The number four has positive associations. Earth, water, fire, and wind are the four basic elements. North, South, East, and West make up four directions. Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter comprise the four seasons. We even chop time up into quarters as well. And, there are four phases of the Moon. What’s not to adore when it’s made up of four? And so begins our name list inspired by this special number.
Four-letter names have their advantages. They’re easy to remember, easy to spell, and they fit neatly on personalized souvenirs. But, even though these names contain the same number of letters, some on our list have one-syllable while others have two. More syllables make a short name sound longer, so these four-letter names don’t all sound alike.
Currently, the top names for American girls and boys are the four-letter favorites Emma and Noah. Obviously, there’s something desirable about a four-letter name. Short first and middle names also work well when the last name is a mouthful. A lengthy surname like Bretschneider or Castelluccio will pair well with a four-letter first name.
Some parents might even like to pair to four letter names for the first and middle names to create a beautiful full name like Sara Anne. Even if parents choose a longer middle name, the shorter first name almost guarantees limited nicknames and complications. Short and sweet is the name of this game, and we think parents will feel inspired! Check out our favorite baby girl names containing four letters.
Zara reached name-fame in the U.S. after Britain’s Princess Anne defied convention by bestowing her daughter with an Arabic name that means princess. Since then, the name has seen a mainstream spotlight. The name also brings to mind the store Zara, the retailer that sells men’s, women’s and children's clothing.
Famous parents agree it’s an awesome name for a girl. Comedian Chris Rock chose this name for his daughter. Also, the oldest daughter of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is named Zahara, a related name of Zara. Surprisingly, the name Zara is related to the more common biblical name 'Sarah.' Pretty cool, huh!
Perhaps soon-to-be parents love the million and one variations of Zara, including Zahra, Zarah, Zaria, and Zarina. Or maybe expecting parents like the elegant sound of the name. We love Zara because it sounds debonair, refined, cultured, and it has a beautiful meaning. No wonder this name has been shooting to the top of name lists since 2005.
Good things come in small packages, and Tess certainly fits the bill. The name originates from the longer name Theresa but this one-syllable version has a lot more zip. Obviously, parents also prefer the much shorter form Tess. The four-letter name is a more streamlined version, and much easier to spell for school aged kids.
Tess is a name with English and Greek origins. The name means to harvest. Tess enjoyed fame near the end of the 19th century. In 1891, Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles gave the name a big boost. That, and the slew of celebs who have chosen this moniker for their own little stars. big names like Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson and Cher have all chosen this name for their little girls.
Tess, currently sitting at #194 on the girl’s name chart, is more popular than her twin sister Tessa, which is in the 209th position. And, it’s a much more sought-after name than Theresa, which currently ranks #477.
This short and sweet girl’s name has both African and Indian origins. It’s the Swahili word that means gift. In Sanskrit, the name means stem. Combine the meaning from these two cultures and what you have is the beginning of a gift, which is appropriate for a baby.
In terms of pop culture, the name has seen big screen fame. In the 1994 animated Disney film The Lion King, the character Nala is Simba’s lifelong best friend and wife. Also, In Living Color producer Keenan Ivory Wayans named his daughter Nala in 1996.
Nala squeaks into the top 1000 girls list in the U.S., ranking #946. This underused name hasn’t seen rapid growth, but that just means it’s waiting to be discovered. Whether you want to honor your African or Indian traditions or you just like the sound, Nala is a pretty cool name for a baby girl.
As an alternative to Kayla and Maia, Kaia is a surprising baby name on the rise. Pronounced KY-a, the name means to rejoice. It can be spelled many ways, including Kaya, Kya, Kaiyah, and Kaija, the name currently ranks #123 on Nameberry.
Kaia has Norwegian and Estonian roots. This four-letter name is the short form of Katarina. It also originates from Kai, the Hawaiian word for sea. At least, one famous agrees that Kaia is an awesome name for a cool little lady. In 2001, former supermodel Cindy Crawford named her daughter, Kaia.
There is one aspect parents may not love about the name Kaia; it will probably need to be spelled out over and over again. If constant spelling and corrections aren’t deal breakers, this is a lovely name for a baby girl.
Pronounced shay, this Irish name is a brilliant moniker. Also spelled Shae, Shay, or Shaye, this name is the diminutive of Shamus. It means the stately, dauntless one.
For such a familiar-sounding name, this short name doesn’t make the top 1000 list for girls. In fact, it ranks much lower than that, sitting in the 1503rd position. It was number one on actor Kevin James’ shortlist, though. He named his daughter Shea in 2007. Bestselling author John Grisham also has a daughter named Shea.
Parents-to-be may appreciate the fact that Shea can’t be made into a cutesy nickname. This name has an earthy, yet feminine feel. Shea is so soft and graceful, it sounds like cashmere and silk when it rolls off the tongue. A girl named Shea will stand out for the right reason.
Ella may not be as popular as her uber popular cousins Isabella and Emma, but the name is still in the American top 20. The name is almost tops in Sweden and Australia, however, where the name ranks 4th and 6th, respectively.
The most famous bearer of this name is arguably jazz songstress Ella Fitzgerald, which is just one more plus for the name. Ella is also modern and fashionable, and yet, it’s a name that fits any age group. A time-honored name like Ella will never sound trendy and it will never feel outdated. It has a retro appeal that is steeped in traditional charm.
Parents shouldn’t be afraid to choose this popular name. Researchers have found that common names like Ella are more successful, more well-known, and more desired. Plenty of famous parents agree, such as Mark Wahlberg, Ben Stiller, and John Travolta.
This upbeat name is not rising in the ranks, but the name Abby has a lot going for it. The full name, Abigail, is a little more sophisticated, but we love the four-letter version. You don’t need to repeat it, and others will understand the name immediately.
Abby is a Hebrew name that means my father is joyful. The name’s prominence began in the mid-1950s. Abby started to peak in the early 2000s, but it has since declined in popularity. Abby ranks #437 in the United States but places a bit higher in the Netherlands at #393.
Probably the most famous association with the name is the advice columnist Dear Abby, whose real name is Abigail Van Buren. Other popular versions of Abby include Abbie, Abi, and Abbey. We love the name for little girls because it's cute, easy to spell, and just rolls off the tongue. We suggest putting this on your name list, because it's adorable!
Echo is an uncommon name, indeed. And although it’s not a run-of-the-mill moniker, unique name like these are quite memorable. It may be unusual but it’s also extraordinary and distinctive.
In Greek mythology, Echo was a mountain nymph who fell in love with Narcissus. When Narcissus fell in love with his own image and died in a lake, Echo mourned him until she died. All that was left was her voice. This is the myth that explains the phenomenon of echoing.
This name, borrowed from the natural world and Greek mythology, certainly hasn’t found mainstream success. But if it’s too eccentric, it’s a good name to consider as a middle name.
If parents-to-be are looking for a rare, four-letter girl’s name, Echo may be the one. It is a name that is unique while feeling familiar. Plus, Echo has no cutesy nicknames; that’s what you call a triple threat name.
This name sits in the top 30 in England, Wales, Australia, and New Zealand, but it’s a little less popular in America currently. From Latin, the name means light. We see Lucy making a great comeback name for little girls with hipster moms loving the heritage behind the name.
Pop culture and famous people have given the name Lucy a definite boost in popularity. Fans of the comic actress Lucille Ball will associate the name with her and her TV comedies, which were arguably the best sitcoms of all time. Actress Lucy Lawless, the title character of TV’s Xena: Warrior Princess, and actress Lucy Liu have also given the name visibility.
Also, you can’t deny the influence of the cartoon character Lucy in Charles Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts. And no doubt, the Beatles and their song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds played a part in the name’s popularity, as well.
Pronounced ZO-ee, this inviting name means life. While the alternate spellings Zoe, Zowie, and Zoie are rising in the ranks, Zoey is the most popular. The four-letter favored version is currently 23rd on the American girls' name list.
The name catapulted to the top of the ranks in the last decade due, in part, to characters in popular TV shows such as Zoey 101, How I Met Your Mother, The West Wing, and Nurse Jackie. And talented actress Zooey Deschanel also represents the name well.
The only downside is that Zoey is super popular right now; that means millions of other girls have the same name. But there’s an upside: studies show that well-known names come across better to future hiring managers. So, parents shouldn’t be afraid of the current Zoey trend.
Jule is short for Julie. It’s also a variation of the name Jewel, a diminutive of Jules, and the feminine form of Julian. However you slice it, Jule sounds like a gem of a name to bestow on a little girl.
Pronounced jool, the word name means youthful. Thinking of the name as a gemstone, more parents are turning to names like Pearl, Ruby, Jade, Crystal, and the French version, Bijou. But the generic gem name remains in the top 1000 in the U.S. Perhaps the singer/songwriter Jewel helps keep it there.
And while the longer spelling is also beautiful, we prefer the zippy, four-letter version for a precious baby girl. With such a beautiful name, it’s a wonder why it hasn’t found mainstream success. So if you like rare things, consider Jule a rare find that you can give the future baby girl in your life.
Get ahead of the gemstone name trend and put Jule on your list! This name is probably no where on your friend's radar.
Who said a color can’t be a name? Pink is a short and sweet name for a girl, but it’s definitely rare. It doesn’t make the top 1000; it doesn’t even make the top 2000. Currently, Pink ranks #2574 on the girl’s name chart.
The most famous namesake, of course, is the singer of the same name. Born Alecia Beth Moore, Pink found fame in 2000 with the song There You Go, and she’s been a trendsetter ever since.
Traditional names are safe and familiar, which is why so many parents are attached to them. But names like Pink are memorable. It’s a lovely name that no one would forget. But if the name is too different, keep it in mind for a middle name. With a name like Pink, a little girl is sure to be remembered for the right reasons.
As the delivery date nears, the pressure to find a name is on. Our advice: take a deep breath, and find the answers by connecting to the Earth. Through meditation, the name Gaia might come to you.
Pronounced GUY-ah, this is another name with origins in Greek mythology. Gaia was the Earth goddess who presided over the universe. This is why the name translates to earth mother. With a name like Gaia, a child may have a natural connection to the Earth.
But, be forewarned. There is one aspect soon-to-be parents may not love about Gaia. While the pronunciation is not as difficult as it looks, it will probably need to be said out loud to anyone who reads it. If repeated corrections aren’t a deal breaker, Gaia is a wonderful choice for a little blessing. Besides, you can always switch up the spelling and spell the name Gaya for easy spelling and pronunciation.
Speaking of a perfect name for nature-lovers, Asia is another four-letter choice any girl would appreciate. Asia hasn’t quite caught on in the U.S. This place-name ranks #907 on the girls’ list. Still, the name is appealing and exotic.
A name inspired by a landmark on our planet may seem like a hippie throwback, but with the rise of environmentalism comes a renewed interest in earthy names. It also has ties to Greek mythology. Asia was the mother of Atlas and Prometheus.
Parents who choose the name Asia may want to give a nod to their ancestry. Or maybe they appreciate the nature-inspired sweetness. Or perhaps they just love the sound. In any rate, a little girl named Asia will likely grow up to appreciate the uniqueness of her name.
What’s old is new again; this adage perfectly explains the contemporary-vintage appeal of the name Nell. The name derived as a nickname for Helen, Ellen, Penelope, and Eleanor. In fact, former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sometimes addressed his wife Eleanor as Nell—just one of his pet names for her. Today, Nell is used as a standalone name.
Since 1956, the name Nell has not appeared on the girl’s name chart in America, but it’s just waiting for a comeback. Although it has a classic vibe to it, Nell is not your grandmother’s name anymore. We believe this is one of the sophisticated names that will catch on with parents looking for a mature name for their little girl.
This short name has a friendly sound. And perhaps this old-fashioned charmer might be the perfect moniker for a modern baby girl. For many reasons, Nell is a great choice.
And yet again from Greek origins, another four-letter name has emerged. Thea can be pronounced many ways: TAY-a, THAY-a, or THEE-a are the most common pronunciations.
Thea is not just a standalone name. It can also be used as a short form for several other names, including Theodora, Dorothea, and Althea. Thea means goddess or godly.
Thea is currently ranked #464 on the American girls’ name chart. Despite only entering the top 500 in 2015, Thea is one of the fastest growing names in the country. Still, its popularity is much higher in New Zealand, Sweden, Scotland, and England. But Norway is where Thea reigns supreme, ranking #12 for girls.
There’s an attractive quality to the name Thea. It’s a feminine, and pretty name that will stand the test of time. Also, because this name is as wonderful as its meaning, Thea is a great choice.
This four-letter moniker is a classic name in African countries with ties to the Congol. The famous South African Zola Budd broke world records as an athlete. And while the name isn’t rising on the baby name charts in the U.S., at least two American celebrity parents dig the name. Just ask Eddie Murphy, and Dweezil Zappa (the son of musician Frank Zappa). Both have daughters named Zola.
The name Zola also has a literary connection. In the late 19th century, Émile Zola was a famous French author and activist who founded the Naturalist movement. And you might be surprised to hear that Zola is also a unisex name, but more commonly used for girls than boys.
Although the name hasn’t catapulted to the top of the ranks, Zola is swimming in historical richness. With its feminine quality and relative uniqueness, Zola is a fantastic name. It hits all the important points parents should consider when selecting a first name; it's easy to read, pronounce and spell, which makes it perfect for any little girl.
Like Violet, Iris, Daisy, and Ivy, Lily is a botanical name with a timeless quality. But this century-old name is the most popular. In fact,Lily is the highest-ranked girl’s name on this list.
Lily is an English name that means pure, which is why the flower is a symbol of purity. It’s one of the most popular names in Australia and New Zealand, but it’s really blooming in the U.S. and the U.K. Lily ranks 13th in America, 12th in England and Wales, and 10th in Scotland.
Celebs that share the nature-inspired name include actress Lily Tomlin and British singer Lily Allen. Celebrity parents are digging the name, too. Just ask Fred Savage, Chris O’Donnell, Kate Beckinsale, and Greg Kinnear; they all have daughters named Lily.
As a nickname for Emily or Elizabeth, it’s divine, but we think Lily is as pretty as your daughter is bound to be.
Artistic parents will appreciate this trendy up and coming name. Although it’s not a frequently heard name, Poet is classic, yet contemporary. Perhaps it is a perfect choice for the daughter of a writer. And feel free to categorize this moniker as an occupational name--and what a great occupation it is!
Poet is an extremely rare name that doesn’t even have a place on the girl’s name chart. It’s not a prominent name among famous people either, but one actress loved it enough to bestow it on her daughter. Former Punky Brewster actress Soleil Moon Frye defied convention and named her daughter Poet in 2005.
If you can get past the fact that Poet is an eccentric name, it’s a fine choice for a girl or a boy. It’s the ultimate poetic name. We have a feeling once hipster moms catch wind of other parents naming their kids Poet, we'll be hearing about more little Poets.
From 1881 to 2005, the name Mila had not entered the top 1000 name list for girls. In recent years, though, the name has catapulted to the top of the ranks. Currently, it’s #53 for girls in the United States. In Australia, Germany, and New Zealand, it’s even more popular. And in the Netherlands, Mila is the 9th most popular girl’s name.
This four-letter European name is pronounced MEE-la. In Russia, Mila is the short version of Ludmila. In terms of popularity, you can’t disregard Tinseltown’s impact. Mila Kunis, from TV’s That ‘70s Show and the film Black Swan, helped popularize the name, even though the Ukrainian-born actress was named Milena at birth. Actress-slash-model Milica “Milla” Jovovich gave the name a further spike.
Mila is a great name that fits a fun loving girl who is sociable and loves to include everyone in her plans. This fits with some of the meanings we found for Mila, which include love, warmth, and grace.
Like Raven, Robin, and Wren, Dove is a bird name that is Mother Nature inspired. This appeal is sure to make the list for nature-loving, expecting parents and maybe even those parents who are religious but want something funky for their little girl.
The dove is a symbol of love and peace. The graceful bird is also a symbol of a messenger. The sweet and gentle association with the white bird Dove also has ties to Christianity and Judaism. But even if parents are not spiritual, Dove offers timelessness, a poetic style, and a meaning any parent-to-be would want to bestow on their daughter.
Dove is also the brand name of a chocolate bar and a line of beauty and cleaning products. As a name, and as most parents would expect, girls named Dove are few and far between. It currently ranks #6406 for girls.
Bree is an Irish name. This four-letter girl’s name has been used as a nickname for Brianna, but it’s now a standalone name. Parents are also spelling the name Brea, but they tend to avoid the cheese-related spelling of Brie. Still, Brie is often used as a nickname for Gabrielle.
Meaning the strength and exalted one, Bree is the 300th most popular girl’s name in the United States. The name has been used on countless TV shows, from Desperate Housewives to the Australian soap opera Neighbours. Perhaps its pop culture connections help keep the name in the top 300 girls’ name list for girls.
Bree is playfully feminine and as lovely as its meaning. It’s no wonder that parents are choosing this name as an alternative to Brianna. Not to mention how easy it is to say and spell this name. Bree would make a great name for any cutie patootie!
This short-and-sweet name is a short form of the name Williamina. It’s also a nickname for Michelle, Jasmine, and Miriam--which are all great names as well!
The meaning of the name varies. Some say it means wished for child; others say it means rebellion. Other definitions say Mimi means sea of sorrow or sea of bitterness. So, the true translation is a bit fuzzy.
The most famous namesake is probably the actress Mimi Rogers, who was born Miriam. Singer Mariah Carey also goes by the nickname Mimi. Plus, the “Queen of Disco” Donna Summer named her daughter Mimi.
Mimi may not be as pervasive as some of the names on this list but this four-letter short name is a fine alternative. On all accounts, Mimi is pretty perfect. We think Mimi fits a little girl who loves to smile and explore. Consider Mimi for your little wanderer!
A name inspired by Mother Nature may seem like a hippie throwback, but the great outdoors has lots to offer. In fact, just look up for name inspiration.
Skye is a special, one-syllable name that is not of this earth. In fact, the Old Norse word means cloud. Skye is also defined as scholar and bringer of water. The name’s roots go back to the Isle of Skye, an island off Scotland known for its mind-blowing scenery.
While most people associate the name with the atmosphere above us, there’s also a pop culture connection to the name. Actor Marlon Brando played Sky Masterson in the 1955 film Guys and Dolls.
Skye is proof that a powerful name can be simple. It’s inviting, and free of boundaries. With the name Skye, a little girl will feel on top of the world.
There’s an undeniable quality with the name Maia. Because it’s charming, full of spirit, and delightfully feminine, Maia has zoomed up the baby name charts. Pronounced MY-a, there are several different spelling options, including Maya, Mya, Maja, and Mayah.
The name gets a huge boost from the world of celebrity too. In terms of popularity, you can’t disregard the many famous bearers with this name, including the late Maya Angelou. SNL Maya Rudolph alum, daughter of singer Minnie Riperton, also gave the name major visibility. Other celebs with the name include singer Mya and British rapper/singer Maya.
Also, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke chose this name for their daughter, as did artist Pablo Picasso. No wonder this name is so popular!
Maia has an exquisite sound that any young lady would love. We don’t see this four-letter name fading away anytime soon.