Top 10 Baby Names for Girls

Having a baby is a momentous, wonderful event, but picking out a name for your little girl can be a difficult decision. Here’s a list of the 10 most popular baby names for girls

Having a baby is a momentous, wonderful event, but picking out a name for your little girl can be a difficult decision to make. Here’s a list of the 10 most popular baby names for girls, courtesy of

Pictured: Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge, November 2015. Can you guess which one of those names makes this list?

Related: Top 10 Baby Names For Boys

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#10: Charlotte

The classic moniker has surged in popularity nowadays, thanks to the young Princess of Cambridge. Elegant and regal, it’s been prevalent in literature and pop culture — think Charlotte’s Web and Sex and the City.

Meaning: “Free man”
Origin: French, feminine diminutive of Charles
Famous People With This Name: Charlotte Bronte (English novelist), Charlotte Rae (American actress), Charlotte Elizabeth Diana (daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge)

Pictured: Actress Kristin Davis as Charlotte York Goldenblatt in Sex and the City; photograph courtesy of


#9: Madison

Once strictly a boys’ name, this surname was made popular by Daryl Hannah’s character in the 1984 hit Splash (who was inspired by the New York avenue). It’s often shortened to “Maddy” or “Maddie.”

Meaning: “Son of Maud”
Origin: English
Famous People With This Name: Madison Nicole “Maddie” Ziegler (American actress), Madison Hubbell (American ice dancer), Madison Keys (American tennis player)

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Pictured: Actress Daryl Hannah as Madison the mermaid in Splash.


#8: Abigail

Named for the wife of David from the Old Testament, Abigail is both proper and charming. A popular nickname is “Abby.”

Meaning: “My father is joyful”
Origin: Hebrew
Famous People With This Name: Abigail Adams (U.S. First Lady), Abigail Van Buren (pen name of Pauline and Jeanne Phillips of the “Dear Abby” advice column), Abigail Breslin (American actress), Mary Abigail “Abby” Wambach (American retired soccer player)

Pictured: American soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Abby Wambach.


#7: Emily

Meaning “rival,” we’re sure it had many, as Emily was the most popular girls’ name for decades. Especially appealing for its classically feminine nature, it’s since dropped in the standings in favor of a version that’s even prettier (hint: it holds the top spot in this list).

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Meaning: “Rival”
Origin: Latin, feminine variation of Emil
Famous People With This Name: Emily Dickinson (American poet), Emily Post (American author), Emily Blunt (English actress), Emily Lau (Hong Kong politician)

Pictured: English actress Emily Blunt; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


#6: Mia

Described by as “an appealingly unfussy multicultural name,” its popularity spiked when actress Mia Farrow hit the small screen in 1964’s soap opera Peyton Place.

Meaning: “Mine; bitter”
Origin: Italian; Scandinavian short form of Maria
Famous People With This Name: Mia Farrow (American actress), Mia Tyler, Mia X (American rapper), M.I.A. (British rapper)

Pictured: M.I.A.; photograph by Moses/Wikimedia Commons.


#5: Ava

Both Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman chose this lovely name for their daughters. Simple yet elegant, it traces its beginnings to St. Ava, the daughter of King Pepin, who was cured of blindness and became a nun.

Meaning: “Life”
Origin: Latin, related to birds, or variation of Eve
Famous People With This Name: Ava Gardner (American actress and singer), Ava Phillippe (daughter of actors Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon), Ava Sambora (daughter of musician Richie Sambora and actress Heather Locklear)

Pictured: 1950s glamour girl Ava Gardner; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


#4: Isabella

A “major superstar baby girl name,” Isabella spiked in popularity with the release of the Twilight saga, which starred actress Kristen Stewart as Isabella (“Bella”) Swan. With multicultural appeal, it offers up popular nicknames like Bella and Izzy.

Meaning: “Pledged to God”
Origin: Spanish and Italian variation of Elizabeth, Hebrew
Famous People With This Name: Isabella II (Queen of Spain), Isabella Acres (American actress), Isabella Damon (daughter of actor Matt Damon)

Pictured: American actress Kristen Stewart (alongside co-star Robert Pattinson) as Isabella Swan from the Twilight saga.


#3: Sophia

Sophisticated and feminine, Sophia boasts many variations to keep it unique, like Sofia, Sophie, Zofia. A favorite of novelists and scriptwriters — think Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and The Walking Dead — the name was first used in 17th century England.

Meaning: “Wisdom”
Origin: Greek
Famous People With This Name: Sophia Loren (Italian actess), Sophia Bush (American actess), Sophia Grace (English child singer)

Pictured: Academy Award-winning actress Sophia Loren; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


#2: Olivia

With Shakespearean roots (Twelfth Night’s pampered countess), Olivia balances both strength and femininity. In ancient Greece, the olive was a symbol of the goddess Athena, as well as a token of peace and fertility; olive wreaths were even awarded to Olympic game winners. Strong TV characters share this name, like Law & Order SVU’s Olivia Benson and Scandal’s Olivia Pope.

For variations, try Olive, Livia, and Liv.

Meaning: “Olive tree”
Origin: Latin
Famous People With This Name: Olivia de Havilland (British actress), Olivia Newton-John (Australian singer and actress), Olivia Wilde (American actress), Olivia Munn (American actress), Olivia Harrison (American author and producer and widow of musician George Harrison of the Beatles)

Pictured: Actress Kerry Washington portrays Olivia Pope in ABC’s Scandal​; photograph courtesy of ABC.


#1: Emma

Those looking for something more romantic than Emily (#7) can opt for Emma. Ultrafeminine and with royal roots (think Queen Emma of the turn of the 11th century), it received a nice boost in popularity in 2002 after Friends’ Rachel and Ross chose it for their baby’s name.

Alternatives include Amelia, Amelie, Emilia, Emmeline, and Ella.

Meaning: “Universal”
Origin: German
Famous People With This Name: Emma Watson (English actress), Emma Roberts (American actress), Emma Stone (American actress and comedienne), Emma Thompson (English actress), Emma Donoghue (Irish novelist an playwright)

Pictured: Actress Emma Stone at Comic Con; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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