You can, of course. There’s classic Frances and daring Fable. We all think of Faith and maybe Fern and Fiona, too.
Overall, when it comes to letters, relatively few F names for girls come to mind. In fact, the most popular of the girls names starting with F doesn’t even crack the current Top 100. It ranks 21st out of the 26 letters of the alphabet in terms of popularity.
And yet, some truly spectacular choices make this list. There’s a literary star to rival Harper, more than one Italian charmer, and a girl detective name, too. A few lean fanciful; other girl names starting with F feel traditional and serious.
So even if it’s a short list, rich possibilities still come to us from the letter F.
MOST POPULAR GIRL NAMES STARTING WITH F
A virtue name with a decidedly spiritual vibe, though Faith feels bigger than any single religion.
An Old Norse name, Freya was the goddess of love and beauty. It caught on elsewhere in the English-speaking world first, but lately it’s climbing in the US, too.
An Irish surname name, and the only one of the Finn names used in big numbers for girls.
Poet James Macpherson made it famous in 1762 poem Fingal; Shrek gave it to Cameron Diaz’s half-ogre princess and introduced it to a new generation.
The name of the prophet Muhammed’s daughter in Islam, she lent her name to the “Hand of Fatima,” or hamsa. It’s an amulet picturing an eye inside of a hand, thought to ward off evil. Fatima, Portugal is also the site of a Marian apparition.
A lacy, delicate name with a great meaning: happiness.
Traditional and lady-like, Frances comes with at least two spirited nicknames: boyish Frankie and vintage Franny.
The Italian form of Frances, with style to spare.
An alternative to Isabella or Francesca, Fernanda is the Spanish and Italian equivalent of continental Ferdinand.
A unisex nickname name in the key of Charlie, Frankie might be short for Frances or Francesca … or stand on its own.
A sweet mini name, Faye might bring to mind fairies, Arthurian legend, or the Fates of Greek mythology.
An elegant name associated with a storied Italian city, Florence is making a comeback.
Ever since Dynasty introduced Fallon Carrington in 1981, the name has seen an uptick in use. The character is at the heart of the CW’s reboot of the famous series, introducing it to a new generation of parents.
German and Scandi Frida means peace, but it signals a powerful creative force, thanks to renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
We love Nora, Cora, and Florence, so Flora fits right in.
A spelling of Freya to emphasize the name’s imported status.
RARE GIRL NAMES STARTING WITH F
A literally literary word name, a fable is a story that teaches a lesson.
The Roman Faustus means lucky, as does this elaborate feminine form.
A Dutch name meaning peace, Fenna fits with Gemma and Stella.
A gentle nature name, Fern appears on many a child’s bookshelf as the girl from Charlotte’s Web.
Either a modern twist on Mia, or a simplified spelling of the Irish Fiadh – literally meaning deer, but associated with the idea of all things wild and free.
A lovely Italian elaboration of fiore – which sounds fiery, but means flower.
A surname name meaning red, Southern writer Flannery O’Connor makes it literary.
From an ancient Roman name meaning golden, Flavia might be best known as the girl detective invented by Alan Bradley.
The French word for flower, and a heroic Harry Potter name, too.
Yes another flower power pick, Florencia is the Spanish form of Florence.
A sweetly vintage Frances name, seldom heard today but certain to be revived in the future.
The feminine form of Frederick, Frederica feels like a substitute for Alexandra, Isabella, or Victoria.
What are your favorite girl names starting with F?
Originally published on September 28, 2020, this post was revised and re-posted on December 6, 2021.