Their meanings range from sunny to joyful, noble to strong. They’re light and bright, loving and hopeful. Some signal spring; others, faith.
It’s a long list, ranging from traditional choices to modern ones. No matter your style, odds are that some of these optimistic girl names will appeal.
NAMES MEANING BEAUTY AND SPLENDOR
The name of a warrior princess from Irish legend, Aoife means beauty. It’s often Anglicized as the similar-sounding Eva, another name on this list.
In Greek myth, Callisto and her son Arcas became Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. The name means “most beautiful,” but the association with a mama bear makes it fierce, too.
From the Greek kallos – beauty – just like Calista.
A Swahili name, Zuri means beautiful.
NAMES MEANING BLESSED AND LUCKY
From the Latin beatus – blessed. Pronounce it bay ah tah.
A mix of beatus and viatrix – voyager.
Good fortune follows this nature name.
NAMES MEANING BRIGHT AND LIGHT
An English – and New York – place name that shines.
From the Latin clarus – clear or bright.
Claire’s cousin, along with plenty of other names.
A modern virtue name take on classic Clara and Claire.
Invented by JRR Tolkien, Elanor means “star sun” in Sindarin.
Storied Helen likely means torch.
A Latin name meaning light.
The word light, in Latin.
Golden Oriana shines.
From the Hebrew phrase “light for me,” Orli fits right in with optimistic girl names.
A rarity from Greek myth, meaning bright.
Long associated with the moon, Phoebe means bright.
Several origins attach to Zahara, but in this case it’s the Hebrew meaning “to shine” that puts the name on our list of optimistic girl names.
NAMES MEANING DAWN
The Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora signals the start of a new day.
The morning star in Slavic languages, Danica refers to Venus, which appears in the east just before sunrise.
Ultimately a Persian name meaning dawn, Roxana came to the English-speaking world in an eighteenth century Daniel Defoe novel.
Another Slavic name, Zora means dawn. It fits right in with Nora, Cora, and Aurora, too.
NAMES MEANING FAITHFUL AND LOYAL
An old-school name that signals a steadfast heart.
An obvious virtue name choice for our times.
This one double dips. It comes from the Russian word for faith, but it sounds just like Latin verus – truth.
NAMES MEANING FRIENDSHIP
A medieval favorite, now near extinction, Amice came from the Latin amicus – friend.
Another name in the key of Felicity and Clarity, Amity shares Amice’s roots.
This French surname comes from the phrase belle ami – beautiful friend.
Ultimately a feminine form of Khalil, an Arabic name meaning friend.
Philo means friend, and mena, strength.
An Old Testament name that carries the meaning, as well as an Old Testament character who exhibited loyalty.
NAMES MEANING GIFT
Long before we automatically added “the Explorer” to Dora, this name came from the Greek doron – gift.
Another Dora name; the second syllable refers to God.
Isadora is just like Dorothy, except it means “gift of Isis.”
A Norse name meaning “sun gift.”
Yet another twist of Dorothy.
NAMES MEANING GOODNESS
A long-neglected vintage gem, Agatha means good.
This name’s roots go all the way back to ancient Persia. It means “possessing goodness.”
Eu/Ev is a Greek element meaning good; Euphraisie means “good cheer.”
Evadne combines good and holy.
This name might feel specifically Christian, but the meaning – good news – is not originally spiritual.
Originally from Sanskrit, Sushila means “good tempered.”
A Hebrew name meaning good.
A Basque name, Alaia means joyful.
Long before the allergy medication, Italian Allegra was a musical term meaning cheerful.
Directly from the word meaning happy.
An archaic English word, but with a modern meaning: happy.
Cheerful – and rare.
A rising favorite, Felicity also shares this upbeat meaning.
Joy’s Italian cousin.
Old Testament Hannah has different roots, but Arabic Hana means happiness.
The word name, short and complete.
A Latin name meaning glad.
An international name with multiple meanings, one of them is happy, via the Slavic rad.
A Yiddish name, Zelda also means happy or blessed.
NAMES MEANING HEAVEN OR SKY
A brief, complete name, Celia comes from the Latin caelum – heaven.
Ciel, Ciela, Cielle, and Cielo
In French and Spanish, the word ciel or cielo means heaven and sky. Ciela and Cielle might make the word just a little more name-like.
Like Ciel and company, the Hawaiian name Kalani also means heaven and sky.
This Spanish smoosh name almost certainly comes from Maria de Soledad. But it sounds like the Spanish phrase mar y sol – sea and sun.
Sky and Skye
An upward-looking, blue sky name that defines optimistic girl names.
NAMES MEANING HOPE
An Arabic name meaning hope.
From a Sanskrit element, Asha also means hope.
Translate hope into other languages, and you’ll find some lovely optimistic girl names, including this Spanish name.
Possibly the most 2021 name ever, Hope is an enduring virtue.
From a Slavic word for hope, Nadia also carries all the spirit of Olympic record-setter Nadia Comaneci.
NAMES MEANING LIFE AND SOUL
Multiple meanings attach, but the Spanish one matters here: soul.
A name from Arthurina legend, Enid means soul in Welsh.
The name of the first woman in the Old Testament, Eve literally means “to live.”
A Norse name, Liv share’s Eve’s meaning.
Vida and Vita
The Latin vita means life; Vida and Vita both have history as girls’ names.
Vivacious Vivian means alive, also from the Latin.
Among the most familiar girl names meaning life, though Zoe is now also spelled Zoey.
A literary name created by Edmund Spenser, Amoret means “little love.”
Cara and Carina
Both names come from Italian and mean beloved.
A modern Welsh name, Carys also means love.
A feminine form of David, Davina shares the meaning beloved.
A literary rarity turned rising favorite, Esme means esteemed.
Cornish Kerensa also means beloved.
Another name meaning beloved, Priya comes from Sanskrit.
NAMES MEANING SPRING AND BLOOMING
Literally a word meaning “to bloom.”
Chloe means “green shoot” in Greek.
Flowery Flora was the Roman goddess of spring.
In Greek myth, Persephone’s annual return to the land of the living brought forth springtime.
A familiar name in Greek myth, Thalia means “to blossom.”
NAMES MEANING STRONG AND BRAVE
All of the Adele names share a meaning: noble. Adelaide’s long A sound feels especially bold.
From a Hebrew word meaning mighty.
A French feminine form of Bernard, meaning brave as a bear.
One of several Leo names for girls, Leonie roars with all the strength of a lion.
A Germanic name meaning strength in battle.
This Spanish place name comes from the Latin valentia – vigor.
No surprise – Valentina is Valencia’s far more famous cousin.
Another name from the same Latin root, Valerie is a long-time go-to for our daughters.
NAMES MEANING VICTORY AND GLORY
From the Greek kleos, Cleo means glory.
From Nicolette, Colette shares Nicole’s meaning: victory of the people.
A name that sounds like rejoicing.
Another Nicole name with a victorious meaning.
Regal and triumphant, Victoria is also a Top 100 favorite in the US.
NAMES MEANING PEACE AND TRANQUILITY
From the Greek goddess of peace.
This name literally means dove, a symbol of peace.
The Latin word for peace, and once the Roman goddess of the same.
From mir, the Slavic word for peace.
An Arabic name meaning calm.
A New Testament name, Salome shares roots with the Hebrew shalom – peace.
From the word serene, meaning tranquil.
Vintage Winifred comes with a great meaning: fair and peaceful.
EVEN MORE OPTIMISTIC GIRL NAMES
Something about gold names suggests peace and prosperity, suggesting a Golden Age.
Whether you’re spiritual or not, Grace suggests a better future.
The goddess of the rainbow, Iris serves as a powerful symbol of hope.
Mirabel and Mirabelle
The Latin mirabilis means wonderful, making Mirabel/le a natural fit for optimistic girl names.
An Irish name meaning “bright sea,” there’s something upbeat and forward-looking about Muriel.
The Latin word for new, rich with possibilities and yes, optimism.
Virtue name Promise suggests better days ahead.
As in rose-colored glasses, everything is rosy, and coming up roses, too!