Naming a baby is hard. That perfect name you had in mind since you were a kid might not go with your new last name or even be something your partner likes. Or, you could end up like me, and marry into a family where your dream baby name literally translates to “grim reaper” in their native tongue. #oops
But, one way you can be sure to pick a name for your baby girl that will stand the test of time and check all the boxes is to go with something timeless, elegant and classic. These are names that were popular before and are popular again for one reason – they’re just beautiful. Sure, not all older names are still chic, but these vintage classics are perfect for the little one that you want to have all the options in the world in their future.
Before we jump in to 101 elegant girl names, let’s talk about some tips to help you choose the perfect baby name for you and your little one!
Choosing The Perfect Baby Name:
When it comes to choosing the moniker your little ray of sunshine will bear for the rest of their days, there are a handful of things you may want to consider. Of course, you can throw all of these suggestions out the window and name your child something like Nutella and there’s nothing that can really be done about it. In other countries, sure, they’ll shut that down, but here in the U.S., you could get away with it.
For those of us that really want to overthink things, here are some tips on how to pick the perfect baby name. This is shortened version of a longer post with a lot more info on helping you choose the perfect baby name, so check out the full post, too!
1. Do you like it?
Listen, this sounds simple, but it’s really not. How often do we feel pressured to pick something simply because we think it is what other people expect from us?
It’s easy to attach what you name your baby to your own identity, or other people’s idea of your identity, but really – they are separate. Your baby will also be their own person, too, especially as they get older.
Keep it simple. Start with the question – do I really like it? You will, after all, say it the most.
2. Does it flow with the middle and last names?
We all love our middle names when we are naming babies, but how often do we really hear our full names? They will be called their first and last name more than anything else, so focus on how that flows.
For example, does the first name end in the same letter as the last name begins? Miles is a great name. Miles Smith is a bit of a mouthful, because of the double S. Same for the name Aria. Beautiful name. Aria Adaria is a lot of A, plus it rhymes.
Then, add in the middle name. What does this do to the flow?
A lot of people really love alliteration and it can be fun, just avoid letters that really shouldn’t be grouped together – such as KKK.
That brings up our next point, actually…
3. Consider the initials:
Always look at the flow of initials. In grade school, our initials are much more apparent than other times in our life, but if you are a person that enjoys monogramming, you will be very grateful if your parents didn’t give you the initials ASS or BUT.
4. What about spelling?
I know it’s tempting to take that super popular name and mess with the spelling to make it something you feel is your special little name. It’s not. It’s still the same name.
All you did was bestow a name upon your child that they will have to spell for the rest of their life. If possible, try to stick with a classic spelling of the name and move on.
Of course, there is some leeway here. For example, spelling Riley as Rylee is still perfectly acceptable. Some names have several common spellings already or no traditional spelling established at all – which gives you the opportunity to make it your own.
5. Don’t forget about pronunciation.
It’s become very vogue to surprise everyone with the baby name when they meet the child. This is probably done to eliminate anyone ruining the name for you.
However, you don’t benefit from hearing people’s pronunciation of the name when they read it. It’ll drive you slowly crazy if people cannot pronounce it easily or have to be told several times how to spell and pronounce it.
And, sharing it with some people you trust will help you catch things you may not have noticed before, such as a first and middle name combination that creates a new word you didn’t notice – and don’t like, such as Amy Schumer, who realized after naming her baby, that the first and last name sounded like the word “genital”.
Don’t worry; she changed it. Read my post on baby name regret if you are struggling with the baby name you chose, too.
6. Be nice:
Please, this is not the time to pick a name because you think it’s funny. You might think it’s clever to name your bundle of joy Chanda Lier, but very few people will agree with you.
Be mindful of the name you choose and what kind of reaction people will have to it. Your child will internalize these reactions when they are young and do not yet understand that this was all intended to be funny. Because it’s not – it’s not really funny.
That’s what I love about old-fashioned names -they are classic and timeless. Let’s get to the list!
101 Elegant Girl Names:
- Abigail – Gotta love nn Abby! See this post for more girl names with nicknames.
- Adalyn -Such a sweet name
- Alexandra – Have a very special Alexandra in my life.
- Amalia – A fresh spin on Amelia and just rolls off the tongue!
- Arabella – Almost picked this for my daughter!
- Aria – Italian for song. A great name for a musical family!
- Audrey – Hepburn. Enough said.
- Ava – Very popular right now.
- Aviana – Somehow both classic and fresh
- Camilla – So cute
- Cassandra – Always loved this one. Cassie is a great nn.
- Cassidy – Cassandra’s modern, cool cousin.
- Catherine – Can’t beat Cate!
- Charlotte – Charlie is SO cute
- Clara – A personal favorite
- Cora – Adore.
- Dahlia – Beautiful
- Daisy – So sweet
- Delilah – A name I am hearing more and more!
- Demi – Very hip, reminds me of the girl on “The Bachelor”
- Dorothea – Thea is such a cute nickname!
- Eleanor – Call her Ellie!
- Elise – Love this one.
- Ella – Hear this one a lot!
- Eliana – So beautiful and many nickname options!
- Emily – A classic
- Emma – Came back in a major way
- Emmeline – Love this, call her Emmie.
- Estelle – Am I the only one that thinks of the show, “Friends”?
- Etta – A great name
- Eva – A less common alternative for Ava.
- Evelyn – My grandmother’s name
- Farrah – I’m obsessed with this name.
- Flora – Great name
- Francesca – Call her Frankie for short!
- Freya – This made the top 100 and some top 20 lists for 2019!
- Giselle – Looooove.
- Giovanna – So chic.
- Grace – I loooove Grace and the nn Gracie.
- Gwen – Classic, chic and short. Check out my short girl names post for tons of short names!
- Hattie – We need more Hatties. Also featured on my list of regal girl names!
- Helena – A favorite student of mine had this name.
- Hope – We do not hear this enough
- Isabella – Call her Izzy. An all-time favorite.
- Jacqueline – Call Her Jac or Jax if you don’t like Jackie!
- Jane – Love this since falling in love with the show “Jane the Virgin”
- Juliet – Yes. Also love Juliette.
- Leila – Another beautiful name.
- Leonora – So pretty; why aren’t there more Leonoras?
- Lillian – A chic and less popular version of Lilliana. Love this one.
- Lola – Her name is Lola….
- Louisa – Means “famous warrior”. I like.
- Lucy – Means light. Every Lucy is a ray of sunshine.
- Mae – I love this for a middle name.
- Maeve – Trending!
- Maisie – Just adorable!
- Marcella – Gorgeous!
- Mariah – Can’t go wrong with this one.
- Michaela – Such a classic, strong name.
- Natalia – One of my nieces has this name and I ADORE it.
- Nicolette – A fabulous name.
- Nora – Ahhhh…. so much love for this one. I prefer it spelled Norah
- Olivia – Liv is a great nn.
- Olympia – Thanks to Serena Williams for reminding us about this one.
- Ophelia – Not heard enough
- Penelope – When I was preggo, I had a dream that I was having a girl and she was a toddler. I asked her what her name was and she said, “Penelope!” I almost named her that because of that dream!
- Rose – Sister for Dahlia.
- Ruby – Gemstone names are such classics.
- Sadie – Another girl name I just love. Also on my list of girl names fit for a queen!
- Seraphina – Sera for short.
- Serena – Serena is a bada** name.
- Sophia – Confession: I think Sophie is one of the cutest names EVER.
- Stella – Yes.
- Tabitha – Great name.
- Tatiana – So good.
- Tessa – After I had my daughter, I met a lady in a gas station with a new baby named Tessa. I almost changed my daughter’s name I loved it so much.
- Thea – Fantastic Greek name for girls, means “goddess”
- Vanessa – Gorgeous.
- Victoria – Tori is great.
- Violet – I prefer the spelling Violette.
- Violetta – Give Violet some flair.
- Zara – A stunning name for a strong girl.
I will admit so many of these names are on my personal favorites list. I wish I could name hundreds of babies and use all of them!
Make sure to track your faves with my free printable baby name list and find links to tons more baby name posts you might like!
Have a fabulous day,