It’s a surprisingly versatile letter.
That wasn’t always true, though.
In the 1960s and 70s, names like Tracy and Tammy, Terri and Tina and Tanya were everywhere.
But now? There’s not a single girl’s name starting with T in the entire US Top 100.
And yet, dozens of appealing choices starting with T await.
MOST POPULAR T NAMES FOR GIRLS
An early surname favorite for girls, Taylor is now more likely to be the mom than the daughter. But the name remains in steady use. To an earlier generation, this name was all Hollywood screen legend Elizabeth Taylor. Now Taylor Swift keeps the name in the spotlight. But despite Swift’s hero status, her name continues to fall in use.
An early celebrity baby name, thanks to Ryan O’Neal and Joanna Moore’s daughter, Tatum Beatrice O’Neal, born way back in 1963. Today the name is surging in use as the latest unisex favorite, gaining in use for our sons as well as our daughters.
An Irish surname name, Teagan picks up where Megan left off.
A sparky short form of Theodora, Thea feels like a spin on long-time favorites like Leah and Mia.
Talia claims Hebrew roots; Thalia, Greek. Though they tend to meet in the middle, making for an appealing name that’s nicely international.
A number name of sorts, Trinity refers to the number three – especially in a religious sense. But it was 1999 sci fi movie The Matrix that put Trinity on top of the popularity charts.
It started out as a Theresa nickname, but now Tessa is the most popular form of the name.
Thalia with the H was one of the nine Muses in Greek myth. Her responsibility was comedy. Today, Talia and Thalia seem more interchangeable, akin to Teresa/Theresa rather than two distinct choices.
A Disney princess name, Tiana surged in popularity in the 1990s. It rose again following 2009 release of The Princess and the Frog. With the highly-publicized conversion of Disney’s Splash Mountain to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the New Orleans-born princess and entrepreneur is back in the spotlight.
With Theodore so popular, there’s plenty of space for Theodora to catch on, too.
A modern word name that fits right in with Ruby and Pearl, Promise and Royalty.
Another spelling for Tatum.
A form of Theresa preferred in Spanish, as well as Italian, German, and several Scandinavian languages.
A sparkly English surname, socialite Tinsley Mortimer raised the name’s profile, especially during the season she spent on the Real Housewives of New York.
Once associated with the exclusive jeweler, by the 1980s Tiffany was the name of every popular girl at the local shopping mall. But it has surprisingly deep roots, starting with the medieval Theophania, associated with the Feast of Epiphany.
The most popular of the trending Tru names.
RARE & OVERLOOKED GIRL NAMES STARTING WITH T
A New Testament name boosted by 1960s supernatural sitcom Bewitched, Tabitha has faded in use, but remains rich with potential. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fans will recognize Tabitha with the nickname Tibby.
An Arabic name meaning congratulations, fans of The Good Place will recognize Tahani.
Decades before Kai, Tai briefly caught on for girls. Credit goes to American figure skater Tai Babilonia, who competed in the 1976 and 1980 Winter Olympics with pairs partner Randy Gardner.
Likely a modern invention, model-turned-actor Talisa Soto raised the name’s profile in the 1990s.
Another New Testament name, Talitha comes from a phrase spoken by Jesus in the Bible.
A name with more than one possible origin, and ties to outspoken Hollywood actor Tallulah Bankhead.
An Old Testament name, Tamar means “date palm” in Hebrew. It’s also the name of a reigning medieval queen of Georgia. If we’re naming our children Willow and Rowan, is a palm tree any less promising?
In several Slavic and Romance languages, Tamar gained an A and became a runaway success of a given name. In the US, Tammy was often more popular, but Tamara ranked in the US Top 100 in the late 1960s into the early 1970s.
A feminine form of Thomas, via the elaborate Thomasina.
TANIA and TANYA
Originally short for Tatiana, but now given independently.
A rare name, Tanith is borrowed from an ancient goddess associated with Carthage.
A flower name, Tansy feels a little bit like popular pick Daisy.
A former favorite, Tara has both Irish and Sanskrit roots. While it owes its rise in the US to 1936 novel (and 1939 film) Gone With the Wind, Tara didn’t peak until the 1970s, making it very much a mom name today.
A slightly more tailored take on Tara, inspired by Lauren and Karen.
Short for Natasha or similar names, Tasha is both instantly familiar and surprisingly rare.
A sparkling gem of a name, Tatiana claims ancient roots going all the way back to Roman family name Tatius. While it occurs across nearly every European language, it’s particularly common in any of them today. It does tend to feel slightly Russian, if only because of the doomed Romanov princess, the Grand Duchess Tatiana, sister of the famous Anastasia.
TEGAN and TEEGAN
Two more possible spellings for surname name Teagan.
A virtue name made more visible by long-running crime procedural Bones, centered on the brilliant, eccentric Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan of the (fictional) Jeffersonian Institute.
A nickname of Tessa and Theresa, Tess is also a literary gem, thanks to Thomas Hardy’s enduring nineteenth century novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
A minor sea goddess from Greek myth, and a long and lovely rarity for a daughter.
As in actor Thandie Newton, born Thandiwe, which means beloved in Xhosa.
A contracted form of Theodora, and the name of silent film star Theda Bara.
A former Top 100 favorite, from the era when -elma names were as ubiquitous as -lia names now.
A close cousin to the Theodore names, Theodosia means “giving to God” instead of “gift.” But it’s Broadway musical Hamilton‘s sweet ballad “Dear Theodosia” that has raised this name’s profile.
The French form of Theresa.
An ancient region of Greece.
Ages before Juliet pined for Romeo, Thisbe loved Pyramus with results every bit as tragic.
A spiky Scottish nature name.
A feminine form of Thor, perhaps more wearable in our Nora-Cora-Flora moment.
Two more Irish imports that would fit right in with Riley and company.
Originally short for Matilda, though Oscar-winning actor Tilda Swinton makes it feel like an independent name, too.
If Millie followed Molly, will Tillie catch on, too?
A 1960s favorite, Tina is typically short for Christina, or any other name ending with the sound. Figures like rock icon Tina Turner and comedian Tina Fey keep it familiar.
Originally a Victoria nickname, Tori stands on its own today. Spellings abound, including Tory, Torrey, and Torrie.
2000’s Bring It On gave the word a young Kirsten Dunst as cheerleading captain Torrance Shipman. It’s a preppy, polished surname name, possibly borrowed from a place name … or Torrance “Torry” Castellano, drummer of the Donnas.
A Cornish name meaning third, Tressa feels like an twist on popular Tessa.
Like Tina, Trina is short for longer names that end with the sound.
A phoentic spelling for Tricia, Trisha started out as a Patricia nickname. Thanks to successful country pop singer Trisha Yearwood, this spelling probably feels most familiar. Trish and Tish are sometimes seen, too.
Short for Gertrude, or maybe a stand-alone name in our age of Ruby and Lucy.
A virtue name that’s spare, unisex, and powerful. Truth is another option.
Also spelled Truely – and Trulee and so on – this name is a little bit like vintage virtue names Felicity and Amity. But it’s also borrowed from 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which gave us Miss Truly Scrumptious, daughter of a candy factory owner.
A calendar name rarer than June or Summer, twentieth century actor Tuesday Weld put this on the list of possible choices for our daughters.
A name likely inspired by the word twilight, dancer Twyla Tharp lends this rarity plenty of creative energy.
What are your favorite girl names starting with T?
First published on January 4, 2021, this post was revised and re-published on January 3, 2022; January 30, 2023; and February 21, 2024.