You can, of course. There’s classic Frances and daring Fable. We might think of Faith and maybe Fern and Fiona, too. Some PH names can also be F names, but some work better than others – for every Filomena, there’s a Fenix. And surnames, like Flynn and Foster, might work for our daughters, though they’re more typical for our sons.
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
The name of the Norse goddess of love and beauty, Freya caught on elsewhere in the English-speaking world first, but lately it’s climbing in the US, too.
A virtue name with a decidedly spiritual vibe, though Faith feels bigger than any single religion. No list of baby girl names starting with F is complete without this traditional word choice.
An Irish surname, and the only one of the Finn names used in big numbers for girls, making it a gender-neutral name.
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. Other spellings, like Fatema, Fatimah, and Fatma are used, too.
Traditional and lady-like, Frances comes with at least two spirited nicknames: boyish Frankie and vintage Franny. Spelling Francis is more typically used for boys. All of the Frances names share the same meaning: Frenchman.
The Italian form of Frances, with style to spare.
A lacy, delicate name with a great meaning: happiness or good fortune.
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. Spellings Fay and Fae are seen, too.
We love Nora, Cora, and Florence, so Flora fits right in.
A spelling of Freya to emphasize the name’s imported status.
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.
RARE GIRL NAMES STARTING WITH F
A romance language name with ancient Roman roots. Fabia, Fabiana, and Fabienne share the same Latin roots, from a word meaning – yes, really – beans.
A literally literary word name, a fable is a story that teaches a lesson.
FARAH and FARRAH
A classic Arabic name, Farrah Fawcett made it familiar in the US in the 1970s. It carries a great meaning; joy.
The Roman Faustus means lucky, as does this elaborate feminine form. Faustine is another possibility.
We love baby names borrowed from animals, like Wren and Bear. So why not this name for a young deer? It did see some use when nature name Dawn reached peak popularity in the middle of the twentieth century.
1980s favorite Heather opens the door – maybe – for Feather.
Like Felicity and Felix, Felicia means good luck.
A name with Scottish roots and a romantic meaning: white shoulder.
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.
From the Italian word for flame, Fiammetta is rare – and fiery.
Another Irish option, Fianna marries a pretty sound to a fierce meaning: band of warriors.
Piper was among the hottest baby girl names in the early 2000s. Fifer is a close cousin, but far less common.
A cousin to Finella.
A romance language spelling for Philomena, a name with a powerful meaning: to be loved.
A lovely Italian elaboration of fiore – which sounds fiery, but means flower.
An Arabic name with multiple potential meanings, and a surprising, but accessbile, sound.
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. Flor is the Spanish equivalent.
Yes another flower power pick, Florencia is the Spanish form of Florence.
A word name that seems calculated to bring good luck.
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. Like Frederick, it shares the powerful meaning “peaceful ruler.” Nickname Freddie ought to wear every bit as well as rising favorite Frankie.
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 and again on January 2, 2023.