There are so many beautiful names for girls that whittling the list down to the perfect name can seem like an impossible task. Sometimes, just choosing a letter, like girl names that start with “Y,” can help you feel less like you’re spinning your wheels. Even if none of these names are
it, they might spark some other ideas that you’ll love. A name is something that will be with your little one for her whole life, and finding one that’s the right combination not too common and not too unusual can be a tough balancing act. There aren’t any “Y” names on the list of trendy baby names from this year or last, so if you’re looking for a name that your little girl is unlikely to share with anyone else in her daycare class, girl names that start with “Y” are a pretty safe bet for finding names that, for now, are quite rare.
Of course, it’s not uncommon for
old-fashioned names to make a comeback, and you can never be sure that other parents won’t have the same idea you will. Many are popular in other countries but haven’t really gained traction in the United States yet. Your little girl is sure to be unique, so why not find a name that’s just as special as she is? 1 Yvette Gabriel Mello/Moment/Getty Images
This French “Y” name means “yew tree” and sounds positively regal. It’s shared with the actress Yvette Nicole Brown and the maid from the movie
Clue, among other famous women. 2 Yael
This Hebrew name has a super cool meaning in Hebrew: ibex, the goat with the curly horns. It crept onto the Social Security Administration’s list of the top thousand most popular names in 2007, but fell off again in 2019, and remains a pretty unusual choice.
Yvonne is similar to Yvette in both meaning and origin: both are French, and both mean “yew tree.” Yvette has the cute sprightly sound, and Yvonne sounds a little more glamorous. But they’re both great “Y” names for girls, particularly if you’re French, or even just a Francophile.
Once she’s old enough to understand the meaning, a little Yara will probably delight in her name’s meaning: “water lady” or “little butterfly.” The name has Arabic origins and even appears in the Bible, though it’s a male name in that context.
If you love the sound of the name Jasmine but don’t want to invite the comparison to the Disney princess, this name might be perfect. It’s of Persian origin and has the same meaning as its “J” counterpart: jasmine flower.
There’s so many pretty names in this name family, like Helena and Elena, but the name is a lot more unusual when spelled with a “Y.” Yelena means “shining light” and is of Russian origin. It has yet to crack the top thousand names in the U.S.
Isabel (and its many counterparts, like Isabella and Isabelle) have been big for years, but spelling the name with a “Y” gives it both a new pronunciation and a new twist. Like many of the “Y” names for girls, the name is of Hebrew origin and means “God’s promise.”
This name can be pronounced both “Ee-zold” and “Sold-a,” and either way it’s both a pretty and unusual choice. It has roots in both the Celtic and Germanic languages. In Celtic, it means “one who is gazed at” and in German it means “iron ruler.” It’s a great choice for a little girl who will contain multitudes.
If you like the name Yara but want something with a little more of a fancy flair, the name Yarissa might be the one for you. The name is just a variant of Yara and has the same meaning (small butterfly) but lends itself to lots of cute nicknames, like Yari or Issa.
This variant spelling of the name “Julianna” is most often seen in Russian or Spanish-speaking countries. It means “youthful” or “Jupiter’s child.”
This pretty name is due for a comeback. It squeaked into the top hundred most popular names in the ‘70s, but hasn’t appeared in the top thousand names since 2002. It has Green roots and means “violet.”
Your little girl won’t be able to help but have a zest for life with the word “yes” right in her name. The name Yesenia means “palm tree” or “floral” and has both Spanish and Arabic origins.
13 Yanis Serhii Mazur/Moment/Getty Images
Related to the Greek spelling of John (Yannes), this gender-neutral variant is a cool choice for anyone who wants to celebrate their Greek heritage. It means “gift from God.”
This pretty name is most commonly used in Arabic and Spanish-speaking countries, and has a lovely meaning “worthy” or “beloved friend.” It hasn’t been in the top thousand most popular names since 2009.
Yuria is a pretty “Y” name of Japanese origins that has a variety of meanings depending on the letters used to write it. It can mean “lily” or “love.” The name is shared with several Japanese celebrities, including actresses and athletes.
Similar to Yarissa, this Arabic name is related to “Yara” and also means “small butterfly.” It’s more commonly used in Spanish- and Portugese-speaking countries, but has yet to make a splash in the United States.
There’s been some broader cultural recognition in recent years that the most famous owner of this name, Yoko Ono, has been thoroughly misunderstood. This Japanese “Y” name has a wonderful meaning: “good” or “positive.”
If you love the name Imani but don’t want her to share her name with lots of other girls, this spelling of the classic name might be perfect for you. A popular name in Muslim countries, Imani means “belief” or “faith.” Spelled with a “Y,” it retains the same meaning but has a new twist.
If you have roots in Scandinavian countries and are excited to have a little girl with tons of energy, Ylvie might be the right pick. This name means “little she-wolf” in Old Norse.
Ylva has the same meaning as Ylvie (little she-wolf) but might be a good alternative if you don’t like names that end with the -ee sound. It’s a name with deep history: it appears in written documents from Sweden that date back to 1200.
Like many Y names, Yehudit is Hebrew and translates literally to “woman of Judea.” If you have a woman name Judith or Judy in your family who you want to honor but want your little girl to have her own moniker, this variation might be the just perfect.
From the more traditional Yara and Yvette to the less common Yalitza and Ylvie, there are so many unique and beautiful girl names that start with “Y” that will stand out at the playground.