Favorite Girls' Names

Names that I'm considering (and plenty that I just love but wouldn't necessarily use) for my next baby, including a number of Polish names ...
  1. Agata
    • Origin:

      Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Polish, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian variation of Agatha
    • Description:

      Agata is an Agatha form widely used throughout Europe. And the hard t may be more appealing to your ear than the th sound.
  2. Amelia
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "work"
    • Description:

      Amelia is one of the hottest girls' names, a successor to the megapopular Emma and Emily. Amelia, which spent several years at Number 1 in England, is now comfortably ensconced in the US Top 10.
  3. Anaise
    • Origin:

      Variation of Anais
    • Description:

      Anais, the name forever attached to the daring French-born American novelist and diarist Anais Nin, is unusual and French enough without appending an e, though some may think it clarifies pronunciation.
  4. Ayelet
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "deer, gazelle"
    • Description:

      Ayelet is an unusual -- and somewhat challenging -- Israeli name familiar thanks to sometimes controversial Jerusalem-born novelist-essayist Ayelet Waldman.
  5. Beata
    • Origin:

      Swedish, German, Italian, from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "blessed"
    • Description:

      Beata, a Latinate saint's name, has been widely used primarily by Roman Catholics in several European countries, but is rarely heard in English-speaking countries. Playground alert: could be mispronounced Beeta.
  6. Dorota
    • Gracia
      • Origin:

        Spanish variation of Grace
      • Description:

        Although Gracia is the literal Spanish translation of Grace and is used as the Grace equivalent in Spanish-speaking countries, where it's pronounced grah-see-a, it's also a long-time if unusual Grace variation pronounced gray-sha. You might consider Gracia if Grace is getting too commonplace for you.
    • Hadassah
      • Origin:

        Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "myrtle tree"
      • Description:

        This Hebrew name of Queen Esther is well used in Israel (especially for girls born around the holiday of Purim), and in the US is the name of a Zionist women's philanthropic organization. Formerly shunned as hyper-religious, this name entered the Top 1000 in 2007 and has since climbed into the Top 700. Nickname Haddie feels like a natural companion for Addie and Maddie.
    • Halina
      • Jolanta
        • Origin:

          Polish
        • Meaning:

          "violet"
        • Description:

          A Slavic name that could easily blend in.
      • Juniper
        • Origin:

          Latin tree name
        • Meaning:

          "young"
        • Description:

          Juniper is a fresh-feeling nature name -- it's a small evergreen shrub -- with lots of energy. A new favorite of fashionable parents, Juniper joins such other tree and shrub names as Hazel, Acacia, and Willow.
      • Linnea
        • Origin:

          Swedish
        • Meaning:

          "twinflower, lime tree"
        • Description:

          Linnea is an attractive Scandinavian name that derives from the renowned 18th century Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who developed the Linnean system of classifying plants and animals.
      • Lucia
        • Origin:

          Italian, feminine variation of Lucius, Latin
        • Meaning:

          "light"
        • Description:

          Lucia is a lush, rich Latinate equivalent of Lucy, popular in Spain and throughout Latin America and also a cross-cultural favorite. You might be surprised to know that Lucia has ALWAYS ranked among the Top 1000 girl names in the US, though she's really taken off only since the turn of this century.
      • Mae
        • Origin:

          Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
        • Meaning:

          "bitter or pearl"
        • Description:

          Mae, a sweet and springlike old-fashioned name, hadn't been on the national charts in forty years, but finally made it back in 2010. Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood.
      • Margot
        • Origin:

          French, diminutive of Margaret
        • Meaning:

          "pearl"
        • Description:

          Margot is suddenly a star again. After a nearly-half century absence, it hopped back on the Top 1000 list in 2013 and is on the rise. The Margot spelling is now given to three times as many baby girls as the Margo one.
      • Maryla
        • Origin:

          Polish diminutive of Maria
        • Meaning:

          "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
        • Description:

          The meaning of Maria, from which Maryla is derived, is uncertain. Theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).
      • Persis
        • Origin:

          Greek
        • Meaning:

          "Persian woman"
        • Description:

          Parents seeking a distinctive New Testament name might consider this one. Adopted by some Puritans in the seventeenth century, Persis was used in the William Dean Howells novel The Rise of Silas Lapham for the wife of the protagonist.
      • Petra
        • Origin:

          Greek
        • Meaning:

          "rock, stone"
        • Description:

          A strong Greek name with pan-European charm, Petra is a relatively recent feminization of Peter, though it relates back to an incredible ancient city in Jordan that was rediscovered in the early nineteenth century.
      • Rowan
        • Origin:

          Scottish and Irish
        • Meaning:

          "rowan tree; little redhead"
        • Description:

          Stylish, gentle, and rustic at the same time, Rowan is a name that falls into various categories. Unisex and cool, mystical and woodsy, with the feel of both Rose and Riley, Rowan is a fresh but familiar choice.
      • Veronica
        • Origin:

          Latin
        • Meaning:

          "she who brings victory; true image"
        • Description:

          The name Veronica projects a triple-threat image: at once saintly, sensuous, and strong. The name derives from Berenice, the Latin form of the Greek name Berenike "she who brings victory", with the spelling influenced by the Latin phrase vera icon "true image". Veronica was the name of the compassionate woman who wiped Jesus's face when he was on his way to Calvary and whose cloth was miraculously imprinted with his image: she is now the patron saint of photographers.