Some parents have a tougher journey than others when it comes to their children and that’s completely normal. Rainbow babies are so-called because they follow a miscarriage, infant loss, stillbirth, or neonatal death. These babies are the hopeful calm after a difficult storm and, because they follow loss, they are so very special to parents. If you are expecting a rainbow baby, you might want to mark the happy event with a meaningful, powerful baby name that celebrates light after darkness.
We decided to pull some baby names for girls that are perfect for rainbow babies as they have hopeful meanings that will resonate with parents who have endured hardship on their childbirth journey. These baby names offer positivity and contain so much inspiration in their meanings. Meghan Markle‘s recent announcement of her pregnancy following a miscarriage inspired us to discover baby names for girls that celebrate life and unflappable determination. Here are 25 meaningful rainbow baby names for girls that we hope you consider for your child!
Nadia, an exotic but accessible Slavic favorite, has a strong run of popularity in the US in the early 2000s, partially thanks to the character on Lost. Nadia is actually a short form of Nadezhda, the name of Lenin’s wife. Nadia has a meaning to match its jovial sound, “hope.”
Beatrice is derived from Beatrix, a Latin name meaning “she who brings happiness.” Beatrice was the name of Queen Victoria’s youngest child. The name is experiencing a renaissance today as it fell from favor for many new parents beginning in the seventies. Last year, the name landed just outside the US top 500 most popular baby names for girls and we expect to achieve 500-status this year.
Iris derives from the Greek word iris, meaning “rainbow.” In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, a courier for Zeus and Hera who rode the rainbow as a colorful bridge from heaven to earth. In ancient times, the Iris was viewed as a symbol of power and majesty. Iris enjoyed its most popular year ever last year with it tracking to land in the US top 100 in 2021.
Although Aveline is a cognate of the French word for “hazelnut,” the name actually derives from an obscure Germanic root which likely means “desired.” For fans of wildly popular Ava and Adelaide, Aveline could prove a worthy alternative.
Eden entered the Top 1000 in 1989, and got a real bump in visibility when Desperate Housewives’ Marcia Cross used it for one of her twin girls. The name has been historically popular in the US with Puritans adopting it and proudly using it. Eden has Hebrew origins that mean “delight.”
Evangeline is a romantic old name enjoying a major comeback, thanks to its religious overtones and the popularity of Eva. After not appearing in the US top 1000 for forty years, the name came back in 2006 and is now a top 500 pick today. Evangeline has Greek origins and the name means “bearer of good news.”
Jendayi is a popular name that comes from Africa and can be found all over the continent but likely originated in Egypt as a name meaning “thankful.” Unfortunately, this name is not too popular in the US with it only going to five girls last year. We think this name holds so much potential for new parents thanks to its elegant sound and positive meaning.
Gwyneth is an Anglicized form of Gwynedd, the name of an ancient Welsh kingdom. The ancient name means “happy” or “blessed.” We have Gwyneth Paltrow to thank for propelling this name into the spotlight for American parents and landing it in the US top 1000 starting in 2004.
Asha is an Indian name that comes from the Sanskrit word for “hope” or “desire.” It is also a Swahili name derived from Aisha, meaning “life.” Since the ascendance of Ashley through the 1980s and 90s, all baby names Ash-sounding have been used in the US for both girls and boys, from Ashlyn to Ashby, Ashton to Asher. Asha debuted in the top 1000 in 1988 and has since slipped but we think this meaningful name will gain steam once more.
Innocent, sincere, and bright-eyed, and considered an old lady name today, Trudy which comes from Gertrude, deserves your attention. This name has German roots and that mean “spear of strength.” We’re into it! Trudy has not been a popular choice since the seventies so you can bet she’ll be the only Trudy in her class.
Alisa is less popular than more complicated forms of Alice like Alyssa or Alicia, perhaps because of its association with the once-popular Lisa. Alisa has a casual elegance to it and has been widely used in the US since 1954. Sadly, this gorgeous appellation has slipped in favor in recent years. Alisa has Hebrew origins that mean “great happiness.” Surely, knowing this will bring a smile to your face every time you say it.
Iridiana is related to the Greek name Iris, who in Greek mythology was the personification of the Rainbow. Iridiana is a frillier version of the name, likely to appeal to people who enjoy elaborate names like Delphinia. This name has never been popular in the US, but you can do your part to change that, new parents!
If Evangeline was too much of a mouthful for you and Eve is too plain, Evie might strike the perfect balance. Evie was derived from Eve, which in turn comes from Chawwah, a Hebrew name related to the concept of life. Thus, the name means “life.” If trends hold, this name will be more popular than ever before in the US, besting its most favored year at the turn of the twentieth century.
Aviva is vivacious and memorable, a fresh spin on the Vivian and Vivienne names that have been getting more popular thanks to celebrity parents Brad and Angelina who chose it for one of their daughters. Aviva has Hebrew origins as well and means “fresh” or “springlike.” These meanings could make it a perfect choice for a rainbow baby.
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Some think Eleanor is a variation of Helen via Ellen, but it actually derives from the Provencal phrase alia Aenor, meaning “other Aenor,” used to distinguish the original Eleanor, who was named after her mother Aenor. Aenor means “famous wealth.” You will be rich in love if you choose this exquisite name for girls that is just as popular today as it was at its other height in the 1920s.
Though Constance has been neglected here for a number of years, it’s still ranks at number 120 in France. We think this name has suffered because of the nickname Connie, but you can judge if you want to use that one or nor. Constance is a virtue name that means “steadfast.” It was last popular here in the 1990s. We love this one!
Oksana is a girl’s name of Russian, Ukranian origin (from Hebrew) meaning “praise to God.” You will hear this name in a number of Slavic languages across Europe and beyond. However, the name has not taken off in the US. That makes this appellation an attractive choice for new parents wanting an offbeat name.
Yelena is a girl’s name of Russian origin meaning “bright, shining one.” It’s simply another form of Helen but sounds fresher and more exotic to the English ear. An added benefit of this name is that it gives you the adorable nickname Lena.
Amabel is an older name than Annabel and a lot more distinctive. Amabel was a very common name in the twelfth and thirteen centuries, then was revived during the nineteenth century British fad for medieval names. This name has French by way of Latin origins that mean “lovable.” Somehow, this name has never taken off in the US although its diminutive form Mabel has.
Joan was a top 10 name in the 30s, a top 50 name from the 40s through the early 60s, it was the fifth most popular name in the country for three years running and ranks as one of the most common names for girls in the 20th century! Joan has many alternatives worth considering as well, including Giovanna, Siobhan, Ione, and Juana. Joan has English origins from Hebrew that means “God is gracious.”
Priya originated in India as a name derived from the Sanskrit word for “beloved.” In India, where names are often given based on one’s birthday and horoscope, Priya is traditionally given to girls born in August. The name is prevalent outside India, going to many babies in England and Nepal. We expect this beautiful name to be more widespread in the US in coming years.
Alaine is another form of Alana and both names are great, meaning “handsome” or “cheerful.” Alana is much more popular in the US today but we’re very fond of Alaine. The name has Irish origins which would be perfect for parents who want to honor their heritage.
Mia originated as a short form of Maria, which ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Miryam. In modern times, Mia has been used as a nickname for names including Amelia, Emilia, and Miriam. Mia is also an Italian and Spanish word meaning “mine.” Which is the meaning we favor for it. Mia is cute and sweet and will not let you down! It’s a top 10 choice today.
Hope, along with Faith and Charity, is one of the three theological virtues. It was first used as a Christian name in the seventeenth century by the Puritans. Hope and Faith have often been given to twins. Hope has been a popular name in the US for hundreds of years and we do not foresee that changing anytime soon. Apart from the US, Hope is also popular in the UK.
A modern Japanese name meaning “future”, borne by figure skater Mirai Nagasu. The name is technically unisex, but more often given to girls. Mirai is also a Shona female given name, meaning “wait.” That particular meaning could prove powerful for new parents whose pregnancy journeys took longer than expected. This powerful name is pronounced mee-rah-ee.
There you go! We hope you feel inspired by these rainbow baby names for girls and will consider one for your precious daughter. Each of these names carry purposeful meanings intended to celebrate your child as the gift that they truly are. Happy baby name hunting and congratulations!
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.
- 1 25. Nadia
- 2 24. Beatrice
- 3 23. Iris
- 4 22. Aveline
- 5 21. Eden
- 6 20. Evangeline
- 7 19. Jendayi
- 8 18. Gwyneth
- 9 17. Asha
- 10 16. Trudy
- 11 15. Alisa
- 12 14. Iridiana
- 13 13. Evie
- 14 12. Avita
- 15 11. Eleanor
- 16 10. Constance
- 17 9. Oksana
- 18 8. Yelena
- 19 7. Amabel
- 20 6. Joan
- 21 5. Priya
- 22 4. Alaine
- 23 3. Mia
- 24 2. Hope
- 25 1. Mirai
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