Traditional English Girls Names

The Top Five Traditional English Girls Names

There are literally thousands of traditional English girls names for parents to choose from each year. Not surprisingly, there are a few favourite old English girls names. For the last couple of years the same five names appeared in the list of top five traditional English girls names.

Traditional names mean different things to different people.
Traditional names mean different things to different people.

In 2012, the top five old English girls names were:

In 2011, the same list of traditional English girls names included:

  • Amelia
  • Olivia
  • Lily
  • Jessica
  • Emily

Amelia, which was the most popular of the traditional English girls names in both 2012 and 2011, is of Germanic origin, meaning “work, effort, strain.” There is also a Hebrew origin of the name, meaning “Work of the Lord.”

Olivia, the second most popular of the old English girls names in both years, is actually English, and the name comes from Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night.” Shakespeare either used Olivia as a female version of Oliver, or he may have intended the Latin meaning “olive,” which is a symbol of peace.

Jessica, which was the third most popular name in 2012 and fourth in 2011, also originated in a Shakespeare play, “Merchant of Venice.” It is believed that Jessica may have Hebrew biblical origins as well. During Shakespeare’s time, the Hebrew name “Iscah” translated to “Jesca.”

Emily, which in 2012 was ranked fourth in old English girls names, and fifth in 2011, is derived from the Latin name Aemilia. Aemilia is derived from the old Roman name Aemilius, which means “trying to equal or excel” or “rival, emulating.”

Finally, the name Lily, which was fifth in 2012 but third in 2011, is English for the beautiful and fragrant flower.

With so many beautiful traditional English girls names to choose from, it is surprising that the same five have been in the top five for two years straight. As for 2017, we will just have to wait and see.