40 Medieval Baby Names for Girls

When you think of the “Dark Ages” or Medieval times, courageous knights, fair ladies, humble peasants, and royalty come to mind. Now, what were all those folks named? You might think some very strange-sounding names would be popular from the years 500 to 1600, but you’ll be surprised about Medieval names for girls. For every Humbelina and Meloria, which are some pretty out-there names, there were ten more Alices and Reginas.

Yes, the most popular names pre-Renaissance are names that you’ll still hear on the streets today. This means for those looking for baby name inspiration, it’s a rich time to explore. Our friends over at Baby Name Wizard point out that a team of historians has been compiling an online database of the most common names from the Medieval Ages. We picked through the literal dictionary of names, so that you don’t have to and found some of the most attractive names for girls from the times. Grab a sword, because we’re going to get a little wild with Medieval names for girls that we think still work in the modern world.

Amabel

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

You might be more familiar with the name, Mabel, but Amabel came first. Amabel is a precious name for girls that means “lovable.” This English name has Latin origins and would be a perfectly lovable choice. Famous Amabels include:

  • Amabel Anderson Arnold (1883-1936), American lawyer.
  • Amabel Hume-Campbell, 1st Countess de Grey (1751-1833), British diarist and political writer.
  • Lady Amabel Kerr (1846-1906), English writer.
  • Amabel Scharff Roberts (1891-1918), American nurse.
  • Amabel Williams-Ellis (1894 -1984), English writer, critic.
40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Beatrice

Another affable name, Beatrice replaced the Latin Beatrix after the fall of the Roman Empire. Beatrice is a gorgeous name that means “she who makes happy.” We must admit, the name does put a smile on our face. There are well known women with the name Beatrice:

  • Beatrice Alda (born 1961), American actress and filmmaker.
  • Bea Arthur (1922–2009), American actress and comedian.
  • Mademoiselle Beatrice, stage name of Marie Beatrice Binda (1839–1878), Italian-born actress in England.
  • Beatrice Colen (1948–1999), American actress.
  • Bebe Neuwirth (born 1958), American actress.

Celestina

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Celestina is one of the most stunning names for girls, but it’s a bit lengthy! If you’re not worried about a little fuss, go with this charming name and call your baby girl Sally or Celest for short. Believe it or not, this name was used for both males and females in Medieval times. It means “heavenly.” Famous Celestinas include:

  • Celestina BoninsegnaItalian operatic soprano.
  • Celestina CorderoPuerto Rican educator.
  • Celestina Bottegovenerable Italian nun.
  • Celestina DiasSri Lankan educator.
  • Celestina AladekobaNIgerian,American singer, dancer and actress.
  • Celestina PopaRomanian gymnast.
  • Celestina OnyekaNigerian footballer.

Diamond

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Yes, Diamond might seem like a trendy, contemporary name but it’s been used for girls since Antiquity. Diamond overtook the Latin and Greek forms of the name in the Dark Ages. As you’ve probably surmised, the name refers to the precious rock. Famous Diamonds include:

Elia

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Elia is the feminine form of Elias and was wildly popular for fair ladies of the day. The old Latin form Elya, which was adopted from Hebrew, fell out of fashion and French speakers went with Helia while the English dropped the “H” and settled on Elia. The name means “God has answered.” these are the most famous Ellas:

Felize

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

We’re fond of the Old French form of the name Felicia, Felize, which was a stylish name of the day. Felize has a cheery meaning “fortunate.” The Latin form of the name, Felix was also still in use at the time and was considered a gender-neutral name. Famous girls with a version of Felize include:

  • Felice Andreasi (1928–2005), an Italian actor.
  • Felice Farina (born 1954), an Italian film director.
  • Felice Jankell, a Swedish actress.
  • Felice Minotti (1887–1963), an Italian actor.
  • Felice Orlandi (1925–2003), an Italian-American actor.
  • Felice Schachter (born 1963), an American actress.

Genevieve

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Find us a more pleasant name, we dare you. Genevieve is a beautiful name that has proto-German origins. It was plucked from obscurity and popularized by Genevieve of Brabant who is a heroine of medieval legend. While her original name was probably Genoveva or Genovefa, English ears heard Genevieve. The name means “kin woman.” Famous Genevieves are:

Grace

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Like other virtue names, Grace was not much used in England before the 16th century, but unlike other virtue names, it shows up elsewhere much earlier. The Romans popularized the name Gratia which began to spread around Europe (which, of course, was part of the Empire) and different speakers had different ways of saying it. In Spain, Portugal, and France the name transformed to Gracia. Finally, the English modernized the name to Grace. Famous Graces include:

  • Grace Bauer, American poet.
  • Grace Jones, Jamaican model.
  • Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco.
  • Grace Lumpkin, American writer.
  • Grace Phipps, American actress.

Honora

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

A bit off the beaten path, Honora is a name that means “honor” which apparently was a big deal (as any knight would attest) in Medieval Europe. People really loved this name and many forms of it are documented including Honor, Honors, Honorat, Honorata, Honoria, and Horabana. Some famous girls in the Honora family include:

  • Honora “Nano” NagleIrish nun and eduactor.
  • Honora SneydEnglish feminist author and educator.
  • Honora BurkeIrish noblewoman.
  • Honorata SkarbekPolish singer,songwriter.
  • Honorata GórnaPolish ice dancer.
  • Honorata “Atang” de la RamaFilipina actress and singer.
  • Honorata (or Onorata) RodianaItalian painter and condottiere.
  • Honoria Somerville KeerBritish WWI physician.
  • Honoria AcostaSison, first Filipina woman physician.

Ingrid

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Ingrid is a name that sounds like it’s been ripped right from a Medieval scroll. We have met a few Ingrids today and we’re fond of this name. Ingrid comes from Iceland where it belonged to the mythical god Ing.

It gained popularity on the continent after a 12th-century queen consort of Norway helped popularize it and later belonged to a Swedish saint before things took a turn for the moniker. Ingrid Ylva, the 13th-century wife of a Swedish nobleman, was reported in legend and myth to be a white witch. But, that was ages ago! Famous women named Ingrid include:

  • Ingrid Bergman, Actress
  • Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld.
  • Ingrid of Sweden.
  • Íngrid Betancourt.
  • Ingrid Michaelson.
  • Ingrid Ragnvaldsdotter.
  • Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway.

Joan

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

The popularity of the name Joan preceded Joan of Arc and it was one of the hottest names in Europe in the 13th century. The French even did the cool hyphenated thing they do with names. Similar to John-Paul, Joan was also used so you’d find Joan-Stephanie, Joan-Baptista, and the like. The name has Hebrew origins and means “graced by God.” Famous Joans include:

  • Joan Allen (born 1956), American film actress.
  • Joan of Arc (born 1492), French Warrior and Saint
  • Joan Anim-Addo, Grenadian-born academic, poet, playwright and publisher.
  • Joan Armatrading (born 1950), British singer.
  • Joan Baez (born 1941), American singer-songwriter.
  • Joan Barclay (1914–2002), American actress.

Katherine

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Katherine was such a popular name of the times, that an extremely rare thing occurred. There are tons of names for girls that are simply feminine forms of masculine names (think Louisa from Louis). The opposite happened with Katherine. Yes, people transformed Katherine to Katherin and used it for boys. No one knows where the name originated, though many suggest it comes from a Greek root that means “pure.” Famous Katherines include:

  • CATHERINE OF ARAGON. 1485–1536. …
  • CATHERINE PARR. 1512–1548. …
  • KATHARINE HEPBURN. 1907–2003. …
  • CATHERINE THE GREAT. 1729–1796. …
  • KATARINA WITT. 1965–Present. …
  • CATHERINE OF VALOIS. 1401–1437. …
  • KATE MOSS. 1974–Present. …
  • KATE CHOPIN. 1850–1904.

Lena

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Lena is still a popular name, especially in the UK. Perhaps it has such staying power because it’s the diminutive form of a ton of names. Believe it or not, Lena was considered a nickname for the popular, Leceline which means “lettuce.” It’s been some time since folks went around naming people for that leafy vegetable and today it’s more closely associated Adeline, Emaline, Helena, or Magdelena. This means the name has many different meanings (lettuce need not apply). Famous Lenas include:

  • Lena Horne
  • Lena Headey
  • Lena Dunham
  • Lena Meyer-Landrut
  • Lena Philipsson
  • Lena Olin

Meredith

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Meredith is a beautiful name that’s switched genders over the last several centuries. Yes, Meredith was a masculine name and belonged to a number of Welsh princes in the 10-12 centuries. This Welsh name became so popular it crossed over to the continent and became Mereduco or Maredut. Meredith is an excellent name for a girl today even though it means “great prince.” Famous Merediths include:

  • Meredith Andrews (born 1983), American singer, songwriter, and worship leader (female)
  • Meredith Baxter (born 1947), American actress (female)
  • Meredith Belbin (born 1926), British management theorist (male)
  • Meredith Brooks (born 1958), American musician (female)

Nicole

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Nicole is the feminine form of Nicholas (originally Greek) and it was a very popular name around Europe. This was especially true for French-speakers where the name took many forms and scholars argue the name became the ever-so-French, Collette. In English, they didn’t get so romantic with it and it instead was the brute Nichol or Nycoll. The name means “victory of the people.” Famous Nicoles include:

  • Nicole Gale Anderson (born 1990), American actress.
  • Nicole Blonsky (born 1988), American actress, singer, and dancer.
  • Nicole de Boer (born 1970), Canadian actress.
  • Nicole DeHuff (1975–2005), American actress.
  • Nicole Eggert (born 1972), American actress.
  • Nicole Holofcener (born 1960), American film and television director.

Odelgarde

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Okay, so we know you’re not hearing a lot of this name outside of Germany (if at all). We bring you Odelgarde just to illustrate the way so many of these old names have changed and that many have not. Odelgarde is one such name that’s had some makeovers through the years.

It comes from Old High German and was very popular in the 6th Century. Then came the Odel names… Odelbals, Odelberga, Odelgilde, Odelhard, Odelhaus, Odelhilde, etc. There were a lot of Odels! Now, you’re probably more familiar with the attractive names Adelle or Adelaide which, thankfully, are much softer. The name means “nobility.” This name is so unique and old school we can’t find any famous people who have it!

Precious

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

The name Precious was first recorded in England in the 14th century. The name made its way to English speakers by way of France which adopted it from the Latin, pretiōsus. This name for girls means “dear.” Famous women named Precious include:

  • Precious Williams
  • Precious McKenzie.
  • Precious Hipolito.
  • Precious Wilson.
  • Precious Sekibo.
  • Precious Dede.
  • Precious Emuejeraye.

Renee

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

If you want to get fun with it, the name can also be spelled with an accent: Renée. It’s a feminine form Rene that the French popularized. It belonged to all sorts of important folks of the time including a legendary 5th-century saint, a 15th-century king of Naples, and a 16th-century prince of Orange. The name means “reborn.” Famous Renees include:

  • Renée Zellweger. 04-25-1969. …
  • Renée Fleming. 02-14-1959. …
  • Rene Russo. 02-17-1954. …
  • Renée Victor. …
  • Renee Olstead. …
  • Renée Felice Smith. …
  • Renée Cox. …
  • Renée Taylor.

Ruby

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

You might think that Ruby, as a name, is a modern invention. The name actually has roots in Old French and was first found spelled Ruby in England in 1581. Ruby, of course, refers to the red gemstone.

Just for fun: One of the most popular name R-names for girls of the time was Ratberta. Thank goodness that one has faded away. Our favorite girls named Ruby are:

Susan

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

The Biblical name, Susan which means “lily” or “rose” in Hebrew wasn’t found in England until the 12th century. While it’s extremely popular today, things didn’t really take off for this name with English speakers until the 16th century. Check out these famous Susans

RELATED: 25 Old-Fashioned Baby Girl Names We’d Like to See Make a Comeback

Theresa

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Scholars are uncertain where the name Theresa comes from but a possibility is from Greek, meaning “to harvest.” The name did not spread outside of the Iberian peninsula until the 16th century, with the veneration of Saint Theresa of Avila. Famous forms of Theresa incude:

Tiffany

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Tiffany, as we know it, was first used in the 16th century. Before that, Theophania (Latin) was another name for Epiphany, and in England, the name was used of girls who were born or christened on or near that holiday. Therefore, the name means “manifestation of God.” Famous Tiffanys include:

  • Tiffany Trump
  • Tiffany Hsu 
  • Tiffany Haddish 
  • Tiffany Pollard

Ursula

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

The diminutive form of the name Ursa, Ursula, was always more common than the root form, due to the popularity of the legend of St. Ursula and the 10,000 virgins. In England, Ursa was not much used before the 16th century. There were plenty of Ursulas though! The name means “she-bear.”

Viola

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

While some claim that Shakespeare invented the name for his play Twelfth Night, the name was already in use before then, and its inclusion in the piece follows the playwright’s common practice of adopting Italian or Italianate names. The name was also slightly popular in Hungary. There, they took the Latin word for “violet” and formed Wyola and Iwola. Popular Violas and Violets are:

Alba

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Alba could have originated in Latin with a root meaning “white.” It is also possible that the name is a product of Old High German meaning “elf.” Either way, the name was popular across Europe way back when from Spain to Scotland. Famouns Albas include:

Aquila

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

In Medieval times Aquila was considered a masculine name which is curious because the name originated in Latin, a language that makes most masculine names end in -us and female names to end with -a. The name’s root can be translated to mean “eagle” but it’s also possible for it to mean “swarthy.” Famous Aquilas include:

Clemence

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Clemence is a female form of the name Clement which belonged to a Pope among others. The name was also used by a 14th-century queen of France and Navarre. The Latin root of this name means “merciful” or “loving” or “mild.” Famous people named Clemence include:

  • Clémence d’Aquitaine (1060–1142)
  • Clemence of Austria (1262–1293 or 1295)
  • Clemence of Hungary, queen of France and Navarre.
  • Clemence B. …
  • Clémence Beikes, French basketball player.
  • Clémence Calvin, French runner.
  • Clemence Dane, English novelist and playwright.
  • Clémence DesRochers, Canadian performer.

Damiana

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Damiana is a feminine form of Damian, an appellation that originated in Greek and means “to tame” or “subdue.” In the Medieval period, the name was especially popular in the Catalan region of Spain. This name is so unique and medieval that we can’t find others like it!

Euphemia

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Euphemia is an ancient Greek name that’s got quite the storied past. It belonged to a 4th-century saint but later, in the Medieval period, the name went to queen consorts in Kiev, Norway, and Scotland. The roots of the name mean “sweetly speaking.” This name is so unique and medieval that we can’t find others like it!

Gisela

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Gisela was an extremely popular name around Europe back in the day. It belonged to queen consorts of the Franks and Hungary. The name is derived from an Old High German root that means “pledge.” Famous Giselas include:

Guardia

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Guardia was a popular choice in Spain and Italy. It’s a Latinate name from gardia that Italians added the letter “U” to. As you might have guessed, this name means “guardianship.” This name is so unique and medieval that we can’t find others like it!

Gwenllian

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Gwenllian belonged to a 12th-century princess consort of Wales and the 14th-century daughter of the last Prince of Wales. This delightful Welsh, Medieval name is one of the many with the Gwen root that means “white” or “blessed” but it’s also got the added llian element that means “cloth.” So, “white cloth” or “blessed cloth.” Famous Gwens include:

Idalia

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

There’s debate over the origin and meaning of the name Idalia. It could potentially be of Greek origin, relating to the place, Idalion which translates to “behold the sun.” Others argue it could be from Old Frankish or Old Norse as a name meaning “work.” This name is so unique and medieval that we can’t find others like it!

  • (Britannia) Idalia GumbsAnguillan politician.
  • Idalia AnreusCuban actress.
  • Idalia HechavarríaCuban sprinter.

Laria

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

One of our favorite Medieval names for girls, Laria, is a diminutive form of Hilaria which has a Latin root meaning “cheerful.” Back in the day, this name would have been especially popular in Italy. This name is so unique and medieval that we can’t find others like it!

Cornelia

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Cornelia was a very popular name among the Dutch who likely brought the name to England. The name originated in Latin, a form of Cornelius, and it means “horn.” Cornelia is one of the Medieval names for girls that has been popular in modern times. Although it has not been in fashion in the US since the 1960s, it did have a good run prior to then. Famous Cornelias include:

Flora

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Flora was one of the very popular Medieval girl names in France. It finally found its way to England in the late 16th century. The name is derived from a Roman goddess of flowers and comes from the Latin root flos, meaning “flower.” Notable Floras include:

Inga

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Inga was first recorded in Old Swedish in the early 1400s. The name is derived from Ing, an old Norse deity. It’s still a popular choice in Scandinavia today. Inga means “guarded by Ing.” If you’d like Medieval girl names fit for a Viking, Inga would definitely be one. Famouns Ingas include:

  • Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchandbirth name of American rapper Foxy Brown.
  • Inga SwensonAmerican actress.
  • Ingeborg Elisabeth “Inga” ÅbergSwedish actress/singer.
  • Inga Sofia TidbladSwedish actress.
  • Inga MuscioAmerican feminist author.
  • Inga Petrovna OboldinaStrelkova, Russian actress.

Maura

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Maura has been a mildly popular appellation in recent decades in the US. Maura was the name of a 4th-century martyr, and it began use as a given name in France in the early 800s. There are two differing opinions about the origins of this name. It could be related to Mauro, a name that means “Moorish.” Or it could be a form of the name Mary, meaning “bitter.” Famous Mauras include:

Sibyl

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

Sibyl is a name derived from Ancient Greek that refers to a “seer” or “oracle.” The name became popular across Medieval Europe starting in the 11th century. There were many variants of this name in use at the time, each catering to the language commonly spoken in each area. Sibilla, Sibilia, Sibile, Sibell, and many others were documented so long ago. This name is so unique and medieval that we can’t find others like it!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 25 Baby Names for Girls Inspired by Children’s Books

Winifred

40 medieval baby names for girls - medieval girl names

We could curate a list of Medieval names without the inclusion of the beloved Winifred. In Welsh, you’ll find Gwenfrewi that later gave way to English form, Winifred in the 15th century. The name belonged to a Welsh saint who became a martyr in the 7th century but was not widely celebrated until the 12th century. Word did not travel fast in those days! The name Winifred means “holy” or “fair” or “white.” Famous Winifreds are:

There you go! Can you believe that so many of the names in use today were being used as baby names in Medieval times? We hope you enjoyed these Medieval names for girls and are inspired to choose one for your little princess.

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