So you’re having a baby girl. Congrats! Your sweet little baby doll is about to light up your life. Naturally, she deserves a great name too. But if you’re struggling to settle on a solid title, consider
classic girl names that have stood the test of time. These designations have been around for decades, perhaps your grandma or even great-grandma shared one of these labels. They’re traditional, iconic, and maybe a little bit old timey, which makes them even more charming.
Plus, the meanings behind these
classic girl names are also a big reason to go with one of them. For instance, did you know that the common name Jennifer means fair one? What a lovely idea you might have overlooked given how many Jennifers there are. Or how about Laura? In Greek, the name represents victory and strength after the laurel plant that was turned into laurel wreaths to adorn the heads of triumphant warriors.
As it turns out, some of the most well known girl names have lovely hidden meanings that could make them even more special to your family. All you have to do is research the right meaning for your baby girl and you’re bound to find a classic girl name that will suit them perfectly.
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Clear, light, or bright, that’s what Claire means. And that’s why it’s been such a classic girl name for so long. It’s a name that doesn’t come with a lot of preconceived notions or baggage. It’s clear and bright.
The name Hannah in Hebrew means “favor” or “grace.” It’s been a favorite name since the Old Testament. Doesn’t get much more “classic girl names” than that.
If you want to give your daughter a classic girl name that has a lovely background to it, go with Abigail. It means “cause of joy” or “father’s joy.” What a gorgeous sentiment she’ll get to carry for life.
Charlotte is the feminine form of Charles. If you want to honor a great-grandpa or family name, but in the female form, you could go with Charlotte. Also, it has a long history as being the name of many, many royals, British and beyond, in case you want to add a little royal twist.
So many people choose names that mean grace, why not just name your baby Grace? It definitely belongs on the list of classic girl names. And you don’t have to explain the meaning behind it. It is what it is.
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Sarah comes from Hebrew and means princess. When you look upon your baby’s rosy cheeks, a princess might just be exactly what you see. It’s also often interpreted as noblewoman or lady, equally appropriate options too.
As mentioned before, the name Jennifer is of Old English origin and means fair one. Interestingly, it’s been said to have evolved from the Welsh name Gwynhwyfar which comes from a Celtic word meaning phantom.
Did you know the name Lindsay is Scottish? It means a lake or “place of Linden trees.” As you’ve probably noticed, the name Lindsay is gender neutral. Just look at Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac or Lindsay Graham for confirmation. But Lindsay is a great girl’s name too.
If you’re Irish, there’s no better name to show your pride then by naming a girl Erin. Erin basically means Ireland. Just think of the country’s motto “Erin go Bragh” which means “Ireland till the end of time.” She’ll never forget where she comes from with a name like that.
In French, Caroline means strong. The feminine version of Charles, the name Caroline comes with a boatload of fun history. For instance, think of all the famous Carolines, like Caroline Kennedy or Caroline of Brunswick, George II’s wife. Plus, your daughter will forever get to own Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”
You’ll have to go all the way back to Ancient Rome to find the origin of the name Emily. It’s said it comes from the name Aemilius. Greek interpretations say it means “wily” or “persuasive.” If you want your daughter to embrace her cleverness, this could be the right name.
It will likely come as no surprise that the name Angela means angel. It comes from Latin and is a wildly popular classic baby name. “Since 1900 in America, it has been ranked among the 300 most popular names,” according to Wikipedia.
“Fruitful or productive” are the meanings attributed to the Old English name Stacy. But before there was Stacy, the name spun off of Anastasia, a name of Greek origin. So whether your family traces its roots to England or Greece, it works.
Mary is the most famous woman in the Bible. The mother of Jesus, Mary comes from the ancient Hebrew name of Miriam, which means beloved. Was there ever a better word to summarize your feelings for your new babe?
Bay laurel is a beautiful plant native to the Mediterranean. Used in cooking (bay leaves) or as a decorative item, it’s a lovely species. That’s what makes its feminine name so lovely as well and a great classic baby name.
Whether you love Queen Elizabeth, Liz Lemon, or Elizabeth Warren, you can probably see a theme. Elizabeths tend to be strong, brilliant women. Who wouldn’t want their baby girl to follow in their footsteps?
Amy means beloved or well-loved. Tell your baby girl that and every time she hears her name, she’ll be reminded of the love that surrounds her. What a nice way to show your girl support.
Anna is a name found in dozens of cultures. From Scandinavia to Italy, Germany to America, we all love the name Anna. That could be because it just rolls off the tongue or perhaps it has to do with the name's meaning, which is: grace.
Julie is one of those names that has many derivatives: Juliana, Juliet, Julius, Jools. It all traces back to that third one, though: Julius. Just think back to Ancient Rome and Julius Caesar. But the name moved from a men’s title meaning youthful, to a French women’s name meaning young. Forever young isn’t a bad thing to encourage your child to be.
Heather comes from Scotland. It comes from the Heather plant, a lovely flowering evergreen. Naming a girl after a lovely plant species never goes out of style, which makes Heather a classic baby girl name.
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Fun fact: Rachel means ewe. Yes, as in a female sheep. Now, if you have a strong affection for little lambs, then this might be the perfect name for your little girl.
In Old Germanic, Emma means whole. In an era when so many are yearning to become a “whole” person, this meaning might feel very appropriate and a guide to help your girl following Shakespeare’s advice “to thine own self be true.”
This may come as a surprise, but the name Megan, a very classic and timeless name, means pearl. Who knew? It has its origins in Greek where it is often associated with great and mighty as well.
The Beatles “Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds” might make even more sense when you consider that Lucy means light. Maybe she was supposed to be in the sky? Who can say what John Lennon was thinking. But it makes for a great theme song if you choose to name your child Lucy.
Ella is a shortened version of Eleanor or Ellen. But the vibe is so different. Ella has a bit more of a playful feel. And it means “beautiful fairy woman.” Considering how popular fairies are in little kids lives, that alone might be reason enough to name your daughter Ella.
Susan may sound very traditional, but you have to go back to ancient Egypt to find its meaning, which is Persian Lily flower. That adds a whole new exoticism to a name one might think is passé. Think again.
As it turns out, the name Nancy is actually a riff on Anna, so it also means grace. But by taking the name Nancy, you have an alternative to the variations on Anne and Anna.
Michelle is the French variation on Michael. Michael comes from Hebrew which means “who is like God?” If you want to amp up the French angle, you could put another French twist on the name and call your girl Michelline, and have an equally classic baby girl name.
Ready to find a name? With this list of classic baby girl names, you can find the traditional title right for your sweet child.
This article was originally published on
Oct. 24, 2021