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The Most Popular Baby Girl Names For 2021

min read

By Katherine George

Are you expecting a precious baby girl in 2021? If so, then keep reading! We know that choosing a name for your little one can be really difficult, especially when you want a name that is not only unique, but also well liked.

To help with the decision-making process, we’ve compiled a list of the upcoming and trending names for 2021. There are lots of consider, so get started and happy deciding!

25. Alice (AE-lihs)

The first thing that comes to mind when hearing this name is likely the literary tale of Alice which was popularized when Disney released the film Alice in Wonderland back in 1951 and again in 2010. Even predating all this, Alice is recognized as a very traditional girls name. It’s dainty and feminine, but also holds substance.

Alice is of German origin meaning “noble.” While it’s been around a long, long time, it has just recently been rising in popularity along with many other girl names starting with the letter A. Thankfully it’s still unique enough that it’s not totally overused. It sits at number #73 in the overall ranking on Nameberry. This name would make a great choice for parents looking for something simple, yet traditional, as well as a little unique!

24. Amelia (ah-MEE-lee-ah)

According to the Official Social Security Website, Amelia is one of the most popular girl names in the US. It was ranked 7th overall in 2019, up one spot from 2018, and was in the Top 10 in 2017, as well. Amelia is of German origin meaning “work.” It’s derived from the traditional German name, Amalia, which is another variation of Amalberga.

Amelia came on the market to replace other overused names like Emily and Amanda, and in 2011 it was the top British name. It has remained in the Number 1 spot ever since. Despite its popularity overseas, it didn’t experience the same popularity in the US until 2017. Today it’s one of the Top 10 girl names in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and Poland.

23. Aurelia (aw-RAI-lee-uh)

Do you feel as though your baby is the “golden child”? Then Aurelia might be the perfect name! It’s of Latin origin meaning “the golden one.” This super unique name was used in Roman culture to reference as a personal characteristic or trait, likely someone with golden hair.

While the name was very common in the Roman Empire, it’s not often heard in the U.S. today. However, according to Nameberry this name is on the rise. Other similar names are Aurora and Oriana.

22. Aurora (oh-roh-ra)

Aurora is a name fit for a princess! From the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty, Aurora has Latin roots meaning “dawn.” It’s also a popular choice for nature-lovers thanks to its tie to the Northern Lights which are referred to as an Aurora. What makes this name even more adorable is that it can be shortened to have the nickname “Rory,” making it more contemporary while still maintaining it’s princess status.

In addition to being the name of a Disney princess, it’s also the name of the mother in the film Terms of Endearment, and the daughter of professional wrestlers Paul Michael “Triple H” Levesque and Stephanie McMahon. It’s also the name of the famous Elizabeth Browning’s poem, Aurora Leigh.

21. Ava (a-VAH)

While Ava isn’t listed on Nameberry’s up and coming list for 2020, we’re confident it will be one of the top girl names in 2021 because it has been for 15 years! Despite its recent popularity, this name has been around since medieval times. This name is of Latin origin meaning “life.”

Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman may have helped increase the interest in this name because they both chose it for their daughters. Also, there’s just no denying it’s a beautiful name. Parents love names that are simple, yet elegant which is exactly what Ava is. You can’t go wrong with this name, just be wary of how common it is.

20. Charlotte (sh-AHR-luht)

If you’re a fan of royals, then Charlotte is the name for you! This name is of French origin meaning “free man.” It’s the feminine version of the given name Charles, derived from Charlot. The most recent royal to receive this name is young Princess of Cambridge, Charlotte. Due to its history, Charlotte is an elegant, feminine choice that is also considered a very traditional name.

Charlotte joined Emma, Isabella, Sophia, and Olivia on the Top 10 girl names in the US in 2014 and has remained there ever since. We suspect 2021 will be no different! Outside the royal family this name can be found in the famous children’s story Charlotte’s Web. It was also used by celebrities like Chelsea Clinton, Dylan McDermott, Colin Hands, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.

19. Cora (koh-ra)

The name Cora is of Greek origin meaning “maiden.” While it’s commonly used as a name on it’s own, it can also be a short form of Coraline and Cordelia. It might seem like an old fashioned name, but trust us, it’s making a contemporary comeback! It’s a great choice for parents who like to reintroduce old favorites.

You’ll likely recognize the name from the hit TV show Downton Abbey, as Cora Crawley is one of the main characters. Her presence and popularity on the show has helped strengthen this name in the past couple years. Cora Munro is also the name of the main character in the film The Last of the Mohicans (which was based off the novel).

18. Eleanor (EH-luh-nuh)

Eleanor is such a sophisticated name. While it sounds similar to Helen and Ellen, it’s actually derived from the French Provencal phrase Alienor, meaning “unknown.” For a more unique spelling, try Elinor or Eleanore.

There’s no denying Eleanor is a very old fashioned, traditional name thanks to its royal medieval origins. However, it can be made more modern by using the nicknames Ellie and Nell/Nellie. Also, there’s been a huge surge in popularity when it comes to old fashioned names which is why despite its history, it ranks as the 27th most popular girls name in the U.S.

17. Eloise (EHL-oh-eez)

Eloise is the French and English variation of Heloise meaning “healthy; wide.” While it hasn’t cracked the Top 100, Nameberry lists it as one of the top girl names to watch for. It’s among the many other names beginning with EL that are rising in popularity. Also, this name is kinda chic. It’s different, but not too unusual. Perfect for parents looking for that cushy in between.

For parents who choose this name, you could also include nicknames Ellie, Lolly, or Lola. For an alternative spelling, Eloisa is the Italian version which adds a little vintage charm!

16. Emma (EM-ah)

Emma is hands down the most popular girls name and has been for several years now. According to data collected by the Official Social Security Website, Emma has been the number one name in the US since 2014. In 2013 (and 2012), it was the second most popular girl name.

Ironically, this name is of German origin meaning “original.” As an old royal name, Emma has been used for centuries, so it’s always been a common choice. It’s recent popularity may be due to the legion of Emma heroines, as well as actresses like Emma Stone and Emma Watson. Nameberry also notes that this name saw a huge spike after it was featured on the hit sitcom Friends for Ross and Rachel’s baby. This name is still going strong which is why we predict it’ll be one of the top girl names, yet again in 2021. If you love this name, but want something a little different, try similar favorites like Amelia, Emilia, Amelie, Emmeline, or Ella.

15. Evelyn (EH-ve-lin)

You might think of Evelyn as an “old fashioned” name, but that’s becoming the new trend. Parents love to take classic names like this and bring them back so that they become trendy. This is exactly what happened with Evelyn. As a result, this name became one of the Top 10 girl names in the US for the first time in 2017 and remained so in 2019.

The first use of Evelyn was as a surname derived from the French feminine given name, Aveline. Interestingly enough, when it was first introduced as a given name it was considered to be quite masculine. Obviously today that has changed greatly as it’s now one of the top girl names! Other similar favorites are Eva, Ava, Evies, and Eveline.

14. Genevieve (jen-uh-veev)

There is just something so sophisticated about the name Genevieve. Perhaps it’s because it’s of French origin and is the name of the patroness of Paris who is best known for defending her city with rational thinking, courage, and prayer. The name also means “tribe woman” and can sometimes be pronounced “zhahn-vee-ev.”

Genevieve is a very unique name that isn’t commonly seen, making it a great choice for parents who are looking for something super unique. It is the name of actor Jared Padalecki’s wife, Genevieve Cortese. It’s also the name of an American poet and the name of Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson’s daughter.

13. Harper (HAR-per)

It wasn’t that long ago that Harper was considered a very obscure name for a little girl. Today, it’s recognized as a gender neutral name, and is one of the Top 10 girl names in the US. It entered the Top 10 for the first time in 2015, and has been there ever since, except in 2017 when it dropped slightly. It was back on the Top 10 in 2018 and been there ever since.

Harper is a part of a new trend that takes traditional surnames, turns them into boy names and then girl names, now making them gender neutral. Proof of this is that it was essentially unheard of before the mid-2000s until it appeared on the list of girl names in 2004.

On the other hand, it’s been used for boys since 1906, but was rarely used until about a century later. Most people recognize this name from the book To Kill a Mockingbird which was written by Harper Lee. It was during this time that the name was introduced as a southern name with boyish charm.

12. Hazel (hAI-zuhl)

Not surprisingly, the name Hazel was derived from the original English meaning “the hazelnut tree.” In the past, this name was used to symbolize protection and authority. While this name hasn’t been a common choice among parents in the U.S. in recent years, it resurfaced in 1998 and has been slowly rising ever since. As of 2019, Hazel sits in the Top 50 at #33 which is pretty impressive considering all the names out there!

Celebrities who’ve chosen this name for their children are Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, as well as Julia Roberts. It was also the name of the heroine in the heart wrenching story, Fault in Our Stars.

11. Iris (iy-ris)

Perfect for a “rainbow baby,” Iris is of Greek origin meaning “rainbow.” It’s also a flower and the colored part of the eye. This name was well respected in ancient times because it represented faith, wisdom, and valor with three petal segments. Parents who are looking to make this name even more unique could change the spelling to “Irys.”

Iris has been a popular choice among celebrities. Judd Apatow and his wife, Leslie Mann named their daughter Iris. She has acted in a couple of their films. Also, actor Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law both have daughters named Iris. It’s also the name of a 1998 Goo Goo Dolls song.

10. Isabella (i-ze-BEH-lah)

Another massively popular name is Isabella. It has been one of the Top 10 girl names in the US since 2004. One of the reasons this name became so well liked may be due to the Twilight movie and book franchise who’s leading lady was named Isabella “Bella” Swan.

Isabella is of Hebrew, Spanish and Italian origin meaning “pledged to God.” It’s the Latinate form of Isabel and a variation of Elizabeth. Nameberry praises it for having a cross-cultural appearance that feels both modern and traditional. Parents all over are drawn to this name, Anglophile to Hispanic. It’s much more feminine than the original Isabel version, and it’s considered to be a classic name with a long history, especially in Spanish-speaking countries, but the appeal of this name is definitely international.

9. Isla (eye-la)

Looking for a super unique name? Isla would be the perfect choice for any beautiful baby girl born in 2021! Despite its uniqueness, Isla is considered an old fashioned name. It’s origins are Spanish and Scottish meaning “island.”

Some parents avoid this name because it can be hard to pronounce. People tend to want to say “is-la,” but it’s actually pronounced “eye-la.” If you’re worried about that, you could spell it Ila.

This name may be enjoying a resurgence thanks to actress Isla Fisher, or from the daughter of Peter Philips, who is the grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

8. Ivy (AY-vee)

Ivy is the only botanical name on this list making it a great option for nature-loving parents. It is of English origin and derived from the name of the ivy plant. To the Ancient Greeks, Ivy signifies faithfulness.

While many of the names on this list are quite traditional, this is one that fits the bill for anyone looking to name their child something a little off the beaten path. This name is energetic, quirky, and earns a couple extra points since it was also chosen by high-profile parents, Beyonce and Jay-Z. As of 2019, it sits comfortably on the Top 100 at #68.

7. Luna (LOO-nah)

Even though Luna means “moon” in Latin, it’s a rising star in terms of popular baby girl names. This name is so close to cracking the Top 10 as it sits in the #16 spot. This shimmering new name has seen a recent surge in popularity thanks to the Harry Potter character Luna Lovegood and several high-profile celebrity babies.

While it’s definitely considered by many to be a very modern name, according to Nameberry, it was somewhat popular in the early 20th century. It’s also high ranking on Nameberry’s international charts as it’s a common choice for parents in Europe, particularly the Netherlands, German, Sweden, Spain, and Portugal.

6. Maeve (mayv)

Maeve is definitely a different name that isn’t heard often. Pronounced “mayv,” this Irish name is slowly gaining popularity in the US as a short and modern name. It’s meaning is “she who intoxicates” and appears in Irish mythology as a Queen not once, but twice. First as the Queen of fairies and then again as the powerful Queen of Connacht.

Parents who want to put their own twist on the name could shorten it to Mae, which would also make a lovely middle name. You could also spell it Maive, Mave, or the Irish spelling which is Meabh (it’s quite trendy in Ireland, but not so much in North America).

5. Maya (MY-ah)

Maya has kind of an exotic and mystical feel to it which is likely thanks to its Spanish and Greek origins. It comes from Central American culture where Maya was the Greek mother of Hermes by Zeus and means “illusion” in Sanskrit and Eastern Pantheism. To the Romans, Maya was the incarnation of earth mother and goddess of spring, also known as the month of May.

This name is certainly unique and likely why it ranks in the Top 100 girl names in the U.S. sitting in the #64 spot.

4. Mia (mee-AH)

According to data collected by the Official Social Security Website, Mia has enjoyed a spot in the Top 10 girl names since 2009, and we’re not all that surprised. This name is a beautiful choice. Even though the data shows this name is popular, for some reason it doesn’t feel as trendy as some of the other names on this list. It’s unique, but not too outside the box. It’s simple, but not boring.

Mia is of Italian, Scandinavian origin meaning “mine or bitter.” It’s considered to be a multicultural name that has experienced a steady, yet meteoric rise to the top of the charts and is now firmly secured as one of the most popular girl names. This name is a short form of Maria but has long surpassed it’s mother name and is now considered the Number 1 girls name beginning with the letter “M.”

3. Olivia (oh-LI-vee-ah)

We actually found a name that is more popular than Emma — Olivia! Data from the Official Social Security Website put this name on the list of Top 10 girl names consecutively since 2001. In 2018, it was the second most popular name (right behind Emma), but then bumped back into the number 1 spot in 2019. It tops the charts not only in the US, but in Canada, Australia, the UK, and Scotland.

This name is of Latin origin meaning “olive tree.” Records date this name back to the 13th century England, but it was definitely popularized by Shakespeare when he used it in Twelfth Night. Since it’s based off the Latin word oliva, meaning “olive,” it also means fertility and peace which may be another reason why it’s such a popular name for baby girls.

2. Ophelia (oh-feel-ya)

Throwing it all the way back to Shakespeare, Ophelia was the name of the heroine in Hamlet. Talk about a classic name! It’s of Greek origin meaning “help.” Despite Ophelia’s tragic story in Hamlet, it hasn’t stopped parents from choosing this name for their daughter. While it’s never been a top trending name, Nameberry has noticed it climbing the charts which is why they’ve listed it as one of the top baby girl names to watch.

In addition to it’s Shakespearean roots, Ophelia is also the name of a character in Pan’s Labyrinth, as well as the daughters of singer Dave Grohl, author Roald Dahl, and actress Patricia Neal.

1. Sophia (soh-fay-uh)

Yet another widely popular name, Sophia lands in the #4 spot overall making it one of the Top 5 girl names in the US. It’s of greek origin meaning “wisdom.” It first became famous thanks to St. Sophia, the mother of three daughters, Faith, Hope, and Love. In the seventeenth century it became popular in England as it was the name of George I’s mother and wife.

Today, Sophia is one of the most popular girl names in the Western world. One of the reasons for this is because it appeals to a wide group of people. Parents with an intellectual background like it due to its meaning. It’s also considered a very classic, traditional name for those who lean toward that. In addition, this name has Latin roots making it a popular choice in Spanish speaking countries. Lastly, parents can have a little fun with the spelling as either Sophie or Sofia.

Senior Managing Editor

Katherine is the Senior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat and Childhood. She is constantly striving to live a more active and healthy life, from eating healthy, exercising, and just spending more time outdoors. She enjoys cooking (with wine), walking her dog, reading, and recently joined a yoga studio!