying, melodic, and unusual choice. Similar Hawaiian bird-themed choice: Iolani.
  17. Iona
    • Origin:

      Scottish place-name
    • Description:

      This name of a small island off the coast of Scotland is trending upwards along with other I names.
  18. Irene
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "peace"
    • Description:

      Serene Irene, the name of the Greek goddess of peace and one of the most familiar Greek goddess names, was hugely popular in ancient Rome and again in the United States a hundred years ago.
  19. Irina
    • 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.
  20. Iris
    • Origin:

      Flower name; Greek
    • Meaning:

      "rainbow"
    • Description:

      Iris has so much going for it. It's a fashionable flower name. It's a mythological name, from the Greek goddess of the rainbow. And it's a classic name, always ranking in the girls' Top 1000 but now at its highest point ever.