Every one of these names was given to 50 or fewer girls born in the US in 2021. That’s not zero – but it’s pretty darn rare.
After all, it takes 255 births for a name to make the Top 1000 as of 2021. That means any of these names could quintuple in use, and still not make the official list.
To qualify, a name has to be original – no respellings allowed, because Madelaine looks different, but it sounds (almost) just like very popular picks Madelyn and Madeline. Smoosh names don’t necessarily count, either, because tens of thousands of girls are named Ava Grace – which makes Avagrace feel a little less surprising. Then again, a smoosh with one or more surprising elements might be just different enough to belong among the rarest girl names.
As for nicknames, if they’re attached to a chart-topping favorite? Odds are they’re not really among the rarest girl names – it’s just tough to see that in the data.
So with lots (and lots!) of rules, here are the best of the rarest girl names:
ABERDEEN, given to 9 girls in 2021
A Scottish place name, it’s inspired same-named places on every continent save Antarctica – and a few children along the way, too.
ABYSSINIA, given to 5 girls in 2021
A former name for the Ethiopian Empire, Abyssinia sounds like a glittering place name.
ACADIA, given to 40 girls in 2021
A colony in New France, the original Acadia spanned Quebec to Maine. Now Acadia National Park sits southwest of Bar Harbor, Maine.
ADAIR, given to 18 girls in 2021
A Scottish surname derived from Edgar, and a pretty surname with an adventurous vibe.
ADAMARIS, given to 37 girls in 2021
Particularly popular in Latin America, Adamaris might be a smoosh of Ada and Maris, or it might come from a phrase meaning “I love truly.”
ADISA, given to 6 girls in 2021
As a Yoruba name, the lovely Adisa comes with a powerful meaning: clear spoken.
AGLAIA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
A Greek goddess name, Aglaia means beauty.
AGNESSA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Agnes is a solid citizen, antique and strong. The Russian form of the name, Agnessa, softens it just a little, without taking away any of its substance.
AIRLIE, given to 7 girls in 2021
The name of a castle in Scotland and a beach in Australia, Airlie fits right in with names like Aria and Riley.
ALABAMA, given to 11 girls in 2021
Clearly Southern, but also edgy, thanks to characters in a Zelda Fitzgerald novel and early Quentin Tarantino movie True Romance.
ALBANY, given to 9 girls in 2021
Rare baby names often come from the map. But sometimes place names come from people, like Albany. It’s one of several names derived from the Latin albus, white.
ALBERTA and ALBERTINA, given to 12 and fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Classic English name Albert has given rise to several feminine forms. They’re dusty antiques, so far out they’re almost in. Cousin Albertine might be the rarest of them all, given to fewer than five girls in 2019.
ALBINA, given to 8 girls in 2021
Another albus name, cousin to Albany.
ALETTA and ALETTE, given to 22 and 10 girls in 2021
Both of these rare names for girls come from Adelheid, the source of Adelaide, Alice, and Adeline.
ALIX, given to 27 girls in 2021
At first glance, Alix breaks the rules – it looks like a respelling of classic boy name Alex. Except it isn’t! Instead, Alix is a medieval form of Alice, heard in France – even today.
ALOE, given to 5 girls in 2021
A potential nature name with that cool, current o ending, singer Aloe Blacc might’ve put it on the list for boys – but instead, it’s charting, in the smallest way, for girls.
ALOUETTE, given to 8 girls in 2021
If you love avian names like Wren, Alouette might be one of the rarest girl names for you. It means skylark in French, and it’s made famous by the children’s song.
AMABEL, given to 7 girls in 2021
Amabel comes from the Latin Amabilis – lovable. We whispered it down the alley into Annabelle. One of the children on HBO series Big Little Lies is the equally rare Amabella.
AMBRIE and AMBRY, both given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Ambr- names dot the rarest girl names list, including Ambrielle and Kambri, Ambree and Ambri, too. They’re likely all modern coinages, possibly a mix of surname Embry and so many Am- names for girls. Ambry refers to a nook or niche, but the word is seldom heard – just like the name.
AMITY, given to 38 girls in 2021
From the Latin word for friendship, Amity fits right in with Felicity. Hollywood blockbusters about killer sharks and haunted houses have kept the name’s use low, but now it feels like Amity’s strengths outweigh the 1980s movie baggage.
AMORET and AMORETTE, given to 5 and 32 girls in 2021
Coined by Edmund Spenser for The Faerie Queene, Amoret comes from the Latin word for love. Amorette adds another two letters, just like Juliette.
ANANDA, given to 7 girls in 2021
A Sanskrit name meaning happiness.
ANESSA, given to 39 girls in 2021
A cousin to Agnessa, one that reminds us of Vanessa, too.
ANNAMAE, given to 30 girls in 2021
Doubtless more girls are named Anna Mae, but there’s something fun about Annamae smooshed together. Maybe it’s because it sounds like anime, but still seems perfectly wearable.
ANNEKE, given to 9 girls in 2021
A Dutch Anna nickname, similar to German/Scandi Annika, but far less common.
ANNORA, given to 39 girls in 2021
It sounds like Ann + Nora, but Annora comes from Honora, which makes this a virtue name in disguise.
ANTIGONE, given to 5 girls in 2021
She’s fearless and steadfast, an admirable character who meets a terrible fate. (But it’s Sophocles. The ancient Greeks were not known for happy endings.) The -e ending brings to mind Top 100 favorites like Penelope and Chloe.
APPLE, given to 13 girls in 2021
It regularly tops lists of craziest celebrity baby names – even now, when Gwyneth’s eldest is a teenager. But Apple isn’t such a surprise with girls named Olive and Clementine.
AQUILA, given to 6 girls in 2021
Aquila means eagle in Latin. The name is masculine in the New Testament, but has been used as unisex over the years.
ARAMINTA, given to 14 girls in 2021
A seventeenth and early eighteenth century literary favorite, fanciful Araminta was the birth name of Harriet Tubman.
ARBOR, given to 17 girls in 2021
A name straight from the garden, one that suggests greenery, but also shelter, it’s easy to imagine Arbor fitting in with Lily and Harper alike.
ARCADIA, given to 27 girls in 2021
The real Arcadia, in Greece, is known for its beauty. So lovely is the region, that Arcadia became a synonym for earthly paradise.
ARIETTA and ARRIETTY, given to 8 and 13 girls in 2021
Arrietty comes from The Borrowers, the children’s series about a race of tiny humans. But her name might’ve been inspired by an Italian word, based on Aria, meaning little song. Or maybe Arietta is a romance language twist on Harriet. Either way, these names are lovely – and very, very rare.
ARTEMISIA, given to 9 girls in 2021
This name transforms the goddess of the hunt into a Victorian grande dame, by adding an -ia to Artemis.
ASTORIA, given to 40 girls in 2021
A New York City neighborhood and a town in Oregon, too, it comes from the surname of John Jacob Astor. It means hawk, but the flowing, romantic name fits right in with favorites like Olivia and Sophia.
ATTICA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Another name borrowed from the map, and the feminine form of literary favorite Atticus. Writer Attica Locke likely puts in on some parents’ radar.
AUBURN, given to 27 girls in 2021
A color name, as well as a university, Auburn substitutes for Top 100 staple Autumn.
AUGUSTA, given to 47 girls in 2021
We love all of the August name for boys, as well as Gus. But imposing Augusta feels a little more antique and unique than the masculine forms.
AVANTI, given to 6 girls in 2021
The name of an ancient Indian kingdom, as well as an Italian word meaning forward, Avanti might not sound quite like a given name. But in an age of Avery and Evelyn, it’s not a total stretch, either.
AVION, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
The French word for airplane, and a lovely sound that transforms Ava or Avery into a completely unexpected choice. Aviona was given to a handful of girls, though that might be more about sound than meaning.
AXELLE, given to 8 girls in 2021
Fast-rising favorite boy name Axel is the Danish form of Old Testament Absalom. In French, Axelle is the feminine form.
AYELET, given to 23 girls in 2021
Graceful Ayelet literally means gazelle, but it refers to the morning star. It’s a twist on former favorite Dawn and current chart-topper Aurora.
AZELIE, given to 29 girls in 2021
A French form of azalea, or possibly yet another name related to Adelaide. Saint Zélie Martin was born Marie-Azélie.
AZUCENA, given to 26 girls in 2021
A lovely Spanish sound, this name refers to a type of lily.
AZURE, given to 28 girls in 2021
A name in the hue of blue Azure comes from an Old English word for a color close to sky blue.
BATHSHEBA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
An elaborate Old Testament name, Bathsheba comes with an appealing meaning: daughter of the oath.
BELLATRIX, given to 35 girls in 2021
The Harry Potter villain – and she’s truly unrepentant – gets one of the best names in the entire series. Using bad guy names is controversial, but Bellatrix is also a constellation with a tempting meaning – warrior.
BETHLEHEM, given to 14 girls in 2021
Belén, the Spanish form of the name, regularly appears in the US Top 1000. Bethlehem might be a seasonal choice for a daughter born during the winter holidays, or an unconventional way to get to Beth.
BETSABE, given to 17 girls in 2021
A slimmed down form of Biblical Bathsheba, heard in several languages.
BETSELOT, given to 7 girls in 2021
A lovely Amharic name, Betselot brings to mind so many Bet- names for girls.
We all recognize Betty and Bette as Elizabeth nicknames. Elaborate the Bett- names, and you’ll arrive at Bettina, a rare choice substantial enough to stand on its own.
BIJOU, given fewer than 5 girls in 2021
A French word meaning jewel, actor-singer Bijou Phillips – a celebrity baby herself – helped put this name on parents’ list of possibilities.
BREEZE, given to 35 girls in 2021
We’ve named our daughters Misty and Stormi, so a weather name like gentle Breeze seems perfectly accessible.
BRINKLEY, given to 26 girls in 2021
A surname name, Brinkley fits well with Brielle and Brianna, but it also brings to mind 1980s supermodel Christie Brinkley.
BRIONY and BRYONY, given to 8 and 9 girls in 2021
A nature name borrowed from a flowering vine, Briony feels ever so slightly English, possibly because it’s a character name in novel-turned-2007 movie Atonement, featuring a young Saoirse Ronan in the part.
BRITTA, given to 36 girls in 2021
A Scandi short form for Birgitta, cousin to Bridget, a name borrowed from Irish myth.
BRITTON, given to 42 girls in 2021
A tailored, surname-style name that might refer to someone from Great Britain or France’s Brittany region.
BRONTE, given to 12 girls in 2021
A literary surname name with a distinctive sound.
CABRINI, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
An Italian surname name, Cabrini is likely given to honor Saint Frances Cabrini. An early American saint, she’s known for founding a religious order to shelter orphans and establish schools.
CADY, given to 19 girls in 2021
It sounds almost exactly like classic Katie, but surname Cady has several origins. Parents are likely thinking of two: activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or possibly Lindsay Lohan’s character in Mean Girls.
CALANDRA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Also heard as a surname, Calandra is the Italian word for skylark. It might have been given to those known for their singing voices.
CALISSA, given to 12 girls in 2021
It looks like a twist on Alyssa, but Calissa might be a slimmed-down version of Calista.
CALLISTO, given to 6 girls in 2021
Speaking of Calista, Callisto is closer to the Greek original. In Greek, it means “most beautiful.”
CALYPSO, given to 17 girls in 2021
A goddess who waylaid Odysseus, and also a type of music associated with the Caribbean.
CAMBER, given to 10 girls in 2021
Borrowed from a legendary ruler of Wales, Camber sounds like Amber-with-a-C, making it wearable for a daughter.
CANDELARIA, given to 22 girls in 2021
Ultimately from the Spanish word for candle, Candelaria commemorates a feast day once known as Candlemas.
CAOIMHE, given to 13 girls in 2021
An Irish name with a challenging pronunciation – Keeva – Caiomhe could work for families willing to consider imports like Saoirse.
CARLOTTA, given to 33 girls in 2021
Charlotte’s Italian cousin, Carlotta makes for a high-energy antique.
CARTIER, given to 27 girls in 2021
Luxury brands are tricky choices – so often they end up feeling a little try-hard. And yet, the sound of Cartier is compelling, a French cousin to Carter.
CASSIOPEIA, given to 16 girls in 2021
A queen from Greek myth, and a constellation in the night sky.
CECILE, given to 25 girls in 2021
Spare and tailored Cecile comes from the same roots as Cecilia, but remains just slightly different – and far less often heard.
CHANDRA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
A Sanskrit name meaning moon, the sound of Chandra fits in with earlier favorites like Sharon and Cheryl. But the meaning works with current chart-toppers Luna and Stella.
CHAPEL, given to 10 girls in 2021
As a surname, Chapel refers not to churches, but to capes. But as a given name, the association with religion likely appeals, too.
CHRISTABEL, given to 15 girls in 2021
It sounds like Christa plus bel, and it is – but it’s no new smoosh. Instead, Christabel appears in a Coleridge poem circa 1800, and that wasn’t the first use by a long shot.
CIEL, CIELA, CIELLA, and CIELLE, given to 20, 14, 8, and 13 girls in 2020
The French word for sky – and heaven – is Ciel. Ciela and Cielle fill out the word-name a little more.
CIRCE, given to 24 girls in 2021
The name of a sorceress from Homer’s Odyssey, Circe fits with Penelope, Chloe, and Zoe.
CLARICE, given to 44 girls in 2021
An elaborated form of classic Claire, but far less common.
CLARY, given to 9 girls in 2021
Clary Fray is the main character in the Mortal Instruments series. In her case, it’s short for Clarissa, but it could be go with nearly any Claire name. But it’s also a surname and a herb name, too.
CLAUDETTE, given to 10 girls in 2021
Claudette sparkles with the glam of Hollywood 1930s and 40s star Claudette Colbert.
CLEA, given to 18 girls in 2021
A spin on Cleo used in small numbers.
CLEMENCE, given to 8 girls in 2021
A lovely French name meaningful merciful, actor Clemence Poesy has put her unusual name on (a few) parents’ lists.
CONSUELO, given to 15 girls in 2021
Gilded Age heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt married a Duke, lending this name a certain vintage, aristocratic sheen. But Consuelo means consolation in Spanish, and comes from a title of the Virgin Mary.
CONTESSA, given to 11 girls in 2021
The Italian equivalent of countess, Contessa feels accessible because of our love for Tessa.
CORETTA, given to 12 girls in 2021
A Cora elaboration, it’s the name of civil rights leader Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr.
CORIN, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Used in small numbers for boys and girls alike, Corin might be a slimmed-down version of ancient name Quirinius. But it could come from many a Cor- name, too.
CORNELIA, given to 42 girls in 2021
A name that’s survived from ancient Rome to today, heard in many languages, but quite rare in American English.
COSIMA, given to 10 girls in 2021
An Italian feminine name based on Cosmo – meaning order – Cosima sounds like a potential chart-topper, but it’s never quite caught on.
CREDENCE and CREEDENCE, given to fewer than 5 and 12 girls in 2021
A nature name possibility boosted by Ezra Miller’s character in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy. Miller’s character is male, but Credence – from the Latin credere, meaning “to believe” – feels like a unisex virtue.
CRESSIDA, given to 7 girls in 2021
Like Cosima, Cressida is heard around the edges – a former girlfriend of Prince Harry, a moon of Uranus. Of course, it’s also a Toyota, and that fact can make us forget that the name started out as a a medieval form of Chryseis, her name and story preserved in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida.
CRICKET, given to 7 girls in 2020
An upbeat nature name, Cricket once served as a nickname for Christina or Katherine. Today, it increasingly stands on its own.
CRIMSON, given to 43 girls in 2021
A bright red color name in the key of Ruby and Scarlett.
DACIA, given to 8 girls in 2021
It sounds like a girls’ name, but Dacia started out as a region. It’s now known as Romania.
DAGMAR, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Distinctive Dagmar comes from Old Norse roots.
DARLING, given to 28 girls in 2021
A sweet – possibly too sweet – name inspired by Wendy Darling and her family, of Peter Pan fame.
DASHLEY, given to 15 girls in 2021
A Dash-Ashley mash-up that feels modern and surprising.
DAVA and DAVIA, given to 7 and 10 girls in 2021
Feminine forms of David, along the lines of Top 1000 choice Davina.
DEIRDRE, given to 17 girls in 2021
In Irish legend, Deirdre dies of a broken heart. The name enjoyed some use in the 1960s, but never quite caught on, and now counts among the rarest girl names.
DELPHINE, given to 41 girls in 2021
Sophisticated Delphine offers several meanings, drawn from history and the natural world.
DEMETRIA, given to 27 girls in 2021
Demi Moore’s birth name, it’s inspired by Greek earth goddess Demeter.
DESPINA, given to 11 girls in 2021
In Greek myth, this unusual name belonged to a daughter of Demeter and Poseidon.
DESSA, given to 5 girls in 2021
Possibly a feminine form of Odysseus, Dessa fits right in with Emma and Stella.
DIA, given to 45 girls in 2021
A mini name modeled on Mia, or possibly borrowed from the Spanish word for day.
DIEM, given to 23 girls in 2021
From the Latin word for day, as in Carpe Diem – seize the day.
DINAH, given to 49 girls in 2021
An Old Testament name with a sparky, vintage feel.
DIONNE, given to 23 girls in 2021
Like Dennis, Dionne comes from the Greek god Dionysios, the one who threw all the best parties.
DOMINO, given to 11 girls in 2021
Maybe it’s a little bit Bond girl at first glance. But it comes from Dominic and company, including feminine forms like Dominique, Dominica, and Dominetta. In an age of names like Willow and Harlow, Domino sounds current, and just a little bit edgy.
DONATELLA, given to 17 girls in 2021
An elaborate, romantic Italian choice, it echoes Renaissance master – and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle – Donatello. Both come from Donato, meaning given.
DORY and DOT, both given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Two nickname-names from the Dorothy/Dorothea/Theodora family, both worn by fictional characters. Disney-Pixar’s Finding Dory might be the most famous, but it’s not alone. They’re sweet mini names with a lot of spirit.
DREA, given to 22 girls in 2021
As Drew is to Andrew, Drea is to Andrea. Except Drea is typically pronounced dray-uh, no matter how you say Andrea.
DRUSILLA given to 9 girls in 2021
An ancient Roman name, Drusilla benefits from easy nickname Dru.
DULCINEA, given to 9 girls in 2021
Likely invented by Cervantes for his 1605 novel Don Quixote, Dulcinea means sweet. The Spanish Dulce ranks in the US Top 1000, but this elaborated form remains among the rarest girl names.
DUSTY, given to 16 girls in 2021
A casual-cool nickname name, some will think of singer Dusty Springfield. For others, this name brings to mind Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo’s daughter, Dusty Rose.
EDELWEISS, given to 11 girls in 2021
A small Alpine flower, and a name with a built-in lullaby thanks to The Sound of Music.
ELECTRA and ELEKTRA, given to 18 and 22 girls in 2021
A name straight out of Greek tragedy, Elektra was reborn as a Marvel comics hero in the 1980s.
ELEVEN, given to 12 girls in 2021
Some number names feel mainstream. Eleven isn’t one of them, but Stranger Things – and the name’s on-trend sound – make it a possibility.
ELIENAI, given to 5 girls in 2021
Also spelled Elioenai, this Biblical rarity is vowel-forward, a quality sure to appeal to parents today.
ELISABETTA, given to 13 girls in 2021
An Italian spin on classic Elizabeth, Elisabetta adds some frills and flounce to the name.
ELKE, given to 9 girls in 2021
Yet another name related to Adelaide and company, but with a short, sparky sound.
ELSPETH, given to 17 girls in 2021
Elizabeth by way of Scotland.
ELVIA, given to 36 girls in 2021
A rare find with a stylish sound, Elvia might be a cousin to Alvin, or maybe it’s from one a half-dozen other origins. Regardless, this name succeeds to sound.
EMMANUELLE, given to 42 girls in 2021
The French feminine form of Biblical Emmanuel, and an alternative to Vivienne or Josephine.
EPONINE, given to 5 girls in 2021
Victor Hugo gave this name to a character in his enduring novel-turned-musical Les Misérables.
ESTEE, given to 7 girls in 2021
Derived from Esther, Estee was made famous by skin care and cosmetics entreprenuer Estee Lauder.
ETHEL, given to 27 girls in 2021
Some of the names we know best – Gertrude, Hildegard, Ethel – sound out of step today. And yet, they’re names rich with history and meaning. Hollywood’s Ethel Barrymore had a long career on stage and screen, including an Oscar win. It means noble.
ETHEREAL, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
To be ethereal is to be spirit-like or airy. It’s a tough image to live up to, but the sound is gorgeous – and rather name-like.
EUGENIE, given to 6 girls in 2021
Made familiar by the British princess, Eugenie is the French form of Eugenia – well-born.
EULALIE, given to 10 girls in 2021
A lovely rarity, Eulalie comes from the Greek for “well-spoken.”
EUPHEMIA, given to 11 girls in 2021
Another Greek name with a long history of sparing use, with a similar meaning to Eulalie – “all-praised.”
EVALISE and IVELISSE, given to 15 and 29 girls in 2021
These are just two spellings of a name hiding on the edges across the decades and in several languages. It might be based on Yves, a name meaning yew tree.
EVANELLE, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Evanelle has appeared in the data just a few times over the more than 100 years it’s been compiled. The exact meaning and origin proved elusive, but it sounds like a wearable choice for a daughter today.
EVERGREEN, given to 6 girls in 2021
Part-tree name, part-virtue choice, and possibly a little more word than name. Nickname Evie could make it wearable.
FABLE, given to 20 girls in 2021
A literally literary name, one that builds on familiar choices like Faye and Mabel.
FAUSTINA, given to 28 girls in 2021
Made familiar by a Polish saint, Faustina comes from a Roman name meaning lucky.
FAWN, given to 26 girls in 2021
An animal-inspired option in the key of Wren and Bear.
FEATHER, given to 5 girls in 2021
Heather topped the charts in the 1970s; Feather feels like a daring nature name option today.
FENNA, given to 13 girls in 2021
Fenna comes from German and Dutch names that start with frid – peace.
FIA, given to 36 girls in 2021
It might be inspired by Mia, or it could come from the Irish Fiadh, meaning untamed. A soap opera character helped make Fia one of the hottest Irish names of the moment.
FIANNA, given to 10 girls in 2021
Another Irish import, Fianna refers to a band of warriors.
FLANNERY, given to 9 girls in 2021
A literary surname name, inspired by Southern writer Flannery O’Connor, and on trend with picks like Delaney and Avery.
FLAVIA, given to 12 girls in 2021
An ancient name still heard in romance languages, from the Latin flavus – golden. Fans of Alan Bradley will recognize this as the name of his school-aged detective, Flavia de Luce.
FLEUR, given to 15 girls in 2021
The French word for flower, and the name of a valiant Harry Potter character.
FLORENCIA, given to 22 girls in 2021
Florence and Flora are back in the US Top 1000, possibly opening the door for this elaborate Spanish form.
FRANCIE, given to 6 girls in 2021
Boyish Frankie and retro Franny feel stylish today; could slightly frillier Francie join them?
FREDERICA, given to 5 girls in 2021
Classic Frederick remains in style limbo, but Frederica feels ripe for rediscovery.
GAL, given to 13 girls in 2021
The latest star to don the golden bracelets is Israeli-born actor Gal Gadot. With another Wonder Woman movie due in 2020, this simple name meaning “wave” could rise.
GALA, given to 46 girls in 2021
A name that sounds like a celebration – or a short form of Galilea.
GALADRIEL, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
A Tolkien invention, given strength, wisdom, and beauty by Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of the elf princess.
GALILEE, given to 37 girls in 2021
A place name, rich with spiritual significance.
GARDENIA, given to 9 girls in 2021
A gorgeous tropical bloom, seldom heard as a given name. In the Victorian language of flowers, gardenias symbolized secret love.
GARNET, given to 14 girls in 2021
A red gemstone, Garnet serves as January’s birthstone.
GEM, given to 11 girls in 2021
The Italian Gemma ranks in the Top 1000, but spare Gem remains rare. Jem, of course, is a rock star – but given to fewer than five girls last year.
GENOVEVA, given to 10 girls in 2021
The Spanish form of Genevieve, with all the same gorgeous sounds, but an even more elaborate vibe.
GEORGETTE, given to 37 girls in 2021
A logical successor to current favorites Georgia and Juliette.
GERTRUDE, given to 29 girls in 2021
A Top 100 name from the nineteenth century through the 1920s, Gertrude will make a comeback – but for now, it remains among the rarest girl names.
GIBSON, given to 8 girls in 2021
More common for boys, Gibson means “son of Gilbert.” But if you know your 1890s pop culture, you’ll think of the Gibson Girl, the epitome of feminine beauty in turn-of-the-century America.
GILDA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
A short and complete name, Gilda sounds like gilded – covered in a thin layer of gold. But it comes from a Germanic element meaning sacrifice. Comedian Gilda Radner made it famous as an original Saturday Night Live castmember.
GINEVRA, given to 14 girls in 2021
An Italian name based on Guinevere, and also considered the equivalent of Juniper. A portrait of Italian noblewoman Ginevra de Benci is the only Leonardo da Vinci work displayed in the US. But you might know this one better as the given name of Harry Potter’s Ginny Weasley.
GIOIA, given to 18 girls in 2021
The Italian word for joy, and a happy sound for a name.
GIORDANA and JORDANA, given to 5 and 32 girls in 2021
We tend to think of Jordan as a modern innovation, inspired by the basketball legend. But Jordan has history to spare, a name Crusaders brought back from the Holy Land. Giordana and Jordan are romance language feminine forms.
GLENNA, given to 6 girls in 2021
From a Scottish word meaning valley.
GLORIOUS, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
A big, dramatic word name, or perhaps a deeply spiritual one.
GRACIA, given to 15 girls in 2021
The Spanish word for Grace, every bit as meaningful as the English version, but far less common.
GRACIOUS, given to 8 girls in 2021
A dramatic virtue choice.
HALSEY, given to 50 girls in 2021
Boosted by the singer, Halsey is both an anagram of Ashley and the name of a Brooklyn street.
HARVEST, given to 29 girls in 2021
An autumnal possibility, one that conveys adundance and the changing of seasons.
HELENE, given to 26 girls in 2021
Helen and Helena make the Top 1000, but Helene seems just different enough.
HELOISE, given to 10 girls in 2021
Eloise is a fast-rising favorite, while French Heloise teeters on the edge of obscurity.
HERO, given to 8 girls in 2021
Maybe it’s too much to live up to, but Hero featured in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, lending this name some literary polish.
HESTER, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Esther feels fashionably antique; Hester is her rarer cousin.
HETTIE, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2021
Sparky nickname-name Hattie charts in the Top 1000. Hettie seems just different enough, either as a nickname for Esther/Hester and Henrietta, or as a stand-alone name.
HILDE, given to 19 girls in 2020
How do you spell Hildy/Hildie? Turns out that Hilde is the only version given to more than five girls in 2021. It might be another twist on Hilda, but it seems more promising with the ‘ee’ ending.
HILDEGARD, given to 13 girls in 2021
A Germanic name out of step with current trends, and yet, so appealing in terms of history and namesakes.
HOLIDAY, given to 19 girls in 2021
The full name of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – it’s mentioned in the novel, but not the movie – and once a name given to commemorate a child’s birth on a holy day.
HONORA, given to 24 girls in 2021
Add an -a and virtue name Honor feels vintage and sepia-toned, in the best possible way.
HYACINTH, given to 16 girls in 2021
A flower name, most famous from Keeping Up Appearance’s Hyacinth Bucket, but possibly wearable in the age of Zinnia.
HYPATIA, given to 8 girls in 2021
Way back in the fifth century, Hypatia of Alexandria was a mathematician and philosopher, making her centuries ahead of her time. Appropriately, Hypatia means supreme.
IARA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
Yara does rank in the US Top 1000, but Iara might be the same – or different. It comes from Brazilian folk tales, where Iara is a river nymph known for luring men to their fates.
IDALIA, given to 49 girls in 2020
A name associated with Aphrodite, Idalia shares the -lia ending of so many contemporary favorites.
INDIRA, given to 41 girls in 2020
Former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi makes this name broadly familiar. It means beauty in Sanskrit.
IO, given to 11 girls in 2020
Just two letters, but still two syllables? This mini mythological name packs a punch. It’s the name of a princess beloved by Zeus in Greek myth, and, appropriately, one of the moons of Jupiter.
IRAIS, given to 5 girls in 2020
Sometimes recorded as Herais or Rais, Irais was a third century martyr saint from Egypt.
ISABEAU, given to 11 girls in 2020
An old school variant of Isabel, seldom heard in English or French today, but findable in medieval history. The -bo ending makes it fresh and modern.
ISOLDE, given to 12 girls in 2020
It looks a little like chart-topping Isabella, but Isolde is the name of a Juliet-like figure from the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Isolde.
JACINDA and JACINTA, given to 9 and 34 girls in 2020
Hyacinth could be a given name – it’s on this list, too. Jacinta is the Spanish form, and Jacinda a variant. They seem a little less botanical.
JENICA and JENNICA, given to 15 and 16 girls in 2020
Americans likely invented Jenica as a Jennifer-Jessica combination. But Jenica also occurs in Romanian, possibly as a(nother) feminine form of John.
JERUSHA, given to 9 girls in 2020
An Old Testament name seldom heard in the last century, but every bit as wearable as Judith or Ruth.
JESSAMINE, given to 8 girls in 2020
We all love Jasmine, but for something less expected, medieval form Jessamine might appeal.
JILL, given to 17 girls in 2020
Jack is climbing popularity hill, but Jill? This nursery rhyme name seems headed for obscurity, even as we embrace spare, straightforward favorites like Grace and Rose.
JOPLIN, given to 23 girls in 2020
A surname name and place name, Joplin pays homage to musical legend Janis Joplin.
JUNEAU, given to 16 girls in 2020
Goddess name Juno sounds the same, and is slightly more popular. But Juneau feels different, an Alaska place name that sounds energetic, rugged, and rare.
KAHLO, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
An artistic surname name honoring the legendary Frida, Kahlo fits right in with Margot and Harlow.
KAMALA, given to 18 girls in 2020
A Sanskrit name meaning lotus flower, made famous by California Senator Kamala Harris.
KARUNA, given to 5 girls in 2020
A Sanskrit name meaning kindness, and the middle name of actor Uma Thurman.
KASAI, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
A Japanese name meaning flame.
KASANI, given to 7 girls in 2020
The Hindi word for chicory, a herb known for its blue flowers.
KATNISS, given to 12 girls in 2020
A nature name famously worn by fictional Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen.
KATRIEL and KATRIELLE, given to 6 and 8 girls in 2020
From the Hebrew meaning “crown of God,” Katriel sounds like so many stylish choices, but remains among the rarest girl names.
KEMPER, given to 14 girls in 2020
A Dutch and German surname name with multiple meanings and a spirited sound. Actor Ellie Kemper might explain the name’s occasional use.
KENDI, given to 16 girls in 2020
Often listed as African, Kendi means “the loved one” in Meru or Kimeru, a language spoken in Kenya.
KESTREL, given to 12 girls in 2020
A bird of prey, and one that feels like a fit with so many avian names for girls
KIRI, given to 17 girls in 2020
The late opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa put her Maori name on the international stage.
LAELLE, given to 9 girls in 2020
It appears to be an invention, based on so many La- and -elle name for girls.
LANGLEY, given to 21 girls in 2020
A surname and place name, one that fits right in with Hadley and Everly. Here’s a twist: it might also come from a Norse feminine name, one that means “long life.”
LARAMIE, given to 42 girls in 2020
Borrowed from the Wyoming city, a name that conveys all things rugged and western.
LEANDRA, given to 41 girls in 2020
A feminine form of Leander – meaning lion of a man – and a logical successor to Alexander and Eleanor.
LEDA, LETA, LIDA, and LITA, given to 15, 27, 16, and 19 girls in 2020
Short names with ties to Greek myth, the meaning joy, and perhaps a dozen longer formal name, too, Leda – choose your spelling – is the perfect compact and complete name that almost no one is using.
LEONELA and LEONELLA, given to 7 and fewer than 5 girls in 2020
Feminine forms of Lionel, via the Spanish Leonel.
LIESEL and LIESL, given to 39 and 27 girls in 2020
A German nickname for Elisabeth, made familiar to American parents thanks to the eldest daughter in The Sound of Music.
LILAC, given to 24 girls in 2020
It shares sounds with Lily and Layla, and belongs to the same color family as Violet, but Lilac remains among the rarest girl names.
LILIKOI, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
The Hawaiian name for passionfruit, and an unexpected Lily name.
LILINOE, given to 8 girls in 2020
Another Hawaiian find, associated with a mythogical figure. It means “fine mist” and the final ‘e’ is pronounced: lee lee NO eh.
LILO, given to 39 girls in 2020
Made famous by 2002 Disney animated feature Lilo and Stitch, Lilo means “generous” in Hawaiian.
LILOU, given to 13 girls in 2020
Lilou comes from France, a nickname name that might be short for Liliane or Louise or any name with those sounds. Except it’s also a character name from Luc Besson’s 1997 sci fi hit, The Fifth Element. She spelled it Leeloo, but the name’s rise tracks with the movie’s release.
LIOR, given to 16 girls in 2020
A unisex Hebrew name with a gorgeous meaning: “light for me.”
LISBETH, given to 43 girls in 2020
Drop the E and a from Elisabeth, and Lisbeth is the result. Fictional heroine Lisbeth Salander, of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, lends it an edge.
LISETTE, given to 26 girls in 2020
Another Elisabeth nickname, Lisette feels light, pretty, and quite surprising.
LUCINA, given to 30 girls in 2020
A Roman goddess name with separate roots – it comes from lucus, grove – Lucina now feels like an intriguing alternative to Lucia or Lucy.
MADDALENA, given to 27 girls in 2020
The Italian form of Madeline, one that stands out just enough from the other Mad- names.
MADIGAN, given to 25 girls in 2020
A surname name bound to be confused with Madison, but made memorable by the sad tale of Elvira Madigan, and the haunting Mozart piano concerto that now bears her name.
MAHALA, given to 23 girls in 2020
Biblical Mahala remains rare in English.
MAMIE, given to 24 girls in 2020
A throwback Mary or Margaret nickname, Mamie remains familiar thanks to 1950s-era First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower – she of the killer bangs.
MARCHESA, given to 5 girls in 2020
A title for Italian nobility, Marchesa isn’t typically used as a given name in Italy. In the US, it’s also the name of a fashion line. It feels more daring than Francesca.
MARILLA, given to 15 girls in 2020
Fans of Anne of Green Gables know this name well. It’s often an elaboration of Mary or Maria.
MARIPOSA, given to 20 girls in 2020
A butterfly name, with surprisingly spiritual origins.
MARISKA, given to 14 girls in 2020
In Hungarian, Mariska is a diminutive for Maria. We know it thanks to actor Mariska Hargitay, famous for her long run on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
MARVEL, given to 39 girls in 2020
Before you dismiss Marvel as a modern word name, know that it ranked in the US Top 1000 from the 1890s into the 1940s. That makes it a bold word name with roots.
MATISSE, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
Another artistic surname possibility, boosted by easy nickname Mattie.
MAUDE, given to 17 girls in 2020
Back in the Middle Ages, the name Matilda became Maud. Maude-with-an-e is slightly more popular today. Fewer than five girls were named Maud, while Maude seems to be a choice for namers interested in serious antiques.
MAVERY, given to 33 girls in 2020
A Mae-Avery mash-up, invented – but still appealing.
MELROSE, given to 47 girls in 2020
It’s a name that brings to mind the famous television series, inspired by the famous Los Angeles street. The strong Rose sound, along with Melanie, Melissa, and more Mel- names for girls, makes it a plausible choice.
MERIDIAN, given to 14 girls in 2020
A character from a 1976 Alice Walker novel, and possibly the only name related to longitude on this list.
MERIT, given to 10 girls in 2020
Mostly a virtue name, Merit also claims Swedish roots. Like Marit, it might be short for Margaret.
MERYL, given to 20 girls in 2020
She was born Mary Louise, but the world knows her as the incomparable Meryl Streep.
MIRAI, given to 45 girls in 2020
A Japanese name meaning future, Mirai caught our attention thanks to figure skating champ Mirai Nagasu.
MIRIELLE, given to 16 girls in 2020
It looks like a three-syllable, ends-with-L name, but this French poetic creation is said mee-ray.
MONET, given to 29 girls in 2020
An artistic surname name, actor Monet Mazur has worn it well. It also brings to mind singer-turned-actor Janelle Monae, as well as other possible spellings.
MORRIGAN, given to 43 girls in 2020
A fearsome Irish goddess of war, Morrigan means “great queen.”
MURIEL, given to 20 girls in 2020
A 1920s favorite with a coastal vibe, thanks to the meaning: bright sea.
MYRTLE, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
A gentle botanical possibility, well-used in the nineteenth century.
NEEMA, given to 30 girls in 2020
A Swahili name, Neema sometimes translates to mercy or divine grace. It may also mean “born into prosperity.”
NIALA, given to 6 girls in 2020
Uncommon and hard to pin down, Niala could be a feminine form of Niall, meaning champion. Other origins are possible, though this name succeeds on its sound alone.
NICOLA, given to 25 girls in 2020
Nicole was a long-time favorite, but Nicola remains rare in the US. And while Nicola is masculine in Italy, for most of the world, it’s feminine.
NOELLIE, given to 18 girls in 2020
Noel, Noelle, Noelia, and more variations all derive from the French word for Christmas.
NORMANDY, given to 7 girls in 2020
A place name borrowed from France, Normandy could serve as an inventive feminne form of Norman.
NORTH, given to 6 girls in 2020
Yes, the Kardashian kiddo might give many parents pause. But it’s still an intriguing word name, pointing to all things wintry, but also to the idea of true north. It’s a compass reading, but also a poetic way of talking about knowing one’s destination. That makes North a sister for Journey.
OCEANE, given to 6 girls in 2020
It looks like Ocean-with-an-e, but in French, it’s oh-SAY-ahn.
OLIVETTE, given to 10 girls in 2020
An -ette ending for Olivia and Olive, Olivette has some history of use, tracing back to the nineteenth century. It’s always been among the rarest girl names.
ONDINE, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
Also spelled Undine, it comes from the Latin word for wave. Renaissance philosopher Paracelsus coined the term to refer to female water spirits.
ONNALEE, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
An intriguing choice, associated with the song Puff the Magic Dragon, who lived in a land called Honahlee – same pronunciation. This is the only spelling that appears in the current list.
ORCHID, given to 13 girls in 2020
An unconventional, but wearable, flower name for a daughter.
ORLA, given to 31 girls in 2020
A surprisingly rare Irish import, also spelled Orlagh. It means golden princess.
ORLI and ORLY, given to 23 and 28 girls in 2020
Like Lior from earlier on this list, Orli means “light for me” in Hebrew. Orly is a Paris suburb, the name derived from the Roman settlement of Aureliacum.
OTTILIE, given to 19 girls in 2020
A feminine form of Otto, often discussed in baby naming circles, but still seldom used.
PARISA, given to 22 girls in 2020
A Persian name meaning fairy, but bringing to mind the city of Paris, too.
PATRICE, given to 8 girls in 2020
Another form of Patricia, never as popular and now quite rare.
PEONY, given to 11 girls in 2020
A flower name, put on some parents’ radar by the Marissa Meyer series of sci fi fairtyales, The Lunar Chronicles. Peony is one of the stepsisters Meyer gives to her Cinderella figure.
PERSIS, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
An intriguing rarity, briefly mentioned in the New Testament. It likely refers to a woman from Persia, but it also brings to mind the concept of persistence.
PHAEDRA, given to 22 girls in 2020
Another name from Greek mythology, Phaedra means bright.
PIETRA, given to 8 girls in 2020
The Italian feminine form of Peter.
PIXIE, given to 11 girls in 2020
A term for a playful sprite, Pixie could feel like more nickname than name, but it does stand alone at least some of the time.
POET and POETRY, given to 9 and 11 girls in 2020
Literary word names, both equally rare and equally appealing.
PORTIA, given to 21 girls in 2020
A Shakespearean heroine, no relation to the sports car.
PRAIRIE, given to 20 girls in 2020
Rarer than Meadow, made slightly familiar by a Sesame Street character.
PRUE, given to 9 girls in 2020
Virtue name Prudence is slightly more popular, though still outside of the Top 1000. But nickname name Prue feels a little sleeker and more modern.
PSALM and PSALMS, given to 17 and 7 girls in 2020
A deeply spiritual choice, with a poetic side, too, Psalm was chosen by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for their second son and fourth child in 2019.
RAFAELLA and RAFFAELLA, given to 34 and 13 girls in 2020
Angelic and traditional Raphael has never been terribly common in English. Maybe that’s why the feminine forms of the name appear on this list of the rarest girl names.
RARITY, given to 13 girls in 2020
116 girls were named Unique in 2020, but only 8 were called Rarity.
REEVE, given to 8 girls in 2020
A sharp surname name that rhymes with Eve, it’s made feminine by author Reeve Morrow Lindbergh.
RELLA, given to 7 girls in 2020
Originally a nickname for longer choices like Aurelia or Firoella, Rella stands alone in our age of Stella.
REMINISCE, given to 10 girls in 2020
Another word for Remember, tinted with a sort of sepia-toned nostalgia.
RHONDA, given to 12 girls in 2020
A Welsh name and relative newcomer, this name peaked right around the time the Beach Boys were singing “Help Me, Rhonda” in 1965.
RILLA, given to 15 girls in 2020
Anne fans will automatically add “of Ingleside” to this one. That’s because Lucy Maud Montgomery published a 1921 novel all about Anne and Gilbert’s youngest daughter, Bertha Marilla “Rilla” Blythe. Besides Marilla, Rilla might be short for Priscilla, or any other name with the requisite sounds.
RIVA, given to 29 girls in 2020
In Italian, it might refer to a river bank. It can also be related to Rebecca, via the Hebrew Rivka. But mostly, Riva just sounds like a name in our age of Eva and Ava and Nova.
ROMELIA, given to 9 girls in 2020
A name of debated origin, Romelia’s been in used in small, but steady, numbers over the years. Current use might be due to a character in Mexican telenovela La Doña.
ROMILLY, given to 12 girls in 2020
A surname name sometimes heard as a first, Romilly also brings to mind favorites like Rose and Milly.
ROSABELLE, given to 38 girls in 2020
We love a great Rose name for our daughters. In our age of Isabella and Annabelle, what a surprise to find Rosabelle among the rarest girl names.
ROSALBA, given to 11 girls in 2020
An Italian name meaning “white rose.”
ROSAMOND and ROSAMUND, given to fewer than 5 and 13 girls in 2020
A Germanic name, derived from hros – horse, but associated with the flower. The Latin phrase “rosa mundi” – rose of the world – has been associated with the name since at least the twelfth century. That’s when Rosamund Clifford wore the nickname, as mistress of King Henry II.
ROSAURA, given to 7 girls in 2020
Rosaura means “golden rose,” from a Latin phrase.
ROSETTA, given to 47 girls in 2020
Adding -etta in Italian transforms Rosetta to “little Rosa.” It’s also the name of an ancient site in Egypt, once called Rosetta, where the stone that allowed historians to first understand Egyptian hieroglyphics.
ROWENA and ROWENNA, given to 50 and 6 girls in 2020
Geoffrey of Monmouth mentioned the name in his not-terribly-accuarate twelfth century History of the Kings of Britain. Sir Walter Scott made it popular in his 1819 novel Ivanhoe.
RUBINA, given to 8 girls in 2020
A feminine form of Reuben, one that sounds like an elaboration of the wildly popular gemstone name Ruby.
SABLE, given to 23 girls in 2020
A sable is a tiny mammal, known for its black fur. We tend to use it as a color name in the US, and when Dynasty introduced a character named Sable in 1985, it briefly rocketed into the US Top 1000.
SAFFRON, given to 21 girls in 2020
A golden spice name, Saffron was the daughter on cult classic Britcom Absolutely Fabulous.
SAGA, given to 13 girls in 2020
The Old Norse goddess of poetry, and the source of our word saga, this name fits with Fable and Poet.
SAHALIE, given to 8 girls in 2020
A Native American name, it means a “high and lofty place,” or possibly heaven. Sahalie Falls in Oregon may inspire some parents.
SAHAR, given to 44 girls in 2020
Sahar means dawn in Arabic, making it a cousin to Aurora.
SAKINA, given to 45 girls in 2020
An Arabic name with a lovely meaning – peace.
SASKIA, given to 23 girls in 2020
A Dutch name, Saskia sounds perfectly on trend, but remains almost unheard-of in the English-speaking world.
SENECA, given to 34 girls in 2020
A masculine Roman name, made famous by a philosopher-statesman. Seneca, like Dakota and Cheyenne, is also the name of the Native American tribe.
SEVILLA, given to 6 girls in 2020
Spelled Seville in English, Sevilla is a major Spanish city. It’s pronounced seh VEE yah.
SHASTA, given to 5 girls in 2020
Inspired by the Shasta daisy, a popular and widely-grown bloom.
SHERIDAN, given to 17 girls in 2020
An Irish surname name, Sheridan means searcher.
SIBLEY, given to 9 girls in 2020
A surname spin on Sybil.
SICILY, given to 37 girls in 2020
The island at the tip of southern Italy, and a romantic name for a daughter.
SIGNE, given to 18 girls in 2020
A name from Norse legend with a triumphant meaning: new victory.
SIGOURNEY, given to 6 girls in 2020
A French surname name, actor Sigourney Weaver – born Susan – adopted it as her stage name. She found it on a minor character in The Great Gatsby.
SIGRID, given to 36 girls in 2020
A rare alternative to Scandi favorites Ingrid and Astrid.
SILVANA, given to 30 girls in 2020
Glittering Silvana sounds like silver, but it actually comes from the Latin silva – woods – making it an alternative to Sylvia.
SINCLAIR, given to 8 girls in 2020
Sinclair comes from Saint Claire, or, more directly, from places named for the saint. It makes for a tailored surname spin on a classic feminine choice.
SINEAD, given to 7 girls in 2020
An Irish form of Jane, rare in the US, but generally familiar as an Irish import.
SIRI, given to 10 girls in 2020
Short for Sigrid, it’s the name of Apple’s AI assistant – which might explain why parents have avoided the name.
SNOW, given to 48 girls in 2020
A wintry name with a built-in Halloween costume.
SOCORRO, given to 5 girls in 2020
Socorro means relief, or succor, in Spanish. It comes a title of the Virgin Mary.
SOLACE, given to 14 girls in 2020
A modern virtue name of sorts, Solace sounds like it might’ve fit right in on Plymouth Rock, but in fact, it’s more popular than ever today.
SOLANGE, given to 26 girls in 2020
A rare French name, singer Solange Knowles makes it more familiar.
SOLARA, given to 37 girls in 2020
Likely coined from solar and referring to the sun, we’ve seen a handful of uses since the year 2000 – a Toyota Camry model, a video game character, a Smashing Pumpkins song.
SOLEDAD, given to 24 girls in 2020
Another Marian name, Soledad means solitude. Journalist Soledad O’Brien introduced the name to a wider audience.
SOLSTICE, given to 10 girls in 2020
A seasonal name that works at the height of winter or summer.
SONNET, given to 7 girls in 2020
A type of poem, and a word name that works nicely for a daughter.
SONOMA, given to 10 girls in 2020
Likely borrowed from the California city and region, Sonoma Valley is known for its vineyards.
SOPHINA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
Perhaps Sophina represents a twist on Top Ten staple Sophia. Or maybe it comes from safina, a Swahili word meaning ark.
SPIRIT, given to 22 girls in 2020
Maybe Spirit counts as a modern virtue name, the feminine equivalent of Maverick? Though Spirit could also be given for spiritual reasons.
SPRING, given to 23 girls in 2020
Summer, Autumn, and Winter all appear in the US Top 1000. Despite the popularity of Spring as a season, it remains rare as a given name – but not unknown. Actor Spring Byington had a long Hollywood career, earning an Oscar nomination and appearing on radio and television across four decades.
STARLING, given to 12 girls in 2020
A name borrowed from a bird, Starling offers a distinctive sound.
STELLAROSE, given to 10 girls in 2020
Another smoosh that manages to sound a little more than just a combination of two popular choices.
SUMMIT, given to 29 girls in 2020
A name for a mountain climber’s daughter, or anyone wishing to convey the virtue of big dreams.
SUNFLOWER, given to 10 girls in 2020
A flower name more daring than Zinnia or even Daffodil.
SUVI, given to 9 girls in 2020
A Finnish name meaning summer, and a brief, complete sound more daring than Luna or June.
SVEA, given to 36 girls in 2020
A Swedish name, sleek and sharp, related to the name of the country: Sverige.
TAHANI, given to 44 girls in 2020
A character name from existential sitcom The Good Place, Tahani means congratulations in Arabic. The character mentions this herself in an early episode.
TAI, given to 14 girls in 2020
Figure skater Tai Babilonia put her distinctive given name on our radar way back in the 1970s. Since then, it was a character name in classic 1995 teen comedy Clueless.
TALISA, given to 7 girls in 2020
1980s supermodel raised the profile of this name. It might be an elaboration of Lisa.
TALULA, TALULAH, TALULLA, AND TALLULAH, given to 23, 30, 11, and 8 girls in 2020
Hollywood star Tallulah Bankhead claimed that her name was Choctaw, and it may well be; Bankhead was named for her grandmother, who was probably named for Tallulah Falls in Georgia. But there’s also a nearly identical Irish name.
TAMSIN, given to 20 girls in 2020
A contracted form of Thomasina, Tamsin serves as a feminine form of classic Thomas.
TANSY, given to 8 girls in 2020
A pretty little flowering plant, Tansy can be considered a weed. That might explained why it’s never caught on like Daisy. But that feels like an obstacle easily overcome. Tansy might also be short for longer names like Constance.
TAURIEL, given to 14 girls in 2020
Peter Jackson invented the name, using JRR Tolkien’s Sindarin language, for a character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
TAVIA, given to 13 girls in 2020
It’s short for Octavia, or any name ending with the right letters, but it also stands alone.
TEAL, given to 20 girls in 2020
A color name that brings to mind a pleasing share of blue-green. It’s borrowed from a bird, a type of duck known for the teal-colored stripe on its head.
TEMPLE, given to 14 girls in 2020
An unconventional surname choice, the scientist and activist Temple Grandin highlighted this possibility. Claire Danes played Grandin in a lauded 2010 HBO documentary.
THEDA, given to 5 girls in 2020
A contracted form of Theodora, Theda brings to mind legendary silent film actor Theda Bara.
THELMA, given to 27 girls in 2020
A ninteenth century novel introduced Thelma to the world. It became a Top 100 favorite in the US from 1898 into the 1930s. With the revival of names like Thea, maybe other Th names will get a boost, too?
THEODOSIA, given to 19 girls in 2020
A feminine Theo name, Theodosia could get a boost from the sweet Hamilton song “Dear Theodosia.”
THEORY, given to 7 girls in 2020
An appealing sound, Theory feels sharp and scientific. It’s an unorthodox name, but a wearable one.
THESSALY, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
A storied Greek place name, Thessaly sounds like Cecily and Sicily, with a touch of Thea and Tess.
THOMASINA, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
Move over, Alexandra and Charlotte. Thomasina is the feminine form of Thomas, and feels like it could be every bit as wearable.
THORA, given to 45 girls in 2020
The feminine form of Thor, Thora seems stunningly rare in our age of Cora, Nora, Aurora, and Flora.
TIERRA, given to 22 girls in 2020
The Spanish word for earth, and a pretty, appealing sound.
TIGERLILY, given to 17 girls in 2020
The name of a type of lily, it’s also a charcter from JM Barrie’s Peter Pan, though she spells it Tiger Lily. As botanical as Rose, but unconventional and fierce, too.
TILDA, given to 14 girls in 2020
The last two syllables of Matilda could stand on their own, especially with actor Tilda Swinton in the spotlight.
TOPANGA, given to 18 girls in 2020
A California place name made famous as a given name in Boy Meets World, as well as its sequel.
TORRANCE, given to 7 girls in 2020
Possibly a spin on the masculine Terence, Torrance can also be a surname with Irish and Scottish roots. The surname gets credit for Torrance, California.
TRESSA, given to 14 girls in 2020
Tressa comes from a Cornish name meaning third, and sounds like a Teresa-Tessa cousin.
TRINIDAD, given to 10 girls in 2020
The Spanish word for the trinity, but also a place name, thanks to the island in the West Indies.
TRISTA, given to 12 girls in 2020
A Krista-Tristan innovation, made famous by the very first star of reality series The Bachelorette.
TRIXIE, given to 8 girls in 2020
A sister for Sadie, originally short for Beatrice and Beatrix.
TRUDY, given to 19 girls in 2020
The best part of Gertrude might be, sparky nickname name Trudy.
TUESDAY, given to 9 girls in 2020
A calender name, actor Tuesday Weld helped raise this possibility’s profile in the 1950s and 60s.
TWILA and TWYLA, given to 22 and 29 girls in 2020
From the word twilight, this unconventional name has been boosted by dancer and innovator Twyla Tharp, as well as a character on sitcom Schitt’s Creek.
UNITY, given to 36 girls in 2020
A modern virtue name option, it might be big day. Except. British socialite Unity Mitford became a prominent support of Hitler. Several other fictional and real-world Unitys might reverse that image, and the name fits with Trinity, Felicity, and Amity.
VAIL and VALE, given to 34 and 32 girls in 2020
Vail is a Colorado ski town, borrowed from a surname – which may simply be a re-spelling of Vale. And Vale? It’s a poetic word for valley.
VALESKA, given to 14 girls in 2020
Valeska could be short for longer V names, or it might be inspired by Maria Walewska, a Polish noblewoman long famous for her affair with Napoleon I.
VARVARA, given to 6 girls in 2020
A Slavic spin on Barbara.
VASHTI, given to 7 girls in 2020
An Old Testament name very occasionally heard over the millennia.
VELA, given to 11 girls in 2020
A constellation in the Southern sky.
VELVET, given to 8 girls in 2020
A fabric name, perhaps unlikely for a daughter until Elizabeth Taylor starred in National Velvet, way back in 1944.
VENICE, given to 35 girls in 2020
A romantic place name as wearable as London or Vienna.
VESPER, given to 41 girls in 2020
It refers to the evening star – Venus. Some might think of Vesper Lynd, from the James Bond franchise, but it feels like a very current name in our age of Luna and Stella.
VESTA, given to 5 girls in 2020
A Roman goddess name, associated with home and hearth.
VIVICA, given to 17 girls in 2020
Scandi import Vivica rocks the double-V sound.
WILLOUGHBY, given to 10 girls in 2020
A gentle surname name option.
WILLOWDEAN, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
Thoroughly Southern in sound and style, Willowdean likely owes its use to a character in 2018 Netflix movie Dumplin’.
WINSLET, given to 13 girls in 2020
An English surname name made famous by actor Kate Winslet. Nickname Winnie makes it even more wearable.
WRENNA, given to 23 girls in 2020
An elaboration of high-flying bird name Wren.
WYNNE, given to 33 girls in 2020
A breezy Welsh name, cousin to Gwen and sharing the same meaning – blessed, fair.
YARDLEY, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
Another surname name option, with a few notable uses, including Yardley of London, maker of fragrances and soaps.
YARROW, given to fewer than 5 girls in 2020
Another rare nature name, Yarrow is a flowering plant.
YVAINE, given to 14 girls in 2020
Author Neil Gaiman invented Yvaine for his novel Stardust. Claire Danes played the character, a star fallen to earth and made human, in the movie adaptation.
ZAHAVA, given to 38 girls in 2020
A glittering name, Zahava comes from a Hebrew word for gold.
ZAHIRA, given to 29 girls in 2020
From an Arabic word meaning supporter, or possibly one meaning to shine.
ZANA and ZANNA, given to 20 and 11 girls in 2020
They might be yet another feminine form of John, or it might simply be short for so many names ending with the -zana sound.
ZENOBIA, given to 45 girls in 2020
The name of an ancient queen, Nathaniel Hawthorne borrowed it for a character in his novel, The Blithedale Romance.
ZOILA, given to 24 girls in 2020
A Spanish name ultimately connected to Zoe, and sharing the meaning: life.
ZORAIDA, given to 9 girls in 2020
Another name from Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Zoraida means dawn.
ZOSIA, given to 25 girls in 2020
A Polish nickname for Sophia, actor Zosia Mamet put her unusual given name in the spotlight. Mamet rhymes her name with Sasha; the Polish pronunciation is a little more like an ‘aw’ sound.
ZULEIKA, given to 10 girls in 2020
A medieval rarity of uncertain origin, but with an edgy, intriguing sound.
ZUZU, given to 11 girls in 2020
A quirky nickname for Susan, by way of so many Slavic forms of the name that swap the S for a Z. Zuzu was made famous – and more accessible – thanks to the youngest Bailey daughter in holiday movie classic It’s a Wonderful Life.
NAMES THAT HAVE LEFT THE LIST
As of 2021, a few formerly rare names have gained in use just enough to no longer qualify for this list! They include:
- Avila – given to 59 girls in 2021
- Azura – given to 62 girls in 2021
- Beth – given to 51 girls in 2021
- Halston – given to 60 girls in 2021
Those are my picks for the rarest girl names, over 400 unique possibilities that your child will (almost) never have to share. Would you consider any of these for a daughter?