19 Popular British Baby Girl Names That Need to Cross Over

Genny Glassman | Jul 12, 2017 Pregnancy
19 Popular British Baby Girl Names That Need to Cross Over
Image: FamVeld/Shutterstock


FamVeld/Shutterstock

Picking the right baby name can be a difficult decision for those looking for something that feels both classic and fresh. Our friends across the pond have always had a way with words, whether that be Shakespeare, Austen, or even Doctor Who. English names have both literary weight and a cheeky modernity, and along with the 20 most popular baby names in Scotland, there's also these stunning baby names from England that soon-to-be parents are loving!

From hardcore anglophiles or just a casual Downton Abbey fans, Enland is a popular source for baby name inspiration, and it's no surprise why. Let's be real, it's indisputable that the British have a certain style worth emulating. 

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Our friends at BabyNameWizard.com have handily compiled a list of the most popular girl names in England; from Alice to Zara, we know these names are aces! And like all Brits, we truly believe these names are paired best with a scone and a cup of tea.

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So hop on the tube and take out a wands, writing quills, Union Jack, and a sonic screwdrivers. These names are fitting for both a queen and a commoner. Trust us, these are 19 baby names that will make anyone say, cheerio!

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  • Harriet

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    Fans of Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy novels or the '90s film adaptation will have a special place in their heart for this name. But Harriet is as British as a stiff upper lip! Derived from the French Henriette, Harriet means "home ruler," and was the name of beloved character Harriet Vane in the Dorothy Sayers novels. 

  • Imogen

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    Pronounced "IHM-oh-jehn," this name just sounds literary. Which is why it's no surprise that Imogen is the heroine in the play Cymbeline by Shakespeare. And if it couldn't get any sweeter, Imogen has its origins in Gaelic where it means "girl" or "maiden." Cheers, little Imogen

  • Freya

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    Pronounced "FRAY-uh," Freya is a popular name in England that has yet to jump the pond. This sweet name originates in Norse mythology, were Freya was the goddess of fertility, and means lady, mistress, or noblewoman. Sounds like a strong, independent woman to us!

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  • Poppy

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    Similar to PippaPoppy is a (ahem) POPular name (sorry) that is about as British as it gets. Just like the flower, Poppy is a sweet and playful name that has a large celebrity fan base. Celeb parents Jamie Oliver, Anna Paquin, and Stephen Moyer chose to name their daughters Poppy. For this reason, this Pop comes out on top! 

  • Sienna

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    Not just a filter for Instagram, Sienna is a name that has larger connections to the art world. Sienna is a clay used in pigments (like paint), and when treated with fire, it takes on a reddish-brown tone -- hence, burnt sienna. It also means "delicate." Something about this makes us feel like actress Sienna Miller would approve! 

  • Zara

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    Not to be confused with the popular clothing chain, Zara is an exotic and cosmopolitan name that has its origins in Arabic. Some names just feel like they belong in a copy of British Vogue, and Zara totally gives us fashion vibes. It also means "to blossom" -- what a beauty!

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  • Florence

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    The dog days are over, everyone! Yes, that was a Florence and the Machine reference, but Florence is a popular name outside of the indie pop world. You may remember the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale? Or a very special lady, Brady Bunch mom Florence Henderson? Or even the Italian city of Florence, from which this name derives? Whew, so many lovely Florences, so little time!

  • Harper

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    The Beckhams may be partly responsible for the popularity of this name. They named their youngest -- and only daughter -- Harper in 2011. Harper, meaning, you guessed it, "one who plays the harp," is also a notable name in American culture for the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. Sounds like music to our ears!

  • Isla

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    Did you know that there is a male version of Isla (pronouced "EYE-la"), Isler ("EYE-ler")? Most popular to us in the states because of the actress Isla Fisher, Isla has Scottish origins and is the name of a Scottish island. No matter how you say it, Isla is a unqiue choice.

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  • Thea

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    Thea is a powerful name that has its origins in the Roman Empire, combining theos ("God") and doron ("gift"). It also is the spunky nickname of Theodora, and is gaining popularity in its own right!

  • Alice

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    There's no wonder that this name has risen in popularity recently. Alice is not only the protagonist of our favorite children's novel, it is also the name of numerous notable writers (Walker and Munro, to name a few). Composed from adal ("noble") and heid ("kind"), Alice seems like a name of good character.

  • Phoebe

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    Smelly cat! Smelly cat! Phoebe is the name for you! Jokes aside, Phoebe is a name that is popular all over the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It originates in Greek mythology as a name for Artemis, the goddess of the moon, and in Hebrew means "pure." How purely wonderful!

  • Martha

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    Get out your crafting shears, everyone! Martha, a popular name meaning "lady" or "mistress," is the name of our favorite domestic goddess, Martha Stewart. It's also a Biblical name -- Martha, the sister of Lazarus and Mary of Bethany. Though it dipped slightly in popularity in the early '00s, Martha has steadily climbed its way back up the charts.

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  • Millie

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    Silly Millie! This thoroughly modern name is on the rise due to the continuing popularity of Millicent throughout the UK. A little bit of a fresher take on a British classic, Millie is a name that mixes old with new!

  • Emilia

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    Another name from the Bard, Emilia (pronounced, "eh-MEE-lee-ah") is the name of Othello's wife in the classic play by Shakespeare. To make things even more Shakespearean, Emilia is derived from the last name Aemulus, possibly meaning "rival, trying to equal, or emulating." Sounds positively dramatic!

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  • Willow

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    Not only does Willow have a natural and earthy vibe (as you can guess, the name is derived from the willow tree), but it has also been drastically on the rise since the '90s. There are many reasons why this may be, but a personal favorite may be the emergence of Buffy the Vampire Slayer character Willow Rosenberg. It also connotes a "graceful or lithe appearance," similar to the branches of a willow tree.

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  • Darcie

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    Darcie (as well as the similar spelling Darcey) is a British name that has recently gained in popularity. Though it's derived from the French surname D'Arcy (or "from Arcy"), Darcie's popularity may be the result of a more Austenian influence. It is universally acknowledged, that English parents in possession of a new baby, must name their baby Darcie ... Okay, so the beginning of Pride and Prejudice doesn't go exactly like that, but it is still probable that Mr. Darcy has made a profound influence on British baby names.

  • Lottie

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    Little Lottie! Derived from the name Charlotte, Lottie is a sweet, girlish pet name that has become very popular. Charlotte is a diminutive of Charles, meaning "full grown, a man," so Lottie loosely means "a full grown woman." Though Lottie sounds old-fashioned, it truly is a name that never goes out of style! 

  • Scarlett

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    Scarlett is most commonly associated with the protagonist Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind, but its origins are pure Britannica, baby! In medieval times, Scarlett was the surname given to people who dealt in a special woolen cloth, the most popular color of which was red. The name Scarlett remained an English and Irish surname, until it made the jump from last to first name, and has been popular ever since. WellI do declare!

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