Whimsical Names for Your Baby Girl
What's in a Whimsical Name?
Whimsy is to be playful and quaint, to amuse. Button flowers, mischievous pups, and babies themselves embody the meaning of whimsical. To me these kinds of names make you take pause to say, "That's pretty cute, why didn't I think of that?" Even if it's too cute for your kid, you'd at least endow it to your resident yard gnome. Either way, here's my collection of whimsical girl names for babies (or pets or story characters or even lawn ornaments).
- Alouette: Melodic and strange in just the right way, Alouette is a perfectly pretty whimsical name.
Amira: A feminized version of the Hebrew name Amir, meaning, among other things, "treetop", Amira is a fanciful moniker.
Apple: This name will either make you cringe or coo with delight. Either way, it's full of whimsy.
- Arabella: Romantic yet still eccentric, Arabella is a nice option if you're looking to play it safe while still choosing an as of yet uncommon name for your little girl.
- Bea: Short for the clunkier "Beatrice", this quaint one-syllable name stands on its own in a sea of Charlotte's and Sophia's.
- Birdie: Safe as a nickname, much bolder as a first name, Birdie is an unusual and fanciful option.
- Bitsy: Quaint, curious and definitely odd, Bitsy is a fun nickname for more serious monikers like it's diminutive Elizabeth.
- Bonnie: Cute but quirky, Bonnie holds strong from birth through adulthood.
- Briella: You know a hundred Ella's, but what about the less refined, willing to color-outside-the-lines Briella?
- Brighton: Unfeminine and spunky, Brighton fills the whimsy quota.
- Cali: Once just a nickname for Calista, Calandra, and Calantha, Cali is a solid and droll first name that can't help but stir up images of rolling beach waves.
- Calliope: This difficult-to-pronounce Greek name (it's ka-LYE-oh-pee) is certainly whimsical, especially as its also the name for the music that emanates from carousels.
- Cambria: Amusing and interesting if for nothing else, it's rarity, I personally think this name is pretty badass.
- Celestine: Beautiful yet odd, Celestine is a neat contender, especially if you're looking for something she can grow into.
- Clementine: Strange and fruity, Clementine is reminiscent of quirky characters in pop culture like Kate Winslet's emotionally fraught Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind or Angela Sarafyan's Clementine Pennyfeather in the popular sci-fi western, Westworld.
- Cleo: A lively vintage name that, at the moment, isn't very common.
- Clover: Perhaps a bit too twee, even for a list of whimsical names, Clover still must be mentioned. Like Juniper and Ivy, perhaps this name too deserves a moment in the spotlight.
- Daisy: Cute but definitely slightly quirky, most flower names come off as playful and Daisy is no exception.
- Delia: You may be thinking of the popular mail-order clothing for teens of the early millennium but I'm thinking about a feminine creative who doesn't let anything stop her.
- Dotty: Nickname for the more traditional "Dorothy", Dotty or Dottie is as campy as it is classic.
- Echo: This odd and underused name will give her a lot of room to invent herself.
- Eliza: Elizabeth's spirited, takes-no-shit cousin.
- Elmira: Retro and completely unpopular, there's a good chance you live near or have been through a small town named Elmira as it's most common use seems to be for naming places. This alone makes it a truly whimsical name.
- Ember: The beginning of a spark, Ember is the perfect name for a little girl born with fire in her belly.
- Everdeen: Quaint, Everdeen can be shortened to Ever.
- Finola: Irish in origin, Finola is an unlikely contender making it's way up the charts.
- Freya: Or "Freja", this name is Norse for "a noblewoman" and while it's gaining popularity, it's still relatively uncommon yet lovely.
- Georgia: Any MFM fans out there? Yes, no? A mix of punk and vintage charm, Georgia is a pretty but uncommon name.
- Gigi: Curious a cute, Gigi works as a nickname to heavier names like aforementioned Georgia or even Georgine, Gidget and Gemma but it's also spunky as a first name.
- Halsey: Rather exceptional, Halsey means "hallowed island" (how adventurous is that?) and if you're looking for a name that stands out while blending effortlessly with the other kids in the classroom, this might be the one for you!
- Harper: Popular for good reason (it was the #11 girl name in 2017), Harper is a playful, musical name that fits both a hobbling tot and a CEO.
- Heidi: Classic yet curious, Heidi is a great option if you're looking for a throwback.
- Hollis: Acceptable for both sexes, Hollis is a unique and poetic name that looks like it's going to gain popularity over the next few years.
- Indigo: A name that brings about images of deep blue hues, Indigo is a slightly strange but just as beautiful name that can also be shortened to Indi.
- Izzy: The spunky version of Isabelle.
- Jubilee: Exciting and uncommon, Jubilee may be more exuberant than whimsical but it still fits the list.
- June: As a shortened version of the fragrant sounding Juniper or as a strong and happy standalone, June makes me think of warm breezes, ice cream in every flavor and endless hours of play making this a perfectly whimsical name.
- Juniper: More serious than June, Juniper is a bit odd and curious as a first name - exactly what you might be looking for.
- Kiki: My very own nickname for the blunt and rather unfussy "Kierstin", Kiki means "double-joy" which you'll definitely experience calling for your own Kiki.
- Lark: Not just a bird! Lark is also another definition for "prank" which brings up all kinds of mischief and whimsy.
- Layla: A play on the once ultra-popular Kayla, Layla sounds like the pepped up version.
- Mae: Classic but still a bit feisty (think our beloved Mae West), Mae is a short and sweet nickname, middle name or spunky standalone.
- Maeby: Raise your hand if you're an Arrested Development devotee and if you are, you know that Maeby is the very definition of whimsical - curious, mischievous and of course, amusing.
- Maggie: Especially full of whimsy when paired with "Mae", Maggie is the quirky sister-name to Margaret.
- Maisie: When I think of Maisie, I, of course, think of the indelible Maisie mouse from the children's book series. Even if you don't remember Maisie, the name itself it pretty unforgettable and no doubt unconventional.
- Margot: Elegant, classic and still a bit strange, Margot is vintage French that's making a comeback this year.
- Maribel: Another old French name making a return to the charts is Maribel, a flirty combination of Mary and Belle.
- Marigold: A bright, sunny looking flower, Marigold also works as a unique name for your own little flower.
- Marilee: I once had an eccentric and loving art teacher with the same name and always associate this name with whimsy and curiousness.
- Millie: As the first name of the actress who plays Eleven in Stranger Things, Millie is gaining traction as an odd and adorable first name.
- Olive: What's more quaint and delicious than a little Olive? Much less popular than the been there, done that Olivia, Olive can become Ollie or Osie when you're feeling especially playful.
- Ona: A unique play on names like Ana and Anna, you can shift the pronunciation to fit your fancy whether you go with a hard or soft O.
- Penny: Both flirty and peculiar, Penny isn't too popular but it's certainly pleasant.
- Peony: If you're looking for an undoubtedly feminine name for your little girl that's also quaint and fairly unheard of, Peony is your answer!
- Piper: In the top #100 of 2017's names for girls, Piper isn't exactly rare, but it's definitely whimsical in its musical roots and perhaps even a bit mischievous.
- Pixie: Another word for "fairy", this name is the ultimate whimsical name, embodying those flittering and fluttering creatures who make whimsy and playfulness their ultimate business.
- Poesy: Poesy, which can easily be shortened to the writerly "Poe" is a charming and frisky name for a curious girl.
- Rooney: Not effeminate in the least, Rooney means "descendant of the champion" but has a jovial gait to it so how can it not win, really?
- Rosie: Cute, quaint, playful, flower-inspired—this name hits all of the marks.
- Roxie: A shortened version of the 80's reminiscent "Roxanne", Roxie can stand all on its own as a witty, spicy moniker for your full-of-life little one on the way.
- Ruby: Like the gem it lends its name to, Ruby is a sparkling, effervescent name that can carry your daughter from birth through adulthood.
- Shiloh: Sure, Brangelina went there with their firstborn but this still-obscure name which means "tranquil" is a quaint nod to classic children's fiction and a not-too-feminine moniker that would sound quite whimsical with a one-syllable middle name.
- Skylar: Another gender-neutral name that can be shortened to "Sky" or "Skye", Skylar is easy-on-the-tongue and looks playful on paper.
- Soleil: French for the word "sun", this name may not seem all that whimsical at first, but picture butterflies flitting among tall grasses in a sun-soaked meadow where bunnies play and suddenly this name totally fits the whimsy bill.
- Sonnet: While most "S" names on this list are really just playful words disguised as a name, Sonnet has a more serious sound to it. If you're looking for a unique but not nutso name this one might just be it!
- Story: Stay with me. What's more whimsical than a bedtime fairy tale, a well-told story before bed?
- Symphony: I'd never heard of this used as a name before my girls were briefly sucked into the saga of YouTube Vloggers Sam + Nia who named their oldest "Symphony" and before long the name grew on me. Every time I hear it said aloud, I hear the rising of stringed music, what could be more amusing than that?
- Tallulah: A bit of a tongue-twister, this one doesn't need any explanation for why it's playful, especially when you're practically singing "Lalala" as you pronounce it.
- Tilly: Quaint, amusing and adorable, Tilly stands on its own or as a sweet nickname to the equally whimsical Matilda.
- Twila: Another one that allows you to let out a frolicsome "laaa" as you call it out from the kitchen when you've just put together her favorite snack.
- Vivi: To me, Vivi is a fun, jaunty altname to the more grownup Vivian.
- Willa: A serious contender in the race for my own first daughter's name, Willa conjures up images of willow leaves dancing in a warm, sunny breeze. This name is cheerful and fun whether you're three weeks old or about to graduate from college and will carry her through adulthood.
- Winnie: Use this one as a nickname to the fancier Gwendolyn or Winifred or bestow it on its own. Either way, it's a classic yet eccentric name for your little one, who, if she lives up to the meaning behind her name, will be a peaceful, gentle friend.
- Wren: Like the bird who inspired this name, Wren is quaint and amusing either as a solid first name or a no-fuss middle name.
- Zula: Way less popular and dated than Zoe/Zoey/Zooey but still just as curious.
Questions & Answers
Should I give my baby a middle name?
You certainly don't have to, but let's be honest, culturally it's the norm, and if your child doesn't have a middle initial as an adult, it could be confusing on paperwork. That's not really a great reason to give your baby a middle name but here are a few better reasons:
1. It gives your child more flexibility when choosing a nickname as they get older.
2. It sets them apart from other kids. How many Rebeccas or Andrews do you know? Their middle names are what help make their identity unique to them.
3. Middle names are fun and can be a good way to throw in a family name that you wouldn't want to use as a first name but that you know would really honor the namesake.
When should I pick out a name for my baby?
Technically you don't need a name until after the baby is born, but you also can't take your baby home until they're born, so you're going to want to at least have a list of names to choose from before you leave for the hospital. Personally, I liked having our baby's name picked out around six weeks before they were due. That way, if the baby came early (and one of them did!), I wasn't left sifting through names while juggling a newborn.
© 2018 Kierstin Gunsberg