For people who live in Europe, it’s a super-ordinary place. There’s no eight-lane highway, there’s no 24-hour CVS, and the flight to Hollywood is pretty long. Europe natives can save up for years to take a vacation to the USA. It’s a whole other world to them.
The “Europe story” on Friends (everyone remembers that, right?) is also a pretty good example of just how glamorized this continent is to many people in the US. Ross was “backpacking through Western Europe.” In reality, that just means France, Germany, Spain, or the UK.
In the US, common names that don’t exist in Europe include Tripp, Chuck, Dallas, and Brynn. Over in Europe though, there are a ton more countries. Whether it’s Russia, Croatia, Portugal, or Ireland, each country has a rich history (and its own names). Some countries, like Macedonia or Moldova, aren’t even known by many people in the US.
Paris Hilton is named after a city in Europe. London is now a name these days. What people still aren’t aware of though, are the actual names from the various countries across the pond. In Russia, beautiful names like Svetlana, Irina, and Ulyana are chosen for girls. In France, boys can be called Etienne or Xavier.
It’s only a matter of time. Europe’s names are going to work their way over. Now would probably be a good time to round them up (before everyone grabs them). Spanning this beautiful continent (and from someone who lives there), here are 25 stunning baby names from Europe that haven’t worked their way over yet.
Absolutely breathtaking. Freya is the Norse girl’s name that has the softest sound in the world (but the most powerful meaning). “A noblewoman” is the meaning of this utterly sweet name. While the name is fairly common over in Europe, it just isn’t one of those names that moms in the US have on their radar. Freja or Freyja are alternate spellings, but for a country where the letter “j” isn’t pronounced “y,” we think Freya is just perfect.
Over in France or Belgium, Aurélie is pretty common. Mothers there are choosing this girl’s name for its wide, open vowels, girly ring, and the fact that it doesn’t sound pretentious. Over in the US or Canada? You’d think the name didn’t even exist. While the ballerina, Aurélie Dupont has this name, it still isn’t one that we see with Hollywood celebs. “The golden one” is the meaning of this name. Just another reason why it’s so darn awesome, right?
Everyone’s got their eye on names with the letter “x” in them. Angelina Jolie named her son Pax. Xavier is the boy’s name that comes with a ton of swag on that side of the pond, but it’s still virtually unknown in the US. With Basque origins from the Middle East, Xavier has a meaning of “new house” or “bright.” If you’re wondering how it’s pronounced, the “x” is more of a “z.” X-Men has a Xavier, as did One Tree Hill, but otherwise, it’s off the radar.
Mommies-to-be are zooming in on anything short and filled with vowels. While Arya or Ella might be more popular choices, nobody seems to be going with Esme. This beautiful girl’s name has origins from France and Persia, but it’s the meaning that’s as stunning as the sound, here. “Esteemed, beloved, emerald” is the meaning of Esme. With a crisp ring and three times the reason to call her Esme, we think this one is a winner. It’s a solid favorite with us.
Svetlana just sounds so gorgeous, right? As a ballerina favorite over in Russia, this name has been rocked by world-famous dancers like Svetlana Beriosova and Svetlana Zakharova. The meaning of this name is “star.” A front-runner for soft sounds and feminine elegance, Svetlana is the stunning girl’s name that every other girl in the class will be jealous of. In the most adorable way, it also shortens to “Sveta.” Best to keep this one on the quiet – other moms will be all over it.
Over in France, Ciel means “sky.” While US moms go with Skylar or Sky, not many are even aware that choosing the word in a foreign language is an option. Ciel is sleek, soft, super-classy, and it’s definitely unique. There’s also a lot of appeal from the soft “c” opening and short four letters. Moms in recent years have been ditching overly flowery names for something short and snappy. The problem is that they’re all picking the same names. Ciel hasn’t worked its way over yet, but it totally should.
When the letter has an unusual strikethrough, it’s definitely going to stand out. Søren is the name from Denmark and Norway that takes the less trendy Severus and gives it a 2019 spin. This boy’s name is simple, but it’s anything but basic. Soft sounds, open vowels, and a grounded “n” ending add a ton of appeal, but the biggest one is that “ø.” It just isn’t something anyone will ever have seen before. We fell in love with it the minute we saw it.
We’re all familiar with Giselle. There’s a ballet named after it, and the supermodel, Gisele Bündchen has it with a single “l.” Upping the class with a silent “h,” Ghislaine is the girl’s name that stems from Germany. “Pledge” is the meaning of this beyond-beautiful name. Something about Ghislaine has elegance, all-round. It isn’t a name that Marvel or Disney have picked, but it’s a beautiful one. You’ll see it in Europe, but as far as the US is concerned, it’s almost blank.
With a meaning of “dove,” Paloma is a name that’s pretty common over in Spain and Portugal. In the US, it’s more like a rarely-heard name that everyone will fall in love with. Names beginning with “p” are pretty rare. Kourtney Kardashian went with Penelope. We’re almost wondering if she might have picked Paloma if it had been presented to her. As to how popular the name is in the US, it ranked 892 in 2017 for girls. Still pretty rare!
Talk about a stunner of a name. Ingrid is a name that’s fairly common in Scandinavia, but it comes with a #Unknown over in the US. “Fair, beautiful” is the meaning of this Norse-originated name. Whether she’s fair-headed or dark-haired, we know she’ll be beautiful. With a touch of Hollywood glam from the old-school actress, Ingrid Bergman, the name got famous from the movie, Casablanca, but that was back in the 1940s. Vintage names are so back, and Ingrid is just stunning.
We’re all familiar with Sylvia. Sylvie? Less-so. Sylvie is the super-classy name from Europe that comes with a taste of France. It’s got that light-hearted “ie” ending that everybody loves, it means “from the forest,” and it’s perfect for anyone who might be expecting in the winter season. With links South America, as well, there’s also a classic edge to this name. While there is a Sylvie in the Marvel comics, the name itself hasn’t been used much in popular culture – probably because nobody’s heard of it.
The UK has more than one country. Wales is the origin of the name Alwyn, where those soft sounds and the brilliantly-placed “y” are making this name a real contender. Alwyn is also gender-neutral. As a river in Wales, Alwyn adds an outdoorsy, wild feel, but it still has a ring that could totally work in Illinois, New York, or anywhere else. Over in the US, that “y” is often used for names like Brandyn or Logyn. As to Alwyn, it’s just not known.
Take one look at Sheridan, and you might be fooled into thinking this name is from the US. Think again. Sheridan is not only gender-neutral, but it has origins from Ireland. With gorgeous, soft sounds and a meaning of “searcher,” there’s an open beauty to this name – if only more people knew it. An extra bonus with Sheridan is that it isn’t one of those “foreign-feel” names. Not every US mommy wants a name that feels too far from home. Sheridan seems kind of perfect.
Over in France, you’ll see little girls jumping up and down with glee when they hear the word “cadeau.” That would be because this word means “gift” or “present.” It’s also a super-unusual and pretty girl’s name. Definitely one for the girly-girl, Cadeau would be perfect for a little girl who starts that life with a satin bow in her hair. You don’t need to dress her up in baby Gucci, but with a name like Cadeau, she’s going to a classy little momma’s girl.
There’s a lot of love for the name Sabine over in Europe. Countries like France and Germany see mothers pick this name fairly often for their girls, but it’s zilch in the US. A variant of Sabina, this name adds on a little edge with the “e,” ending, but that works out pretty well. Moms are so digging names that end in “e” right now. With links to Rome, this name might remind everyone of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, but the name itself is very different.
We saw Stacia and totally fell in love. It feels like every town in the US and Canada has a Stacey. You probably know one. Way less common, way classier, and with an unknown Europe feel, Stacia is the shortened version of Anastasia. That name is more than famous from Disney, but Stacia itself isn’t on the radar. Soft “s” and “c” sounds add lots of femininity to this name, and the open “a” ending balances the letters out. We kind of wish we were named Stacia…
If any country represents glam, it’s Italy. Italy is the birthplace of brands like Versace and Gucci, and it’s home to some of the most stunning cultures on earth. Alessia comes from Italy. The variant of Alexis has a much smoother sound, signature “ss” letters, and a pretty powerful meaning. “Defending warrior” is the meaning of this name. Alessia would make for such a classy baby name. At the same time, it wouldn’t be a wacky name. It isn’t known, but it absolutely should be.
When it comes to boy’s names, we’re used to seeing moms try and be “unusual” with Parker, Tyler, or Rain. Baines comes from England, where old prestige and centuries of history add so much class. As one of those boyish names that just “feels right,” Baines might find its way onto classic baby name lists over in the UK, but you won’t find it on US lists. The huge advantage with Baines is that it doesn’t sound too foreign. It’s unknown, though.
Wow. Just, wow. Darya might be a popular girl’s name over in Russia, but the US or Canada haven’t seemed to register that it exists. Darya means “kingly” or “the sea.” For any mom considering a name with ocean links, this is definitely one to stick on the list. Darya has a soft, girly sound, it isn’t overly complicated, and it definitely won’t cause any confusion with the teacher. To be honest, it’s more likely to make her say: “What a beautiful name!”
We fell in love with Boden right away. Something about this boy’s name just had us picturing a grinning little boy, and we all know that babies only grin when they’re happy. With origins from England and Germany, Boden also comes with an interesting meaning of “hill-shaped like a bow or floor.” It’s got a #2019 feel, the sound is solid, but don’t think this name will have been picked by other moms. Boden is also the name of a city in the north of Sweden.
Sometimes, those classic Greece-based names are just perfect. Ophelia is super-unusual with its “o” opening, and the “ph” in the middle basically makes you do a double-take twice in one word– how can there be so much beauty? Well, it’s called a name. Over in Europe, you will see little girls with this name. Over in the US? Way less likely. “Help” is the meaning of this name. If she’s going to inherit your good nature and kindness, Ophelia is totally one to consider.
Luka is the boy’s name that might sound similar to Luke, but let’s face it, it sounds way cooler. With gender-neutral names taking over, mommies-to-be are increasingly turning to feminine names for boys (and masculine ones for girls). The “a” ending definitely adds more femininity to Luke, but not so much that it questions the gender. Luka is a name that you’ll see in many parts of Eastern Europe, but don’t count on seeing it on the East Coast! At least, not yet.
This name only just got put on the US map. Blake Lively named her baby girl Inez, but there’s an alternate spelling. Ines is the girl’s name that manages to cover countries like Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, and Croatia with just four letters. Moms are all about the short names, right now. With a meaning of “pure,” Ines is a name that sounds strong but look a little deeper, and you’ll only see softness. In a way, it’s a perfect balance.
If you watched Leonardo DiCaprio’s early movies, you’ll remember The Beach. Etienne was the male character from France who had all the good-looking swag that ultimately made Leo’s character a bit jealous. This erudite name doesn’t sound too fancy, but it’s got the kinds of class that everyone envies about people from Europe. “Garland” or “crown” is the meaning of this name, which is actually a variant of Stephen. The giant difference? Nobody has heard of Etienne. It’s stunning and totally earns its slot on this list.
Oh, is this name a beautiful one. Frida is the fresh-sounding baby girl’s name that might be popular over in Germany, but nobody seems to have heard of it in the US. “Peaceful” is the meaning of this name. The “f” opener definitely makes it unusual, and everyone loves an “ida” ending. It’s a matter of saying this one out loud. If you hear the beautiful ring to it, you’ll 100% know what we’re on about. No-one in the US or Canada seems to know it, but you do now.