Finding the baby girl name isn’t always easy. It’s hard to pick just one out of the infinite possibilities out there, but it’s also one of the most crucial responsibilities held by all parents.
Give them a bad name and they’ll be teased mercilessly through school. Give them too common of a name and they might decide to change it themselves later. It’s hard to win as parents, but to help you out, here’s a list of some of the most trending girl baby names around the world – there’s even one in homage to Games of Thrones. Don’t worry, it’s not Daenerys, although that one has skyrocketed in popularity since the TV show’s debut.
The great part about many of these names is that although they are trending in their respective countries, they’re not necessarily at the top of the list in the United States or even Canada. In either case, it’s all up to preference, so if you love a name, don’t worry about its’ popularity!
25 Evie – Australia
Not to be confused with the Pokémon Eevee, the name Evie is one of the most trending in Australia right now and with good reason as it’s adorable! Meaning “life”, “living” and “lively”, Evie can be a name of its own or a nickname for Evelyn, Evangeline, Eva or Eve.
What’s peculiar about this name is that it had peaked in popularity in the 1890’s, only to drastically stop being used as of the 1920’s. It’s only in the 1990s that Evie started gaining traction as a baby name once again.
Those with the name Evie tend to be independent and full of energy, but the up-side of this is that they also make friends easily. Although the toddler years may be a little hard if this is true, their leadership skills may push them far in life later on.
24 Aurora – Italy
In Greek mythology, Aurora was the goddess of sunrise and it’s certainly no coincidence that the Aurora Borealis would also hold this name given that it’s a light show caused by the sun’s electrically charged particles.
A mama who chose this name for her own daughter commented:
“I think the name Aurora is absolutely beautiful and chose it for my daughter for that reason and because it has historically not been as popular in the US. The only source of irritation with the name for me is that I would prefer that it's recognized as the Goddess of the Dawn, but more often I get, "Oh, that's Sleeping Beauty!"
It’s a also spiritually charged name, with the Aurora’s of the world said to hold very active imaginations and a high sense of intuition. They can certainly be seen as dreamers, but once they dedicate their efforts to a cause, nothing can get in the way of their passion and drive.
Since it’s a longer name, many nicknames can easily be created with it: Rory, Rora, Roro, Aura, Aurie, Ora, etc.
23 Saoirse - Ireland
The name Saoirse has been a popular name in Ireland since about the 1920’s and yet it’s only now that it’s becoming more mainstream. This is in particular due to Saoirse Ronan’s stellar performances in the movies Atonement, The Lovely Bones and Brooklyn.
Although it may be tempting to pronounce this name “SA-yor-see” or any such variation, the real pronunciation is actually “SUR-sha”. Although according to Desse, “Saoirse is typically pronounced SEER-sha in Northern Ireland, but SAIR-sha in Southern Ireland. It's all a matter of dialect.”
Honestly, this could make for a lifetime of repeating and clarifying, but at the same time, many people with simple names often find themselves clarifying their own names anyways.
Even though it has Irish roots, this baby name can certainly be used by anyone as it’s all a matter of preference. At the end of the day, it’s an absolutely gorgeous name and one that is actually in the top 1000 names in the US as well.
22 Eleanor – USA
Olivia is still the reigning champ of girl names for 2017, but a very unique name that has been slowly creeping up on the charts is actually Eleanor. It was first made popular when Queen Eleanor travelled from France to England in the 12th century and has since been one of those names that experiences tremendous popularity, only to drastically drop for a couple of decades.
In Greek, French and American, the name Eleanor has the same meaning: “shining light” and “bright light”. It comes from the name Aliénor, which is a variation of the name that could certainly be used as well, especially since it’s currently quite rare.
Those with the name Eleanor tend to be some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Although they can be shy in social situations, they’re the kind of friend that you will have for life. They’re usually valued for their profound insights and ability to see the bigger picture.
21 Kira – Russia
Kids are bundles of energy and containing that energy can be particularly challenging, but apparently not with the little girls who bear the name “Kira”. When analyzing this name using numerology, those with the name Kira are said to be particularly fantastic at channeling their energies into creative outlets. With them being natural leaders and enjoying being in the spotlight, you can expect them to have artsy career paths, perhaps as artists, singers or actors.
It’s one of the most trending names in Russia, but it’s still not one of those names that you hear all the time. In the US, Kira is slightly less popular than Keira. Kiara is also another name that can be worth considering.
Even though it’s a short name, many nicknames can also be crafted from this one, such as: Kia, Kiki, Kir, Ki or simply “K”.
20 Noa – Spain
Not to be confused with Noah, Noa is a name that has also been gaining traction in the United States in the last couple of decades. The good news for anyone looking for a least popular name is that although it’s trending in Spain right now, it has been declining in popularity in the US since last year. In Israel on the other hand, the name has been ranking as the #1 most popular name since 2005, with a slight drop this year.
On the fence about it? Here’s a testimony from a 12-year-old girl with this name:
“I absolutely HEART my name! It's so unique and uncommon to see a girl named Noa. This name fits perfectly for a tomboy type of girl like me too. Since very few girls are named Noa, It's a very slight chance that your child will be mixed up with another girl. People describe me as outgoing, talented, funny, popular, and chill. Noa is a unique girl name that no other girls really have in America.”
19 Kaia – Turkey
Although trending in Turkey as a baby name, Kaia is said to have Hawaiian and Scandinavian roots. In Hawaiian, the name refers to “the sea”. In Greek, it’s the complete opposite with the name referring to “the earth”. The latter significance particularly makes sense since Kaia is said to be derived from the name “Gaia”, which in Greek mythology, refers to the Goddess of Earth and the mother of all life.
An anonymous mama on Baby Name Wizard chose the name Kaia for her own daughter:
“Our daughter's name is Kaia Nicole and I still love it. We get lots of compliments on the uniqueness of this name, which is what we were looking for. When I delivered her, the doctor told me that Kaia is also Hindu and means "good creation". At 7, my daughter is the only Kaia in her school and we've only met a few people who know other Kaia's. Gorgeous name!”
18 Tess – Netherlands
Originally a nickname for the name Theresa, Tess has been getting used a standalone name for a couple of decades, but even more commonly in the last couple of years.
Those with the name Tess have a tendency to be romantic and adventurous. They’re also said to live by their own rules in a way and to stray away from the traditional path. One popular woman by this name, Tess Holliday certainly perfectly embodies this description as she is a plus size model who doesn’t let any shamers get in the way of her career. Although truth be told it’s not her real name, but it is the name she goes by in popular media.
Tessa and Tessie are also names worth considering if you don’t want to go with Theresa but still want something Tess-related.
17 Rakel – Iceland
Although it’s originally a Swedish name, Rakel has actually crept up to being one of the top baby names in Iceland. While in Swedish, the name means “lamb”, in Hebrew, it means “ewe”, which is a female sheep.
Not to be confused with Rachel or Rockey, the alternative spelling to Rakel is actually Raquel, and is a variant that is much more popular in the US. While Rakel holds the 6,786’s spot on top baby names list in the US, Raquel holds the 1,107th spot, having suffered a recent decline in popularity.
Rakel’s are said to be great team-players, needing to work around people in order to feel fulfilled. They can be very good at being impartial, thus making them great mediators. This trait serves them particularly well in their relationships and friendships and makes them the best friend you could possibly ever have.
16 Sofie – Norway
If you’re fed up of seeing “Sophia”, “Sophie” and “Sophie” remain consistently in the number one most popular spot for baby names, but are absolutely in love with one of those, then “Sofie” might be for you. A name that is on the rise in Norway, Sofie is only in the 1,026th spot in the US and has recently suffered a 208-points decline – which is good news if you don’t want to go with the most popular baby name.
Similarly to its alternate spellings, Sofie means “wise” or “wisdom”. You could also go with “Sofia” or even more differently, there is “Saffi”, which is another variation of this name and shares the same meaning. For its part, “Saffi” is a much rarer alternate, with no data being available as to its position on the popularity lists.
15 Zoe - New Zealand
Zoe Saldana and Zoë Kravitz are the most popular women by the name Zoe in the entertainment business. There is also the alternate spelling, Zooey, after the famous actress Zooey Deschanel.
Although just three letters long, this two-syllable name sounds strong when voiced out loud. It also carries the weight of having “life” as being its meaning. In fact, when the Bible was translated into the Greek, the name “Eve” was changed to “Zoe”. In earlier times, parents would even choose “Zoe” when naming their child in the hopes of giving their sweet bundle of joy eternal life.
This is one of New Zeland’s most popular names right now, but even in the United States, its #49 on the 2017 baby names list! But don’t let its' popularity deter you from choosing this name. It’s a fabulous name that can easily be paired with nearly any middle name.
14 Valentina – Mexico
On Baby Name Wizard, an anonymous commenter left this remark about the name Valentina:
“More exotic and artistic ballerina-type successor to Valerie; a pretty, recommended choice. Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek named her daughter Valentina.”
Truer words couldn’t have been spoken. Valentina is indeed a beautiful name and although it has Latin roots and is one of the most trending names in Mexico, it is also a name that has shot up in popularity in the United States.
As far as meanings go, Valentina comes from the Latin word “valens”, which means “healthy” and “strong”. Along those lines, the Valentina’s of the world are actually said to be very good with money, acquiring wealth fast, mostly because of their deep analytical skills.
Interestingly, it’s also a common name in Russia, with “Valya” usually used as a nickname.
13 Julia – Poland
Is Julie short for Julia? It can be! Julie is actually the Latin form of Julia, with both variations of the name signifying “downy-haired” and “youthful”.
Julia a name that has long been used throughout the centuries, experiencing a particular resurgence in the 1880’s, in 2002 and now again.
Plus, there are many very successful Julia’s, with Julia Roberts being the first to come to mind, but there is also: Julia Child (chef), Julia Stiles (actress), Julia Dent Grant (former First Lady), Julia War Howe (poet), and Julia Gillard (first female Australian Prime Minister).
The great part about this name is that it can also stand on its own, without being a nickname for a longer name like Juliette. Whichever name you go with, keep in mind that Julia is much more popular right now than Julie, but that can all change at the drop of a hat.
12 Harper – UK
Harper Lee, an American novelist, Harper Collins, one of the leading publishing houses, or even Harper Connelly if you’re a fan of the Charlaine Harris, the mastermind behind Sookie Stackhouse – there are many amazing Harper’s for any fan of fiction.
As a baby name, Harper has actually recently shot up like a firecracker in popularity. It has gone from being a relatively rare name to being one of the most popular ones in recent years. Initially, it was attributed to someone who plays the harp, but that is not a meaning that anyone really attributes to this name anymore. In fact, it has even begun to be used as a boy name as well, steadily climbing the charts recently as well, with Victoria and David Beckham naming their son Harper Seven. Nonetheless, it still remains a more popular name for girls.
11 Aya – Syria
One of the best ways to describe the latest trend in baby names? The shorter the better. Parents all over the world are opting for short names that would have been considered nicknames just a couple of decades before. Aya definitely fits the bill in that regard, coming in at a total of three letters, with two letters being repeated!
What makes this name the most captivating is that although it has only recently begun to shoot up in popularity in countries like Syria, the Netherlands and the United States, it has actually long been a popular name in Japan. When given as a name in Japan though, it’s usually within a longer form such as Ayaka, Ayana or Ayami.
While in Japanese, it can either mean “beautiful” or “colorful one”, in Korean, the name means “loved”. The Aya’s of the world are also said to be romantic, compassionate and generous. Their only downfall is that they can be quick-tempered but their other pleasant characteristics can surely make up for that little quirk.
10 Lina/Lena – Germany
Any Game of Thrones fan would be remiss to spot the connection between the name Lena and the most popular show on TV right now (Cersei is played by Lena Headey).
All references aside, Lina is actually ever so slightly more popular than Lena, but both variations are in the top 15 most popular names in Germany. The opposite holds true in the US though, with Lina nudging Lena out of the spot by a couple hundred points. Unlike most names that have the same meaning even if differently spelled, this one is different. While Lena means “light” in Greek, Lina means “tender” in Indian. As an alternatively less popular name, there is also the differently spelled “Leena”.
Note: Apparently, no one wants to dress up their kids as Cersei, undoubtedly because Daenerys will probably end up feeding her to her dragons. If you’re still on the hunt for a baby name and you’re leaning towards Lena, then you still have time to be the first to dress your kid in such a costume and have your picture go viral.
9 Amelia – Sweden
Speaking of Sookie Stackhouse, there is also Amelia. A highly popular name in Sweden right now, Amelia is a combination of the medieval names “Amalia” and “Emilia”, both of which would also make for great baby names.
A Victorian name in origin, it's currently one of the top names in the following countries: New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Scotland and Poland. It was also given as a name to the daughters of King George II and King George III.
As with many of the recently popularized names, this one can be found in the works of Shakespeare as well. In Othello, Emilia is Iago’s wife and is seen as a virtuous character. Although the spelling is slightly different, it could also be a good choice for anyone look for a less popular version of this classic name.
8 Chloe – Canada
Although initially a Greek baby name, Chloe has since been appropriate across many countries, in particular French-speaking ones. As such, it comes as no surprise that it would be a top baby name for girls in Canada, but it’s also been on the rise in the United States, Australia, Spain and Switzerland.
In Greek, Chloe was the Goddess of the harvest. More specifically, “Chloe” refers to a “young green shoot” or “blooming”. On Baby Name Wizard, the following comment was posted:
“Very common yet very beautiful. My best friends called Chloe and I'm forever jealous of her.”
As far as popular culture goes, Chloë Sevigny is a famous actress bearing this name, but there is also Chloe Grace Moretz and Khloe Kardashian. The Kardashian sister’s name offers a refreshing way of spelling this classical name and is only slightly less popular than the original spelling.
7 Arianna – Malaysia
One of the most famous Ariana’s to instantly come to mind is of course Ariana Grande (albeit minus one N). Arianna Huffington is another highly famous woman by this name as she is the founder of Huffington Post. There is also Arianna Bergamaschi, an Italian singer, actress and television presenter. It’s clear that the Ariana’s of the world are destined for greatness!
It was originally a Greek baby name, meaning “very holy” and “chaste” but this name has since been expanded and now gets used internationally.
Arianna is also be an awesome Game of Thrones baby name since “Arya” could be used as a nickname. In fact, the coolest part about this name is hands down the amount of nicknames that can be used. The only limit is your imagination as you can go with: Ari, Ria, Anna, Rianna, Aria, Riri, Rae, Aya, Rian, Nana, Rinny, etc.
6 Helena – Brazil
Throughout the centuries, there have been many influential and powerful women by the name of Helen. One that certainly stands out is Helen, Constantine The Great’s mother and Empress of Rome. Many churches also view and revere her as a saint.
Although with a slightly different spelling, there was also Helen of Troy. Often brought up in entertainment still to this day, she was Zeus’ daughter in Greek mythology and was also viewed as the most beautiful woman in the world.
History aside, Helena is a beautiful and sophisticated name. It can also be changed to “Helen” or with the H dropped altogether to form: Elena.
It is also the perfect baby name for any Shakespeare fan as Helena was one of the four young lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In Swedish, Helena means light.
5 Lara – Switzerland
Most people would be quick to think of the kick-ass character “Lara Croft” from Tomb Raider. Long before the release of this video game though, it was the release of the movie “Doctor Zhivago” that popularized this famous name, landing it as one of the top 1000 baby names in the United States in 1966. As with most, Lara is a baby name that has experienced a revival in recent years, especially in Switzerland, where it’s currently among the highest picked names.
It’s an intentionally popular name though, especially through its other spelling: “Laura”. On its own though, it means “well-known” and is also a short form of the Russian names Larissa and Klara. Although just four letters, many nicknames can also be used for this name, such as: Lala, Lari, Lolly, etc.
Another spelling variation would be “Lora”, but even that one has been significantly rising on the charts in the past couple of years, now featuring in the 2,711th spot.
4 Anika – India
Whether you want to pronounce it “AH-nika” or “ah-NEE-ka”, Anika is a wonderful baby name that is on the rise in India, but can also easily be used in other parts of the world as it has African and Scandinavian roots. In fact, in the US, it’s in the 350th popular spot!
On Baby Name Wizard, this comment was actually left for this name:
“My daughter’s name is Anika! Pronounced A-ni-ka! I love it! She loves it! But we had never heard of before! We honestly thought we made it up! To us she is named after Anikan Skywalker from Star Wars... We are not sci-fi nerds we just always liked that name and had to find a way to make it feminine. I did not like it at first but my husband really did! It has grown on me...and now I hate the name I had picked before!”
3 Isla – Scotland
In the past, Isla has been an exclusively Scottish name. Has that let anyone deter them from using the name for their own babies even if aren’t Scottish? Not at all. Even in the US, the name Isla sits in the 97th most popular spot, with a slight increase since last year. Even Queen Elizabeth has a great-granddaughter named Isla!
The increase in popularity comes with good reason too as this name sounds unique and if Isla Fisher is good representative of the name, then the Isla’s of the world are also gorgeous! Having for significance “island”, Isla is also the name of a river in Scotland, as well as the name of an actual Island spelled Islay.
It could also be fun to combine Isla with a middle name that has a specific significance, such as this proud mama did:
“My 3 year old is an Isla Grace, which means Island of Beauty and she really is beautiful. She sometimes gets called IS LA but she is quick to correct them!! A really lovely name.”
2 Mariana – Portugal
A combination of the name “Maria” and “Ana”, Mariana comes from the Latin name “Marianus” and is a name derived from the Roman god of war, Mars. In terms of significance, Mariana means “bitter”, but you shouldn’t let that deter you from picking this up because it’s also a name that has received a different meaning from being used in Shakespeare’s play Mesaure for Measure. In the play, the character Mariana is praised for her loyalty.
This name also has royal roots as in the 17th century, Mariana of Austria was Queen consort of Spain and Mariana Victoria was Queen of Portugal in the 18th century. Mariana Bracetti, for her harts, was a Puerto Rican revolutionary figure in the 1860s, when she worked to overthrow the Spain government.
In terms of numerology, those with the name Mariana are said to be creative, often finding themselves in the field of acting, singing or writing. In fact, Mariana Ximenes is currently a popular Brazilian actress, who has won many awards.
1 Louise – France
The name Louise is very hit or miss. While some love it intensely, others hate it just as much – to each their own! Both in French and Belgium, Louise has long been getting used as a royal name. So it is no surprise that it’s also one of the top names in France right now!
Although initially a feminine version of the male name “Louis”, Louise has long been seen as a stand-alone name. It’s the kind of name that has the potential for many unique nicknames, such as: “Lou, Lou-Lou, Lula, Lulu, Lolly, Luna, etc.
It’s a name that is a little less common in the United States, sitting at the 668th spot, with a dramatic increase in popularity since 2011.
On Baby Name Wizard, someone had shared:
“We are naming our next daughter Louise. It is a wonderful, under-used name with great nick-name potential, and very much suits our naming style. Great name.”
Sources: TheBump.com, Huffingtonpost.com, SheKnows.com, BabyCenter.com, OhBabyNames.com and BabyNameWizard.com