It’s not just that names are getting longer, either.
Not so long ago, every Elizabeth was a Betty or a Lizzie or a Bess. But today? Elizabeth probably uses her name in full. The same is true for Eleanor, Valentina, and Josephine.
New names pick up on this trend, too. Rising choices like Ellianna and Ariella seem designed to layer on the syllables.
Which long girl names are the longest? Which seem most wearable? This list rounds up dozens and dozens of the very best.
Of course, pronunciation varies. Names like Cordelia can be shortened to three or stretched to four. That’s true for many names on this list. But every elaborate choice fits right in with long girl names.
FOUR-SYLLABLE GIRL NAMES
We love sweet Adeline. Spellings like Adelyn, Adalynn, and Adalyn all rank, too. No surprise, then, that Adelina also ranks in the current Top 1000.
A feminine form of traditional Adrian, Adriana became a 90s favorite.
While it’s rare as a given name, Alabama looms large in fiction. Two memorable characters come to mind. There’s the main character in Zelda Fitzgerald’s only novel, and the heroine of cult classic True Romance.
Alethea comes from a Greek word meaning truth. If Sophia and Athena are stylish, why not Alethea?
ALEJANDRA, ALESSANDRA, ALEXANDRA
1980s sensation Alexandra still feels plenty traditional. Romance language versions Alessandra and Alejandra make for slightly different choices.
A Spanish name borrowed from one of Mary’s titles, Altagracia means “high grace.”
Count Amaryllis among the wearable rare flower names, even at four syllables.
AMABELLA, ANNABELLA, ARABELLA
Amabella came first, derived from the Late Latin Amabilis – lovable. Annabella and Arabella both developed from the original.
Strictly speaking, the German Anneliese is pronounced just like Annalisa. But Annalisa might make more sense in the English-speaking world.
ANTONIA, ANTONINA, ANTONELLA
Many pronounce Antonia with just three syllables, but it is possible to extend it to four. Antonina and Antonella definitely tip the syllable scale at four each.
Araceli means “altar of the sky.” Maria de Araceli serves as the patron saint of Lucena, Spain. The name has been used in the US since the 1960s.
Araminta feels like a Victorian concoction, but the name was coined in the late 1600s for a William Congreve play. It’s been used sparingly ever since, including a minor figure in the Harry Potter series.
ARIANA, ARIANNA, ARIADNE
Pop sensation Ariana Grande comes to mind. But this name was wildly popular even before the singer scored her first hit. And of course Ariadne, who helped Theseus defeat the Minotaur in Greek myth, is the original form.
Shakespeare gave the name Ariel to a sprite in The Tempest. Then Disney chose it for The Little Mermaid in 1989. But it’s not aquatic. Instead, Ariel is a Hebrew name meaning “lion of God.” While it’s typically masculine, Ariella sounds frilly and feminine.
Anastasia might belong on the five-syllable names list. Except Americans tend to say stay szha, not stay SEE ah. The youngest of the doomed Romanov princesses, rumor claimed that Anastasia survived her family’s grim fate. A few decades later, an animated musical version of the story also kept this name on parents’ radar.
It brings to mind the princess rescued by Perseus in Greek myth, as well as a constellation in the night sky. However, as a given name, Andromeda is rare.
Angelina and Angelisa turn traditional Angela up to eleven.
A Hindu goddess name, and a towering mountain in the Himalayas.
AVALINA, AVELINA, EVALINA, EVALENA
While some of these names have independent roots, they all feel like inventive spins on Ava, Eva, or Eva.
AVABELLA, CLEOBELLA, MIABELLA
Smoosh names have a long history of use, and with Isabella in favor, other ends-in-bella names feel like possibilities.
Aviana makes the list thanks to Amy Adams’ daughter Aviana, born in 2010.
Both names are feminine forms of Benedict, as in the former pope and the Oscar-nominated actor.
Move over, Penelope! There are plenty of Greek names for girls that share the same qualities: easy nicknames, the fun ‘e’ ending, and a great story. Calliope was the Greek goddess of epic poetry.
Charlotte and Caroline both rank in the US Top 100, but Carolina remains less common. It feels Southern, thanks to the US states, as well as high fashion, thanks to Venezuelan-born fashion designer Carolina Herrera.
CATALINA, CATARINA, CATERINA, KATARINA, KATERINA
Regal, saintly Katherine has an almost infinite number of variants, many of which boast four syllables. The Spanish Catalina also brings to mind the California island.
Rare Corinthia appears in a William Faulker novel. But it originally comes from an ancient Greek city state.
DAENERYS, DEIANIRA, DAYANARA
In Greek myth, Hercules married Deianira. Dayanara might be a modernized spelling, or it could be something new. George RR Martin invented Daenerys for Game of Thrones, but the sound is similar.
Born Demetria, Demi Moore found fame in Hollywood after shortening her name. The Greek original honors the goddess Demeter.
Othello’s doomed love answered to Desdemona. Her name first appeared in a poem by the Italian writer Cinzio. His 1565 work Un Capitano Moro is believed to be the basis for Shakespeare’s Othello. While Desdemona fits with long names for girls, the meaning – ill-fated – might be off-putting.
Domenica and Dominica serve as feminine forms of the Top 100 Dominic.
As in Versace, and Donna Moss, The West Wing character. It’s derived from the Latin donatus – given. Donatello is more familiar, thanks to the Renaissance sculptor and his namesake Ninja Turtle.
Don Quixote’s beloved, and the name of a Toad the Wet Sprocket album from 1994. Shortens the oh-so-sweet Dulcie. Other elaborations, like Dulcibella, have history, too.
Elizabeth is a venerable classic, and Elisabeth is the just slightly different form. Both feel classic and enduring, and also belong with longer names for girls.
This name made headlines when British prime minister David Cameron and wife Samantha welcomed daughter Florence Rose Endellion. It’s the name of a Cornish saint, honoring the place of the youngest Cameron’s birth.
This name peaked around the time Disney released their musical take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame around the time Disney’s musical movie was released in 1996. Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling named their daughter Esmeralda in 2014, and it remains in steady use today.
A literary, romantic Eve- name with a spiritual meaning, Evangeline has been quite popular in recent years.
FEDERICA, FREDERICA, FREDERICKA
All feminine forms of Frederick, and every bit as wearable as Alexandra. Plus, Freddie is sweet and sparky on a girl, a sister for Sadie. If Francesca and Frankie seem stylish, Frederica and Freddie could be, too.
Fiery Fiorella actually comes from the Italian word flower – fiore. It’s a promising alternative to the oh-so-popular Isabella.
Spanish Florencia comes from English Florence.
A name from Greek myth, the name Galatea was later given to Pygmalion’s living statue.
It’s an out-of-this-world rarity, a feminine form of Galileo, meaning “from Galilee.”
In Spanish, Grace becomes Gracia. And Gracia can be elaborated to Graciela. One-part virtue name, one-part long names for girls.
We love the French Genevieve. The Spanish form, Genoveva, feels every bit as appealing.
The Italian feminine form of John, Giovanna is sometimes spelled Giavanna in the US.
Hattie and Hettie fit right in with Sadie. But they started out as short forms of Harriet and Henrietta, both derived from Henry.
Wildly popular, yes. But a lovely name with a rich history, too.
Several saints have answered to forms of this name, but it’s most famous thanks to dancer Isadora Duncan.
Classic Julia brings to mind plenty of distinguished women, from the ancient world to more recent years. Juliana sounds more dramatic, but just as enduring.
Juliet is forever tied to Shakespeare’s tale of young love. The Italian Giulietta and English Julietta fit with long girl names.
The Arabic Khadija became the four-syllable Kadiatou in western Africa.
LILIANA, LILLIANA, LILIANNA, LILLANNA
Choose your number of Ls and Ns! This long name for Lily feels quite current today.
A Hawaiian name, Lilinoe means heavenly mists. Pronounced with four syllables, it seems both accessible and elaborate.
Another Lily name, Liliosa was a Spanish saint. It transforms a Top 100 staple into an elaborate surprise.
Lucy and Lucia are short and popular. However, it’s Luciana that fits in with longer names for girls.
Madeline maxes out at three syllables. Meanwhile, the Italian Maddalena turns it up to four.
Magdalena feels international, compared to the English version Madeline.
Mary Anne reads simple and sweet. The elaborate Mariana, on the other hand, sounds romantic.
Modern classic Nicole seems slightly French and undeniably familiar. Add -etta or -ina to the end for something a little more dramatic.
Octavia refers to the number eight. It substitutes nicely for the chart-topping Olivia. Plus, it’s perfect for your eighth daughter – or, more practically, a daughter born in August.
One of the long names for girls that proves four syllables isn’t too many. Made famous by the Australian singer who starred in Grease, it now stands at the very top of the popularity charts.
Another O name that shares sounds with powerhouse Olivia.
This name was obscure back when Christina Ricci starred in the fairytale movie by the name. Today, Penelope is a favorite chosen by everyone from Tina Fey to Kourtney Kardashian.
A lovely alternative to Penelope, rare but not unfamiliar.
Petra is a feminine form of Peter. Petronella is an even longer form. The -nilla spelling was worn by an early saint, but the -nella ending lends itself to nickname Nell.
It could mean loved, or it might mean “friend of strength.” Either way, Philomena has a great meaning. The early saint’s name is obscure in the US today, but if girls can be Francesca, why not Philomena?
RAFAELLA, RAFFAELLA, RAPHAELA
We all know the name Raphael, thanks to the archangel. The feminine forms are rare in English, but fit with longer names for girls.
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck put this unusual name on the list when they chose it for their daughter in 2009.
Sophronius means sensible. It was the name of a seventh century saint. It’s rare, but brings to mind chart-topper Sophia.
In Latin, Stella Maris means “Star of the Sea.” Maybe that sounds like a nature name. Instead, it comes from a title given to Mary. That makes it spiritual, and unexpected, too. Reverse the elements, and Maristela is another option.
Theodora means gift of God. Like Theodore, there’s plenty of history attached to this name.
Hamilton’s “Dear Theodosia” could lead to a few more girls given the name.
A Spanish place name, Valenica brings to mind oranges. More recently, it’s the name of a Decembrists’ single.
A fast-rising favorite, Valentina suggests valentines. But this romantic name carries a different meaning. It comes from the Latin valens – strong.
Call Veronica a quirky classic. It brings to mind Winona Ryder’s offbeat character in cult classic Heathers and Kristen Bell’s crime-solving girl detective, to name just two.
The name Victoria belongs to a Roman goddess and a famous queen, too. A Top 100 favorite, Victoria belongs with classics like Alice and Mary.
Violet ranks in the Top 100. Add another syllable, and Violetta sounds even more flowery.
Sure, there’s Willa and Willow. But if you like longer names for girls, Wilhelmina and Williamina work.
Tina Fey named her firstborn daughter Alice Zenobia. And it’s literary, too. Nathaniel Hawthorne chose it for a character in The Blithedale Romance.
FIVE-SYLLABLE GIRL NAMES
We love Alexandra. Alexandria is an ancient city, but also reasonably familiar as a girl’s name. Alexandrina is rare, but there’s at least one notable bearer – it’s the given name of Queen Victoria herself.
Combine classic and spare Ann and Mary to form a romantic, elaborate name.
The Borrowers introduced us to Arrietty. While the name’s origins are obscure, it might be a spin on Harriet. At least, Arietta seems to derive from Harriet.
Candelaria comes from the feast of Candelmas. It commemorates the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple.
Cassiopeia is a constellation in the night sky. It also makes a long and elaborate name for a daughter. Nickname Cassie brings it back down to earth.
ELIZABELLA, ELISABETTA, ELIZAVETA
Start with four-syllable Elizabeth or Isabella. Then combine elements and borrow foreign versions. Beofre you know it, you’ve reached five syllables.
Emilia is a fast-rising favorite. Emiliana extends the sound.
Evangeline already makes the list of longer girl names. Evangelina, of course, goes a little farther.
GIOVANNELLA, GIOVANNETTA, GIOVANNINA
Giovanna feels long and lovely. Adding an extra syllable creates even more elaborate forms.
Isabelline is a pale yellow-grey color. Isabellina, of course, takes the syllable count to five.
Leocadia fits in with all those Leo names for boys. It comes from the name of a fourth-century Spanish martyr.
Yes, Louisiana comes in at five syllables. But if we’re naming our daughters Georgia and Savannah, Louisiana fits. Plus, Louisa and Louise help establish Louisiana as a promising place name.
Max names to the max!
Rose and Mary form Rosemary, with just three syllables. Rosamaria takes it up to five.
Big and bold, Serendipity is long on sound and syllables.
What do you think of long girl names?
First published on March 13, 2015, this post was revised and re-published on September 16, 2020.