Baby girl names
If you've found your way here, there's a good chance you're expecting a baby girl – in which case, congratulations! Here comes the difficult part though…what exactly to name her? Do you go traditional? Choose something guaranteed to stand out in a sea of popular names? Or go truly off-piste and make up something yourself? We've rounded up some of Mumsnet users' favourite names for girls to help you get the ball rolling.
Most popular baby girl names
First thing's first – if a list of the top 100 girls' names might be a little overwhelming, here are the 10 most popular girls' names in England and Wales. This is all according to the Office of National Statistics, who released the past year's data in September this year. You can click on the names to find out their meanings.
Traditional baby girl names
If you're looking for a classic, traditional name for your daughter, this girl names list should get you started – and if you're still stumped, we've got plenty more classic names to choose from. Here are a few of Mumsnet users' favourites:
Baby names by origin
Whether you're looking for a traditional name that speaks to your own heritage or are just intrigued by those from elsewhere in the UK, grab a notebook and prepare to start your shortlist…
Irish baby girl names
Even those with little to no connection to the Emerald Isle are tempted by their musical names – and, with stunners like these to choose from, we can't really blame them. If you're not Irish yourself, remember that there will be regional differences in pronunciation and fadas (the accents above the letters) to get right, but we've included a general decoding for anyone who's not sure. And if you'd like full details on the most popular names in Ireland last year (regardless of how, ahem, Irish they are), we've got you covered.
- Áine (pronounced awn-ya)
- Aislinn (pronounced ash-lin)
- Aoibhinn (pronounced ai-veen)
- Aoife (pronounced ee-fa)
- Cadhla (pronounced ky-la)
- Caoimhe (pronounced kee-va)
- Cliona/Clíodhna (pronounced clee-ona)
- Clodagh (pronounced clo-da)
- Fionnuala (pronounced fin-oo-la)
- Gráinne (pronounced gron-ya or gran-ya)
- Mairead/Mairéad (pronounced mur-aid)
- Nuala (pronounced noo-la)
- Réaltín (pronounced ray-al-teen)
- Róisín (pronounced ro-sheen)
- Saoirse (pronounced seer-sha)
- Sibéal (pronounced shi-bul)
- Sinead (pronounced shi-nade)
- Siobhan (pronounced shi-vawn)
- Síofra (pronounced sheef-ra)
- Siún (pronounced shoon)
- Sorcha (can be pronounced sor-uh-ka or sor-sha)
English baby girl names
Mumsnet users have plenty of suggestions for popular baby girl names that are rooted in history. While some of them might find their origins in other languages, like Scandinavian, Germanic, Latin and French, they're included here because of their common usage in England during one era/invasion or another.
So, if you're looking for a name that's been around since Arthur pulled the sword out of the stone, or that would fit right in during the Industrial Revolution, you're in luck. Here are Mumsnet users' favourite English baby girl names:
Many of these baby girl names are still popular 200 years on, and can rightly be called classic English names. Others might perhaps be due a revival – Damaris struck me as very beautiful.
I was in a Saxon reenactment group, and my Saxon name was Ceolwyn (pronounced Colwin) from the 11th century. It means 'River'.
An Old English name I like is Verity. This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.
Old English is quite a broad spectrum, so you've loads of choice. I've gone for a mix of early 20th century, Victorian and Middle Ages.
Scottish baby girl names
If you're after a name with some Gaelic influence of the Scottish variety, you're spoilt for choice. A word of warning though – one piece of advice from Scottish Mumsnet users that keeps cropping up is that Nessie is decidedly not a popular choice in Scotland… or even Gaelic.Ishbel is great. Quite strong-sounding to my ears.
- Ealasaid (pronounced ee-lee-sha)
- Eilidh (pronounced eye-li)
- Marsaili (pronounced mar-sa-li or mar-sha-li)
- Mhàiri (pronounced var-ee or varry)
- Rowan (pronounced with a row that rhymes with cow)
- Sine (pronounced shee-nuh)
- Vaila (pronounced vay-la)
I LOVE Alba – always have since I saw The Time Traveler's Wife (sob)!
You can go down the traditional route of adding 'ina' onto the father's Christian name. For example Robina, or Hughina (but the 'ina' bit is never pronounced like 'eena').
Maternal maiden names were often used as first names which means that a fair few Scottish surnames end up as either boys or girls names or both.
Welsh baby girl names
Unsurprisingly, some of the loveliest names on this page come from that most musical country, Wales. Now, if you're Welsh, you'll probably be able to pronounce all of these traditional names without any difficulties at all. If you're not… we'd suggest audio clips to learn the proper pronunciation – for a few of them, at least. This is mainly because of the different sounds in the Welsh language – some of which you'll find in the list below.
They're tricky to explain phonetically – for example, the sound of Ll, which actually has no English equivalent. So it's worth double-checking that you're getting it right before you add it to (or cross it off) your list.Such gorgeous names – hopefully, I will be up-duffed soon so I can use one!
A lovely and underused Welsh name is Mai – May in Welsh. Stick that with a nature name in the middle – Mai Haf (May Summer), Mai Awel (May Breeze) or Mai Awen (May Muse).
Manon is the nicest name on earth.
We too are struggling with a girl's name, and would really like a Welsh one. I'm English but my husband is Welsh and we've recently moved back to Wales. We'd also need to consider my useless English family who struggle to pronounce anything too difficult…
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Muslim baby girl names
It's often difficult enough to find and agree on a baby name that you and your partner both like, without factoring two separate religions or cultures into the negotiations, too. To strike a balance between the traditions of both sides of the family, Mumsnetters have often taken to the Talk boards for advice on names that will tick all the boxes – for both parents.
While there are no hard and fast rules in Islam to say you must choose a name from a specific list, parents are encouraged to choose a good and virtuous name, avoiding anything with negative connotations (anything to do with war, for example). Which seems a good rule of thumb for anyone choosing a baby name, to be honest. Here are Mumsnet users' favourites:Can you please give me some unique western-sounding Muslim names that would work in both cultures? My sister's all-time favourite name is Finlay but there doesn't seem to be a Muslim equivalent – believe me, she's checked!
- Kamilah (pronounced very similarly to Camilla)
- Miah (pronounced the same way as Mia)
- Zoya (OK, not strictly a nod to both cultures, but it's just so striking, we couldn't resist)
My husband is Muslim but I'm not, so we'd like a Muslim name that works well for both his family and mine.
Really like Mariam – I've known some very cool Mariams! And I think pronunciation isn't too difficult.