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
Aoife – 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.
Calista – 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.
Calla – From the Greek kallos – beauty – just like Calista.
Zuri – A Swahili name, Zuri means beautiful.
NAMES MEANING BLESSED AND LUCKY
Beata – From the Latin beatus – blessed. Pronounce it bay ah tah.
Beatrix – A mix of beatus and viatrix – voyager.
Clover – Good fortune follows this nature name.
NAMES MEANING BRIGHT AND LIGHT
Brighton – An English – and New York – place name that shines.
Claire – From the Latin clarus – clear or bright.
Clarity – A modern virtue name take on classic Clara and Claire.
Elanor – Invented by JRR Tolkien, Elanor means “star sun” in Sindarin.
Helen – Storied Helen likely means torch.
Lucia – A Latin name meaning light.
Lux – The word light, in Latin.
Oriana – Golden Oriana shines.
Orli – From the Hebrew phrase “light for me,” Orli fits right in with optimistic girl names.
Phaedra – A rarity from Greek myth, meaning bright.
Phoebe – Long associated with the moon, Phoebe means bright.
Zahara – 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
Aurora – The Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora signals the start of a new day.
Danica – The morning star in Slavic languages, Danica refers to Venus, which appears in the east just before sunrise.
Roxana – Ultimately a Persian name meaning dawn, Roxana came to the English-speaking world in an eighteenth century Daniel Defoe novel.
Zora – Another Slavic name, Zora means dawn. It fits right in with Nora, Cora, and Aurora, too.
NAMES MEANING FAITHFUL AND LOYAL
Constance – An old-school name that signals a steadfast heart.
Faith – An obvious virtue name choice for our times.
Vera – This one double dips. It comes from the Russian word for faith, but it sounds just like Latin verus – truth.
NAMES MEANING FRIENDSHIP
Amice – A medieval favorite, now near extinction, Amice came from the Latin amicus – friend.
Amity – Another name in the key of Felicity and Clarity, Amity shares Amice’s roots.
Bellamy – This French surname comes from the phrase belle ami – beautiful friend.
Kalila – Ultimately a feminine form of Khalil, an Arabic name meaning friend.
Philomena – Philo means friend, and mena, strength.
Ruth – An Old Testament name that carries the meaning, as well as an Old Testament character who exhibited loyalty.
NAMES MEANING GIFT
Dora – Long before we automatically added “the Explorer” to Dora, this name came from the Greek doron – gift.
Dorothy – Another Dora name; the second syllable refers to God.
Isadora – Isadora is just like Dorothy, except it means “gift of Isis.”
Sunniva – A Norse name meaning “sun gift.”
Theodora – Yet another twist of Dorothy.
NAMES MEANING GOODNESS
Agatha – A long-neglected vintage gem, Agatha means good.
Daria – This name’s roots go all the way back to ancient Persia. It means “possessing goodness.”
Euphraisie – Eu/Ev is a Greek element meaning good; Euphraisie means “good cheer.”
Evadne – Evadne combines good and holy.
Evangeline – This name might feel specifically Christian, but the meaning – good news – is not originally spiritual.
Sushila – Originally from Sanskrit, Sushila means “good tempered.”
Tova – A Hebrew name meaning good.
Alaia – A Basque name, Alaia means joyful.
Allegra – Long before the allergy medication, Italian Allegra was a musical term meaning cheerful.
Bliss – Directly from the word meaning happy.
Blythe – An archaic English word, but with a modern meaning: happy.
Corliss – Cheerful – and rare.
Felicity – A rising favorite, Felicity also shares this upbeat meaning.
Gioia – Joy’s Italian cousin.
Hana – Old Testament Hannah has different roots, but Arabic Hana means happiness.
Joy – The word name, short and complete.
Leta – A Latin name meaning glad.
Raya – An international name with multiple meanings, one of them is happy, via the Slavic rad.
Zelda – A Yiddish name, Zelda also means happy or blessed.
NAMES MEANING HEAVEN OR SKY
Celia – 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.
Kalani – Like Ciel and company, the Hawaiian name Kalani also means heaven and sky.
Marisol – 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
Amal – An Arabic name meaning hope.
Asha – From a Sanskrit element, Asha also means hope.
Esperanza – Translate hope into other languages, and you’ll find some lovely optimistic girl names, including this Spanish name.
Hope – Possibly the most 2021 name ever, Hope is an enduring virtue.
Nadia – From a Slavic word for hope, Nadia also carries all the spirit of Olympic record-setter Nadia Comaneci.
NAMES MEANING LIFE AND SOUL
Alma – Multiple meanings attach, but the Spanish one matters here: soul.
Enid – A name from Arthurina legend, Enid means soul in Welsh.
Eve – The name of the first woman in the Old Testament, Eve literally means “to live.”
Liv – 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.
Vivian – Vivacious Vivian means alive, also from the Latin.
Zoe – Among the most familiar girl names meaning life, though Zoe is now also spelled Zoey.
Amoret – A literary name created by Edmund Spenser, Amoret means “little love.”
Cara and Carina – Both names come from Italian and mean beloved.
Carys – A modern Welsh name, Carys also means love.
Davina – A feminine form of David, Davina shares the meaning beloved.
Esme – A literary rarity turned rising favorite, Esme means esteemed.
Kerensa – Cornish Kerensa also means beloved.
Priya – Another name meaning beloved, Priya comes from Sanskrit.
NAMES MEANING SPRING AND BLOOMING
Blossom – Literally a word meaning “to bloom.”
Chloe – Chloe means “green shoot” in Greek.
Flora – Flowery Flora was the Roman goddess of spring.
Persephone – In Greek myth, Persephone’s annual return to the land of the living brought forth springtime.
Thalia – A familiar name in Greek myth, Thalia means “to blossom.”
NAMES MEANING STRONG AND BRAVE
Adelaide – All of the Adele names share a meaning: noble. Adelaide’s long A sound feels especially bold.
Adira – From a Hebrew word meaning mighty.
Bernadette – A French feminine form of Bernard, meaning brave as a bear.
Leonie – One of several Leo names for girls, Leonie roars with all the strength of a lion.
Matilda – A Germanic name meaning strength in battle.
Valencia – This Spanish place name comes from the Latin valentia – vigor.
Valentina – No surprise – Valentina is Valencia’s far more famous cousin.
Valerie – Another name from the same Latin root, Valerie is a long-time go-to for our daughters.
NAMES MEANING VICTORY AND GLORY
Cleo – From the Greek kleos, Cleo means glory.
Colette – From Nicolette, Colette shares Nicole’s meaning: victory of the people.
Gloria – A name that sounds like rejoicing.
Nicola – Another Nicole name with a victorious meaning.
Victoria – Regal and triumphant, Victoria is also a Top 100 favorite in the US.
NAMES MEANING PEACE AND TRANQUILITY
Irene – From the Greek goddess of peace.
Paloma – This name literally means dove, a symbol of peace.
Pax – The Latin word for peace, and once the Roman goddess of the same.
Mira – From mir, the Slavic word for peace.
Sakina – An Arabic name meaning calm.
Salome – A New Testament name, Salome shares roots with the Hebrew shalom – peace.
Serena – From the word serene, meaning tranquil.
Winifred – Vintage Winifred comes with a great meaning: fair and peaceful.
EVEN MORE OPTIMISTIC GIRL NAMES
Goldie – Something about gold names suggests peace and prosperity, suggesting a Golden Age.
Grace – Whether you’re spiritual or not, Grace suggests a better future.
Iris – 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.
Muriel – An Irish name meaning “bright sea,” there’s something upbeat and forward-looking about Muriel.
Nova – The Latin word for new, rich with possibilities and yes, optimism.
Promise – Virtue name Promise suggests better days ahead.
Rose – As in rose-colored glasses, everything is rosy, and coming up roses, too!