I'm a stay-at-home mom who is fascinated by names, especially "old" names that have become new again.
Trends in Baby Names for Girls
There has been a growing trend in the last few decades of giving girls names that have long been considered masculine. Names like Taylor, Blake, Parker, Kevin, Kyle, and Chandler, which were once given only to boys, are now routinely given to girls.
Just about every trend is eventually followed by an opposite trend. Some of the Camerons and Blairs have grown up to become parents themselves, and these women are deliberately giving their baby girls more feminine names. Other parents are choosing romantic names for their daughters because they sound fresh and new after several decades of names like Scout, Campbell, and Carson.
Romantic, feminine names are often fancy and frilly. They are also often fairly long and have three, four, or even five syllables. They often end in "ia," "ina," "ana," "ella," or "ette." Not surprisingly, many of these names originate from romance languages like French, Italian, Spanish, and Romanian.
European-Inspired, Romantic Girl Names
- Alessandra: One of the most popular girl names in Italy
- Arabella: Has long been used in Britain
- Bella: This Italian name is now one of the most popular names in the U.S.
- Catherine: A very traditional and feminine Greek name
- Celine: French name that means "heavenly"
- Elisabetta: Italian variation of Elizabeth; might be a unique way to honor a relative named Betty
- Elise: French variation of Elizabeth; wasn't introduced to the English-speaking world until the late 19th century
- Emiliana: Since both Emma and Emily have risen in popularity, this is a great alternative for those looking for a more unique name.
- Francesca: This name is once again regaining popularity in Italy, its country of origin.
- Lucia: Has ranked as the number one name in Spain for the last several years
- Marianna: Very popular choice in Italy and Poland
Popular Feminine Girl Names
Nature-Inspired Romantic Names
- Aurora: Means "dawn;" one of the most popular girls' names in 2018
- Camellia: An exotic flower
- Eden: Means "place of pleasure, delight"
- Laurel: Means "the bay or laurel plant"
- Rosalind: Means "pretty rose"
- Selena: Means "moon goddess"
Unique, Fancy Girl Names
Cute Names Inspired by Hollywood
- Aaliyah: Rose in popularity after the death of hip-hop singer Aaliyah
- Angelina: For Angelina Jolie
- Aria: Inspired by a Pretty Little Liars character named Aria as well as a character on Game of Thrones named Arya
- Ariana: As in teen pop star Ariana Grande
- Ava: One of the most popular names now due to many Hollywood celebrities—like Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman—choosing this name for their daughters.
- Callista: For actress Callista Flockheart
- Cara: While the name has always been popular in Ireland, it's beginning to increase in popularity again due to model/actress Cara Delevingne.
- Estelle: Regained popularity after a young Royal couple in Sweden named their first-born this name and a young British R&B singer named Estelle entered the music scene.
- Felicity: For the hit 90s TV show, Felicity
- Giselle: As in supermodel Giselle Bundchen
- Helena: Actress Helena Bonham Carter has really kept this name alive.
- Ireland: Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin put this name on the map when they chose it for their daughter.
- Keira: For actress Keira Knightly
- Kylie: As in the youngest Kardashian/Jenner sister, Kylie Jenner
- Marilyn: As in Marilyn Monroe
- Presley: Inspired by Elvis Presley
- Sabrina: Inspired by Sabrina, The Teenage Witch
- Saoirse: For actress Saoirse Ronan
- Serena: Inspired by both Serena Williams and the Gossip Girl character, Serena Van Der Woodsen
- Tallulah: This has been a popular name amongst Hollywood parents. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Patrick Dempsey, and Bruce Willis and Demi Moore have all chosen this name for their daughters.
More Dainty Girl Names
Two Potential Problems With Girly Names
It is wise for parents to be aware of possible pitfalls that might come with a feminine, romantic name.
- Some parents fear that their daughter may be stereotyped as a pretty accessory and not taken seriously in business, education, or intellectual circles. A researcher named David Figlio studied 1000 pairs of sisters and found this may be true to some extent. In each pair of sisters, one had a very feminine name and the other had a more masculine name. Figlio found that girls with the more masculine names were twice as likely to choose a career in math or science than their sisters with more feminine names. Figlio theorizes that teachers, parents, and school advisers viewed the girls differently because of their names, and as a result steered them toward different career choices.
- Another pitfall that can accompany a feminine, romantic name is the nickname. Long, elaborate names can be a mouthful. It's much quicker and easier to call someone "Izzy" than "Isabella," for example. Many children and parents enjoy using nicknames. However, if "Isabella" is the name you prefer your daughter to go by, it's best to politely remind relatives, teachers, and friends of this, and kindly correct them if they start calling your child by a nickname. If you tell your daughter how much you love her name, what it means, and why you chose it, she will be more likely to adore it and less likely to allow others to shorten it.
I'd Love to Hear From You!
Which of these romantic names do you love or hate? Are there any names I've forgotten? Please let me know in the comments section.
More Baby Names for Girls
Alia on July 26, 2020:
There is 2 really beautiful names I didn’t found , Alia , Malia actually 3 adm euphoria
ariana on May 16, 2020:
i like the name karissa it's greek
fiona on May 07, 2020:
please add the name Sofia
Beverly on December 11, 2019:
Krystabelle is my daughter
Isabel on November 25, 2019:
I found my boyfriend and named it one of these
Hadasa Nicorici on May 21, 2019:
I really liked a lot of the names on this web... thanks!!
William Barrow on January 18, 2019:
It's hard to find names the that fit with my last name, so I like the names Amelia, Abigail, Rosalie and such, but it's very hard,
Denise Lunt 2 on January 08, 2019:
I am also and author thank you Denise number 1
Denise Lunt. on December 10, 2018:
As an author, I am always looking for lovely names when starting a new book. I feel the origin of a name, is just as important as the name itself. As a old granny, I most certainly do not need to look fo a name for myself ha haaaa.
floyd on December 07, 2018:
i am exited to see my baby girl soon...
Gwen on November 25, 2017:
I like the name Ophelia
Priscilla on November 25, 2017:
I think think these names sound so Italian
Nads on June 27, 2017:
You forgot Natalie it is romantic name for many people all around the world
liz on May 18, 2015:
nice names but what bout boys
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on October 20, 2013:
babynology from New York on July 04, 2013:
Nice a great hub. I am looking some romantic names for girl in this article.
Kids Designer Clothing on December 28, 2012:
Ha ha... I was just surfing around and took a look at these reviews. I can't believe there's still this much fascination. Thanks for writing about this.
Bruce Clark on August 09, 2012:
I wish I had come across this hub before my niece was born! Those are sweet names really. Maybe you can research for male names next time? :)
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on January 10, 2012:
I love the name Valentina! It is very beautiful, as are Nicole and Coleen. I had such a sweet, pretty friend named Coleen when I was growing up - that name takes me back to good times! Thanks to both of you for your comments.
Sandi from Greenfield, Wisconsin on January 08, 2012:
You have listed some beautiful and very feminine names. My daughters are Nicole and Colleen. When it came to nick names I was sure my daughter Nicole would become Nicky but she called herself Cole when she was small and is now called Nicole by most. It's immportant to that the first and last names sound good together as well. When you think about it, naming a child is such a big responsibility! The names some celebrities pick out for their children are pretty silly and will probably be a little difficult to live with! Thanks for this hub. I enjoyed reading it:)
Emma Kisby from Berkshire, UK on January 08, 2012:
There are some lovely ideas here. I have a boy (Kyle) but hope for a girl next time - fingers crossed. My half Italian partner has his heart set on the name Valentina, which is very feminine.
It's nice to know that my name is on the list!