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The Most Popular Baby Girl Names Of 2018 (And Their Meanings)

8 min read

By Kristin Whittaker

Choosing the name for your baby girl can be an exciting, yet challenging, task. With so many choices it can be hard to even know where to start! Are you looking for something classic or trendy? Gender neutral or super feminine? Do you prefer a name that is well known and tops the charts, or are you trying to find something unique that no one has ever heard of before? Does celebrity influence draw you to a name or detract you? Seeing the most popular names can be extremely helpful for parents, even if it just helps them avoid the trending names! Nameberry has released it’s top 100 baby girl names so far for 2018 based on the number of views each name has received. These views can be a great indicator of future popularity and trends. Here are the top 15.

Want to know which baby boy names topped the list year as well? Check out The 15 Most Popular Baby Boy Names Of 2018!

15. Ophelia [oh-feel-ya]

Ophelia is a greek name meaning “help” and is probably most well known as being the name of the heroine in Hamlet. Many parents have not been deterred from using this beautiful name, though, despite Shakespeare’s tragic character. It remains low enough on the charts that the name is not extremely popular, but it’s still well known enough that people will love hearing this unique name.

The name Ophelia has been used for characters in movies including the Spanish version, spelt Ofelia, in the film Pan’s Labyrinth. Singer Dave Grohl, famous author Roald Dahl and actress Patricia Neal have all chosen the name for their daughters as well.

14. Violet [viy-o-let]

A Latin name meaning “purple”, Violet is a soft and classic name and remains popular among other flower names. Viola is an alternate version using the Italian and Scandinavian translation that was in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. It has also been placed among similar names such as Violetta or Violette (vee-o-let).

Jennifer Gardner and Ben Affleck named their daughter Violet sparking popularity in late 2005. The name has also been used in popular movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Incredibles and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

13. Iris [iy-ris]

With its beautiful meanings and representations, this Greek name meaning “rainbow”, is also a flower and the colored part of the eye. In ancient times, the Iris represented faith, wisdom and valor with the three petal segments. An alternate spelling is Irys, if parents are looking for something a little different.

Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann have a daughter named Iris, who has also acted in a few of their movies. Actors Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law have also chosen thi name for their daughters. The Goo Goo Dolls also released a popular song with the title Iris back in 1998.

12. Penelope [peh-nehl-a-pee]

A classic name with Greek origin, meaning “weaver”, the name Penelople continues to rise on the charts. With its adorable short form Penny, this name is great for all ages. Some have even used the nicknames Nell or Poppy.

Beautiful actress Penelope Cruz was a big factor in the rise in popularity for the name. Kourtney Kardashian and Tina Fey have also helped raise the popularity of the name after naming their daughters Penelope. With the popular Archie comics coming to life in the new TV series Riverdale, character Penelope Blossom is sure to draw more attention to the name as well.

11. Maeve [mayv]

Meaning “she who intoxicates”, Maeve is an Irish name that is gaining a lot of popularity as a short and modern name. In Irish mythology Maeve appears as a Queen twice, once as the Queen of the fairies and once as the powerful Queen of Connacht. The name could be shortened to Mae and would also work well as a cute and simple middle name.

Actor Chris O’Donnell named his fifth child Maeve and it’s also the name of Irish author Maeve Binchy. The new TV series Westworld also features a character named Maeve. It can be spelled Maive or Mave, but while the Irish spelling Meabh is trendy in Ireland, it’s not a popular choice in North America.

10. Genevieve [jen-uh-veev]

Genevieve is a delicate name of French origin. Meaning “tribe woman”, Genevieve can also be pronounced as “zhahn-vee-ev”. The patroness of Paris, Genevieve, defended her city through her rational thinking, courage and prayer. It’s a great alternative for those looking for something similar to the traditional Jen names.

Actress Genevieve Cortese (wife to actor Jared Padalecki from Gilmore Girls and Supernatural) is one of few celebrities who carry the name. Genevieve Taggard was a American Poet and Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson named his daughter Genevieve in 2012 as well.

9. Ava [ay-va]

A variation of Eve, Ava has become an extremely popular name. Of Latin origin, it holds the meaning “life” and has also been said to be related to the Latin word “avis” meaning “bird”.

Celebrities Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe named their daughter Ava, as well as Hugh Jackman, who all contributed to its rise in popularity. Actress Ava Gardner has also had a positive influence on the name. Soap opera fans will have seen the name in soap operas like General Hospital, All My Children and Guiding Light. For those who like to change up spelling on a popular name, some variations seen have been Ayva or Avah.

8. Rose [rohz]

A beautiful and old-time name, Rose, meaning “rose, a flower” (obvious I know!), is of Latin origin. A lovely name on its own, or as a short form for names such as Rosemary, Rosalie, Rosie or Rosetta, this name remains a classic. It pairs beautifully with many first names and is a popular choice as a middle name as well.

Actress Scarlett Johansson used the name Rose for her daughter, as well as popular celebrity couple, Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christenson, who chose to use it as a middle name with their daughter Briar Rose. Finally, the iconic character Rose from the hit movie Titanic has undoubtedly contributed to this name’s popularity over the last few decades.

7. Amelia [ah-mee-lee-a]

A German name meaning “work”, Amelia is a charming Victorian name. While there are versions like Emilia and Emelia (that are more similar to chart topping names Emma and Emily), it’s Amelia that has been high up on the charts for years now in Britain, the US and many other countries.

Most well known by Amelia Earhart, the American aviation pioneer, kids more likely would associate the name with children’s book character Amelia Bedelia. Actor Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna named their daughter Amelia and Grey’s Anatomy fans will think of Dr. Amelia Shepherd when they hear this name.

6. Aurora [oh-roh-ra]

Not just a popular Disney princess from the classic Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, a Latin name meaning “dawn”, is well loved also for its association with the scientific term for the Northern Lights, an Aurora. An adorable and different nickname for Aurora is Rory, giving the name a completely different feel while maintaining the beauty of a princess name.

Aurora Greenway was the mother in the tear jerker film Terms of Endearment, and it is also the name of professional wrestlers Paul Michael “Triple H” Levesque and Stephanie McMahon’s daughter. Poetry fans would love the name due to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s epic poem, Aurora Leigh.

5. Charlotte [shahr-let]

The feminine diminutive of Charles, Charlotte means “free man” and is of French origin. With so many famous Charlotte’s it’s no wonder this name is one of the most popular girls names of the year. The birth of Princess of Cambridge, Charlotte, put this name back high on all the royal baby names lists.

From the loved protagonist spider in Charlotte’s Web, to author Charlotte Brontë, the name appeals to many parents. Nicknames like Char, Lottie and Cece have been used for Charlotte. Famous parents of a Charlotte include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, Pierce Brosnan, Rachel Leigh Cook and Daniel Gilles and Colin Hanks.

4. Isla [eye-la]

The origins of Isla are Spanish and Scottish meaning “island”. While it may seem like a unique and fresh choice for parents, the name has quickly become a trend for parents wanting simple or old-fashioned names. If parents are worried about mispronunciation (no it is not supposed to be is-la) some people have chosen the spelling Ila.

Actress Isla Fisher has definitely played a role in raising the name on the charts. Isla is also the name of the daughter of Peter Phillips, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s eldest grandchild.

3. Cora [koh-ra]

The name Cora is of Greek origin and means “maiden”. A name that is great on its own, it can also be used as a short form for names like Coraline and Cordelia. An old-fashioned name but with a contemporary feel, it has really been strengthened lately.

Cora Crawley, a character in the hit tv show Downton Abbey, has aided in the popularity of the name. Cora Munro is also the main character from the novel turned movie, The Last of the Mohicans.

2. Amara [ah-mahr-a]

A multicultural name, Amara has many different meanings depending on the culture. The African, Igbo origin is the most well known with a meaning of “grace”, but Amara is also the Italian word for “bitter”, and the German meaning is “steadfast, immortal”. Amara is occasionally used as a first name in Latin countries as well.

Variations of the name can be minor changes in spelling like Amarah or Amarra, or can be longer forms that use Amara as a short form like Amaria or Amarinda. Amara is the name of Magma, a Marvel character and is also the name of an immortal character in the tv show The Vampire Diaries.

1. Olivia [oh-li-vee-a]

One of the most popular girl’s names in the world, and with its favourable Shakespearean background (from Twelfth Night), it truly has stood the test of time. It has a Latin origin with the meaning “olive tree”, which is a symbol of peace. Parents looking for more of a unique name may need to look elsewhere though, or try some similar alternatives like Olive, Livia or Liv, as Olivia will continue to be a highly used name.

There are many well know Olivia’s in the celebrity world including Olivia Wilde, Olivia Munn and Olivia Newton-John. Actors Al Pacino, James Van Der Beek, Colin Hanks and Denzel Washington, just to name a few, all have daughters with the name Olivia.

Kristin Whittaker