Deciding on exotic girl names is a lot like walking a tightrope. You have to maintain a balance between choosing something unique and picking a name your child can enjoy for the rest of their life, no matter what they do or where they go.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of exotic female names and paired each name with must-have information that could influence your choice.
100 Exotic Names for Girls with Meanings
Exotic names for girls can lead to a faraway, different vibe. Girls with one of these 100 names may see themselves as unique and special.
Adelita is a Spanish, Latin American name that means noble.
La Adelita is a famous ballad in Mexico. It celebrates the role of the female soldiers of the Mexican revolution.
Adina is a Hebrew name meaning delicate.
Adina is also a Romanian name of uncertain meaning. In addition, it’s also an Italian diminutive of Ada, and an Aboriginal Australian, Boon wurrung name meaning good or pleasant.
Aelita is a name created for literature and has no meaning.
When Russian author Aleksey Tolstoy wrote his science fiction tale Aelita, he made up this name for a Martian princess. Within the novel, it is said that the name in Martian means starlight seen for the last time.
A Kazakh name, Aiday means moon child.
Aiday is also the name of a proprietary, prescription antihistamine drug. It is prescribed for people suffering from pollen allergies.
Aisling is an Irish name that means dream or vision.
Aisling is the name of a particular form of vision poem which evolved in Ireland during the 17th century. The word was not used as a given name until the 20th century.
Alinafe is a Chewa name meaning He is with us.
The Chewa are a Bantu ethnic people from Southern and Central Africa. They have a matrilineal society, so land and property rights are handed down to the next generation from the mother of the family.
A Caribbean name, Altagracia, is rooted in Spanish and means high grace.
In the Christian Catholic Church, one title of the Virgin Mary is Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, Our Lady of High Grace. Altagracia is used predominately in the Dominican Republic, where she is considered the country’s patron saint.
Anisa is an Arabic name meaning friend or friendly.
In ancient times, in the country we now call Turkey, there was an autonomous town named Anisa. The town was a politeuma, which means it was a township where privileged foreigners lived.
An Irish name, Aoife means beauty.
This is the modern Irish form of the ancient Irish name Aífe. In the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, Aoife was the name of a warrior princess.
Bast is an Ancient Egyptian name meaning jar.
Bast was the name of a goddess of the sun, fertility, and cats. Often shown with the head of a cat, Bast was renamed Bastet after another goddess with similar responsibilities became more important.
Bébinn is a Gaelic name that means fair lady.
This name was taken and adapted by several cultures. In English, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish speaking nations, it was anglicized as Vivian.
Benoîte is a French name meaning blessed.
The feminine version of Benoit, Benoîte was relatively popular in France in the late 18th century. However, during the 19th century, it gradually declined in use, and in 1930 it fell out of the top 1,000 girls’ names.
Braulia is a Spanish name that means bright or radiant.
Braulia Cánovas Mulero was a Spanish woman who joined the French Resistance when she was 20 years old. She was arrested by the Nazis in 1943 and moved between multiple concentration camps before being liberated in 1945.
Carina is a Late Latin name meaning dear or beloved.
Carina is the name of a constellation in the southern sky. The constellation is part of a larger group named for the Argo, Jason and the Argonauts’ ship.
Carminia is a Roman name that means song or poem.
Carminia Ammia was active in Roman civic politics. She was a priestess, magistrate, and was granted the title stephanephoros. This title gave her the right to wear a wreath or garland during public occasions.
Catira is a Caribbean name that means blonde.
One group of the native people of Venezuela speak Cumanagota, and Catira is the result of a kind of Spanish and Cumanagota language mash-up. It has also become slang for a blonde person in Venezuela.
Cordula is a German name meaning heart.
Sa Cordula is a traditional Sardinian dish made of lamb and goat intestines, which are braided with herbs, spices, and offal. The finished braid is roasted over an open fire.
Dagný is an Old Norse name that means new day.
Dagny Taggart is the protagonist of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. A combination of mystery, romance, and science fiction, it tells the story of a business struggling in a dystopian United States.
Dorit is a Danish name meaning gift from God.
Dorit is a shortened form of Dorothea and is related to Dorothy, Dora, and Dolly. It is also an entirely separate Hebrew name with the same spelling but a meaning of generation.
A Spanish name, Dubraska, means oak grove.
Dubraska evolved from the Serbian and Croatian name Dubravka, which itself is the feminine form of the boys’ name Dubravko.
Elham is a Persian name that means inspiration.
Elham is the Persian form of the Arabic, Indonesian, and Uyghur name, Ilham. However, while Ilham is a gender-neutral name, Elham is considered a girls’ name.
Elvire is a French name meaning all true.
Pronounced el-VEER, Elvire was used steadily in France until the 1970s. After a sudden surge of use in 1978, it fell out of favor entirely.
Esilda is a Brazilian Portuguese name of unknown meaning.
Esilda Villa was the first woman lawyer in Bolivia. When she first applied, she was denied because women weren’t citizens, and the second time she was denied because it was decided women aren’t capable of practicing law.
Esthitru is a Church Slavonic name that means star.
Church Slavonic is a holy language used by Orthodox Catholic churches in the Slavic countries. Esthitru is a form of Esther.
Eydís is an Old Norse name meaning island goddess.
The earliest documented use of this name was in Iceland at some point during the 9th century. There are currently 796 people in Iceland with this as either their first or middle name.
An Irish name, Fiadh means wild or untamed.
Virtually unheard of in the rest of the world, Fiadh has become hugely popular in both Ireland, where it was number 6 in 2019, and Northern Ireland, where it was number 20.
Fitria is an Indonesian name meaning pure or natural.
Fitria Yusuf is an Indonesian socialite, writer, and model who has launched stores, fashion companies, and a cell phone accessory business.
Fleurette is a Dutch name that means flower.
Fleurette is the name of a New York-based womenswear brand. Sold predominately online and in stores such as Nordstrom, Fleurette makes jackets and coats.
A German name, Franze means Frenchman.
Despite the masculine meaning of this name, Franze sees strictly feminine use in Germany. It evolved from Franziska, which came from the Late Roman Franciscus, which was used for anyone from France.
Freyde is a Yiddish name that means joy.
A rarely used name in any part of the world, Freyde is an exotic girls’ name specific to the Galicia region in what is now known as southeastern Poland and western Ukraine.
Gadise is an Oromo name meaning shade.
The Oromo people are from Ethiopia. They are both an ethnic group and a nation with a sophisticated democratic political system and a monolithic religion.
Ginevra is an Italian name that means white phantom.
This exotic girls’ name is the Italian version of Guinevere. However, the name also has associations with the word ginepro, which is Italian for juniper.
An Anglo Saxon name, Godiva means gift from god.
According to legend, Lady Godiva rode naked on horseback through the streets of Coventry, England, to protest the taxes her husband was imposing on the town’s people (1).
Grainne is an Irish name that means grain.
In Irish mythology, Grainne was the grain goddess. However, while this name looks as if it should be pronounced Grain-nee, the correct pronunciation is GRAWN-na.
Harolin is a Spanish name that means army leader.
Harolin is another exotic girls’ name with its roots in a much older, more common, boys’ name. In this case, it evolved from Harold, making it a good choice if you want to honor a family member with that name.
Hawise is a Medieval English name meaning battle wide, or battle wood.
The name of several Medieval French noblewomen, Hawise is an excellent choice for those who want to honor their French ancestry.
Ila is a Hindi name meaning earth or speech.
Ila is also an Innuit name that means friend, companion, a Hungarian name that means joy, and an English name that means island.
Ilona is a Finnish name that means joy.
Ilona is also used in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, and Hungary. In Hungarian folklore, Ilona is the name of the Queen of the Fairies.
Ime is an Ibibio name that means patience.
If you are looking for a feminine, exotic name, and you have had to wait a long time for your child, then Ime is a beautiful option.
Isi is a Choctaw name meaning deer.
Although this is a stand-alone name, Isi is also an abbreviation used for several names including Isabel and Isadora.
Isidore is from a Greek name that means gift from Isis.
Isis was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of life, the moon, and magic. She was the protector of women in childbirth, and a baby born after a difficult birth would be named Isidore because Isis had saved them.
Jocosa is a Medieval English name that means merry or playful.
The name Jocosa evolved from the same root word as jocular and jocose, which means full of jesting and full of jokes.
Josiane is a French diminutive of Josephine, meaning He will add.
Virtually unheard of until the 1920’s, Josiane was hugely popular in France, reaching peak popularity in 1949 and falling almost entirely out of use again by 1980.
Kaimana is a Hawaiian name meaning diamond.
The Kaimana Beach Hotel is the only property situated directly on the sand of Waikiki beach. During building, they preserved the Hua tree under which author Robert Louis Stevenson had regularly sat.
Karina is a Swedish name of unknown meaning.
Karina is an elaborate form of Karin, the Swedish version of Katherine. Some people state Katherine means pure, but this is debated. It could also mean torture, each of the two, or my consecration of your name.
Kartini is an Indonesian name meaning deed or act.
In Indonesia, April 21st is Kartini Day. The birthday of prominent Indonesian women’s rights activist R.A. Kartini, the occasion is also known as Women’s Emancipation Day.
Kateri is a Mohawk name and an equivalent to Katherine.
Kateri Tekakwitha was the daughter of a Mohawk chief and an Algonquin Christian woman. Tekakwitha converted to Christianity at the age of 20 and was the first aboriginal person to be venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church.
Keava is an Irish and Scottish name that means beautiful, gentle, kind.
Keava is the anglicized form of the traditional Irish and Scottish name Caoimhe. Both names are pronounced KEE-va, but Keava is much easier to spell and less open to mispronunciation than Caoimhe.
Kidist is an Amharic name meaning blessed.
If you’ve been trying to have a baby for years, Kidist might be a fitting name for how you feel about her.
Lalita is an Indian name that means playful or charming.
In the Hindu religion, Lalita is an alternative name for the goddess Parvati and also the name of one of the playmates of Krishna.
Leilani is a Hawaiian name meaning royal child.
The two components of this name have a number of similar meanings. An alternate meaning for Leilani is heavenly flowers.
Léone is a French name that means lion.
In 1916, at the peak of its popularity, the name Léone was given to 253 newborn girls in the U.S. Since then, its use has declined, and it hasn’t made it to the top 1,000 since 1938.
Líadan is a Gaelic name that means gray lady.
Pronounced LEE-din, Líadan was a figure in Irish mythology who became a nun after the death of her love but was so grief-stricken that she died of a broken heart.
Limbani is a Chewa name meaning be strong.
The Zoological Wildlife Foundation in Miami, Florida, is home to internet sensation Limbani, the chimpanzee. The lovable chimp became famous when the foundation launched an Instagram account for him.
Lucienne is a French name that means light.
Born in Switzerland, Lucienne Bloch’s family emigrated to the U.S. when she was 8 years old. A prolific artist, Bloch was close friends with Frida Kahlo and Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera.
Luigsech is an Ancient Gaelic name meaning either black, to break, or to swear an oath.
Luigsech is derived from the name of the Irish god Lugh, who was the patron of commerce and trade, as well as travelers and the arts.
A name from Irish mythology, Maeve means intoxicating.
In the Marvel series The Boys, Queen Maeve is one of The Seven, a team of superheroes created and managed by megacorporation Vought.
Manaia is a Māori word that means to make a decoration.
Manaia was a being in Māori mythology. It had the head of a bird, body of a man, and tail of a fish. The stylized representation of Manaia has become an iconic symbol of Māori culture.
Manu is a Hawaiian name meaning bird.
Manu is also a Finnish boys’ name that means great, a French and Spanish diminutive of Emmanuel, which means God is with us, and an Ancient Persian, gender-neutral name meaning heaven or heart’s desire.
Marise is a French name that means love.
In the video game Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls, Marise Aravel is an Elevn Dummer merchant who sells food and occasionally milk. Her dour disposition frequently causes her to instigate combat.
Medora is a name created for literature, and the meaning is unknown.
Lord Byron created the name Medora for a character in his 1814 poem, The Corsair. In the year of publication, Byron’s niece, who was rumored to be his daughter, was given Medora as a middle name.
A Hebrew name, Meital, means dewdrop.
Israeli actress Meital Dohan may have had several stage and screen roles, but she is probably most famous for her two-year relationship with Al Pacino. When they split, she said the 36-year age gap was too big to overcome.
Mélisande is a French name that means strong in work.
Pelléas and Mélisande is a play about the doomed love of the title characters. It was also adapted as an opera by Debussy.
Millaray is a Mapuche name meaning golden flower.
The Mapuche are the indigenous peoples of what we now call Chile. Rather than a single people, the Mapuche consists of multiple groups, and Mapuche names are becoming mainstream in Chile. Currently, Millaray is the 49th most popular name in the country.
Miren is a Basque name of unknown meaning.
Miren Castle in Slovenia was built by King Miren, who also built a settlement to house the local poor. His actions made him a local folk hero, but the castle has fallen, and the hill on which it stood bears his name.
Morwen is a Cornish name that means maiden.
A shortened version of the more traditional Morwenna, Morwen can also mean fair sea in Welsh. Author J.R.R. Tolkien used this name in his mythologies, and in his books, the name means dark maiden.
Mphatso is a Chewa name, meaning gift.
Pronounced correctly, this should be Mah-Far-so. However, although we adore this name, when we ran it past several test subjects, they universally pronounced it as Mm-FAT-so. You have been warned.
An Irish name, Muirgen means born of the sea.
Folklore tells of a girl, Liban, who escaped drowning by surviving in an underwater chamber for a year. She turned into a mermaid and her dog an otter. They lived for 300 years until she was turned back into a woman named Muirgen.
Nandita is an Indian name meaning joy.
Nandita Swetha is a successful Indian actress who has won multiple awards for her debut performance, for supporting actress roles, and as a “retro” actress.
Nanea is a Hawaiian name meaning fascinating.
The American Girl doll, Nanea Mitchell, comes dressed in 1940s Hawaiian style clothing and has a variety of clothing and accessories, including a Holuko dress, a hula outfit, a luau set, and a series of books.
Neve is a Gaelic name that means bright.
Neve is also a Dutch surname, and the actress Neve Campbell was given this as a first name as it was her mother’s maiden name.
A Mayan name, Nicte means flower.
The myth of Nicté Ha tells of her secret courtship with a prince. Her father accidentally shot her with an arrow, and she fell into the cenote where she met her love, and she can now be seen in the form of a waterlily.
Odette is a French name that means wealthy or fortunate.
In Tchaikovsky’s ballet, Swan Lake, Odette is the name of the princess who is a swan by day and a woman by night.
Oona is a Finnish name meaning lamb.
There are 8,092 women and girls in Finland with the name Oona, where it is currently the 22nd most popular baby name for girls.
Oriana is an Italian name that means gold.
Pronounced O-REE-ar-nah, this Italian name is also used in Spain. However, as a Galacian name, it means the one who was born.
Perrine is a French name that means stone.
As this is the French feminine form of Pierre, and Pierre is the French version of Peter, we think this would be an excellent choice if you have a relative named Peter you wish to acknowledge through your child’s name.
Philomel is an English name meaning nightingale.
A philomel is a musical instrument invented in Munich, Germany, in the mid-nineteenth century. Similar in size and shape to a violin, a philomel has four steel strings.
Pipaluk is a Greenlandic name that means nurse.
We added this name to the list as it is exotic, can be shortened to a more mainstream nickname, Pipa, and would make an excellent name for a child in a nursing family.
Rathnait is an Irish name that means prosperity or grace.
The name Rathnait is pronounced RAH-natch and would be an excellent exotic female name if your family has Irish ancestry.
Rohesia is a Medieval English name meaning famous type.
Rohesia is the Latinized form of the name Rohese, which is a shortened version of the Germanic name, Hrodohaidis. Eventually evolving into Rose, this was a separate name to that of the flower.
Roselani is a Hawaiian name that means heavenly rose.
Roselani is the name of a Hawaiian ice cream company based in Maui. They make a variety of flavors, including Ube, Haupia, Lilikoi, Pauwela Sunrise, and Kona Mud Pie.
The French name Roseline means gentle horse.
Roseline evolved from the Germanic name Roslindis. The Spanish and Italian versions, Rosalinda, have the same root and meaning, but they both translate to cute rose.
Sabela is a Galician name meaning my God is my oath.
Galicia is an autonomous community in Spain and is a protected nationality under Spanish law. Sabela began as a Galician term of endearment for girls named Isabel, but became a name in its own right.
Salomé is a Portuguese name meaning peace.
In the Christian Bible, Salomé dances before King Herod, who is so impressed he promises her whatever she wants. Salomé requests the head of John the Baptist, which she subsequently receives on a platter.
Saoirse is a Gaelic name that means freedom.
A relative newcomer to the baby name scene in the U.S., 331 baby girls were given this exotic baby name here in 2019.
Sauda is a Swahili name meaning dark complexion.
Sauda is the name of a town in Norway that has been built in large part on land reclaimed from the sea.
Shikoba is a Choctaw name that means feather.
Shikoba Bride is a British bridal dress company that specializes in bohemian style gowns. They range from traditional kinds of full-length white wedding dresses to short rompers, peach, black, and two-piece gowns.
Shion is a Japanese name and means aster, which is a flower.
Hanakotoba is the name for the language of flowers in Japan. In hanakotoba, the Japanese Aster is referred to as Shion, and it is the flower of remembrance, meaning I won’t forget you.
Sigalit is a Hebrew name that means violet flower.
Artist Sigalit Landau is famous for her work created by submerging everyday objects into the hyper-saline waters of the Dead Sea. After a period of time, the items become encrusted in salt and retrieved.
A Norwegian name, Signy means new victory.
In the ancient Norse Völsunga saga, Signy reluctantly marries a king who then murders her entire family, except her twin brother. The twins plot to kill the king by burning him, and Signy walks into the fire to die with him.
Solange is a French name meaning religious.
Singer-songwriter, record producer, and performance artist Solange Knowles won the 2008 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Award for Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song, which she co-wrote with her sister, Beyonce. In 2017, she won the Best R&B Performance Grammy for her single Cranes in the Sky.
Soraya is a Persian name that means the Pleiades.
The Pleiades is the most prominent open star cluster visible to the naked eye from Earth. In Japan, the cluster is known as Subaru and was adopted as the logo for the car company of the same name.
Sunniva is an Old Norse name meaning sun gift.
A popular name in the Norwegian Roman Catholic community, Sunniva was a princess who died while trying to convert the locals to Christianity. Her image was on the coat of arms of Selje, a municipality in Western Norway.
Tatiana is an Ancient Roman name of unknown meaning.
Many people think Tatiana is a Russian name, and it is used extensively in Russia. However, the name comes from that of an 8th century BC Sabine King, Tatius.
Tierney is an English name that means lord.
This gender-neutral name is the anglicized form of the Irish boys’ name Tighearnach, which itself was originally a surname. So Tierney is both an exotic girls’ name and a surname used as a first name.
Valdís is an Icelandic name meaning the dead goddess.
Without the dash over the i, Valdis is a Latvian boys’ name that means ruler and a nickname in Latvia for anyone with a name that contains Vald.
Vincenza is an Italian name that means to conquer.
In the first three decades of the 20th century, Vincenza was relatively popular in the U.S. However, it has not made an appearance on the top 1,000 girls’ name list since 1931.
Yente is a Yiddish name meaning noble or aristocratic.
Often incorrectly thought to be a Jewish term for matchmaker, Yente comes from the French word gentile, which means refined, aristocratic, or noble.
Yohana is a name in many languages and means God is gracious.
Yohana also spelled Yohanna, is a feminine version of Johan, which is a form of John. This makes Yohana a good option if you want to name your child after a relative named John.
Zuri is a Swahili name meaning beautiful.
In 2019, the name Zuri was given to 1,179, or 0.065 percent of newborn girls. This made it the 278th most popular name that year.
What’s An Exotic Name?
Names one person thinks are exotic can be mundane to another, and the reason for this is simple. Exotic doesn’t mean something from a particular country or culture; it merely means something that originates in a foreign place.
Any girls’ name can be exotic — it only depends on your perspective.