When the going gets tough, new parents gravitate to baby names for girls with uplifting, great meanings. These names help embody the hope for a child’s future and the promise that the future holds. Since the start of the pandemic, new parents have been drawn to baby names that inspire, uplift, and delight. We are very into this trend as the meaning behind a moniker brings so much to it.
We decided to take a deep dive into classic baby names for girls and also looked at some newer possibilities to discover which baby names have the best meanings. We were pleasantly surprised to find a great many appellations with rewarding meanings behind them that have origins in Greek, Latin, and many more naming traditions. Are you ready to see some baby names that will bring a smile to your face? Check out these 25 baby names for girls with positive meanings intended to uplift and encourage!
Zelda has long been a popular option for parents seeking something slightly exotic-sounding. The name fell off the US top 1000 popularity chart for almost fifty years before enjoying a renaissance and returning to it in 2015. This name comes with a strong meaning baked in, “gray fighting maid,” and has German origins.
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’s popularity is quickly rising outside India, including in the US.
Gabriella is the feminine form of Gabriel, a name derived from the Hebrew Gavri’el. Gavri’el is composed of the elements gever, meaning “strong,” and ’el, referring to God. The name has been very popular in the US since the seventies and we hope it keeps up the momentum because this strong name is a delight.
Mabel is a retro form of Amabel (also a wonderful option) with Latin origins meaning “lovely.” The name made a comeback in 2013 after being absent from the top 1000 for decades. We are so pleased that this charmer is on the rise once more as it is a truly amorous possibility.
In Greek myth, Philomena was an Athenian princess who was transformed by the gods into a nightingale to save her from the advances of a lecherous king. This earthy Greek name means “lover of strength.” This name has not been widely used in the US since the 1940s! However, the name is very popular today in Australia and Scotland.
In music, you will encounter the term “allegro” which means quick and lively. The Italian name Allegra comes from the same origins and means “joyous.” Unfortunately, this name has become associated with an allergy medication in recent years which has hindered the possibility for many parents. We think it’s a wonderful choice that folks should consider.
A few decades ago you would be hard-pressed to find a baby with the name Valentina in the US. But, ever since the nineties, the name has skyrocketed up the charts. This gorgeous, romantic, name has Latin origins meaning “strength.” Naturally, if you are expecting a February baby this one would be an obvious choice.
Evangeline is a romantic old-fashioned name enjoying a major comeback today. In fact, a “comeback” is not the right descriptor because this name is way more popular today than it ever has been. With Greek origins this name means “bearer of good news.” We could all use plenty of that these days.
Chiara is an astonishing Italian name for girls that you do not often find in the US. Most American parents go for Claire, Clara, Cara, or even Keira. However, Chiara also means “light” or “clear.” This name is in the top 10 in Italy currently and we hope it crosses the pond to American shores very soon.
Astrid is derived from the name Ástríðr, which is made up of the Old Norse elements that mean “god” and “beautiful.” Astrid took a break from the US top 1000 for over 100 years before returning in the past decade for good. We love this blunt-sounding name and hope it continues to please new parents for years to come.
Rosalind is most likely a literary invention coined by Edmund Spenser and later used by Shakespeare to name the hero of As You Like It. The name was most popular in the US in the 1940s, but unfortunately, it has fallen from favor over the last sixty years. The name has Latin origins shared with the flower which means “pretty rose.”
If you are after an inspiring option, Amal would be the perfect one as it means “hope” or “inspiration.” The attractive name has Arabic origins but you do not hear it often in the US. We hope that changes in the coming years because this name is a winner for both boys and girls.
Still popular in its native Scandinavia, where it is a royal name, Ingrid’s highest US ranking was number 380 in 1967. This name never seemed to integrate into the English lexicon as other Norse names have which gives it plenty of character. This name means “fair” or “Ing is beautiful.” Ing refers to the Norse god of fertility and peace.
Celeste has been a popular name in the US since records began in 1880. This heavenly name means just that and comes from Latin origins. It makes for a light and lovely choice with a touch of retro charm.
Similar in sound to the flower name Dahlia, this gentle but distinctive name, heard in many cultures, is mildly popular today and has been since the 1990s. You will find Dalia primarily in Hebrew and Swahili naming traditions as a moniker that means “branch” or “gentle.”
Sadly, you do not encounter the name Nadira in the US nearly enough. This illuminating Arabic name can be taken to mean “precious” or “rare.” This name is a diamond just waiting for new parents to polish once more!
Heidi went mainstream in the US after the Shirley Temple film of the same name was released in 1937. It was a top 100 name for nearly two decades following the popularity of the blockbuster. Heidi is a diminutive of Adelheid, a German name meaning “noble.” This one makes us want to climb an alpine mountain.
The Dutch form of the Heidi happens to be another form of Adelheid, Elke. The name is pronounced el-kah and you will find it in many Scandinavian naming traditions. We wish this name would appeal to new parents today, as it truly is a handsome name.
Suri, a once obscure exotic name, hit the headlines when chosen by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise for their daughter in 2007. The name’s Hebrew origins mean “princess” as it is a form of Sarah. Multi-cultural, it also means “the sun” in Sanskrit and “rose” in Persian. Even with all of that going for it, the name has yet to crack the top 1000.
Prudence, like Hope and Faith, is a Puritan virtue name with a subtle charm and sensitivity that is slowly returning to favor, though it hasn’t yet registered on the charts since 1944. We love the shortened form of this name, Prue which also means “caution.”
Harmony is a top 200 name today and parents have been freely giving this name since the seventies. Harmony is a word name that means exactly what you think it does and is Greek in origin. Bonus points for parents who are obsessed with music choosing this lyrical choice!
Zosia is a name of Polish origin which you do not see too often in the US. It’s a fun form of the Greek name Sophia which means “wisdom.” With the popularity of Z and X names on the rise in recent years, we expect this name to ride that wave into broader favor.
Nava is a name you will commonly hear in Israel but rarely do in the US. This fashionable Hebrew name has some truly fantastic meanings: “pretty, pleasant, desirable.” We expect this name to make its way on US babies’ birth certificates in the coming years as it is truly desirable!
Phoebe is the Latin variation of the Greek name Phoibe, which derived from phoibos, meaning “bright.” In classical mythology, Phoebe is the by-name of Artemis, goddess of the moon and of hunting. The name is on the rise again and has been since the early nineties. We are happy to welcome this baby back.
Common in Wales, this name was introduced to America when Welsh-born Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas chose it for their daughter in 2003. It’s a top 500 name in the UK but you will scarcely hear this one in the US. This name comes with the fabulous meaning, “love.”
There you go! We hope you enjoyed these inspiring baby names for girls with positive meanings. Please consider spreading positivity, light, and love with a charming name from this list.
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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