Isla is classic and feminine, and these alternatives give off the same vibe.
Choosing the perfect baby name is exactly as hard as you'd think it would be. If you want something that feels unique and special, then the name Isla might be high on your list. Maybe you've loved the name forever, but someone close to you just used it for their child and you don't want to feel like you're "copying" them (you shouldn't feel like you are, but I get it). Or maybe you've always had your heart set on Isla, but your partner just isn't into it. In that case, choosing a different name like Isla that works for both of you is important.
If you want to choose a name that very few other little ones are going to share, then Isla might not be it. While it sounds old-fashioned, Isla has been getting more and more trendy — in 2019, Nameberry had it as the top girl's name for the year. It's a popular choice in the United States, but it's also very popular in the United Kingdom. Some of the other names like Isla on this list might feel a bit more original.
Isla Name Meaning
Feminine and simple, Isla is of Scottish and Spanish origin, and means "island” in Spanish. On the Scottish side, Isla is derived from “Islay,” the name of an island in Scotland. But if you love the name and can't exactly use it, don't worry: There are other similar baby names if you like Isla that are just as beautiful. Here are some great options that can take Isla's place for your little one.
Ava is a beautiful name that sounds similar to Isla and also has a more old-fashioned and vintage feel to it (maybe because it makes us think of Ava Gardner). It's a variation of the name Eve, and is from the Latin word "avis," which means bird. It could also be a short form of the name Chava, which is the Hebrew form of Eve that means life or living one.
If you're really looking for a name that no one else will give their daughter (at least in your social circle), then opt for Talia. Unique and pretty, Talia is of Hebrew origin and means morning dew. It has that same connection to nature that Isla has, and they sound remarkably similar.
One name that sounds almost identical to Isla is Ayla. It's of Hebrew and Turkish origin, and it means oak tree, halo, or moonlight, which is just so pretty and special. Ayla is like a more offbeat version of Isla.
Delicate and sweet, Iris is a beautiful option in place of Isla. It's of Greek origin and means rainbow, which is just magical. It also has a cute backstory: In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, the messenger for Zeus and Hera who rode the rainbow from heaven to earth. In ancient times, the iris flower was thought of as a symbol of power and majesty, two things you might want your little girl to be associated with.
The name Clara has such a nice ring to it, and just feels very classic and pretty. It's the feminine form of the Latin name "Clarus," which means clear, bright, and famous. Clarus was the name of some early saints, and the feminine form, Clara, became popular back in the 13th century thanks to Saint Clare of Assisi. It turned into Clara in the 19th century.
Eisley also sounds incredibly similar to Isla, but it's definitely on the more unique side. While you might deal with some confusion on how to pronounce the name (it's EYES-lee, for the record), it's worth it. Eisley is derived from the German surname Eisele, which means iron strong, a great description for your little one to live up to.
Flora is another unique option that you probably won't hear elsewhere, which can be a nice advantage if that's what you're looking for. And it's great for parents who love flowers — Flora is of Latin origin and means “flower.” It's also the name of the Roman goddess of springtime, so it might be perfect for a child who's due in the spring.
Esme is a sophisticated and gorgeous name option, although if you wanted something more unique, this probably isn't the one to choose — it's becoming more popular and is especially trendy among celebrities and influencers. It's of French and Persian origin and means esteemed, beloved, and emerald. Although it was traditionally a masculine name, it is now seen as feminine.
How cute is the name Evie? It feels like a nickname, but it's not. It's just a short and sweet name that is perfect for a little girl. Evie is of Hebrew origin and means "life," and it was derived from the popular name Eve.
Layla is a super feminine option that has a more mysterious meaning behind it. Derived from the name Leila, it means night in Arabic, and dark beauty in Hebrew and African. While it is a fairly popular option, it's still not one you'll hear all the time.
If you can't help but think of actress Mila Kunis whenever you hear the name Mila, you definitely aren't alone — she probably helped make this name as popular as it is now. Still, if trendiness isn't an issue, Mila is a great option here. It's Slavic for industrious and hardworking, and means "dear one" in Russian.
Amelia is a really popular name in fiction — you might think of the silly children's book character Amelia Bedelia, although the name has also popped up in the Harry Potter universe and in some movies, and it's a British royal name as well. It's of German origin and means "work," and is actually where the name Emily was derived from.
Ella is a beautiful name that sounds very similar to Isla. It's of Spanish origin and means "young girl." While you can use Ella as a name on its own, it's also known as the nickname for Eleanor. Some think of it as a variation of the Greek name Hellas, and in Hebrew, Ella means "goddess." It's not the most unique name in the world, but it certainly is nice.
If you want something that feels as old-fashioned as Isla, in a good way, then Elodie is a good pick. It's of French origin and means "foreign riches." It's also derived from Elodia, which is the Spanish version of Alodia, a gothic German name associated with Saint Alodia. It's sophisticated, musical, and just overall really lovely.
Cora is such a cute name for a little girl. It's both feminine and spunky, and while it's not a name that's unheard of, it's still pretty unique. It's actually the Latin version of "Kore," which means "maiden" in Greek and links to the word "core," meaning "heart."
Does the name Willa make anyone else think of the 2001 hit "I Wanna Be Bad," sung by pop star Willa Ford? No? Just me? OK. Either way, Willa is such a gorgeous name that is just as feminine and delicate as the name Isla. It's the English feminine form of the name William, which is an Old French name of German origin that comes from the German word "will," meaning "desire."
Alice is a pretty traditional and classic girl's name that has been fairly popular for a long time. It feels similar to Isla, though, and would make a lovely replacement. Alice is of German origin and means "noble," and it was derived from the Old French name Aalis, which is also very pretty if you feel like bringing that back.
Fun, spunky, and different, Gemma is a bit of an unexpected choice. It's of Italian origin and means "precious stone," which is ideal for the most special little one in your life. It used to be very popular in the 1980s in England, and is only just starting to become more popular again now.
Celia feels very similar to Isla, but also very different at the same time. It's of Latin origin and means "heaven," which is so special, especially for families with strong religious backgrounds. Like Isla, it is dainty and feminine.
Erin has the same soft, unique feel to it and only has four letters like Isla. The meanings of the two names are also pretty similar. The historic Irish name means “peace” and was given to the island after the goddess Eriu, according to Irish folklore. The name also means “from the island to the West” and comes from the first-wave Irish name for Ireland.
Another short and sweet pick that has an island-related meaning. The Greek name Delia means “born on the island Delos” and hit its peak popularity in 1882. With this unique name, you definitely won’t have to worry about there being multiple Delias in your little one’s classroom.
Freya gives fairycore vibes in a similar way that Isla does. The name comes from Norse and Scottish roots (like Isla), and has deep ties to Old Norse mythology. Evolved from Freyja, the name means “a noble woman” and is associated with the Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.
Another short and sweet Scottish/Norse name, Iona is one of the more on-the-nose names like Isla — it even starts with the letter “I”. Iona comes from the old Norse word for island, ey, and is the name of a Scottish island in the Inner Hebrides. The name is delicate and mystical and makes the perfect substitute for Isla.
Whether it’s Celia, Eisley, or Iris, you can’t go wrong with one of these delicate and lovely baby names. No matter what name you choose, your daughter is bound to inhabit it with strength and personality.
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