Family Names for Girls

  1. Alice
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Alice is a classic literary name that's both strong and sweet, ranking in the US Top 100 and popular throughout the western world. Alice is derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis, which is composed of the Proto-Germanic elements aþala, meaning "noble," and haidu, "kind, appearance, type."
  2. Alison
    • Origin:

      Norman French, diminutive of Alice
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Alison has been long popular in Scotland and widely used here since the fifties. This more feminine medieval elaboration of Alice had long surpassed the original in popularity, but now sounds a tad dated in the U.S., with Alice having leapfrogged back over Alison, Allison, Alicia and other variations.
  3. Catherine
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pure"
    • Description:

      Catherine is one of the oldest and most consistently well-used girls’ names, with endless variations and nicknames. The Catherine form feels more gently old-fashioned and feminine than the more popular K versions. Most stylish nickname for Catherine right now: Kate...or Cate, a la Blanchett.
  4. Elizabeth
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Elizabeth is one of the most popular girls' names of all time, the female equivalent of James or William. Yet Elizabeth has so much going for it—rich history, broad appeal, and timeless style—that no matter how many little girls are named Lizzie, Eliza, and Beth, you can still make Elizabeth your own.
  5. Florence
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "flourishing, prosperous"
    • Description:

      Florence is back, returning to the US Top 1000 girl names in 2017 after a nearly 40 year absence. Other English-speaking countries have been quicker to welcome Florence back into fashion.
  6. Frances
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from France; free man"
    • Description:

      Frances, a soft and gentle classic last popular a hundred years ago, is trending again. The cool nickname Frankie is one reason for the revival of Frances, adding lightness and sass to a serious name. Frances is the feminine form of Francis, the English variation of the Latin name Franciscus. Franciscus, meaning "Frenchman," was taken from the Germanic tribe the Franks, which got its name from the francisca, the axe they used in battle. Until the seventeenth century, the spellings Frances and Francis were used interchangeably for both sexes.
  7. Isabelle
    • Origin:

      French variation of Isabel
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Isabelle is the French variation of Isabel, which emerged in the Middle ages as an Occitan form of Elizabeth. Medieval queens Isabella of Angoulême and Isabella of France helped popularize the name in the United Kingdom. Isobel is the Scottish version, Isabella the Italian, and Izabel is used in Brazil.
  8. Laura
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Laurentum or bay laurel"
    • Description:

      Laura is a hauntingly evocative perennial, never trendy, never dated, feminine without being fussy, with literary links stretching back to Dante. All this makes Laura a more solid choice than any of its more decorative counterparts and one of the most classic girl names starting with L.
  9. Linda
    • Origin:

      Spanish, Portuguese and Italian word name meaning "pretty"
    • Meaning:

      "pretty"
    • Description:

      Linda will live forever in baby name history for toppling Mary from its four hundred year reign as Number 1. Queen of Names in 1947, Linda has fallen even further in favor than Mary today.
  10. Lydia
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "woman from Lydia"
    • Description:

      Lydia is one of the first place names, after an area of Asia Minor whose inhabitants are credited with strong musical talent great wealth. Always among the US Top 1000 girl names, Lydia is a quietly fashionable classic.
  11. 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.
  12. Margaret
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Margaret is derived from the French Marguerite, which in turn came from Margarita, the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. Margarites was based on the Old Persian word margārīta, meaning "pearl."
  13. Margerite
    • Martha
      • Origin:

        Aramaic
      • Meaning:

        "lady"
      • Description:

        The name of our first First Lady still has something of a prim and proper image, academic and efficient. That quiet, traditional, and tasteful gestalt is exactly what makes Martha appealing to some parents today.
    • Mary
      • Origin:

        Hebrew or Egyptian
      • Meaning:

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

        Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but 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).
    • Merle
      • Origin:

        French
      • Meaning:

        "blackbird"
      • Description:

        A sleek, smooth, understated name off the grid in the US but among the Top 100 girl names in Germany.
    • Minnie
      • Origin:

        Diminutive of Wilhelmina
      • Meaning:

        "resolute protection"
      • Description:

        Minnie was wildly popular at the turn of the last century — it was the fifth or sixth most popular name throughout the 1880s — but is completely obscure today. Blame Mickey's girlfriend. Regardless, it's possible that the up and coming trend toward old-fashioned nickname-names — think Maisie, Mamie, Millie — may give Minnie (all on its own, not as a short form of anything) a new moment in the sun. Minnie Driver (born Amelia) has given it some modern celeb cred.
    • Rachel
      • Origin:

        Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "ewe"
      • Description:

        Rachel was derived from the Hebrew word rāchēl, meaning "ewe." In the Old Testament, Rachel was the favorite wife of Jacob, and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. International variations include the Spanish Raquel and Israeli Rahel.
    • Susan
      • Origin:

        English diminutive of Susannah, Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "lily"
      • Description:

        Although Susan had her heyday from the thirties to the sixties, and is now common among moms and new grandmas, and though most modern parents would prefer Susanna/Susannah, we have spotted some flickers of interest in a revival. It still retains a certain black-eyed-Susan freshness.
    • Susie
      • Origin:

        Diminutive of Susan, Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "lily"
      • Description:

        In the 1950s and 60s, Susie was the name every little girl wanted for her very own.