Olivia, Sophia, Mia, and Amelia rank in the current Top Ten. Emilia, Aria, Victoria, Julia, and Lydia aren’t far behind.
It’s a sound that defines twenty-first century baby naming. The 1960s had Cynthia. Patricia had a good run, but it’s not quite the same sound. That’s also true for 1920s favorite Virginia.
While girl names ending in ia aren’t new – in fact, many trace their roots to the ancient world – they’ve never been more popular.
Maybe you love the sound, but want something just a little bit different.
Happily, options abound!
Girls’ names ending in ia range from the just slightly outside the current Top 100 to the rarer-than-rare.
From a Basque name meaning joy, or possibly an invention based on popular favorites like Aaliyah.
Names starting with Alex have been huge for both genders for decades now. Alexia’s -ia ending is fresh, but also brings to mind frozen potatoes and a type of dyslexia.
Possibly a slimmed-down spelling of Aaliyah, or a name with Arabic or Germanic roots, it’s a brief and appealing baby girl name.
A romance language take on Alice, a top 1980s favorite.
Swap the O for an A, and instead of a Top Ten name you have an obvious alternate spelling.
A former favorite, this feminine form of Anthony has never been wildly popular. But it boasts plenty of history, a Willa Cather literary pedigree, and nicknames from boyish Toni to ends in IA Tonia and more.
A musical choice, borrowed from opera, and popularized by Pretty Little Liars.
Depending on the spelling, this name may share roots with Amelia – or not. But she clearly owes her rise to the success of both Amelia and the Em- names, Emma and Emily.
A classic, sophisticated name with ancient Roman roots.
Yet another of the lovely Lily names parents may consider.
A completely separate name from Olivia, but a possible alternative.
Thanks to a martyr who met a gory end, the name Lucia has long been popular. During the Middle Ages, the typical English form became Lucy. Today, though, Lucia is often heard in the US, too.
The sound is wrong, but the letters are there. Maya is far more common.
While we debate the origin, Malia probably developed as a Hawaiian form of Maria. Former First Daughter Malia Obama boosted the name.
Enduring feminine classic, Maria combines centuries of history with a melodic, romantic name that’s often sung in song lyrics, from The Sound of Music to West Side Story to Blondie, Rage Against the Machine, and Santana.
A Top 100 favorite, not far behind long-time favorite Natalie.
A former Top Ten staple.
An global favorite with an irresistible meaning: wisdom.
A place name in Canada, Louisiana, and elsewhere, Acadia is a corruption of Arcadia.
An ancient Egyptian city associated with the largest library in its day, and a variation on the classic Alexandra. At five syllables, this might be the longest of the girl names ending in ia.
From the Greek province, but so much more than a place name. An unspoiled wilderness, Arcadia feels outdoorsy and romantic, too.
It’s a place name, though seldom heard. It’s also a Polish diminutive for Joanna, but in that case, it sounds more like Asha.
The neighborhood in Queens takes its name from John Jacob Astor, an early (and minor) investor in the area’s development.
It’s an ancient Latin name for Great Britain, and sometimes a feminine personification of the country. The image of Brittania appears on stamps and coins and statues, too.
A poetic name for Scotland, and, spelled Caldonia, the name of a 1945 hit song.
A Welsh name for Wales, and a pretty possibility for a daughter’s name.
Refers to Corinth, in Greece. Rarely used as a given name, but potentially on trend for the daring parent.
A region in Romania, and the name of a car manufacturer based there.
A feminine form of George, a former Soviet republic, and, of course, a Southern state with a romantic vibe.
There’s more history to India than you might guess.
Inspired by ancient Laurentum, which took its name from the laurel. Laurel wreaths were symbols of victory, so this is an auspicious name, though we seldom hear girls answering to Laurencia.
It’s a region in Asia Minor and, in the New Testament, a woman’s name.
As in the country in Southeast Asia, though Malaysia sounds very name-like, too.
Brings to mind oranges, and a region of Spain.
Like Georgia, a place name with a long history of use.
A type of tree, known for its thorns.
More often spelled Astraea, it comes from the Greek word for star – aster.
Lively and colorful, Begonia rarely appears as a give name. But it might just work …
Calanthe is a type of orchid – and perhaps another possible given name. It comes from antha – flower – and the Greek word for beauty, just like the calla lily.
It could be a feminine form of the old Roman family name Cassius, or maybe borrowed from a type of flowering shrub and a type of cinnamon, too. Kezia and Keziah are other forms of the name.
The name you’d more likely hear is Celeste, but this is another celestial possibility.
There’s a romantic elegance to antique Dahlia, a flower named for a Swedish botanist, Anders Dahl.
An elaborate form of Florence, which actually means flourishing – but sounds at home in the garden, and with girl names ending in ia.
A flowering plant from Africa and Asia, Gardenia gets its name from Dr. Alexander Garden, an eighteenth century naturalist.
The terribly pretty scientific name for the nightingale.
So nickname rich! There’s Maggie and Nola, and a few others, too. How can we not be using Magnolia?
Also spelled Olimpia, it refers to Mount Olympus, home of the Greek pantheon.
Among the dozens of Rose names, this is one that also ends with IA.
Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the co-founders of Rome. It comes from the Latin silva – forest. Sylvie is trending now, but Sylvia (and Silvia) have potential, too.
A zippy Z possibility for girls, and also a botanical choice.
The most golden of the girl names ending in ia.
It literally means “not inclined to run away.”
One of the Three Graces in Greek myth, Agalaia is the kid sister. She was in charge of splendor. Is that a virtue? Maybe, but it’s definitely a bold meaning. It’s also a type of tree in the mahogany family, so Aglaia could do double duty.
Also spelled Alethea and Aletheia, it’s the word for truth – and sometimes a personification of truth.
A deeply religious name – it refers to the resurrection – Anastasia is fairly popular in recent decades.
That eu means good, and Euphrasia means good cheer. It’s an upbeat, unexpected name. In Les Misérables, Cosette’s real name is Euphrasie.
Like Felix, it means happy. Parents are more likely to choose Felicity today, but Felicia has history.
From the Latin fidelis – faithful. It reminds me of Fidelio, the name of Beethoven’s only opera. It’s a great meaning, but perhaps too reminiscent of Fidel Castro.
A literary adoption in the late nineteenth century, Gloria comes from the Latin and literally means glory.
An elaboration of the word honor, and one of the rare but wearable girl names ending in ia.
LAETITIA, LETICIA, LETITIA, LETIZIA
From a Late Latin name meaning joyful, it’s a happy name with a vintage sound. Spanish names include Leticia, while Italians opt for Letizia.
A Slavic short form of a longer name meaning hope.
Welcoming baby #8? This could be the name for you. Author Octavia Butler makes a noteworthy namesake.
In Greek, ophelos means help. The name was first used in literature, and Shakespeare’s Ophelia leans tragic. But Ofelia from Pan’s Labyrinth gives the name new life, as does a
This name may come from the same roots as pork, but the accomplished Portia drips with meaning to anyone who has read The Merchant of Venice.
From a Greek word meaning sensible.
If Theodora is “gift of God,” then Theodosia means God gives. It’s an obscure antique made slightly more familiar by Hamilton’s sweet ballad to Theodosia Burr.
From the Latin valere – to be strong. Early saints answered to Valeria and the masculine Valerius, too.
SHORT & SWEET
The word Brio means spirited. Bria could be a feminine form, or just a creative invention.
A primordial earth goddess in Greek myth, mother to the Titans. Gaia rhymes with Maya. Emma Thompson gave the name to her daughter.
This short form of Giovanna can appeal to parents with an affection for mini names like Mia.
A re-spelling of the Biblical Leah, or a short form of many names on this list.
A mini name with mulitple origins, notably the Swahili word for purpose. It’s the fifth day of Kwanzaa.
A mini name with a powerful meaning: pious.
The name of the symbol on New Mexico’s flag, as well as an indigenous people, or an Arabic name meaning light or glow.
BORROWED FROM MYTH
Many of the -ia names have ties to myth and legend. Asteria is an especially common name in Greek mythology, worn by an Amazon, and a number of minor goddesses, including one associated with falling stars. The Greek word aster means star.
The mother of Andromeda in Greek mythology, and a constellation in our night sky. The name is probably related to Cassia.
Cynthia didn’t become a common given name until very recently, but it stretches back to ancient days. Artemis and her twin brother Apollo were born on a mountain called Kynthos on the island of Delos. Cynthia was a title associated with the goddess.
Cynthia refers to the mountain, while Delia refers to the island. The name Delia is also associated with Artemis.
One of the nymphs tending a garden paradise at the edge of the world.
The Norse goddess of spring was called Idunn. I’ve seen Idony and Idonea in use, borrowed into English in the medieval era. Idonia is rare, but there’s an 1891 novel by the name, and this spelling appears in the historical record over the years.
The daughter of King Agamemnon. The king insulted the goddess Artemis. To make amends, he was required to sacrifice his daughter. Most accounts suggest that the goddess intervened at the last moment.
In Greek myth, one of the sirens. Edgar Allan Poe later used the name in one of his scary stories.
One of the nine muses, Thalia’s provenance was comedy. Talia can be an alternate spelling or a separate Hebrew name.
SAINTS & ANCIENTS
Her name honors the goddess Artemis, but we remember Artemisia as the builder of the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Olivia and Amelia helped bring this ends in IA name along, too. The Cecilia spelling is more popular, but both are valid. The original Cecilia was a third century Christian martyr – and the patron saint of musicians, long before Simon and Garfunkel recorded their hit song. The similar-sounding Celia is another possibility.
Claudia comes from a Roman family name, and it’s mentioned in the New Testament.
Legend has it that Cloelia was taken hostage by one of Rome’s rivals, but she escaped. Her bravery made her a heroine. The pronunciation is closer to Clelia, and that spelling is sometimes seen, too.
Shakespeare gave this name to Lear’s loyal daughter. He was borrowed it from the name of a legendary queen of the Britons. It’s a sentimental favorite for Anne of Green Gables fans, too.
From a Roman family name, Cornelia feels like a vintage nineteenth century revival with a dose of Dutch influence. The original Cornelia was considered a model of matronly deportment.
Another name that honors a goddess, this time Demeter. It’s been made slightly more famous by celebrities like Demi Moore and Demi Lovato.
The name of an early Christian martyr, Euphemia means “to speak well.”
The patron saint of Barcelona, Eulalia means “to speak sweetly.” Edgar Allan Poe used the French form, Eulalie, for one of his poems.
Like Aurelia, this is an old Roman family name meaning golden. Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mystery series gave the name to an 11-year-old girl turned detective in 1950s England.
Traditional Irish name Gráinne is often Anglicized as Grania, making this one of the girl names ending in IA.
An ancient Roman name with an upbeat meaning: cheerful.
A fifth century philosopher, astronomer and mathematician, one of the most accomplished women of the ancient world.
Yes, simply Ia. Or possibly Eia or even Hia. Legend tells that Ia was born an Irish princess, but sailed for Cornwall where she became an evangelist, and then a martyr and a saint.
Another Roman rarity, Junia appears in the New Testament.
In Greek myth, she’s a hero’s wife. Lavinia also had a good run in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, lending this name a vintage vibe.
This name belong to a wronged Roman maiden whose suffering played a role in the course of history. The Italian ‘z’ spelling brings to mind Lucrezia Borgia of the famous – or maybe infamous – Italian dynasty.
A title associated with the goddess Athena, meaning maiden – and the source of the name of the Parthenon, too.
Worn by an ancient queen, Zenobia’s profile was boosted just a bit when Tina Fey choose this as her daughter Alice’s middle name. It’s also spelled Xenobia.
A masculine name in the Old Testament, today it seems more like an Adele/Amelia mash-up.
Cousin to Adriana and Adrienne.
Another masculine find from the Old Testament, easy to imagine on a girl today.
It looks like a girl’s name, but traditionally Elia is an other form of Elijah in some languages. Still, it’s easy to imagine parents inventing this name for a daughter in the 2020s.
This name could have Greek roots, but it looks a lot like a female name equivalent to Evan.
Add some syllables to Eva and this is what you get.
Also spelled Kaja, it’s a Scandinavian short form of Katherine. Katia is another Katherine nickname that fits with girl names ending in IA.
Maybe a twist on place name Kenya, or a feminine form of Ken names.
A cousin to Leah, Leia was nearly unknown in the US before Star Wars, this space princess/general name is now a hero choice for our daughters.
Probably derived from an Old Testament name, Mahalia brings to mind the Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson.
Probably influenced by Milena and plenty of other Mil- names, Milania was boosted when a Real Housewives of New Jersey castmember chose the name for a daughter. Melania is another form of Melanie.
Likely a modern invention, Zaria could be based on an Arabic name meaning flower or even Voltaire’s tragic heroine Zaïre.
Heard during the Middle Ages, Avicia’s origins are uncertain. It might be a Latinized form of Avis, sometimes spelled Avice. Or it might come from Aveza, which means desired.
Bithiah is a figure in the Old Testament. Her name was sometimes respelled Bethia, though it is quite rare now, regardless of spelling.
The usual feminine form of David is Davina, but this elaboration is sometimes heard, as is Davia.
There are plenty of possible sources for Elvia, from a feminine form of Elvis to elf to Gaelic name Ailbhe.
This name is used by Spanish speakers, though the name’s origins are unclear. It might be an elaboration of Ida.
A third century saint’s name of uncertain origin, boosted by sharing sounds with Leo.
Among the many feminine forms of Otto, these two are rarer than some.
The current Queen of Jordan answers to Rania, while Ronia was used by Astrid Lindgren for one of her many fictional characters.
Before Rose was a flower name, it was derived from a completely separate Germanic word. Rohesia was the Latinized form of this earlier name, often spelled Rohese.
It sounds familiar, maybe because Stacy and Stacey are well-established choices for girls. (Though many of those girls are now mom-aged.) But it’s actually quite rare, an appealing alternative to Sophia, slightly less elaborate than Anastasia, probably more wearable than Eustacia.
Several origins are possible, but in many cases, it’s a contraction of Spanish double name Analucia.
Another cousin to Amelia, much less common in English.
It might be the Spanish form of Dahlia; a Lithuanian goddess name; a Hebrew name meaning branch; or simply an invention based on popular choices like Alia.
The Spanish and Italian forms of Grace.
A Polish cousin to Anna and Hannah, as well as an Arabic name meaning pleasant.
A fifth-century saint, Xenia means hospitality. Ksenia is a Slavic spelling.
The Spanish answer to Noelle, a great name for a daughter born on Christmas day.
An unusual Dutch name that could wear well in the US.
A Russian nickname for Sophia, and a given name in her own right, though the spelling Sonya is also popular.
A Hebrew name meaning “dew from God.”
Drop the c, and you have the Italian version of Victoria.
Sometimes spelled Jesenia, this name comes from a South American tree, and was popularized by a 1970s telenovela.
The Polish form of Sophia.
Do you have any favorite girl names ending in IA?
Originally published on March 22, 2013, this post was revised and republished on October 3, 2023.