For parents who are expecting a baby girl, but don't want something too full of frills, flowers and ruffles for their her, we totally get it. Sometimes a tomboy name with a little sass is what the baby name list is missing.
Parents who are planning for a little girl, but fully expect her to be in a dress getting muddy playing tackle football with the boys, can't just pick an ordinary name. She needs something with a little more spunk and gumption than the dainty names that we hear every day.
For parents who want to steer clear of the usual, overused and girly names that we hear too often, we've got the perfect list. These are names that are strong and willful, with a hint of femininity. They aren't too masculine, yet most could work for either gender. Some of the names on our list are nicknames that can be used as short forms of beautiful names or stand alone as a given name.
The quest for a princess name that doesn't sound like a princess name is over. For the little princess who is going to be sassy, strong and independent, here are 25 tomboy names that will suit her perfectly.
One of the best tomboy names out there, Charlie, is actually becoming somewhat of a trend for girls. It, surprisingly, entered the Social Security list of top 1000 names in 1880. It even broke into the top 500 in 1919. In 1952 it dropped completely off the charts and didn't reappear until 2005. Today, Charlie is at its highest ranking ever #154.
Charlie is a diminutive of Charlotte, which is the feminine variation of Charles, which means "free man." Part of Charlie's recent success has been because several high profile celebrities have chosen it. Stars like Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell and the daughter of Julie Chen, Les Moonves and Jeremy Sisto all chose it for their daughters.
Charlie's use for a girl actually passed its use for boys in 2016. For boy's it only came in at #214, however, last year it broke back into the top 100 at #55. It is a top 25 name for boys in 7 other countries.
Charlie began as a nickname for Charlotte and even Charlene, but today, it can definitely stand on its own. As Charlotte remains in the top ten for another year, maybe just going straight for Charlie would be a better idea.
This unisex and perfectly fitting tomboy name has been all over the chart since 1886. However, it never saw much success until 1985, when it finally broke into the top 500 for good. From there it kept climbing the charts and broke into the top 100 in 1995. It stayed there for almost 20 years until 2013. In 2017 Sydney dropped all the way to #854.
Sydney is French for Saint Denis. It has also been translated as "wide island." Sidney was the original spelling also beginning as a boy's name and entering the charts in 1886. However, this spelling dropped off long before Sydney. Sydney for boy's left the popularity charts in 1996.
Charles Dickens used Sydney for a male character in A Tale of Two Cities. Sydney also has been used in several movies and television shows including Alias, Parenthood, Hope and Faith, and The American President.
Sidney Poiter is a famous Bahamian-American actor. He was also the first Bahamian actor to win an Academy Award for best actor. Though Poiter was a great representative of Sydney for boys, it seems to have moved more toward the girl's side. It a perfect choice for a sassy little tomboy!
Sam has primarily been used for boys and has been used for both genders as a nickname. It was only given to 12 girls in 2015 and has never been seen on the popularity charts as a first name standing alone. Sam is the epitome of a sassy tomboy name, whether you choose it to stand on its own or as a nickname.
Sam is a diminutive of Samuel and Samantha and while Samuel is one of the all time most popular boy's names, still at #21 today, Samantha has dropped to #386. It was given to 5,000 baby girls, while Samuel was given to double the amount of boys in 2015.
In that same year Sam alone as a given name for girls was only used for 12 babies, while for boys it was used for 500.
Sam is translated from Hebrew as "told by God." Sammie and Sammy are also a super cute option as a nickname for Samantha or to stand alone. Samantha wasn't used in the English speaking language until the 18th century. It was hugely popularized in the U.S. when the old tv show, Bewitched, aired and when Grace Kelley played Samantha Lord in High Society.
I absolutely love the nickname Jo. Jo works alone, but is probably more suitable as a nickname for Josephine. From 1880 until 1942, Josephine was a top 100 baby name. It didn't fall from favor until around 1987, but even still, it didn't fall far. Today, Josephine has been resurrected along with other vintage baby names and was last ranked #64.
Josephine is the French feminine variation of the name Joseph, which means "Jehovah increases." Josephine was one of the March sisters in Loiusa May Alcott's Little Women. She, of course, was quite the tomboy herself and went by the nickname, Jo. Josephine Bonaparte was Napoleon's wife, though she was born Marie-Josephe-Rose.
Joey Potter on Dawson's Creek, played by Katie Holmes was actually Josephine Lily Potter. Josie also a nickname of Josephine, like Josie and the Pussycats, though Jo is much more tomboyish. Josephine Baker was a cabaret celebrity, though she went by the nickname Freda. It has also been the name of seven queens and princesses.
Josephine is rich in history and full of vintage charm, the nickname Jo only makes it better. Joey is a cute choice too. This one is trending though, so you better grab it fast!
Jamie is one of the most popular unisex names that parents have chosen equally for boys and girls. Jamie entered the american list for baby girls in 1890, but didn't break into the top 500 until 1945. It wasn't until 30 years latter that it finally broke into the top 100. It stayed there for twenty more years until 1996. Today, Jamie has dropped drastically in the charts, hitting #615.
It has been pretty much the same story for Jamie's use for boys. It entered the charts in 1904. It broke into the top 500 a little later in 1954. It entered the top 100 in 1975, but it was only there for a few years. Today it's ranked #768. Parents preferred the long form James more than the nickname Jamie.
Jamie is a diminutive of James, which means "supplanter." Jamie can also be spelled Jayme or Jaime for parents looking for a little more flare, but all of them have the same meaning. Jamie Lee Curtis, Jamie Gertz, and Jamie Chung are all American actresses.
Jamie has successfully transitioned from a nickname name to a given name, becoming one of the most popular unisex names for several decades. It's definitely a tomboy name to consider!
Jordan is another unisex name that was super popular in the 90s for both genders. Jordan for girls didn't enter the American list until 1978, while for boys it entered in 1890. Jamie was never as successful for boys as it was for girls until recently, however. Jordan was in the top 100 from 1978 until 2007.
Jordan was actually used for five times more girls than boys in 2016.
Jordan for girls has also dropped in the polls slightly, coming in at #356, but not nearly as much as it has for boys. This moniker has definitely been used more commonly for girls, though the use of it for boys too gives it more of a tomboy feel.
Jordan has a pretty cool beginning too. It is Hebrew for "flowing down." It originally began being used for babies who were baptized in the River Jordan, which is the major river that runs through Palestine. Even today its used as a geographical name in that area.
Jordan has definitely proven itself on the charts for, basically, the last four decades. Though it's slipping slightly, it's still a great choice for parents looking for a solid name that isn't super girly.
This moniker has, in the past, been used significantly more for boys than for girls, but as of late has been creeping up the charts. Blake didn't enter the list for girls until 1990 and it stayed at the bottom of the list until 2006.
Blake has been around for boys since 1883, but didn't see much success until 1953. It entered the top 100 in 1990 and has been there since. It's also a top 75 name in New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, and England. Blake Lively, however, has made the name a super attractive choice for girls.
Blake has two opposite meanings that you can choose from. Blake is English for "fair-haired, or dark." Even though the meanings are contrasting, it kind of makes it the perfect name for a blonde or brunette baby girl.
Blake actually began as a surname, but its origin is unknown. It is said that it could have begun as a nickname for someone with dark hair or a nickname for someone with light hair. Another theory is that is stems from the corruption of "Ap Lake" and therefore means "Son of Lake." Whatever the meaning, Blake has crossed gender lines and become one of the best possible tomboy names out there!
Despite the fact that Sloane only recently made it onto the American popularity list, it actually began as a surname with a very rich and inspiring history. Sloane only began being used commonly as a girl's name in 2008 and broke into the top 500 in 2011. Sloane is continuing to rise, coming in at #188.
Sloane is Irish for "raider." It used to be considered more of a boy's name, but gradually made its way over to the girl's side. Sloane began as a the Anglicized variation of the Gaelic given name "Sluaghadhan," which was given to leaders of the military. It was widespread in both Ireland and Scotland. It came to Rome in 966, via the Bishop of St. Andrew's host.
Since then the name has taken on several different forms like Sloan, which has also broken into the top 1000 for girls, Slowen and Sloyan, but none are as popular as Sloane as a surname of given name.
One of the most popular Sloanes was Ferris Bueller's girlfriend in the hit 1980s comedy. Since then Sloane has been the name of characters on Entourage and The Newsroom. Sloane Square is also a famous tourist spot in London, which could also make Sloane a place name.
Spencer is another unisex name that, surprisingly, has only recently made into the top 1000 for girls. It entered the list in 2016 and only made it to #975 last year. Spencer for boys, however, has been on the list since 1880, and has never left the top 500 since. It even spent a few years in the top 100. Today, it's ranked #252.
Spencer is a British given name and surname that actually originates from the French.
It is actually an occupational surname that was given to steward or administrators. It was usually given to a man who was responsible for purchasing and distributing food inside a royal and noble house. It was introduced to English speaking Britain in 1066 after the Norman Conquest. It was then used in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
Though Spencer has primarily been used for boys in the past, it has definitely become acceptable for girls. Spencer Hastings was one of the five main characters in the books and on the show, Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Scott was a "playmate" in the 90s and Spencer Kayden was an actress in the 70s. Kelsey Grammer also chose Spencer for his daughter in the 80s as well.
Avery is another surname name and unisex name that actually has been doing very well for both boys and girls. Avery began being used for boys back in 1880 and has definitely had its ups and downs on the charts, but has been in the top 300 since 1994.
Avery didn't start being used for girls until 1989, but since the early 2000s it seems to have been doing better than it has for boys. Avery entered the top 1000 girl names in 2003 and has been there since. It has been in the top 25 since 2010. Today, Avery is just outside the top ten at #14.
Avery is English for "ruler of the elves, or elf counsel." It was originally used as an English surname which stems from the French variation of Alfred and German Alberich. These names derive from the Old English word for "elf,"which meant "counsel."
Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon helped spark parents love for Avery when they chose it for their daughter in 2005 followed by Amy Locane in 2009, when it really began to trend. Avery is also the name of two professional basketball players, one who currently plays for the Detroit Pistons.
Finley is another surname and male name turned girl's name thanks, again, to Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon who helped bring the name into use for girls. Finley wasn't on the girls top 1000 list until 2005 and just last year it reached #159. It's actually become more popular for girls than for boys in recent years, probably because in America, "Ley" is seen as more feminine.
Finley is Irish and Scottish for "fair-haired hero." It would be perfect for a little blonde tomboy. It's the Anglicnized variation of the Gaelic name Fionnlagh. "Fionn" is translated as "white, fair" and "lagh" which is translated as "hero." It began as a surname widely used in Ireland. It dates back to before the 10th century and is said to have been used by Viking chiefs. Vikings were known as being fair haired.
Though the name is most popular in Ireland, it was actually recorded first in Scotland in 1513. Today, Finley is still a common surname, but has become primarily used as a girl's given name. Along with Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn, Lisa Marie Presley also chose Finley for one of her daughters. Celebrity and real life parents are loving Finley for baby girls!
Holland is an up and coming geographical name that would be so fitting for parents looking for a tomboy option. Holland is a cool girl name without all the frills. It isn't too feminine, but has just enough daintiness to make it beautiful.
Holland is a Dutch place name that means "wooded land."
Even though Holland is Dutch, it actually stems from the Gaelic word "O'Hoileain" which is a personal name representing a shortform of "wolf." Holland is also an English surname. Families with the surname Holland date back to Anglo-Saxon Britain. It originally meant "small protected place," which described the place where its name bearers lived.
The place Holland is a region of the Western coast of the Netherlands. Famous painter, Rembrandt was born in Holland, where he started the "Dutch Golden Age" art movement. His famous painting of Holland features fields of pink and yellow tulips. There are also 19 towns in the United States called Holland.
One notable Holland is Emmy Award winning actress, Holland Taylor, who played in shows like Two and a Half Men and movies like George of the Jungle and Baby Mama. Holland is a only ranked #953, but it's a fast riser!
Definitely on my list if I ever have a girl, unisex Bellamy is a great alternative to the "Bella" name trend, and one that is a little less frilly. Bellamy is ranked #723, but hasn't been seen on the charts for girls just yet. It's definitely up and coming and expecting to appear on the charts soon.
Bellamy is English and Irish from the French "bel ami" and means "fine friend." It was originally used as a nickname, which could have either been literal or ironic because of its meaning. Bellamy is found used in London as early as 1618. Since then Bellamy has more commonly been used for boys as a given name, but in America the "y" ending combined with the Bella epidemic definitely make it more appealing for girls.
Bellamy is a male character on the CW series, The 100. Bellamy Young is the real name of Scandal character, President Melody or "Mellie." She won the Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Bellamy is a great unisex choice for parents looking for something strong, different and tomboyish without being too masculine. Bellamy isn't on the charts yet, but we don't think it will be long before it is.
Waverly is an up and coming place name that has actually been used for longer than you would think. Though it hasn't been on the popularity list very long, it's not that obscure today. Waverly entered the popularity list last year as the #649th most popular baby girl name.
Waverly was the name of Sir Walter Scott's first novel, which he actually published anonymously in 1814. It was not only his first novel, but it was the beginning of "Western" novels and the first of a collection that would later become the "Waverly Collection." There have actually been several places named after the novel since.
The Waverly neighborhood in Baltimore, Waverly, Pennsylvania, and Waverly Place in Greenwhich Village. The latter was also the place where the Disney show, Wizard's of Waverly Place, starring Selena Gomez took place. It was also where the series Mad Men took place.
Waverly was also the name of the daughter of Wesley and Buttercup in the book The Princess Bride, though she didn't ever appear in the movie. Waverly has had a ton of appeal for parents for quite some time, it will most likely keep climbing the charts and heading toward the top 500.
Reagan entered the American list in 1975 for girls and not until 1996 for boys. It's never been in the top 500 on the boy's side, but the girl's side has had a different story. It broke into the top 500 in 1996 and has only been moving up the charts since. By 2012 it was in the top 100, where it still is today at #98.
Reagan is Irish for "little king." It began as a surname that derived from the Irish name O'Riagain, as well as the personal name Riagain, which means "impulsive."
The O'Riagains were recorded in the 10th century as part of the "Four Tribes of Tara." They were the sect that ruled three different counties.
Reagan's most famous name bearer in the U.S. is probably our 40th President, Ronald Reagan. Reagan was also one of the evil daughters in Shakespeare's play King Lear. It was also used for characters in Up All Night and Frasier.
Though it began as a surname than was used as a boy's name, but today, Reagan is actually chosen ten to one for girls. It's far from being super girly, but is somehow the perfect combination of femininity and tomboy.
Devon has had a relatively successful past on the boy's side since it entered the American list in 1960. It broke into the top 500 in 1974 and has hung out near the top 100 since. Today, Devon is ranked #623 for boys. Devon for girls, on the other hand is a bit more rare.
It entered the charts in 1977 and was in the top 500 one year later. It was pretty successful pretty quickly, but, sadly, fell off the charts by 2005. It still isn't back on the charts. Devon can also be spelled Devin and Devan, but Devon looks slightly more feminine.
Devon is an English place name. More formally known as Devonshire, Devon is known for its mild climate, beautiful coastline and moors in Southwest England. Another meaning of the name Devon is Irish, where it's translated as "poet." Devon Still is a defensive end for the New York Jets and Devon Sawa is an actor who played in movies like Casper, Now and Then and Little Giants.
For the most part, Devon has been chosen significantly more for boys since the 90s. Devon is a great choice for parents looking for a tomboy name that is still familiar and recognizable.
Once primarily used for boys, Parker is now transferable for girls and boys. It's actually pretty popular for both genders. Parker has been on the popularity list in 1880 and has been on a roller coaster ride ever since. It entered the top 100 in 2009 and has been there since. Today, it's ranked #90.
Parker wasn't used for girls until 1999. It entered the popularity charts at #872 and didn't break into the top 500 until a decade later. Today it's at its highest ranking ever, #206. Parker is an English occupational name that means "keeper of the park or park keeper." It was born in Medieval times through the Earl of Morley, but is actually the 47th most popular surname in the U.S. today. It was brought to America in 1616 by William Parker.
Parker was also used as a nickname for gamekeepers in England in medieval times. Sarah Jessica Parker is one famous name bearer, and Candace Parker was a famous WNBA basketball player, while Parker Posey is credited for helping transfer the name to the girl's side. Parker is also one of the twin boys on Desperate Housewives and is also the name of a character on Bones.
This unisex surname name is just recently being used for girls and actually wasn't on the charts for boys until 1991 either. It has been in the boy's top 100 since 2015. For girls, Sawyer entered the top 1000 in 2010 and was in the top 500 by 2013.
In 2016 it was ranked #220, its highest ranking ever, but Nameberry.com predicts it will come in at #805 in 2017's rankings.
Sawyer is an English occupational name that means "woodcutter or wood worker." It derives from the 7th century Old English word "sagu" meaning "one who works with wood." It made its way to the American colonies via William Sawyer in 1623.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain give the name a wild and free nature name sort of feel. Annie Sawyer is a character on the series Being Human. Sawyer was one of the main characters, whom we can't decide if we love or hate on this hit show Lost.
Sara Gilbert and Dianne Farr chose Sawyer for their daughters, but not before Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg chose it for their son in 1992. Sawyer is one of the most popular occupational names that is now working successfully for either gender.
Quinn is short and sweet and doesn't have all the ruffles and frills of other girl names, yet has maintained a feminine appeal that parents have been appreciating since 1989. Its use for girls has recently surpassed its use for boys, even though it began being used for boys over a decade earlier.
Quinn entered the top 1000 for boy names in 1957 and has been in the top 500 since 1989. Though its come close, it has never made it as far as it has for girls. Quinn has been in the top 100 for girls for three consecutive years, earning a spot as the 76th most popular baby girl name last year. It's also a top 100 name in New Zealand.
Quinn is an Irish unisex surname that means "descendant of Conn." It's the Anglicized variation of the surname "O'Coinn."It is one of the 20 most common surnames in Ireland today.
Quinn was a big hit for girls in the 90s, possibly because of the Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman series. Since then it has also been used for characters on the television shows One Tree Hill, Zoey 101, Prison Break, The Bold and the Beautiful and Glee.
Marley is a unisex name with a laid back chilled out kind of vibe that climbed the charts pretty fast and than sort of plateaued. Marley entered the girl's side of the top 1000 baby names in 1994, but it wasn't until 2008 that is began to do really well. It entered the top 200 and has stayed near there since. Today, Marley is ranked #209.
Marley for boys didn't even enter the top 1000 until 2008. It basically has spent its entire time on the list in the bottom 900 baby names. Today, it's almost completely off the list at #948. Just like "Finley," Americans see the "ley" ending to be slightly feminine.
Marley is English for "pleasant seaside meadow." It is an old Anglo-Saxon geographical surname given to people who lived near the seaside. It's recorded as early as the mid 12th century.
This beachy name that was the surname of the legendary reggae artist, Bob Marley, as well as Ebeneezer Scrooge's partner, Jacob Marley. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie used Marley as the middle name of their daughter Zahara. With its feminine ending, yet strong sound, Marley is a fast rising tomboy name you better grab fast!
Cody has traditionally been used more for boys than for girls and its current rankings testify to that. Cody for boys entered the American popularity list in 1884, but didn't become very popular until the 70s. However, it wasn't until the 80s that Cody entered the top 100 and saw years of success.
The name Cody for boys was in the top 100 for 23 years and though it has dropped slightly, it is still ranked #278.
Cody for girls, on the other hand, has never made it onto the top 1000 for girls. It's still a top 100 name in England and Scotland.
Cody is an English name that means "helpful, pillow." Cody can also be spelled Kodi, which is an Indian spelling variation or Kody, which is slightly more feminine. Robin Williams chose Cody for his son. Cody has been used for characters on Rescuers Down Under, Dexter, Scrubs and Baywatch. Cody Lambert was a character on Step By Step, when the name was in its prime.
Cody has definitely been slipping off the charts for boys, and hasn't seen much success yet for girls, but it completely qualifies as one of the best tomboy names for a sassy little babe.
Teagan is another Irish import that hasn't been used in the U.S. very often. It made its first appearance on the American list for girls in 1999 and for boys in 2004. Teagan didn't make it long on the popularity list for boys, however, it fell off in 2014.
Teagan for girls is having much more success than it did for boys. It entered the top 500 in 2005 and reached the top 200 in 2016. Teagan is Irish and Welsh for "fair or little poet." It can also mean, "attractive." Saint Teagan was a medieval Welsh saint who's gender is unknown to this day.
Teagan came into use in the U.S. in the 20th century via inspiration from the show Doctor Who. Teagan Clive was an American actress, bodybuilder and Tegan and Sara is a Canadian indie pop duo. Tegan Freedman is a character on Neighbors.
Alternative spelling, Tegan, is also on the list of top 1000, though it has never done as well as Teagan. Teaghan is another spelling option, sort of like the Irish Meagan, Meghan and Megan. Teagan has a lot going for it, especially for parents looking for a unisex name that isn't super girly.
This occupational name has always been more successful for boys, though it did appear on the girl's top 1000 for a few years. Chandler entered the list for boys in 1970, but didn't break into the top 500 until 1990. Thanks to the 90s sitcom, Friends, Chandler spent most of that decade climbing up the charts.
Chandler for girls entered the charts in 1992, but ten years later fell completely out of favor. It reappeared in 2016, but only as the 995th most popular baby name. Chandler is a French occupational surname that means "candle maker." It was used in Medieval England for someone who made or sold candles. It could have also been used for someone who was responsible for lighting all of the candles in a household.
The surname Chandler's first recorded use was in the 13th century. One of the first recordings of the name in the U.S. was of Arthur Chandler in Virginia in 1623. Chandler has since been converted into a popular given name as well.
Only 200 girls were named Chandler in 2016. It's definitely one of the more masculine names on this list, but it's still totally acceptable and perfectly adorable for a baby girl.
Darcy is a unisex name and a surname name that is rarely used for boy's today, though it was in the past. Darcy for boys entered the list back in 1954, but dropped completely off by 1970. For girls, Darcy entered the list in 1950, spent some time in the top 500, but then was booted off the list by 1994.
With the resurrection of old fashioned names, Darcy is joining the movement and has finally reentered the list at #709. It's also a top 100 name in England for girls, while Darcy is the 97th most popular baby boy name in Australia.
Darcy has a few different possible meanings and origins. There are theories that it is French or English and that it could mean "dark one, from Arcy, or from the fortress."
The name in French, like most, is a locational or geographical name. It was introduced in England during the Norman Invasion of 1066.
It has one of the most notable literary ties because of Jane Austen's beloved character in Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy. Though he is a hero in the novel, the name has moved way further to the girl's side than boy's, especially here, where it's seen as too feminine.
Though Harper was originally used as a boy's name in the U.S., it's almost completely kicked out of the top 1000 for boys. It entered the list in 1884, was kicked off the list in 1906, reappeared in 2006, and is barely hanging on today.
Harper for girl's has definitely been significantly more successful. It entered the top 1000 baby girls list in 2004 and has been steadily rising to the top since. It entered the top 100 in 2011 and has been moving closer and closer to the top ten, where it almost reached when it hit #11 last year.
Harper is English for "harp player." Harper has been a celebrity favorite. High profile stars like David and Victoria Beckham, Lisa Marie Presley, David Spade, Dave Grohl, Martie Maguire, Tiffani Thiessen, Bill Hader and Neil Patrick Harris all chose Harper for their daughters, which may be why the name is rising so fast.
Author Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird and its sequel published in 2015, Go Set a Watchman helped transition Harper to its use for girls. It's also been used for characters on the CW show, Gossip Girl and Disney's The Wizards of Waverly Place.
References: Nameberry.com, Surnamedb.com, Thebump.com, Babycenter.com