Girl Names for Parents Who Don’t Like Girl Names

Some parents see names like Angelina, Isabella, and Olivia and think, “I’m not going to bother weeding through these dainty little sissy-names on the off chance I find a good one. Forget it. I’m gonna flip ahead to the boy names.”

What these parents might not realize, though, is that there are plenty of strong, non-frilly girl names out there. Here are three types I’ve come up with:

Girl Names with Boyish Nicknames
A boy name wrapped in a girl name — the best of both worlds. Most of the full names below are based on boy names, so they simply shorten to the same pet forms.

Alex – Alexandra
Andy – Andrea, Miranda
Bernie – Bernadette
Cal – Calista, Calla
Clem – Clementine
Dan – Danielle
Ernie – Ernestine
Frank – Frances
Gerry – Geraldine
Gus – Augusta
Jack – Jacqueline
Jo – Josephine, Johanna
Max – Maxine
Mo – Monique, Maureen
Nick – Nicole, Monica, Veronica
Rick – Erica
Rob – Roberta
Sal – Salome, Sarah
Tony – Antonia
Will – Wilhelmina

Girl Names with Lots of Consonants
Girl names with at least as many consonants as vowels tend to sound much more serious than vowel-laden girl names. Especially if they end with a consonant (or a consonant-sound).

Adele*
Agnes
Alice
Ardith
Astrid
Blanche
Bridget
Brooke
Carmen
Claire*
Edith
Eleanor*
Elizabeth
Enid
Esther
Gertrude
Gretchen
Harriet
Helen
Hester
Imogene*
Ingrid
Jane
Janet
Jill
Joan
Judith
Katherine
Laurel
Mabel
Margaret
Marion
Maude*
Megan
Meredith
Nadine
Rachel
Ruth
Sibyl
Tamar

*Technically, these names have more vowels than consonants. But it doesn’t sound like they do, and that’s the important part.

Girl Names with Unusual Letters/Sounds
Unusual things command your attention. They may seem odd, but, because they stand out, they also tend to seem bold.

Beatrix
Beulah
Eugenia
Eunice
Gwyneth
Hazel
Izora
Maeve
Tirzah
Tallulah
Ursula
Violet
Winifred
Winona
Yolanda
Zelda
Zenobia
Zillah

What other types of girl names would you add to this list?

11 Responses to Girl Names for Parents Who Don’t Like Girl Names

  1. So funny–one of my girls is girly to the max (Sophia Esme) and the other is Maeve Beatrix. Spunk city.

    I’m a Bridgett, and more often than you would believe I find that people who forget my name in social situations guess Gretchen, which never seemed like Bridgett until now.

    I might add Paige to the second list, even though it is more vowel than consonant, it has that short “this is it” feel to it that boys names tend to (like “Chuck” or “Mike”).

    The first list, though, has always seemed a little over the top for me. Calling girls overt boys’ nicknames bugs me, like parents who really wanted a boy or something. Just me. The girls I’ve met with boy names (mostly Alex’s, frankly) have not seemed to mesh with their names well. Hmm.

  2. Paige is a good one–I think that definitely fits.

    You know what name I get all the time? Alison. You’d think it was the sounds the names have in common (kinda like Bridgett and Gretchen) but when I mention that I’m a Nancy, many people go on to say that I “look more like an Alison.” I’ve never been sure what to make of that.

  3. I would add names that end in a traditional “boys name” sound, such as -o, -in and -is as well.

    Clio
    Margo
    Marlo
    Willow
    Erin
    Linden
    Maren
    Shirin
    Carys
    Hollis
    Iris
    Tanis

  4. Great idea — endings can make a big difference.

    More -o endings can be found among Greek and Roman myth names (Callisto, Juno), Spanish noun-names (Rosario, Consuelo) and Japanese “-ko” names (Yukiko, Hanako).

  5. Bronwen/Bronwyn is one I forgot to include.

  6. i like the name Axel for a girl, and i also have a thing for names that are words not usually thought of as names, like Remedy, Gauntlet, Chalice, Scepter, Fathom, Bungalow, Prosper, Virtue, Hearth, and so on. but maybe thats just me, after all im a straight girl who wishes her name was Steve XDD

    i dont know why, i just really like that name…

  7. when i tell people my sons called tatumn they say its a girls name

  8. what about unisex names like Hunter, Austin (Austyn), or Dallas? my daughter is named Dallis. people generally have a great comment when they hear her name!

  9. What do you think of the name Linke for a baby girl?

  10. I think the name Linke would leave a lot of people confused, to be honest.

    Since people know “link” as a noun or a verb, they won’t recognize it as a name right away. (Unless they play Zelda.) Once they realize it’s a name, they’ll be confused about the gender of the owner. (And that won’t stop after babyhood.) And then they’ll wonder if the “e” is silent or vocalized, and if vocalized, how? And then, since it’s such a novel name, they’ll ask where it came from, and what it means, etc.

    A girl/woman named Linke will be answering questions like these all her life. Some people like this sort of the attention; other people hate it. So it’s a risk, as you don’t know what sort of personality she’ll have ahead of time. For someone outgoing, it’d be a fun ice-breaker and conversation-starter. For someone more introverted, it’d be a burden, and likely embarrassing.

    Just food for thought…

  11. The usage of Linke as a first name will stir up irritations when your daughter ever comes to germany. Linke translates as “the left” with the whole spectrum of meanings, from the left hand to the political left, there is even a party (ex-communist, represented in the german parliament) called “Die Linke”. Linke is also a not so uncommon surname in Germany (and in Germany, surnames are not eligible as first names).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*