Top Girl Names 2023Ready for the Top Girl Names 2023 on Appellation Mountain?

As ever, it’s the on Appellation Mountain part that makes a difference. This site is big enough to attract plenty of eyeballs … and all that data that implies. But it’s small enough that the Top Ten here looks nothing like any other list.

After this is the place that gives the same number of words to Enola as to Poppy. No surprise when they both make the Best Of list.

If you’re here, know that the names you click on make a real, measurable difference in this list.

Plus AM readers? Tend to have fabulous taste in names, often loving the next big thing before it catches on.

Another note: the top girl names 2023 list is quite a bit longer than the top boy names list for the year. Wondering why? That’s because week after week, and year after year, more girls’ names than boys’ names are viewed. WAY more. So it only makes sense to include more names in the top girl names 2023 list.


Curious about how these compare to last year’s list? The #1 name stays unchanged – and remains every bit as controversial. Eliza and Oakley left the Top Ten, but remain popular. Both newcomers rose dramatically. Some of that is just chance, of course – but it might also reflect real rises in parents’ interest in both of these appealing names.

Here’s the full rundown, with the names’ current rank in the US Top 1000 noted.

10. NAVY (#478 in the US)

Navy has it all: the sound of Ava, Avery, and Ivy; a vivid color that fits with Scarlett; ties to the natural world; and a certain unisex appeal, too. No surprise it’s caught on quickly, doubling in use since it debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2019.

9. BETTY (unranked in the US)

I’m forever convinced that this Elizabeth nickname is due for a comeback. After all, Betty formerly ranked #2 in the US, and it has all sorts of pop culture momentum behind it. The style fits in perfectly with Sadie and Hattie and so many other names parents love now. And if AM readers love it? Then yes, it seems likely to reappear in the US Top 1000 soon.

8. RUE (unranked in the US)

Rue is an interesting name. It’s borrowed from the natural world, but it can also signal regret. Actress Rue McClanahan (born Eddi-Rue) made it famous for an earlier generation. Parents today are far more likely to think of the tragic – but significant – Rue of The Hunger Games series, as well as Zendaya in her celebrated Euphoria role as Ruby “Rue” Bennett.

7. WILLOW (#37 in the US)

Gentle nature name Willow has gone from out-there rarity to mainstream favorite in just a few decades. The name debuted in the US Top 1000 back in 1998, entered the Top 100 in 2016, and reached an all-time high in 2022, the most recent year for which we have data. It’s a mix of nature name Rose and traditional o-ender Margot, an updated feminine form of William and a pop culture gem, all rolled into one unstoppable force.

6. NOA (#298 in the US)

It looks like Top Ten boys’ favorite Noah, an Old Testament patriarch known to nearly everyone, what with the ark and the animals two-by-two. But Noa is a separate name, with distinct Hebrew roots. It means “motion,” while the masculine mainstay means “rest.” Noa fits with mini names like Mia and Ava, as well as our love of borrowing from the boys.

5. LILA (#221 in the US)

On paper, #221 isn’t all that common. But Lila is one of those names with multiple spellings. At a minimum, Lyla (#105); Lilah (#219); and Lylah (#589) are almost certainly pronounced the same way. Spellings like Leila (#246) might be, too. Lila is one of those names that feels traditional and modern; pan-global and easily accessible in English. The L-L sound is one of the most popular in girls’ names today, and yet there’s something timeless about Lila. It’s likely to continue gaining, even though the numbers make it tough to see.

4. WREN (#184 in the US)

AM readers loved this understated bird name well before it entered the US Top 1000 in 2012. Now it’s inspired a whole new trend, too – mix and match nature names. (Think Wrenlee and Oaklynn.) But it’s just Wren that feels modern and fresh, but still in the spirit of former favorites, like Fern. Also noteworthy: Wren is also rising for boys, suggesting Wren might be the new River.

3. TESS (unranked in the US)

While Tess itself fails to make the US Top 1000, Tessa comes in at #332. But Tess alone is interesting. It’s powerfully literary – think Tess of the d’Urbervilles – and nicely spare. Once a nickname for Theresa and Teresa, Tessa is now the most popular of the bunch – meaning we’re hearing a lot of Tess, even if the actual name doesn’t rank in the Top 1000 – yet. Fun fact: while there’s also a post on Tessa, it’s Tess that routinely ranks highest.

2. TALLULAH (unranked in the US)

A newcomer to the Appellation Mountain Top Ten, Tallulah feels like a name ready for its close-up. It might be Irish or Native American in origin; it’s definitely a pick with old school celebrity bona fides. And the sounds – lots of L, coupled with that lovely oo of Luna and Ruby and Juniper, is a recipe for success.

1. JAMES for a girl (unranked in the US)

After years of discounting the pageviews for “James for a girl” I realized it was time to face facts: this post has gone from something written on a whim to the most popular featured name on the site. James for a boy occupies the #1 spot on that list, too. My personal guess: while some brave, often high profile parents, will consider a masculine classic for their daughters, James for a girl succeeds because many of us ordinary types find James appealing as a daughter’s middle name. Maybe to honor a beloved father or grandfather. Or maybe just because it has the same appeal as Rose – a strong, bright sound. And while Rose can soften a unisex name, James can add an unexpected twist to a conventionally feminine one. So the new Avery Rose? Is Elodie James.


  1. JAMES
  3. TESS
  4. WREN
  5. LILA
  6. NOA
  8. RUE
  9. BETTY
  10. NAVY
  13. VESPER
  14. ELOWEN
  15. GEMMA
  16. MAISIE
  17. DULCIE
  18. OAKLEY
  19. ENOLA
  20. ELIZA
  22. SLOANE
  23. EITHNE
  24. POPPY
  25. NORI
  28. ISLA
  29. ZUZU
  32. SYLVIE
  34. RUMI
  35. SELAH
  36. SHILOH
  37. JUNO
  38. AYA
  40. ADERYN
  41. ELSIE
  43. SABINE
  44. POLLY
  45. EFFIE
  46. FLORA
  48. INGRID
  50. MARIE
  51. MEADOW
  54. SASKIA
  55. ZELLA
  56. LAKEN
  57. THEA
  58. NORA
  59. VERA
  60. ARDEN
  61. MOLLY
  62. LOUISA

There you have it! The 64 top girl names 2023 on Appellation Mountain – a most curious and intriguing list, with a mix of the names we all love (hello, Maisie and Nora!) along wiht some completely unexpected surprises. (Yes, that’s Polly outranking Molly!)

Readers, thank you for sharing your favorites with us all year – and every year! Are any of these favorites on your shortlists?

Top Girl Names 2023 Top Girl Names 2023

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?