Choosing a baby name can induce stress in a pregnant woman! After all, what other single decision made upon birth can determine the rest of a child's days the way a name choice does? Think of it; for the rest of that child's life, from toothless baby days to toothless senior citizen ones, that will be the name she will carry out into the world.
Most moms want a beautiful name for their daughters that will be distinctive without being odd, strong without being overbearing and feminine without being cutesy.
After all, it's important to remember this will be the child's name long after childhood. These names are culled from lists of Romanian baby girl names, so they have a European flavor that has a bit of a twist to them. Most will work well with a variety of surnames, and can be made fancier or simpler depending on the the middle name and nickname chosen for the girl. Of course, it's a good idea to think of how these names will sound together and not just the first name in isolation. I remember my ex husband suggested the name Krista for a girl name. It's a fine name, but with his heavily Germanic last name it sounded more like a sneeze than a pretty name.
Mirela is a name that seems timeless. It fits a woman from decades past as easily as a newborn millennial. It has its roots in French language, stemming from the name "Mireille," which means, "to admire." Mirela is a Romanian form of that French moniker, but this form is also used in Croatia. Others trace the meaning to be "peace;" "world;" or "God spoke." The pronunciation depends on how you trace the name as well. Some pronounce "Mi-RAY-lah," or more commonly in the US as "mi-RELL-ah."
Mirela ends in a final short vowel, meaning it will probably work best with a middle name that begins with a consonant or a long vowel. For example, Mirela Ann is a bit blurred, while Mirela Nicole is more clear. Suitable nicknames could include Mira, Rela, Miri or Mirel. Mirela is a rare name in the US, coming in at #8252 in 2017.
Daciana is a lovely name that while on the longer side, is easily shortened into a variety of nicknames. The name originates from a word meaning "wolf," or a region of the first and second century-Roman Empire that encompassed modern-day Romania, including parts of Transylvania, the Banat and Oltenia. Daciana can be pronounced with a soft 'c' sound, like in silly, or with a 'ch' sound like in church.
Daciana is another rare name that is unlikely to be heard in many American school rooms today. It could be shortened to Dacia, Cia, Ana or even Daci or Ciana. The possibilities and options are pretty wide, making it a more original and customizable choice for parents seeking an unusual but lyrical name. Because of its complexity and length, a short, simple middle name would probably work best.
Camelia is another sweet, timeless name from Eastern Europe. It is derived from the name of a flower, specifically the the camellia which is a flowering shrub native to eastern and southern Asia, which is probably why the name Camelia appears in Indonesia as well as Europe. Camellias didn't reach Europe until the 1700s. They represent young sons and daughters in China, and is considered the national flower. In Japan the flower symbolizes spring and in Korea, it is used in wedding ceremonies.
Camelia can be pronounced like Amelia with an initial /k/ sound, or it can be said, kah-MEH-lee-ah. Or since it's rare enough, charting at 2798 in 2017, say it however you like; who would be able to dispute you? Nicknames could range from Cam, Cammie or Mel, to Melia, Lia or Cally.
Reveca comes from the Hebrew name, "Rebecca," which means "join; tie; snare." It wasn't used until after the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and was later popular with Puritans in America. Reveca can rhyme with Rebecca, or you can change the emphasis so that it's "rev-i-kuh." The advantage of this name is that phonetically it sounds familiar, but the spelling of it and precise pronunciation make it unique.
It is a rarely used name, not even given a ranking in 2017. Reveca sounds like a cool, modern twist to an old, popular name (Rebecca) but it's of course an Old World name in actuality. A "Reveca" could be called Rev, Revy, or Veka for short. Because it has strong consonant sounds and long Es in it, a nice contrast would be a middle name with softer sounds that is short. Something like Lily, Faith or Claire, for instance.
Izabela is a Romanian form of the very popular, Isabella. The name, meaning "devoted to God," ranked #4 in the US when spelled the more conventional way. However, spelled in the Romanian tradition, Izabela ranked only #3369 last year. Izabela is the name of a number of Polish actresses, and also the name of the queen of Hungary. Izabela is also the name of a Croatian singer (Martinovic).
Izabela is a familiar sounding name with a more unconventional spelling, so for couples wanting something to reflect a Romanian ancestry but still sounding like a regular popular American, this may be the right name choice. Also, it would work well for couples who differed on just how rare a name to settle one. Nicknames could include Izzy, Iza or Bela. Izabela would pair well with a short, simple middle name.
The name "Crina," is a Romanian name meaning "a lily." While flower names are perenially popular worldwide, particularly for little girls, this one is a more unusual choice. It is pronounced KREE-nah, to rhyme with "Trina." The original word for lily in Romanian, is "crin." Crina isn't even ranking in the top 10,000; in fact, it came it at number 16,085 in 2016.
This name would work well with a longer middle name, such as Gabrielle or Lisette, for example. Crina could be shortened to a nickname such as Crin, Crini or Cree. Other options would include Rina, Rini or Rin. Lilies are popular flowers and represent devotion and purity, traits highly desirable in daughters. Famous Crina's include Crina Pintea, a Romanian handball player, on the Romanian national team.
Violeta is another Romanian name that is based on a popular flower, the violet in this case. Violeta specifically means, "little violet." It came in at number 1056 for American baby girls in 2016. The violet as a flower represents love and a delicateness; it is also the flower of Greece. Violets are also associated with modesty, and play roles in myth. The violet is also associated in Christianity with the Virgin Mary. Violeta has a very old World feel to it, which has become in vogue in recent years.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have a 12-year-old daughter named Violet. Violeta Chamorro was president of Nicaragua, and Violeta Parra was a Chilean folk singer who was an icon. Violeta Friedman from Transylvania, Romania, was a Holocaust survivor who became a writer. Possible nicknames include Vi, Violet or Leta.
Sorina is another Romanian name rarely used in America, charting at #6718 for baby girls in 2017. Sorina is the feminine form of the Romanian boy name, Sorin. Sorina means "the sun," and sun names have been favored through time in most cultures. There are many variations of how to spell this name, such as Soryn, Sorinna, Sorynna, and Sorinya.
Sorina has a contemporary flavor to it, and while rare it doesn't sound too "out there." Sorina can be shortened to Sori, Sorie or Sorin, or possibly Rina or Rin. A simple one or even 2-syllable middle name such as Brianne or Paige. Famous Sorinas include Sorina -Luminița Plăcintă, a Romanian politician; and Sorina Ștefârță, Moldovian journalist and editor.
Mihaela is a fairly rare name here in the US, like most Romanian names. It came in at number 5679 for American girls in 2017. The pronunciation can be tricky, and parents have options with this name. Some say it "mee-ha-YE-la" usually in Romania, while in Croatia it's pronounced "mee-ha-YE-la." It could also be somewhat Americanized to "muh-HAY-lah."
It is a feminine form of the Hebrew Michael, and is used in Macedonia and Slovenia, in addition to Croatia and Romania. Mihaela means "who is like God." Michael is an archangel in the Bible, so a prominent character. Mihaela could be shortened to Mia, Haelie, Ela or even Aela. It lends itself well to creativity. Famous Mihaelas include Mihaela Dascalu, Romania's most celebrated speed skater, and Mihaela Melinte is a world champion hammer thrower.
Chances are there will never be another Ilinca in your daughter's class, unless you move to eastern Europe. The name Ilinca can be traced to the Hebrew name, Elijah, meaning "My God is Yahweh." Ilinca is again, fairly rare here in the US, ranking at #1974 in 2017 for girls. It is pronounced "i-link-uh." The soft, sibilant sounds make for a pretty, and quite feminine sounding name.
Ilinca flows well with other names, and while it is a 3-syllable name, it could work with a middle name of 1, 2 or even 3 syllables since it has no harsh sounds or sounds that make you stop. Ilinca could have the nicknames Ili, Lin or Linca. Other options include Ilia. This name while unusual here, is slowly rising in popularity in the US.
Anca is a simple 4-letter, 1-syllable name that is one of the rarer monikers of this list. It hasn't charted in the US since 2013, and then it was way down in the basement, around the 11,000 point. Anca is traced to Hebrew roots and means, "grace; favor." While unusual here, it ranks highly in Romania. In fact, it is near the top ten for girl names. Anca is pronounced "AHN-ka." Or maybe it's simpler to think of the name Bianca and minus the bee sounds at the front.
Anca is a simple yet strong name due to the hard /k/ sound. Pair it with a softer, lovely 2-syllable middle name such as Hayley or Lisette, for example. Famed Anca's include athletes such as Anca Grigoras, a Romanian Olympic gymnast; Anca Barna, a German tennis player; and Anca Pătrășcoiu, Romanian Olympic swimmer.
Vanda is a Romanian name meaning "wanderer," but it is seen in cultures all over the world with very different meanings. For instance, in Africa it means, "falling lightly like rain." In Aborigine Australia, it means "a sandhill." In Slavic regions, it often refers back to the Vandals, a people group from Eastern Germany who helped defeat the Roman Empire.
Vanda is pronounced "FVAHHN-dah" in Romania, with the V being said with more air than we usually voice "v," and a bit more like how we pronounce an "f." Nicknames would include Vandi, Andy or Van (pronounced Vaughn.) Vandas in culture and history include a character in Sir Walter Scott's 1825 novel, "The Betrothed." Vanda was also the title of an opera by Antonin Dvorak. There's also a type of orchid called Vanda.
Luiza is a distinctly European way to punch up plain ole Louisa. Luiza has its origins in Louis, as you might expect. Louis means "famous in battle," and comes from the word "hluod" meaning famous, and "wīg," meaning war or strife. Moms and Dads might especially like giving their daughter a name that is particularly strong as we find women on the front lines of many a topic in the news now. Last year it ranked #1601 in the US for baby girls.
There's a song titled "Luiza," by Tom Jobin. Luiza gives parents a lot of flexibility in dubbing a daughter with a nickname, with Lu, Zaza, or Lulu being favorites. A fan of the TV show "The Jeffersons," might think of Weezy as an option, too! Luiza has old time charm with a little zing with the Z in the spelling.
Ioana is a unique name that comes from the immensely more common Hebrew masculine name, John, or its feminine, Joanna. Ioana is found in Bulgaria as well as Romania. It ranked in popularity here in the US just above the 5000 mark, so pretty rare indeed. Ioana means, "God is gracious," and makes a lovely choice for a long-awaited child. You can trace the name all the way back to the Hebrew, " yehōhānān," or "Yehohanan," which then became Yehanan. The Greek form was " Iōannes," which brings us to Ioana.
It would blend well with a straightforward and simple middle name, like Bliss or Blythe, for instance. Ioana could be shortened to Ann, Ana or Annie, or maybe even Io. Ioana is a strong, bold choice for a baby girl whose parents like to be different but classic.
Luminita translates as "little light," and every child is the light of their parent's lives, so it's a fitting choice for most. Luminita is used in Romania, and also in Spanish-speaking regions. It is a light name, another popular type of name. Luminita was the name of a 2013 award-winning film from Romania/Portugal. Luminita Saviuc is a writer and blogger.
It's so rare in the United States, it hasn't charted in any years of recent times. Luminita is a long name with melodic sounds, but would work best with a simple short middle name for that reason. Nicknames include Lumi, Nita or Lulu. Other possible choices include Minnie or Nina. A variation in Romania would be to change the final syllable to a /tsa/sound. That is denoted by spelling it "Luminiţa."
This soft, sweet name is probably the most familiar of names on this list. Indeed, it ranked #174 last year for girls. According to some sources it means, "bright; beautiful," and for others, it means "noble; illustrious." Still others trace the meaning as being "to soothe." Alina has been on the rise in popularity since the 1990s. One main root name is Helen. It is popular in Poland, Russia, as well as Romania, and other places include Germanic and Celtic regions.
Alina appears as a character in Ken Follett's book, Pillars of the Earth, as a character in the film The Equalizer, and actor Dave Foley has a daughter Alina. Alina is a very flexible name that could work with different types of middle names and with different syllable counts.
Lia is a name that seems to blur across regions and ethnicities. It fits all kinds of language types, making it most flexible. It means, "hardworking or industrious," if traced to the original name of Amelia, or it can be traced to the Hebrew name Leah, which means, "weary." Leah became Jacob's wife in the Bible, but it was her sister he really wanted and worked to marry. In Jewish tradition, Leah is seen as a fruitful type of name, due to her namesake being mother of many children.
Lia first appeared in US name charts in 1966, and has only gotten stronger over the years. Last year Lia came in at #286 for US girls. Famous Lias include Lia Neal, US Olympic swimmer; Lia Cirio, an American ballerina, and Lia Chang, American actress.
Nicoleta is a name that comes down from the Greek Nikolaos. This name is the combination of nike meaning "victory," and laos, meaning "the people." The name ranked last year in the US down near 10,000, thus it's fairly rare. However, in Romania it charts in the top 10 or 20 year to year. Other countries which prefer this or closely related forms include Russia, Croatia and Bulgaria, as well as France, Britain and Greece. Nicknames include Nicol, Colette, Cole, and Nicki. Other options may include Leta, Coli, or Nico.
Nicoleta is a long name that contains hard sounds so best options for middle names include softer, shorter ones. Nicoleta Daniela Sofronie is a Romanian gymnast and Nicoleta Matei is a Romanian singer. Nicoleta is a lovely feminine name that will work well for many families looking for more unusual choices in a baby name.
Relia comes from the name, Aurelia and means, "gold." Of course, gold is precious, lovely and represents something pure and worthy of treasuring. All traits we find in our newborn daughters! Relia is a more modern-sounding variation on Aurelia, and distinctly Romanian in usage. Some sources say the name means, "golden-haired." It is rarely used in America, not charting since 2015 and at #15,795 back then. So, if you are searching for a lovely, melodious name that is neither common nor difficult, Relia is a good option. It is pronounced REE-lee-uh.
Nicknames could include Relie, Lia or Ree. Avoiding 3-syllable middle names would probably be best, but either 1 or 2-syllables will work well. Relia is obscure enough that at present no known celebrities bear the moniker, which is often a plus to most parents.
Tabitha is a Biblical named favored in Romania. It means "gazelle," which can represent beauty, nimbleness and gentleness. It came in at #1375 last year in the US for baby girls. Those who watch old TV shows will remember that on Bewitched, Tabitha was Samantha's baby daughter. Tabitha was also an adorable Beatrix Potter character, a cat. Tabitha is also the name of author Stephen King's wife.
Tab, Tabby or Tabbi are nicknames to choose from. Bitsy would be a tad too cute for many, but who knows? Tabitha is the name of a woman in the New Testament of the Bible, someone brought back to life by St. Peter. Tabitha seems to have a strong sound, so a simple one-syllable middle name would probably match up best.
Sources: babynamewizard.com, babycenter.com, thenamemeaning.com, nameberry.com, flowermeaning.com