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Girls' Names

Girls' Names

The origin and meaning of some of the most common Jewish names for girls.

by

NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list. Many Hebrew names have slight variations, and other less common names do not appear on this list at all.

See here for Jewish boys' names.

Adina
Adina means "gentle."

Ahuva
Ahuva means "beloved." The word appears in the Bible, in Deuteronomy 21:15 and Nechemia 13:26.

Aliza
Aliza means "joy." In kabbalah, Aliza signifies the joyful ability to rise above nature.

Anat
Anat means "to sing." Anat appears in the Bible in the book of Judges 3:31.

Ariella
Ariella means "lioness of God." The variant form "Ariel" is another name for Jerusalem, and specifically the altar in the Holy Temple (Ezekiel 43:15). (variations: Ariel, Arielle)

Atara
Atara means "crown." It is sometimes used for naming after a Kreindel, a Yiddish name of the same meaning.

Avigail
Avigail means "father's joy." Avigail appears in the Bible as King David's wife (1-Samuel 25:42). (variations: Abigail, Avigayil)

Avishag

Avishag means "father's joy." Avishag appears in the Bible as attending to King David in his old age (1-Kings 1:3).

Avital
Avital appears in the Bible as King David's wife (2-Samuel 3:4). Avital means "father of dew," referring to God as sustainer. In kabbalah, Tal signifies Divine nourishment in a hidden manner, just as dew descends unseen to water the plants.

Aviva
Aviva means "springtime."

Ayala
Ayala means "deer." The name is often associated with the biblical Naftali, who is compared to a swift deer (Genesis 49:21).

Ayelet
Ayelet means "musical instrument," as in Psalms 22:1.

Bat Sheva
Bat Sheva means "daughter of seven." Bat Sheva appears in the Bible as King David's wife (2-Samuel 11:27), and the mother of King Solomon (2-Samuel 12:24). (variant spellings: Batsheva, Batsheba)

Batya
Batya means "daughter of God." Batya was the daughter of Pharaoh, who rescued baby Moses from the Nile River (Exodus 2:5). (variations: Batia, Basya)

Bat-Tziyon
Bat-Tziyon means "daughter of Zion," or "daughter of excellence." (variant spellings: Bat-Tzion, Bat-zion)

Bayla
Bayla means "beautiful." It may also be related to the name Bilhah, who was the mother of Dan and Naftali, two of the 12 tribes of Israel. (Genesis 29:29 and 30:3) (variant spelling: Baila)

Bina
Bina means "understanding, intelligence, wisdom."

Bracha
Bracha means "blessing."

Bruriah
Bruriah means "clarity of God." Bruriah was a great Torah scholar during Talmudic times, the wife of Rabbi Meir.

Carmel 

Carmel means "vineyard, garden, orchard." (variations: Carmela, Carmelit, Carmiela, Carmit, Carmiya)

Chana
Chana means "grace." This name is associated with the ability to create beautiful prayers; Chana appears in the Bible as praying to God, and then giving birth to the prophet Samuel. (1-Samuel ch. 1) (variant spellings: Hana, Hannah)

Chava
Chava means "life." Chava appears in the Bible as the first woman. (Genesis 3:20) (variations: Eve, Hava)

Chagit
Chagit means "festive, celebration." Chagit appears in the Bible as King David's wife (2-Samuel 3:4). (variant spelling: Hagit)

Chaviva
Chaviva means "beloved."

Chaya
Chaya means "alive, living." Chaya is related to the name Chava, who appears in the Bible as the first woman. (Genesis 3:20)

Dafna
Dafna means "laurel."

Dalia
Dalia means "flower." A variant form of the name appears in the Bible, in Ezra 2:60.

Dalit
Dalit means "to draw water."

Daniella
Daniella means "God is my judge."

Efrat

Devorah
Devorah means "to speak kind words." Devorah appears in the Bible as the great prophetess and judge who led a revolt against the Canaanite king (see Book of Judges). A different Devorah was the nurse of Rebecca (Genesis 35:8). (variations: Devora, Debra, Deborah)

Dinah
Dinah means "judgment." Dinah appears in the Bible as the daughter of Jacob and Leah. (Genesis 30:21) (variant spellings: Dina, Deena)

Efrat means "honored, distinguished." Efrat appears in the Bible as the wife of Caleb (1-Chronicles 2:19). (variant spelling: Ephrat)

 

Eliana
Eliana means "My God has answered me."

Elisheva
Elisheva means "God is my oath." Elisheva appears in the Bible as the wife of Aaron the High Priest (Exodus 6:23). (variations: Elisheba, Elizabeth)

Emunah
Emunah means "faith." (variant spelling: Emuna)

Esther
Esther means "hidden" in Hebrew, and "star" in Persian. Esther saved the Jews in the Purim story from Haman's genocidal plot, as recorded in the biblical Book of Esther. Esther was known to be a very beautiful woman (she was chosen to be queen), yet her "hidden" internal qualities were even more beautiful. (variant spelling: Ester)

Faige
Faige means "bird" in Yiddish, and also is related to the Yiddish word for the fruit "fig." (variations: Faigy, Faigel, Faiga)

Freida
Freida means "joy" in Yiddish. (variations: Freda, Freeda, Freyde, Freydel)

Fruma
Fruma means "pious" in Yiddish.

Gavriella
Gavriella means "God is my strength." (variation: Gabriella)

Geula
Geula means "redemption."

Gila
Gila means "joy." In kabbalah, Gila means "to reveal God," which is a great source of joy.

Golda
Golda means "gold" in Yiddish. (variation: Goldie)

Hadassah
Hadassah is the Hebrew name of Esther, who saved the Jews in the Purim story from Haman's genocidal plot, as recorded in the biblical Book of Esther. Hadassah means "myrtle tree." (variations: Hadas, Hadasa, Dassa, Dassi)

Hadar
Hadar means "splendid, ornamented, beautiful."

Hinda
Hinda is Yiddish for "deer." The name is often associated with the biblical Naftali, who is compared to a swift deer (Genesis 49:21).

Hodaya
Hodaya means "praise God."

Idit
Idit means "choicest." (variation: Edith)

Ilana
Ilana means "tree." In kabbalah, the numeric value of Ilana (96) equals the "throne of God." (variations: Elana, Ilanit)

Irit
Irit means "daffodil."

Keila
Keila is a Yiddish name derived from the Hebrew word "Keli," which means "vessel." A talented person is often referred to as "Keli" – a complete vessel, capable of performing great things.

Keren
Keren means "ray [of sunlight]." (variation: Karen)

Kinneret
Kinneret is another name for the Sea of Galilee, or Lake Tiberias.

Leah
Leah means "to be tired." Leah appears in the Bible as the wife of Jacob, the mother of six of the 12 tribes of Israel. (Genesis 30:19)

Leeba
Leeba means "beloved" in Yiddish.

Levana
Levana means "white" or "moon."

Levona
Levona means "frankincense," a spice used in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem (Exodus 30:34).

Lila
Lila means "night." (variations: Leila, Leilah)

Liora
Liora means "I have light." (variation: Lior)

Machla
Machla means "affliction." Machla appears in the Bible as one of the five daughters of Tzelofchad. (Numbers 26:33)

Malka
Malka means "queen."

Maya
Maya means "water" in Aramaic (Talmud - Brachot 25b).

Mayan
Mayan means "spring, oasis."

Mazal
Mazal means "constellation" or "luck."

Meira
Meira means "one who gives light." A variant form, Mira, is a nickname for Miriam.

Meirav
Meirav means "to maximize." Meirav appears in the Bible as the daughter of King Saul (1-Samuel 14:49).

Menucha
Menucha means "tranquility" in Hebrew.

Michal
Michal means "Who is like God?" Michal appears in the Bible as King Saul's daughter (1-Samuel 14:49), and the first wife of King David (1-Samuel 18:27).

Milka
Milka appears in the Bible as one of the five daughters of Tzelofchad. (Numbers 26:33)

Miriam
Miriam appears in the Bible as a prophet and the sister of Moses and Aaron (Exodus 15:20). Miriam means "bitter sea," because she was born at a time when the Egyptians embittered the lives of the Jews. Miriam, however, remained sweet despite the hardships around her, giving Jews courage in those difficult times. (Midrash Yalkut Shimoni - Exodus 165) (variations: Mirel, Mirele, Mimi)

Moriah
Moriah means "God teaches." Mount Moriah is the site of the binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem (2-Chronicles 3:1).

Naama
Naama means "pleasant."

Naomi
Naomi means "pleasant." Naomi appears in the Bible as the mother-in-law and inspiration for Ruth, as recorded in the Book of Ruth. In kabbalah, the numeric value of Naomi (170) represents goodness ("tov") on all levels.

Netanya
Netanya means "gift of God." It is related to the name Natan, which appears in the Bible as a prophet and contemporary of King David (2-Samuel 5:15).

Nava
Nava means "beautiful." The word appears in the Bible, in Song of Songs 2:14.

Nechama
Nechama means "comfort."

Noa
Noa means "vigorous motion," as in Isaiah 7:2 and Psalms 107:27. Noa appears in the Bible as one of the daughters of Tzelofchad. (Numbers 26:33)

Nurit
Nurit is a flower, the buttercup.

Ora
Ora means "light." (variation: Orit)

Orli
Orli means "I have light." (variation: Orly)

Orna
Orna is related to the word meaning "pine tree."

Osnat
Osnat is an Egyptian name meaning "belonging to God." Osnat appears in the Bible as the wife of Joseph, and mother of Ephraim and Menashe (Genesis 41:45). (variations: Asnat, Asnas, Osnas)

Penina
Penina means "pearl." Penina appears in the Bible as Elkanah's wife (1-Samuel 1:2). In kabbalah, Penina is related to the word penimi, meaning "inner," alluding to inner depth and purity – just as a pure pearl is produced internally. (variations: Perle, Perel)

Rachel
Rachel means a "female sheep," a symbol of purity. Rachel appears in the Bible as one of the four matriarchs – the wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph (Genesis 29:16). Rachel was buried in Bethlehem so that her soul could pray for the Jews who in the future would be led into exile.

Raizel
Raizel is a Yiddish variant of "Rose." (variations: Rose, Raisal, Raisa, Risa)

Rina
Rina means "joy." The letters of Rina can be rearranged to spell "the candle of God." (variation: Rinat)

Rivka
Rivka means "to tie." Rivka appears in the Bible as one of the four matriarchs, the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob. Rivka was known for her great kindness, e.g. when she drew well-water for Abraham's servant and all his camels. (see Genesis ch. 24) (variations: Rifka, Rebecca)

Ruth
Ruth means "sweet and pleasant." Ruth appears in the Bible as a righteous convert, and ancestor of King David, as recorded in the Book of Ruth. (variations: Rut, Rus)

Sarah
Sarah means "princess." Sarah appears in the Bible as a great prophet, the first of the matriarchs – wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. (Genesis 17:15) (variations: Sari, Sarit, Sarita)

Sarai
Sarai means "my princess." Sarai appears in the Bible as the original name of Sarah – wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac (Genesis 11:29).

Serach
Serach means "free of restraint." Serach appears in the Bible as the granddaughter of Jacob (Genesis 46:17).

Sharon
Sharon is a region in Israel, known for being especially plentiful and nourishing (see Metzudot Tzion, Isaiah 33:9). (variations: Sharona, Sharonit)

Shayna
Shayna means "beautiful" in Yiddish. (variations: Sheina, Shaindel)

Shifra
Shifra means "improved." Shifra appears in the Bible as a Hebrew midwife who disobeyed Pharaoh's orders to kill Jewish babies. (Exodus 1:15)

Shira
Shira means "song" in Hebrew.

Shoshana
Shoshana is the Hebrew word for "rose." Shoshana appears in the Bible in Song of Songs 2:2, as "standing out like a rose amongst the thorns." In kabbalah, Shoshana has the same numeric value (661) as Esther, the hero of the Purim story who lived in the city of Shushan (related to "Shoshana"). (variation: Shani)

Shlomit
Shlomit means "peaceful." Shlomit appears in the Bible in Leviticus 24:11.

Shulamit
Shulamit means "peaceful." Shulamit appears in the Bible in Song of Songs 7:1.

Sigal, Sigalit, Sigalia
Sigal means "treasure" (see Deuteronomy 26:18). Sigalit also means "violet."

Simcha
Simcha means "joy."

Tal
Tal means "dew." In kabbalah, Tal signifies Divine nourishment in a hidden manner, just as dew descends unseen to water the plants.

Talia
Talia means "dew from God." In kabbalah, Tal signifies Divine nourishment in a hidden manner, like dew that descends unseen to water the plants.

Tamar
Tamar means "palm tree," denoting righteousness. Tamar appears in the Bible as the wife of Judah, and the ancestor of King David. (Genesis 38:6)

Techiya
Techiya means "revival."

Tehilla
Tehilla means "song of praise."

Tikva
Tikva means "hope."

Tirtzah
Tirtzah means "agreeable." Tirtzah appears in the Bible as one of the daughters of Tzelofchad. (Numbers 26:33)

Tova
Tova means "God's goodness." (variations: Tovat, Tovit, Tovah)

Tzipporah
Tzipporah means "bird." Tzipporah appears in the Bible as the wife of Moses (Exodus 2:21). In kabbalah, Tzipporah has the same numeric value (376) as Shalom, peace. (variation: Tzipora)

Tziona
Tziona means "excellent."

Tzivia
Tzivia means "assembly of God." Tzivia appears in the Bible as the mother of a Jewish king (2-Kings 12:2).

Tzofiya
Tzofiya means "guardian."

Tzviya
Tzviya means "deer, gazelle." The name is often associated with the biblical Naftali, who is compared to a swift deer (Genesis 49:21).

Uriella
Uriella means "light of God."

Vered
Vered means "rose" in Aramaic, the language of the Talmud. (variations: Varda, Vardit)

Yael
Yael means "to ascend" and "mountain goat." Yael appears in the Bible as the hero who saved the Jewish people by bravely killing the enemy general. (Judges ch. 4) (variations: Jael, Yaela)

Yaffa
Yaffa means "beautiful." In kabbalah, Yaffa has the same numeric value (95) as Malka, queen. (variation: Jaffa)

Yakova
Yakova is the feminine form of Yaakov (Jacob), meaning "held by the heel." Yaakov was the father of the 12 tribes of Israel (Genesis 25:26). (variation: Jacoba)

Yardena
Yardena means "to flow down," in reference to the Jordan (Yarden) River. (variation: Jordana)

Yehudit
Yehudit means "praise" (Genesis 26:34, 29:35), and is the female version of Yehudah. Yehudit appears as a hero of the Chanukah story who bravely killed the enemy general. (variation: Judith)

Yiskah
Yiskah means "to gaze." Yiskah appears in the Bible as the niece of Abraham (Genesis 11:29). Tradition says that Yiskah was another name for Sarah, so called because she "gazed" with prophetic inspiration, and because others "gazed" at her beauty.

Yocheved
Yocheved means "God's honor." Yocheved appears in the Bible as the mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. (Exodus 6:20)

Zahava
Zahava means "gold." (variation: Zahavit, Zehava)

Zissel
Zissel means "sweet" in Yiddish. (variations: Sissel, Cecilia)

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Visitor Comments: 57

(44) Anonymous, June 24, 2016 9:10 AM

Shiloh and Maya for baby girl name

Dear Shraga, Thank you for posting up this information. Great! what is the exact meaning of Shiloh? in some bloggs states: tranquil, secure - in others: His gift. I would love to give a beautiful name to a daughter I wish to have, not pregnant yet but have asked God by faith. I also like Maya or Maia. Is this version an indeed Hebrew name? I can see you have stated " Water" as a meaning for Maya. I look forward indeed hearing from you. Kindest regards and God bless Many thanks Fabiola

(43) margret-gayle, March 26, 2016 11:55 PM

Margret-Gayle means something like "stormy-pearl", "pearly-storm", "pearl-in-the-storm", or "storm-in-the-pearl". So, what Jewish name comes close to one or more of these aproximations?

Giyoret, April 10, 2016 6:52 PM

Margalit - which is like a pearl, or a precious stone - would suit well (same meaning and even sounds similar).
Penina also means "pearl".

(42) Anonymous, January 11, 2016 6:45 PM

Another way of spelling "Lila"

Lyla
Lyla means "night". Yes, it is a name that is used for actual people.

(41) l schwartz, November 30, 2015 7:25 PM

Smart article

Very clever idea for an article as people's names are so important to their (Jewish) identity.

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