The Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names

Traditional girl names are nothing to mock! Appellations that have been popular for decades or even centuries prove especially attractive as they are time-tested and will serve your family well. In today’s terms, “traditional” has gotten a bad rap. But, it’s important to remember that baby names that seem commonplace are such because they’ve been favored by parents, again and again, year after year. These names have become a tradition for many families.

We wanted to discover the best traditional girl names, so we looked at baby naming data to compile a list of popular baby names that have consistently ranked well over the last 100 years. These traditional names are essentially the “greatest hits” of appellations that should appeal to a wide range of expecting parents. Let’s take a look at some of the most cherished names in America (and the world) to find one that will be perfect for your baby girl!

Popular Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Deborah – Deborah is a classic Hebrew name that means “bee.”
  • Melissa – Melissa is such a beloved name that it’s remained in the top 500 most popular names for girls since 1947. Coincidentally, this is another name with a bee meaning in “honeybee.”
  • Amanda – The name was a top 10 choice for new parents throughout the eighties and nineties. Amanda is a name with Latin origins that means “she must be loved.”

Other Popular Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Sara – This Old Testament classic has been used for centuries and has Hebrew origins that mean “princess.” 
  • Ruth – The name Ruth is a girl’s name of Hebrew origin meaning “compassionate friend.” It’s been a common choice for centuries.
  • Elizabeth – Elizabeth has a noble appeal as it belonged to two of the most influential Queens of England, Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II. It’s been a top choice for girls in the US since record-keeping began. Elizabeth is of Hebrew origin and means “pledged to God.”

Steadfast Traditional Names for Girls

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Carol – Carol is an English name with French origins, a feminine form of the name Charles. The name means “free man.”
  • Michelle – This attractive name also has French origins and is based on a Hebrew name that means “who is like God.” We imagine Michelle Obama will continue to inspire new parents to choose this name for their daughters.
  • Donna – Donna dates back to at least the late nineteenth century, reaching the top 100 in 1926 and the top 20 in the 1940s. In 1960, Donna was the fifth most popular name in the United States. The name means “lady.”

Essential Traditional Names for Girls

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Emily – Emily was derived from the Roman name Aemilia, which may have evolved from the Latin word aemulus, meaning “hardworking” or “rival.” 
  • Kimberly – Kimberly is an English name that means “Cyneburga’s meadow.” Kimberly was stylish in the sixties and seventies and enjoyed a top-five ranking. It’s still extremely popular today.
  • Dorothy – Dorothy is an English name with Greek origins that means “gift of God.” In the US, parents have been smitten with the name, especially in the earlier part of the 20th century.

Timeless Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Ashley – It’s an excellent English name that means “dweller near the ash tree meadow.” Ashley was a sensation in the 1980s and 1990s; it hit number 1 in 1991. 
  • Sandra – With Greek and Italian origins, this name means “defender of men.” This name dominated the popularity charts for 30 years before falling from favor. Sandra’s still got it, in our opinion.
  • Margaret – No one can deny the appeal of this majestic name. Margaret was in the top 10 from 1880 until 1940. Margaret has Greek origins and means “pearl.”

Evergreen Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Lisa – While Lisa was wildly popular in the US, it is now more favorable to German, French, and Dutch families. The name was most popular in the US in 1970 when it ranked at number four. The name is a diminutive form of Elizabeth.
  • Nancy – Nancy is an English form of Ann that can be traced back to the Middle Ages as a pet form of Agnes. It’s not as popular as it was in the 1950s, but it still has plenty of charm to offer.
  • Karen – Karen is a Danish diminutive of Katherine, an English name derived from the Greek name Aikaterine. It means “pure.” Unfortunately, this delightful name has become a meme.

Time-Tested Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Jessica -Jessica was a name with a middling prospect until 1940, when it began its meteoric rise to the top. Jessica became a ubiquitous moniker in the eighties and nineties. The name was coined by Shakespeare and inspired by a Hebrew name that means “vision.”
  • Susan – Baby Susans were everywhere from the thirties to the sixties, but the name has since fallen out of fashion. Susan comes from Hebrew and means “lily.”
  • Barbara – Barbara entered the top 100 in 1913, and then the top 10 a decade and a half later. She held the number 2 spot from 1937 to 1944. The name comes from Latin and means “foreigner.”

Parents Fall in Love with These Traditional Names Again and Again

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Linda – Linda will live forever remain in baby name history for toppling Mary from its 400-year reign as number 1. Linda is a Latin name that means “pretty,” and you’ll find it in various naming traditions.
  • Jennifer – Jennifer was the top name of the seventies when close to 800,000 Jennifers were born. Jennifer is a girl’s name of Cornish origin, meaning “white shadow, white wave.” 
  • Patricia – Patricia began not in Ireland, as some believe, but evolved in Scotland, becoming mega-popular in Britain after the christening of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught. The name has Latin origins and means “noble.”

World-Class Traditional Names for Girls

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Mary – Mary was the most popular and enduring female name in the English-speaking world, as were Maria and Marie in Spanish and French, until the 1940s. The name comes from Hebrew and means “pearl.”
  • Hannah – Hannah comes from Hebrew and means “grace” or “favor.”
  • Anna – A form of Hannah, Anna has historically been a very popular option in the US.

Energetic Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Zoey – The name Zoey has its origins in Greek and means, simply, “life.”
  • Lillian – Like Lily, the name Lillian references the lily flower. It is a Latin name taken from the word “Lillium,” which means “lily.”
  • Aubrey – The name Aubrey has its origins in German and is derived from “Alberic,” which means “Fair ruler of the little people.”

No-Fuss Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Lily – If Lillian presents too much fuss for your tastes, consider the concise Lily. This flower name for girls is a time-tested classic.
  • Natalie – Believe it or not, Natalie is a perfect name for a Christmas baby. Though derived from Latin, it’s the French or English version of the Russian name Natalia, which means “born on Christmas.”
  • Victoria – Victoria is, and probably always will be a very popular girl’s name. The name comes from Latin origin and means “victory.”

Solid Traditional Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Grace – Grace follows in the vein of other virtuous-sounding names like Hope and Faith that mean exactly what they say. The name was made popular by 17th-century Puritans.
  • Evelyn – Evelyn was very popular in the early 1900s and then resurfaces 100 years later.  is English in origin and means “wished for.”
  • Ella – Many celebrities have named their daughters Ella: John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Warren Beatty and Annette Benning, Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor, and Mark Wahlberg. The name means “light.”

Traditional Girl Names That Will Serve Your Family Well

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Chloe – Of Greek origin, Chloe is another name for Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility. Some people spell Chloe with a “K.” The name means “blossom.”
  • Amelia – Amelia is the English version of Amalia derived from the Germanic word amal, which means ‘work’.  
  • Charlotte – Charlotte is French in origin and means “free man.” And, the name dates back to the 14th century.

Special Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Abigail – Abigail is first seen in the Bible as King David’s third wife.  A bit of an old-fashioned name, Abigail is coming back with the retro-cool vengeance of other “vintage” names like Beatrice and Violet.
  • Mia – Mia is also Hebrew in origin and means “bitter.”  It also originates in Italian, Spanish for “mia,” meaning ”mine”. Mia is commonly used as a nickname for Maria.
  • Ava – The name Ava has become very popular for girls in the last two decades and is more commonly spelled as Eva. The name means “bird.”

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Resilient Traditional Names for Girls

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Isabella – Isabella is a Romance language name and originates from Hebrew Elisheba or medieval Elizabeth.  Isabella was originally used in France, Spain, and Portugal.
  • Olivia – Olivia is the female form of Oliver and was made popular by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night and has been popular in the English-speaking world since the mid-1990s. This mega-popular appellation means “olive.”
  • Sophia – Sophia is a very old Greek name whose origin dates back to the 4th century.  In more modern times, it was popularized in Britain by the German House of Hanover in the 18th century. The name means “wisdom.”

Fresh-Sounding Traditional Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Emma – Emma tops the U.S. list as the most popular name for girls over the past decade after becoming a top 10 name in the early 2000s. Emma comes from German and means “industrious.”
  • Alyssa – Alyssa was in the top 20 baby names from 1997-2010 and peaked as the 11th most popular girls’ name in 1998 and 1999 but has become less widespread in recent years. The name means “noble.”
  • Brianna – Brianna might sound like an invented name, but it has Irish origins as a form of Brian which means “honorable.” It entered the US popularity list in 1976, rose to the top 100 in 1988, then got as high as number 14 in 1999. It’s still a top 200 pick today!

Balanced Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Gabrielle – It’s been a firm top 500 name since 1978, and its beauty and elegance will stay there for years to come, we imagine. Gabrielle is the female form of Gabriel that was invented in France though it comes from Hebrew origins that mean “God is my strength.”
  • Hailey – Hailey has English and Scottish origins and means “Hay’s meadow.” The spelling Hailey achieved the most success in 2010 when it cracked the US top-10 list. 
  • Jade – Jade has been rising in popularity since the seventies. The name has Spanish origins and means “stone of the side.”

Warm Traditional Names for Girls

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Jasmine – Jasmine was derived from the Persian word yasmin, referring to the jasmine flower. The name has been popular in the US since the seventies. It’s now a top 500 baby name for new parents. 
  • Kayla – A hot name from the 1980s that deserves a revival is Kayla. In Arabic tradition, this name means “wise child.” In Hebrew, you get “laurel” or “crown.” 
  • Luna – A name that’s commonplace today, Luna comes from Latin and means “moon.”

Traditional Names You Can Always Count On

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Scarlett – An English name that means “deep red,” Scarlett is a wildly popular choice to this day.
  • Nora – One of the most cross-cultural names, Nora, can mean “light,” “honor,” or “Norman.” You will find this name in Greek, Scottish, Irish, and English tradition.
  • Hazel – A name that took some time off from the 1970s to the 1990s, Hazel is back and bigger than ever before. The name is of English origin and means “hazelnut tree.”

Winning Traditional Girl Names

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Violet – The same is true for Violet, an appellation that rebounded following the 1990s, meaning “purple.”
  • Leah – A perennial favorite in the English-speaking world, Leah comes from Hebrew and means “weary.”
  • Heather – A hugely popular name that emerged as an American favorite in the 1930s, Heather comes from English and means “heath.”

Traditional Names for Girls That Happen to Be Unisex

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Avery – A most popular unisex name today, Avery comes from English and means “ruler of the elves.”
  • Ryan – Emerging as an option for girls in the 1970s, Ryan is a popular gender-neutral choice today. The name is of Irish origin and means “little king.”
  • Jordan – Another option that’s been preferred since the 1970s, Jordan comes from Hebrew origin and means “flowing down.”

More Unisex Names That Are Popular for Girls

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Cameron – Originally a Scottish surname, Cameron is a fabulous choice for any baby. The name means “crooked nose.”
  • Parker – Emerging as a favorite in the 1990s, Parker is an English occupational name that means “park keeper.”
  • Harper – Only reaching popularity in the US for girls in the last two decades, Harper comes from English and means “harp player.”

Great Names for Girls That Happen to Be Gender-Neutral

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Peyton – A name that gained traction in the 1990s, Peyton comes from English and means “fighter’s estate.”
  • Angel – A name that has long been popular among Hispanic families for boys, Angel also works fabulously for girls. This English word name is one of the names that really feels fitting on a newborn baby.
  • River – Who doesn’t love a nature name? River has been a popular unisex option for a couple of decades now. It’s got a flow to it.

Parents Love These Unisex Names for Girls

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Hayden – Hayden is an English name that has different meanings when applied to boys than girls. For girls, Hayden is taken to mean “heather hill.” For boys, its meaning is “fire.”
  • Quinn – Quinn has been a favored option for boys since the 1970s and later for girls beginning in the 1990s. The name is of Irish origin and means “descendent of Conn.”
  • Taylor – A popular choice for boys since at least the 1880s, Taylor began being widely used for girls in the 1990s. It’s one of the gender-neutral names that’s most popular today.

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Final Traditional Names for Girls

Ultimate Guide to Traditional Girl Names
  • Casey – Casey has been considered a great name for girls since the 1960s. Before then, it was mainly reserved for girls.
  • Hunter – Hunter has been a popular choice for boys for decades, but in the 1990s, things changed. Now, it’s a popular choice for both. Hunter is an English occupational name that means “one who hunts.”
  • Madison – Today, Madison is one of the most popular choices for baby girls. Before the 1990s, the opposite was true. The name means “Matthew’s son.”

There you go! What did you think of our ultimate guide to traditional names for girls? We hope you found the solid options to be worthy of your consideration. You won’t cause any waves with these time-tested and established picks. For even more baby name inspiration, keep reading. We’ve got 100 popular names for girls in Europe that American parents should consider. Many are traditional and others are newly favored.

European Girl Names That Start With A

European Girl Names
  • Ainara – A name of Basque origin, meaning “swallow bird”
  • Alva – An English form of Irish Ailbhe, meaning “white”
  • Anais – A Catalan and Provencal pet form of the Hebrew name Anna, meaning “grace”
  • Antonina – A Slavic, Italian, and Nordic name from Latin, meaning “priceless”

European Girl Names That Start With A Continued

European Girl Names
  • Apolline – A French form of Apollonia, meaning “of the sun”
  • Arlet – A Spanish variant of the French name Arlette, meaning “noble”
  • Aurelie -A French variation of Aurelia, from Latin, meaning “golden one”
  • Axelle – A French feminine form of Axel, from Hebrew, meaning “father of peace”

European Girl Names That Start With B

European Girl Names
  • Belen – A Spanish place name and form of Bethlehem, meaning “house of bread”
  • Benedetta – An Italian variation of Benedicta, from Latin, meaning “blessed one”
  • Benthe – A Dutch short form of Benedicta, also meaning “blessed one”
  • Brisa – A name of Spanish origin that means “breeze”

European Girl Names That Start With C

European Girl Names
  • Calixta – A name of Greek origin that means “most beautiful”
  • Candela – A name of Spanish origin that means “Candlemas”
  • Chiara – A name of Italian origin, meaning “light” or “clear”
  • Clemence – A French feminine variation of Clement, meaning “merciful”

European Girl Names That Start With D

European Girl Names
  • Danica – A name of Slavic origin that means “morning star”
  • Dasha – A Russian diminutive of Dariya or Darya, meaning “kingly”
  • Demetria – A name originating in Greek, a form of Demeter, meaning “half”
  • Doutzen – A popular Dutch name with an unclear meaning

European Girl Names That Start With E

European Girl Names
  • Elettra – Italian variation of Latin Electra, from Latin, meaning “shining bright”
  • Elke – A Dutch, German, and Frisian diminutive form of Adelheid, meaning “noble”
  • Elin – A Swedish variation of Ellen, meaning “torch”
  • Evadne – A name of Greek origin, meaning “pleasing”

European Girl Names That Start With F

European Girl Names
  • Faustine – A name of Latin origin, meaning “fortunate one”
  • Femke – A name of Dutch origin, meaning “peace”
  • Fenna – A Dutch and Frisian name, also meaning “peace”
  • Fien – A Dutch variation of Josephine, from Hebrew, meaning “Jehovah increases”

European Girl Names That Start With F Continued

European Girl Names
  • Finja – A German short form of Josephine, also means “Jehovah increases”
  • Fiorella – A name of Italian origin, meaning “little flower”
  • Flavia – A name of Latin origin, meaning “golden” or “blonde”
  • Fleur – A name of French origin, meaning “flower”

European Girl Names That Start With G

European Girl Names
  • Gaia – A name of Greek origin, meaning “rejoicing”
  • Gala – A name of Russian and Slavic origin, meaning “calm”
  • Ginerva – An Italian variation of Guinevere, from Welsh, meaning “white shadow” or “white wave”
  • Gretel – A diminutive of Margarete from German, meaning “pearl”

European Girl Names That Start With I

European Girl Names
  • Iben – A German and Scandinavian form of Ivo, meaning “yew wood”
  • Ilaria – An Italian variation of Hilary, meaning “joyful”
  • Ilsa – A German form of Elizabeth, from Hebrew, meaning “pledged to God”
  • Ines – An Italian, Portuguese, Slovene, and Croatian variation of Agnes, meaning “pure”

European Girl Names That Start With J

European Girl Names
  • Jacinda – A variation of Jacinta, from Spanish and Portuguese, meaning “hyacinth”
  • Jamais – A name of French origin that means “never”
  • Juna – A Latinate form of June, meaning … “June”
  • Juni – A Scandinavian, Finnish, and Swedish form of June

European Girl Names That Start With L

European Girl Names
  • Laia – A Catalan diminutive of Eulalia, meaning “sweetly speaking”
  • Leire – A name of Basque origin, meaning “refuge” or “hostel”
  • Leonie – A name of Latin origin, meaning “lion”
  • Lieke – A Dutch form of Angelique, meaning “angelic”

European Girl Names That Start With L Continued

European Girl Names
  • Liesl – A German diminutive of Elizabeth, meaning “pledged to God”
  • Lilou – A Occitan pet form of French Liliane, meaning “lily”
  • Lotte – A German and Scandinavian diminutive of Charlotte, meaning “free man”
  • Luz – A name of Spanish origin, meaning “light”

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European Girl Names That Start With M

European Girl Names
  • Madelief – A name of Dutch origin that means “daisy”
  • Maelie – A name of Breton origin, meaning “princess”
  • Mafalda – A Italian and Portuguese variation of Matilda, meaning “battle-mighty”
  • Majken – A Scandinavian version of Marie or Mary, meaning “drop in the sea” or “bitter” or “pearl”

European Girl Names That Start With M Continued

European Girl Names
  • Manon – A French form of Marie, meaning “drop in the sea” or “bitter” or “pearl”
  • Manuela – A name of Spanish origin, meaning “God is with us”
  • Melisandre – A French form of Millicent, meaning “honeybee”
  • Merle – A name of French origin, meaning “blackbird”

European Girl Names That Start With M Continued

European Girl Names
  • Mignon – A name of French origin, meaning “delicate”
  • Milou – One of the popular European girl names in Belgium and the Netherlands, a combination of Marie and Louise
  • Minette – A name of French origin, meaning “faithful leader”
  • Moa – A name of Swedish origin, meaning “mother”

European Girl Names That Start With N

European Girl Names
  • Naiara – A Basque place name that refers to a Spanish city where the Virgin Mary appeared in medieval times
  • Nele – A German diminutive of Cornelia, meaning “horn”
  • Nerea – A name of Basque origin, meaning “mine”
  • Nuria – A name of Hebrew, Portuguese, and Catalan origin, closely associated with the Virgin Mary, meaning “fire of the Lord”

European Girl Names That Start With O

European Girl Names
  • Oceane – A name of French origin, that indeed means “ocean”
  • Odile – A French variation of the German name Otthild, meaning “prospers in battle”
  • Oline – Scandinavian, feminine, short form of Ole or Olaf, meaning “ancestor’s relic”
  • Ona – A name found in Lithuanian and Catalan naming traditions, meaning “grace” or “pearl”

European Girl Names That Start With R

European Girl Names
  • Ravenna – An Italian place-name
  • Rocio – A name of Spanish origin, meaning “dewdrops”
  • Romane – A French, feminine form of Roman, meaning “a Roman”
  • Ronja – A Scandinavian form of the Hebrew name Ronia, meaning “God’s joyful song”

European Girl Names That Start With S

European Girl Names
  • Saar – A Dutch variation of Sarah, from Hebrew, meaning “princess”
  • Saga – A Swedish word name and one of the European girl names heard often around Europe, meaning “story” and “seeress”
  • Sandrine – A French variation of Alexandra, from Greek, meaning “defending men”
  • Sanne – A Dutch, diminutive form of Susanne, meaning “lily”

European Girl Names That Start With S Continued

European Girl Names
  • Saskia – A name of Dutch origin, meaning “Saxon”
  • Sidonie – A French name from Latin, meaning “from Sidon”
  • Signe – A name of Scandinavian origin, meaning “new victory”
  • Sigrid – A name of Norse origin, meaning “fair victory”

European Girl Names That Start With S Continued

European Girl Names
  • Siv – A name from Norse mythology, meaning “bride”
  • Solana – A name of Spanish origin, meaning “sunshine”
  • Solene – A name of French origin, meaning “with solemnity”
  • Stina – A Swedish short form of Christina, meaning “follower of Christ”

European Girl Names That Start With T

European Girl Names
  • Thais – A name of Greek origin, meaning “bandage” or “beloved”
  • Tiril – A popular name in Norway from literature
  • Triana – A Spanish place name from a Latin root that means “three rivers”
  • Tuva – A Swedish and Norwegian variation of Tove, meaning “beloved”

European Girl Names That Start With V

European Girl Names
  • Valeria – A name of Latin origin, meaning “strength”
  • Veerle – A name of Dutch origin, meaning “travel to battle”
  • Vega – A name of Spanish origin, meaning “eagle”
  • Vianne – A French name and combination of Vivian and Anne

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European Girl Names That Start With X, Y, or Z

European Girl Names
  • Xanthipe – A name of Greek origin, meaning “yellow horse”
  • Ximena – A Feminization of Ximeno from Spanish, meaning “son”
  • Yara – A name of Arabic origin, meaning “friend”
  • Zosia – A Polish form of Sophia, meaning “wisdom”

Wow! Aren’t these European girl names just spectacular? We hope you found some that are worthy of your consideration and, better still, that you have added to your baby name shortlist.

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