19 Names For Girls Who Will Kick A** When They Grow Up

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 
Scary Mommy and Thomas Barwick/Getty

In the immortal words of Beyoncé: Who run the world? Girls! The future is female, and there’s no shortage of admirable young women who are paving the way for major changes in so many areas. Greta Thunberg. Emma Gonzalez. Malala Yousafzai. Marley Dias. Sophie Cruz. Autumn Peltier. Yara Shahidi. Mari Copeny. If you haven’t heard these names, you will — and you should. Because they’re the faces of the girls who are gonna run this world.

If you’re expecting a future go-getter, she’s going to grow into a strong woman. And strong women need strong names. So if her name itself means strength, well, she’s already got a leg up. Not that she’ll need one. Which makes sense seeing how popular strong girl names are. According to the latest search data available, this query gets over 12,000 hits a month.

Here are 18 girl names with strong meanings, because your daughter has some glass ceilings to break.

RELATED: 15 Girl Names Inspired By Badass Women In STEM

1. Adira

There’s a 2014 film called Adira about a Jewish girl’s fight to survive during the Holocaust, and it’s the name of a fierce, sword-wielding warrior in the animated Disney series “Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure,” so clearly the value of its meaning (“strong and mighty”) hasn’t escaped pop culture.

2. Gesine

This is a German name meaning “spear of strength” — so watch out, because your little Gesine won’t just be strong, she’ll be sharp, too.

3. Millie

Don’t let its cuteness fool you. Millie can be derived from several names: Amelia, Mildred, or Millicent, for example. And since those mean “work,” “gentle strength,” and “labor,” respectively, it’s a good name for a tough-as-nails girl that nobody should ever underestimate.

4. Ida

In 1900, this name — meaning “industrious,” or hard-working — was as high as #30 out of the top 1,000 names on the Social Security baby name popularity charts. And given the recent trend toward vintage names, this classic charmer could be cutting-edge again. Bonus: it’s only three letters, so it’ll be less tiresome when signing autographs someday.

RELATED: 10 Vintage Girls’ Names Making A Comeback — And 10 That Could Be Next

5. Valencia

It’s a romantic-sounding name, but the frills end with the sound — because it means “strong and vigorous,” which are two qualities every future feminist should possess.

6. Trudie

Like Gesine above, Trudie also means “spear of strength.” They both come from the same root, the Dutch name Gertrude; they’re just both diminutives. At one time, an alternate spelling (Trudy) was in the top 300 most popular girls’ names for nearly a decade. And if Trudie seems a little quaint-sounding, considering this: the amazing nickname True.


7. Imara

A Swahili name meaning “firm and resolute,” Imara will be the kind of person who won’t allow herself to be intimidated. She won’t back down — and better yet, she’ll step up.

8. Kelly

The best part about this cute and bubbly-sounding name? Its totally anti cute-and-bubbly meaning: fighter. If that’s not a perfect name for a strong woman, we don’t know what is.

9. Breanna

Whether you spell it Breanna, Briana, Brianna, Breana, Bryanna, Breannah, or whatever creative concoction you can come up with, the meaning of this name — derived from Brian — is “strong.”

10. Alcie

There’s so much to love about this name — most of all, its meanings. It can stem from either the Greek name Alkaios, meaning “strength,” or the Greek name Alcippe, meaning “as strong as a horse.” But it also has a charming vintage feel to it as well, thanks to its similarity to names like Alma and Elsie.

11. Bridget

This one also means “strength,” derived from the Gaelic name Brighid. People will also likely call her “Bridge” for short, and bridges are nothing if not sturdy.

12. Matilda

Derived from the Germanic name Mahthildis, and the perfect vehicle for nicknames like Tillie and Mattie, this name not only means strength … it means “strength in battle.” Your little Matilda: kicking ass and taking names.

13. Moxie

This name is also a word that literally means “force of character, determination, or nerve.” It’s grit. It’s guts. It’s heart. Strong women have to have moxie, so why not just cut to the chase and name her that?

14. Casey

Where Matilda is strong in a battle, Casey is brave — because this name means “brave in battle.” She’ll never be pushed around or intimidated by an aggressive mansplainer.

RELATED: Gender-Neutral Baby Names You Can Choose Before The Big Reveal

15. Ailith

There’s something about this name, the medieval form of the Anglo-Saxon name Æðelgyð, that sounds dreamy and fairy-like. If fairies were savage beasts, that is, because Ailith means “warrior.”

16. Marcella

Speaking of warriors, this name shares that meaning. It also happens to be the name of the gifted, take-no-shit detective in the acclaimed British TV series of the same name, “Marcella.”

17. Nina

It looks so similar to the Spanish word for “little girl” — niña — that some sources say that’s what it means. But “nina” is also the word for “fire” in the language of the Quechua people, indigenous to the Andes Mountains in South America. And every strong woman needs a fire burning within, so we’re gonna go with that one.

18. Audra

A variation of the pixie-cut classic Audrey, this name means “noble strength.” But, as if that weren’t strong enough, it is also the word for “storm” in Lithuanian. Moral of the story? Don’t mess with an Audra.

Your baby girl will grow up to do great things no matter what her name means. But if you want to give fate a little extra nudge, these names are perfect for conveying just how strong she really is — a force to be reckoned with.

19. Tiger

Hear us out, who says Tiger can only be a name for a boy? Yes, we have Tiger Woods, but it can still be unisex. And what better way to exude strength and fierceness than one of the fiercest and most respected animals in the wild. Roar, girl, roar!

Find the perfect name (and the perfect meaning!) from a database of thousands, plus fun and inspirational lists and articles on baby-naming dilemmas, in Scary Mommy’s baby name section!

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