Nothing is more annoying than naming your baby something like Alexandria and having strangers immediately start picking random diminutives of the name to call her. Alex, Lexi, Xandra, Allie, and so on are not the name you, a smart parent, chose for your daughter. To avoid this inevitability, you would be wise to choose a baby name that is not easily shortened, thus making it difficult for assuming people to pick and play their favorite nicknames.
We decided to compile a list of un-nick-namable baby names for girls that sound excellent exactly as they are with no need to shorten or cutesy them up. These names leave you with the opportunity to get creative with the pet names you intend to use for their daughter. These no-fuss names are best paired with a playful middle name as these names simply do not play! Check out our favorite baby names for girls that are difficult to shorten.
Zoe is one of those remarkable names that has been on the US top 1000 baby names nearly every year since 1880, but it’s just recently been speeding toward the top. As popular as it has ever been, Zoe still sounds distinctive. Alexandrian Jews translated the name Eve into Greek as Zoe and it has been in use by Christians since the Roman classical period. Zoe means “life.”
Bria has been in the US top 1000 since 1991 and we could not be more thrilled about that! Bria is an Italian name taken from the word brio which means “vigor” and “liveliness.” As much as some might try, there are virtually no shortened forms of the short, but sweet, two-syllable name.
Mexican surrealist painter, Frida Kahlo has been inspiring parents for decades. However, the name Frida did not land in the US top 1000 until 2001. Frida is a form of a German name, Frieda, which means “peaceful.” While enjoyed here, it is even more popular in Denmark, Norway, and Germany today.
The quirky, lush, and dynamic botanical name Ivy is enjoying a deserved revival propelled even higher by Beyonce and Jay-Z after they chose the name for their baby girl Blue Ivy. The name is now a top 100 pick and more popular than ever before in the US. Ivy comes from Old English and, as a baby name, it has traditionally been given to babies born around Christmas. The plant is a symbol of fidelity.
Another word name, Jewel is a gemstone name as Flora is a general botanical one. Jewel is in the US top 1000 but its days could be numbered should new parents continue to ignore this gem. The baby name is the least popular it has been since 1880. For a precious baby girl, you could do no better with this appellation.
Lena is a name found in a number of traditions as a diminutive of many names ending in “lena.” Magdalena, Paulina, Angelina, etc. The standalone name is most closely tied to the Greek name Helena which means “bright.” Because Lena is already a shortened form of others there is little left to be done to shorten this baby name.
Sable is a luxurious baby name that has not been popular in the US since the 1880s, appearing one time on the top 1000 list in 1886. This vintage choice refers to a black animal that, unfortunately, is hunted for its fur. We prefer the association with the color, which means “warm, rich, and black.”
Astrid is derived from Old Norse elements that mean “god” and “beautiful,” thus, the name means “divinely beautiful.” Astrid has been a Scandinavian royal name since the tenth century, and many people associate it with the Swedish author of the “Pippi Longstocking” stories, Astrid Lindgren. Astrid enjoyed its most popular year in the US last year but it doesn’t hold a candle to its favor in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark today.
The Greek mythological figure Persephone was known as Kore when considered the goddess of spring while she was called Persephone in regard to her role as the queen of the underworld. Kore gives us the baby name Cora which means “maiden.” Cora is a retro name that has been in the US top 1000 since 1880 and it is enjoying a renaissance today.
Jazz has established itself as the go-to nickname for more complicated options like Jasmine and Jazlyn. This makes it the perfect do-not-shorten name for many parents with musical sensibilities. The name Jasmine means “gift of God” in the Persian tradition so you could consider it a meaning or it could simply refer to the style of music. Jazz has never made the US top 1000 but we expect that to change in the next couple of years.
Kara peaked in the 1980s but remains more popular than the Cara form. In Norse mythology, Kara was a Valkyrie, lover of Helgi, who charmed his enemies in battle by enchanting them with song. You will also find this baby name in Irish and Latin traditions. Therefore Kara can mean “dear” and “friend” and “face.”
To the Romans, Maia was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, after whom they named the month of May. Maya is the more common spelling but we like Maia! The Maia spelling has been in the US top 1000 since 1996 and today it rests just outside the top 500. This baby name, with Greek origins, means “mother.”
Parents in the US fell in love with the name Jade after Bianca and Mick Jagger chose the name for their daughter in 1971. Last year, it ranked as the 104th most popular baby name for girls. Jade is a name with Spanish origins that means “stone of the side.” The stone is associated with clarity, wisdom, and justice.
Ava, in the Middle Ages, was a very different name than we think of today. It was used as a shortened form of Germanic Aveline and might have meant “island” or “water.” It fell from use for many years. Today, the name is considered a variant of Eve which means “life.” It’s one of the most popular names around the world with it showing up in all sorts of traditions including Persian, meaning “sound.” It’s a top 5 baby name in the US and we do not see this baby going anywhere.
Vera is a name with Russian origins meaning “faith.” The name was a stylish and exotic choice in the US until the 1940s. By the seventies, the name fell out of fashion entirely before it returned to the top 1000 in 2009. Vera is near-impossible to shorten unless someone tries “veer” which we do not foresee happening often.
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Rue has Greek origins that mean “herb.” In English, it’s a word that means “regret.” In French, it’s a word that means “street.” The baby name has never appeared on the US top 1000 which should be attractive to new parents looking for a name that’s not overdone.
One of the longest names on this list, Princess is hard to condense. This royal title name has been in the US top 1000 since 1979. This name might be fun for children until they hit a certain age but expect the freshness of the name starts to wear off by middle school. We love this baby name and see a lot of potential for it and if it’s “too much” consider picking it as a middle name.
Norah is a gorgeous name for girls that is an alternative form of Honora, a name that means “woman of honor.” We have singer Norah Jones to thank for introducing many American parents to this unique spelling that’s now more popular than ever before in the US.
Lyra is a constellation name taken from the lyre of Orpheus. It contains the star Vega and thus could make a melodic choice for a parent inspired by music, astronomy, or mythology. The name has Greek origins that mean “lyre.” Lyra entered the US top 1000 in 2015 and it has been on the rise ever since.
Blake was long considered a name for boys but parents have completely changed that notion in recent decades, giving this name freely to girls as well. Last year, Blake was the 222nd most popular baby name for girls. Blake has English origins and means “dark.”
Yara landed in the US top 1000 for the first time in 2017. The name has Arabic origins and means “small butterfly.” In Brazil, Yara is a nature goddess name. The name is also popular in England, Portugal, and the Netherlands today.
The ancient Greeks believed that opals were created from the tears of joy wept by Zeus when he defeated the titans. They considered the opal a symbol of hope and good fortune. Opal comes from Sanskrit origins and it, indeed, does mean “gem.” The name returned to the US top 1000 in 2017 after decades of neglect. We’re thrilled that parents are polishing up this old treasure of a name.
The only conceivable way to shorten Isa is the nickname “ees.” We’re pretty sure that’s not a thing and that this name will not succumb to any such foolery. Isa is a name used in many, many, traditions for a very long time. Scholars believe the name, which was given to men, was an Aramaic name that transformed to Jesus over the years, filtered through Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish tradition.
Isa as a name for girls comes from Frisian and Old Germanic origins meaning “ice” or “iron” or “strong-willed.” It is also considered a shortened form of names like Isabella and Isadora. Isa was a popular name for girls in the US until 1907. We hope this beauty makes a big comeback.
If you do not want to tempt fate with the name Maia you could always get straight to the point with a name like Mae that is even shorter. Mae is a diminutive of Margaret or Mary and thus means “bitterness” or “pearl.” Mae fell out of fashion in the late sixties after the glamour of Mae West had worn off and made its return in 2010. This sweet baby name is trending to hit the top 500 this year.
Vida is another retro pick that we think has a lot of energy behind it. Vida has not been popular in the US since 1946! The name has Spanish origins and means “life.” Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves recently chose the name for their daughter and so did Michael Bublé and Luisana Lopilato. Whenever celebrity parents hop onto a name, the rest of generally follow, so expect this name to land in the top 1000 again in coming years.
There you go! These amazing baby names for girls are for parents who do not want others fooling with their daughter’s perfect name. We hope you feel inspired by this list and will consider one of these names for your little girl.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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Baby Name Generator
No baby name sounding good? Want a quick way to generate unique baby name ideas? Try our baby name generator below!
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