Finding the “perfect” name is difficult enough, but if you have your heart set on a short girl name, you may find it even more tricky.
That’s why we’ve taken the time to track down 100 of the best short names for girls, adding a thoroughly researched definition for each and throwing in some fun nuggets of knowledge for good measure.
100 Sweet Short Girl Names & Meanings
Short and simple doesn’t have to mean sweet and syrupy. We’ve found 100 names that are just as strong as your little girl.
Ange is a French form of Angelus, meaning “angel.”
While English speakers consider Ange a nickname for Angela, it is a stand-alone, gender-neutral name in France. Ange, Angelus, Angela, and angel all come from the Greek word angelos, which means “messenger.”
A Sino-Vietnamese name, Anh means “flower,” “brave,” “petal,” or “hero.”
Anh is often paired with another forename to create a compound name. The exact meaning of Anh can then vary, depending on the characters used to create the entire compound name.
The French name Anne means “favor, grace.”
In addition to being a popular girl name across Europe, Anne is also a Frisian boy name that began as a nickname for forenames starting with the Germanic word element arn, which means “eagle.”
The name Ash is English and comes from the tree of the same name.
Ash is the traditional English name for the letter/symbol Æ or, in lowercase, æ. This symbol is now rarely used, mainly because we use keyboards so much communicating.
Bast is a name from Egyptian Mythology, meaning “jar.”
In Ancient Egypt, Bast was the goddess of fertility, the sun, and cats. She was also the protector of Lower Egypt. Also called Bastet, the full definition of her name is thought to be “she of the ointment jar.”
Bea is an English name that means “traveler, voyager.”
Bea can be short for Beatrix, which is where we get this definition. However, Bea can also be a short form of the Late Roman name Beata, which means “blessed.”
Belle is a French word, meaning “beautiful.”
“Belle” is a 2013 movie about Dido Elizabeth Belle. Belle’s mother was an African slave in the West Indies and her father an English naval officer. She was raised in England by her father’s family, almost unheard of in the 18th century.
This French form of Bertha means “bright, famous.”
Unlike its Ancient Germanic cousin, Bertha, Berthe is a single syllable name. It is pronounced like bear, but with a short t sound at the end.
Beth is an English short form of Bethany or Elizabeth.
“Beth” was a Billboard Hot 100 hit song by KISS, reaching #7 in December 1976. The song was written about a bandmate’s wife who constantly called the studio, asking when he would be coming home.
An Icelandic name, Björk means “birch tree.”
Non-Scandinavians often mispronounce Björk as BEE-york. However, the correct pronunciation is byerk, all rolled together, to rhyme with work.
Blair is a Gaelic name, meaning “field, battlefield.”
Blair began as a Scottish surname, used for someone who lived near a field, plain, or battlefield. It then saw use as a short boy name and became a popular girl name in the 1980s.
The French name Blanche means “white, fair.”
In France, Blanche only ranks as the 881st most common name for girls, while ranking as the 149th most popular girl name in the Republic of the Congo. This is probably because the French colonized Congo until 1960.
Bree is an Anglicized form of Brígh, which means “power.”
In J.R.R.Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Bree is a place in Middle Earth where hobbits and humans live side by side.
Britt is a Scandinavian name that means “exalted one.”
Britt is a short form of the Nordic name Birgitta, a form of Bridget, where we get the meaning.
Unfortunately, many English speakers will immediately hear Britt and assume it is a nickname for Britany.
The name Brooke comes from an English surname for someone living near a brook.
Mathematician Brooke Shipley is a professor and head of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science at the University of Illinois Chicago, specializing in homotopy theory and homological algebra research.
The Welsh name Brynne means “mound, hill.”
Many people mistakenly assume that Brynne is a variant spelling of Bryn and one of those names where someone has randomly added a few letters to be “fancy.” However, Brynne is the feminine version of the Welsh boy name Bryn.
Cait is an English name of unknown meaning.
Cait is sometimes listed as a short form of Catherine and other times as a nickname for Caitlyn. Both explanations are equally valid as both names evolved from Katherine, the meaning of which is hotly debated.
Chan is a Khmer name, meaning “moon.”
The gender-neutral Khmer name Chan ultimately evolved from Sanskrit. It is not the same as the Vietnamese Chân, which means “honest;” the Jèrriais boy name Ch’an, which is a form of John; or the Dinka boy name Chan, meaning “first of twins.”
A Hebrew name, Chen, means “charm, grace.”
Chen is a gender-neutral Hebrew name and also a Chinese gender-neutral name. The Chinese version means “morning” and is written as 辰, the symbol for the fifth Earthly Branch, associated with the Chinese zodiac’s dragon.
Cho is a short Japanese girl name that means “butterfly.”
Also written as Chō, ちょう, or 蝶, Cho is not a common name in its country of origin. There are 1,610 people with the name Cho in Japan and 1,774 in the U.S.
Claire is from the Latin name Clarus, meaning “bright, clear, famous.”
Claire is the French feminine form of Clarus, while Clair is the masculine. Clair was in the top 1,000 boy names in the U.S. until 1965, and Claire has never been out of the top 1,000 girl names.
Claude is a French name, meaning “lame, crippled.”
Claudia and Claudine are the more common forms of this name, but if you’re looking for an uncommon, short girl name with character, Claude is gender neutral. If anyone makes disparaging comments, refer them to Claude of France, eldest daughter of King Louis XII.
The English name Dale signified someone living near a dale or hill.
Dale Messick was the American comic strip artist who created Brenda Starr, Reporter. In 2001, Messick and fellow artist Marie Severin became the first women inducted into the Will Eisner (Comic Industry) Award Hall of Fame.
Dawn is from the Old English word dagung, which means “early morning.”
The Dawn Doll was made by New Jersey toy manufacturer Topper from 1970 to 1973. She was a 6.5-inch fashion doll with a rigid vinyl body, bendable legs, and rooted hair and eyelashes.
Dove is an English short girl name based on the small white bird.
At the time of this writing, there are only 1,809 people on the planet with the name Dove. Interestingly, 65% of those Doves are in the U.S., where 940 Doves are female, and 265 Doves are male.
Elle is an English name originally used as a short form of other names containing an Elle sound.
Pronounced like the letter L, Elle is also a French word, meaning “she,” although this is not where the name came from. It began as an abbreviation of names as diverse as Elizabeth, Gabrielle, and Eloise.
The Koren name Eun means “grace,” “silver,” or one of 28 other definitions.
Eun is not often a stand-alone Korean girl name. It is more often seen paired with another character. There are 30 hanja that can be used to write Eun, but the most popular are 銀, meaning “money, silver” and 恩, meaning “grace, charity, kindness.”
The Hebrew name Eve means “to breathe.”
According to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, Adam and Eve were the first man and woman. Eve was said to have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, contrary to God’s instructions, and encouraged Adam to do the same.
Fae is an Old English name, meaning “fairy.”
In 1984, “Baby Fae” was born in the U.S. with the left side of her heart severely underdeveloped. In an attempt to prolong her life until a suitable donor was available, a doctor transplanted a baboon heart in her.
Faith is from the Latin word fidere, which means “to trust.”
A virtue name adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century, Faith has remained popular, appearing on the top 1,000 girl names in the U.S. for 133 years straight. It hit #48 in 2002 when 5,525 newborns were named Faith.
Fajr is an Arabic name that means “beginning, dawn.”
Fajr is also an Urdu word that means “refrigerator;” a Bangla word, meaning “obligation;” a Gujarati word that means “duty;” a Tamil word, meaning “barge;” and a Kannada word that means “forge.”
Fern is an English name that comes from the plant of the same name.
Fern, written as ᚃ, is the third letter of the Ogham alphabet and Old Irish writing system. The name comes from the Welsh word gwern, which means “alder-tree.”
Fleur is the French word for flower.
This short and straightforward French girl name is the ideal alternative to the currently popular Flora. You’re unlikely to call “Fleur” in the playground and have other children turn around.
The English name Flick means “happiness.”
In telecommunications engineering, optical engineering, and radio astronomy, a Flick is a unit of measurement. It is used to measure spectral radiance, so if anyone asks, you can stretch the definition and say it’s a shorter, sassier alternative to Aurora.
In multiple languages, Fran is short for names that begin with “fran.”
Frantone Electronics is an American effects pedal manufacturer. Headquartered in Philadelphia and still run by Founder Fran Blanche, Frantone’s pedals are made by hand.
Gail is an English name. It means “my father’s joy.”
This definition for Gail comes from its evolution from a nickname for Abigail. However, an alternative explanation is from the Old English surname, gaile, which means “jovial.”
Gaye is from the English word gay, meaning “happy.”
From 1887 to 1969, Gaye was a regular fixture on the U.S. top 1,000 girl names. However, it fell out of use as the more common use of the word gay became more popular.
The name Grace is from the Latin word gratia, meaning “favor, goodwill.”
American actress Grace Gummer is known for her roles in “Mr. Robot,” “Extant,” “American Horror Story: Coven,” and “Newsroom.” Gummer is the daughter of Meryl Streep and Don Gummer.
Greer is from the Greek word gregoros. It means “alert, watchful.”
Greer Nelson is the fictional superhero known in the Marvel universe as The Cat who mutates into Tigra. After an incident where she almost dies, Greer is saved by the Cat People, who turn her into a half-human, half-cat hero.
The Dutch name Greet means “pearl.”
In the Netherlands, Greet began as a nickname for Margaret and is a short and snappy alternative to its older cousin.
A Welsh name, Gwen means “fair, white.”
Singer-songwriter Gwen Stefani is the co-founder, lead vocalist, and primary songwriter for the band No Doubt. Stefani has been nominated for 18 Grammys, winning three.
The name Hope is from the Old English word hopian. It means “hope for salvation.”
Although Hope could never be considered a common name, it has been in the U.S.’s top 1,000 girl names every year since 1889. There are currently 72,978 girls named Hope in the United States.
The name Jade comes from the precious stone of the same name.
In the late 14th century, calling someone a “jade” was a put-down. Jade meant “old, worn-out horse,” and although it was initially aimed at both genders, by the 1550s, it had become a term of abuse aimed predominantly at women.
As this insult seems to be long forgotten, we think this is a great time to bring back this pretty short girl name.
Jae is a Korean name that means “riches, wealth.”
As with many Korean names, the meaning of Jae can vary according to the hanja characters used. It is also often found as one part of a compound name.
Jael is a Hebrew name meaning “mountain goat.”
There are two ways to pronounce Jael. The first is the single syllable JAYL, basically the same as the English word jail. The second is JAY-el.
The English name Jane means “God is gracious.”
Jane and Joan are feminine forms of John. Joan was more widespread until the 17th century, when Jane became the predominant version.
Jazz is a short form of Jasmine, the name of a plant.
Jazz is the middle name and frequently used nickname of English actress Daisy Ridley. Ridley is famous for her role as Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
Jean is a Scottish form of Jane, which means “God is gracious.”
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch is the narrator of Harper Lee’s classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Finch also narrates the follow-up novel, “Go Set a Watchman.”
Jess is an English name, meaning “to behold.”
Jess is considered a gender-neutral name, and in the U.S., it is predominantly a short form of the boy name Jesse. In Nordic countries, Jess is viewed as a masculine name and an evolution of John (1).
An English name, Jewel may be linked to the word for precious stones.
Despite its modern, trendy vibe, Jewel has been used as a forename since the 1800s. It also migrated from the Breton surname Judicaël which is made of two words, meaning “prince” and “generous.”
Joss is an English name that means “Goth.”
Singer Joss Stone won the 2005 Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album award at the Grammys for her record “Mind, Body & Soul.”
The English name Joy is from the word for happiness.
Joy Behar is best known for her role as co-host of “The View,” but she started out as a stand-up comedian.
Joyce is a gender-neutral English name that means “lord.”
Joyce spent most of the 1930s just outside of the top ten girl names in the U.S., with the most popular year being 1938 when it was #11.
The name Jude comes from the Hebrew name Judith, meaning “Jewish woman.”
Jude is two entirely separate names, one masculine, one feminine. The male version is a form of Judas, while the female form began as a nickname for Judith.
June is from the Roman name Juno, meaning “youth.”
While most people assume that June comes from the month’s name, it’s a little more complex. The month was named after Juno, the Roman queen of the Heavens, which is where the meaning comes from.
Kae is a variant of the English name Kay, which is a name of unknown meaning.
Kae is also a Japanese girl name, the meaning of which varies according to which kanji are used. The most common are 花 or 華, both of which mean “flower,” combined with 恵 which means “benefit” or “favor.”
The Hawaiian name Kai means “sea.”
Kai is also an Estonian girl name that can trace its roots back to the name Katherine. This makes it a fabulous, robust alternative to Katherine, Kate, or other similar, more common variants.
Kim is an English name, meaning “royal, bold.”
In this context, Kim began as a short form of Kimberly. And Kimberly is a surname that evolved from several Anglo-Saxon location surnames, including Cynemær’s field, Cyneburga’s field, or Cynebald’s field.
The name Lake is from the Latin word lacus, meaning “body of water.”
You may be more likely to recognize the voice of American actress Lake Bell than her face. Currently starring as the voice of Poison Ivy in TVs “Harley Quinn,” she’s also Chole in the “Secret Life of Pets” franchise.
Lark is English and comes from the songbird of the same name.
Lark Pien is an American cartoonist who publishes minicomics. Pien’s work has also been showcased in more prominent publications such as the “Flight” comic anthology.
Laure is a French name, meaning “laurel.”
This uniquely French girl name is a short form of the name Laura. English speakers tend to pronounce this as LAW-ree, but the correct pronunciation is LAW.
The name Leigh comes from the Old English word for clearing.
This is an unusual variant spelling of the name Lee. Leigh was a surname that was used to indicate someone who lived near a clearing or meadow. The surname spelling was adopted as an alternative to the forename spelling of Lee.
Lien is a Dutch name. It could mean “army,” “warrior,” or “man.”
Lein began as a nickname for girls with the Dutch forename Carolien. Carolien evolved from Charles, making this an excellent choice to honor a relative named Charles, Karl, or any other variant.
Liv is from the Old Norse word Hlíf, meaning “protection.”
While many people assume that Liv is a short form of Olivia or Olive — and it can be in some English-speaking countries — it is an entirely separate, stand-alone name with its own history and meaning.
Lou is a French short form of Louise, which means “famous battle.”
There are 79,727 People with the name Lou in the United States. The majority of them — 87% — are female.
Lourdes means “heavy” in French.
Lourdes was adopted as a forename after a young Catholic girl said she saw the Virgin Mary in a vision near the town. In the English language, this is a single-syllable name, pronounced Lords.
Lynn is from a Welsh word that means “lake.”
Lynn began as a boy name that came from an English surname that denoted someone who lived by a lake. Today it is more often seen as the second part of a compound name for girls.
Madge is a short form of Margaret, meaning “pearl.”
Madge was a popular Victorian girl name that fell out of widespread use by the 1940s. Often seen as an older person’s name, it has seen a bit of a resurgence as an old lady chic name.
An Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Medb, Maeve means “intoxicating.
In Irish mythology, Meave, or Medb, was a sovereignty goddess, the personification of the land, who chose a man to be king by offering him a drink of mead.
Mair is the Welsh form of Mary, which is of disputed meaning.
Mair is a short, solid name for girls and is a compelling contender if you’re looking for a forename to reflect your family’s Welsh heritage.
May is from the Latin word maior, which means “greater.”
The month of May is named after Maia, the Roman goddess of spring who embodied the idea of growth. She became merged with the ancient Greek goddess of the same name.
Meade could be from the Old English mede, meaning “meadow.”
It is also possible that Meade the forename comes from Meade, the surname given to someone who sold Meade, the fermented honey drink.
Naomh is an Irish Gaelic name that means “holy.”
Naomh is pronounced in a very similar way to the Irish name Niamh, which means “bright.” Naomh can be pronounced as NEEV or NEHV, while Niamh has a slight palletization sound after the N.
Ness is an Anglicized form of the Irish name Neasa, meaning “gentle.”
In Irish mythology, Ness was the mother of the king of Ulster. To begin with, she was called Assa, meaning gentle, but after she avenged the murder of her foster fathers, she was renamed Ni-assa — not gentle.
Nil is a Russian and Turkish name, meaning “river.”
Nil is a gender-neutral name that evolved from the masculine name Neilos. Neilos was the ancient Greek name for the River Nile.
Noor is an Arabic name. It means “light.”
Noor is an alternative transcription of the Arabic and Urdu name نور, or Nur. In the traditions of Islam, Nur is one of the 99 names of Allah.
Paige evolved from the Greek word paidion, meaning little boy.
Paige began as an English surname for someone who was a servant or page. In the medieval period, Paige was specific to a young boy in the first stages of his training to become a knight.
Pam is an English name created for literature. Its meaning is unclear.
American actress Pam Grier was famous in the 1970s for her roles in blaxploitation movies. Quintin Tarrantino described Grier as the first female action star and cast her in his 1997 movie “Jackie Brown.”
Pax is Latin for peace.
Pax was the Roman goddess of peace. She was the daughter of the goddess Justice and the king of the gods, Jupiter.
Pip is from the Greek name Philippos which means “friend of horses.”
The meaning of this name makes it ideal for someone connected to horse care or horse rescue or with an equestrian family history.
Praise is from the Latin word premium, meaning “worth, value, price.”
The name Praise has distinctly religious overtones, so it may not be for everybody. However, that doesn’t stop this one-syllable girl name from being a beautiful choice for the right person.
The name Quinn comes from an Irish name, meaning “descendant of the chief or king.”
Many places list Quinn as meaning “prince,” which is close but not exactly correct. Quinn evolved from the Irish surname Ó Cuinn, which means “descendant of Conn,” with Conn meaning “chief” or “king.”
The Arabic name Reem means “white antelope.”
Reem Bassiouney is a professor of sociolinguistics at The American University in Cairo and an award-winning author. Bassiouney has published fictional short stories, novels, and multiple non-fiction books about language and identity.
A Dutch name, Roos means “rose.”
The name Roos is the Dutch form of Rosa but is pronounced Rose. This may lead to frustration outside the Netherlands or away from areas and families of Dutch heritage because most English speakers pronounce this as ROOs.
Rose evolved from the Germanic name Hrodohaidis which means “famous type.”
Most people are unaware of the history of the name Rose. This Germanic name was introduced to England after the Norman invasion when it was usually spelled Roese or Rohese. The association to the flower only arose (pun intended!) in the 19th century.
Ruth came from the Hebrew word re’ut, which means “friend.”
In the Limberg region of Europe, Ruth is also a short form of the boy name Rutger, which is a form of Roger. So you can legitimately name your child Ruth in honor of a family member called Roger.
Saige is an English name that means “wise person.”
While the name Sage is associated with the herb, Saige comes from the Old French Sage, the surname for someone who was “wise, knowledgeable, skillful, or shrewd” (2).
Scout is from the French word escouter, which means “to listen.”
American actress Scout Taylor-Compton rose to prominence when she appeared in the 2019 Rob Zombie remake of the classic horror movie “Halloween.”
Sif is an Old Norse name. It means “kinswoman, bride.”
In Norse Mythology, Loki shaved Sif’s long golden hair, angering Thor. Loki made a hairpiece of gold to appease the thunder god. Scholars of Norse Mythology believe her hair to be an analogy for golden fields of wheat.
Sky is from the Old Norse word ský, meaning “cloud.”
This name is entirely different from Skye, which comes from the name of an island off the coast of Scotland. That Skye is thought to mean “winged.”
Sloane is an English name, meaning “crowds.”
Sloane began as an affectionate term from the Irish word sluaghadh. This morphed into the Irish boy name Sluaghadhán, which became Anglicized as Sloane.
Syd evolved from Old English. It means “wide.”
Syd is a short form of Sydney, a place name, meaning “wide island.” The place-name was adopted as a surname, which became a forename, and was then shortened to Syd.
An English name, Vale means “wide river valley.”
Vale evolved from the Latin word vallis, which means “valley.” However, vale is also a Latin word that means “goodbye.”
Veer is a Linbergish form of the Russian name Vera, which means “faith.”
This is separate from the Albanian name Vera which means “summer,” or the Greek Vera, a short form of Varvara, which means “foreign.”
Vienne may be from a Celtic word, vedunia, meaning “forest, stream.”
This beautiful French girl name is pronounced VYEHN, like V and YEN smooshed together. It is also the French name for the capital city of Austria, Vienna.
Wren is from the Old English word wrenna, the name for the songbird.
Wren Blackberry is a children’s author who specializes in fiction that incorporates educational elements. Her books also highlight parallels to Judeo-Christian stories.