Names are important.
In fact, often times that the first thing that someone learns about you.
While many of them sound pretty or even a little crazy, more often than not, they mean something.
From “defender” to “purpose,” here are 28 popular black girl names and their meaning.
When it comes to names, Imani is a great one!
A Swahili name meaning faith, it’s very common among black women with over 214 million babies having been named Imani.
Since Swahili is spoken in east Africa, this name could be said to hail from African countries like Kenya and Mozambique.
The name could also be said to be a variation of the classic name, Iman, like the Somalian model.
Also, who could forget about the Imani doll?
And if you want to delve deeper into the name, girls with the name Imani are said to have the personality of a leader.
Ebony – A Popular African American Name
“Ebony and Ivory go together in perfect harmony.”
This is another popular name for black females.
This name peaked in the 1980s and there have been over 485 million babies who were given this name.
The name comes from the word “ebony” which is a hard, black wood.
Many parents might reserve the name as a symbol of their ethnicity.
Shanice is another common name for black girls.
While it is hard to find a direct derivation from this name, it seems to come from the name Janice.
Shanice is said to mean “God is merciful.”
Others seem to believe that the name is just a combination of “shan” and “ice,” but regardless, it’s a beautiful name!
Also peaking in the 1980s, there are over 154 babies in the United States who were given the name Shanice.
“Dust yourself off and try again!”
Aliyah (or Aaliyah) is another pretty name given to black girls.
It is a Hebrew word that means “to ascend.”
While the name is Hebrew, it seems that it is exclusively used in the United States.
There are over 580 million girls with the name Aliyah with the name peaking the most in 2011.
Females with the name Aliyah are said to be intuitive and idealistic.
Precious, A Famous Black Woman Name
When you hear the name “Precious,” you might think of the fictional girl from the novel turned film starring Gabby Sidibe and Mo’Nique.
Way before that, Precious was just another common name with over 157 million babies given that name.
The name even peaked in the 1990s and as can be seen in the dictionary, it means something “valuable.”
The word has gone through numerous changes originating from the Latin “pretiosus” which eventually became “precios” in Old French.
As far as personality goes, females with the name Precious are said to be in tune with their spirituality.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of this name, I instantly think of Nia Long.
The name didn’t exist in the United States until around the 1990s, but the name peaked in 2006.
While I can only think of one Nia, there are over 199 million people named Nia.
The name is of Welsh origin and comes from Niamh.
While the origin is Welsh, it also has significance in Swahili where it means “purpose.”
If you can believe it, Deja is actually more popular than Nia.
In the United States the name peaked in popularity in the 1990s.
While this name is almost exclusive American, it comes from French origins.
Just think of Beyonce’s song “Déjà vu!”
The name Deja means “already” from the phrase meaning “already seen.”
Diamond is a unisex name that we often see given to girls.
As can be expected because of the stone, it has the meaning “brilliant gem.”
Coming from the Latin word “diamas,” it means invincible which is why diamonds are known as such a strong stone.
Diamond is another very popular name within the states with over 378 million girls being given this name.
And that doesn’t account for the boys!
The name peaked in the 1990s and has been steadily declining since; however, it is still extremely popular.
Asia Is Another Name For Black Women
You can probably expect where this name comes from.
Another cute name for black girls is Asia.
Clearly coming from the name of the continent, it is originally derived from the Akkadian word asu which means “east.”
If you have a friend named Asia, she’ll find over 316 million other girls that share her name.
Peaking in the 1990s, Asia isn’t as popular as it used to be but still ranks high on the list of popular names for black girls.
No, you’re not the only one thinking of Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Jada comes from a variation of the gemstone jade.
What you might not know is that Jada is a unisex name.
Dating back to centuries ago, it was actually the name for Hebrew males.
One of the most common names on this list, the name peaked in 2005.
Makes you wonder if the actress had anything to do with it.
Add this one to your list of baby girl names.
Watch the throne!
Tiara is another popular name given to black girls.
Tiara literally means what it is.
Of Latin origin, it means crown.
With millions of girls given this name, it peaked in the 1990s.
This is another of those popular baby girl names.
You might think Kiara is a form of Tiara, but it’s not.
It’s actually a variation of the name Ciara.
This name peaked in 2005.
While most of us don’t give this movie a lot of love, especially after the amazing original, the name was also made popular after The Lion King II.
Another cute name for black girls is of Persian origin.
Jasmine, just like another Disney princess of color, comes from Arabic and is the word for the jasmine plant.
Definitely one of the most popular names on this list, you’ll find the name and the plant everywhere.
And we have to give it up for celebrities with the name like Jasmine Guy and Jazmine Sullivan.
Alexis is one name that is popular amongst all women, including black females.
With Greek origins, the name originally comes from Alexander.
Alexis is simply a female variation of the name.
Women with this name are thought to be strong and helpful, falling in line with the meaning of the name which is “to defend, to help.”
This is by far one of the most popular names on the list.
Raven is another popular name for black women, and we can all probably think of at least one famous woman – Raven-Symone.
The name comes from Old English and is obviously the word used to describe a particular type of bird.
The word is also used to refer to someone with dark hair and even someone who is wise.
What you might not realize is that Raven can also be seen as a unisex name although you’ll find more women with the name.
Girls given that name greatly peaked in the early 1990s before starting to decline but within the last decade, the name has started to increase in popularity again.
Alexandra Is An African American Girls Name
Alexandra is another popular name for black women, and similar to Alexis, it is derived from the male name Alexander.
While very similar, Alexandra is even more popular than Alexis, but also has the meaning of “a defender.”
The name peaked around the early 1990s and is Greek in origin.
Towards the mid-20th century, Alyssa was a name that was practically nonexistent.
Sometime during the late 1980s, the name began to become even more popular.
From around 1986-1999, the name continued to go before decreasing slightly.
Alyssa is a name of Greek origin and it means logical.
Aniyah is another popular name among black girls.
To be honest, you have to wonder if it’s even in use by any other races.
It certainly could be!
The name has Polish and Hebrew origins.
It means “God was gracious.”
Aniyah is although thought to be a variation of the name Anna.
As far as population goes, there has been a steady increase in the name over the last 20 years.
Brianna, One Of The Cute Baby Girl Names
There are tons of girl names that just come about as the variation of a boy name.
This name is a variant of the name “Brian” which is said to have English, Gaelic, and Irish origins.
While there isn’t a 100% clear meaning of this name, it is though to be derived from an Old Celtic word that means “high” or “noble.”
Destiny is another beautiful name often given to black girls.
The word is of Latin origin and literally comes from the word destinare which means “to determine, to destine.”
While it has existed for a while, the name wasn’t really used by English speakers until after the 1950s.
After a few decades of growing in popularity, it peaked towards the beginning of the 2000s.
Gabrielle Is A Famous One
Gabrielle is just another one of those names on this list that originally came from a male name.
While Gabrielle is mostly seen as a female name, it can also be a male name in countries like France.
A variant of Gabriel, the name has numerous origins whether it is believed to come from the Dutch, English, French, German, or more.
Despite its many origins, the name means “God is my strength.”
Gabrielle is one of the most popular names on this list.
And you could probably name a few celebrities with this name like Gabrielle Union or Gabby Sidibe.
If you know someone who is “pure,” their name should be Kayla.
While normally seen as a female name in the states, it is actually unisex.
Most names seem to come from Latin, Greek, or Old English origins, but Kayla is actually Hawaiian and is a variant of the name Kaila.
With Latin origins, Tiana is a name that means “follower of Christ.”
The name appeared in the U.S. during the latter half of the 20th century and began to increase steadily until it peaked around 1995.
The name began to decrease in popularity around then but it saw a sharp spike in 2010.
We’re sure it had to do with the first black Disney princess appearing in the movie Princess and the Frog.
Because of the movie, we have a bunch of little Disney princesses running around.
While you’ll notice that many of the names on this list are faith and spirituality based, Trinity is another to add.
Derived from Latin, it has the meaning of “three.”
Trinity might be considered a female name, but during the 1980s, there were times when more boys were named Trinity than girls.
The name peaked around 2005 but has since started a steady decline.
Nonetheless, this is still one of the most popular names for black girls.
Taylor, A Black Name Shared With Other Races
Many of the names on this list seem like they’re only for girls, but quite a few turned out to be unisex.
None on this list are as unisex as Taylor.
Taylor is a popular name among black girls and white girls, but it is a popular boy and girl name among people in general.
The name is actually of French origin and comes from the word taillour which was the title of someone who worked as a tailor.
This is by far the most popular name on the list with a steady increase in the name at the beginning of the 1990s.
Some names come from somewhere and others are created.
Nevaeh is one of those names that were initially thought to be “ghetto” until people realized where the word came from.
Nevaeh is simply “heaven” spelled backwards.
The name didn’t really become a thing until the 2000s where it peaked between then and 2013.
Even so, the name has since seen a slight decline.
As mentioned before, many names come from Latin, Greek, or Old English origins.
Laila is a new one to add to the list.
This name is of Scandinavian origin and means “night.”
Although this is a popular name among black girls, it was inspired by numerous things.
It can be inspired by the words “Laila Tov” which means good night.
This is often used during Hanukkah.
The name is also shared with the famous Laila Ali, the female boxer and daughter of Muhammad Ali.
One of the earliest seen names on this list, it became popular towards the end of the 1880s and peaked around the early 2000s.
Madison Is A Unisex Name Often Used By Black Females
To tell you the truth, when I think of the name Madison, I don’t think of black girls.
Even so, Madison is another popular name for black girls.
The name is actually unisex although it has become more popular for girls than boys.
With Old English origins, it is believed to have come from the meaning of Maud’s son.
The name became well-known after James Madison became president.
Now the name is everywhere like Madison Square Garden.
The name peaked around the early 2000s.
The Taboo Of Black Girl Names
There’s definitely a sort of “taboo” that is given to black girls and their names.
Most ignorant people are out here thinking we’re all named Sheneneh, or that we have the blackest names they can think of.
While you might be hard pressed to find someone with the actual name Sheneneh, there are many names that are thought of being ghetto because they just sound black.
For men, most people hear names like Tyrone, Marquis, Terrell, Malik, and more, and instantly think they’re black.
What about for females?
Most of the names on this list you would assume belonged to black women just upon hearing their names.
While many of these names seem normal to us, many of the majority consider them “ghetto.”
Some may call them stereotypical black names, let’s call a spade a spade.
Once you start creating unique black women names, you run the risk of them looking a little off.
The only issue is that these names seem to be “ghetto” only when associated with black people.
Is anyone calling that child named “Pilot Inspektor” ghetto?
I don’t think so.
Popular Black Girl Names Conclusion
There are thousands and thousands of names in the world.
Even so, you’re going to find millions and millions of people with the same name.
You’ll have your Taylor and Alexis.
You’ll even have the more “classically black” sounding names like Diamond and Ebony.
And you’ll have your popular African and African American names as well.
And while many just choose a name because they like the way it sounds, there is a ton of meaning behind each and every single one.
So, what’s in a name?
Comment and let us know what your name is and if it’s on this list!