Three Syllable Names

Madison, Sophia and Emily All Made the List

Woman kissing baby girl
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Many parents choose three-syllable names for their babies, for a variety of reasons. For parents with shorter last names, a longer first name can be a nice match.  For baby girls, three-syllable names are plentiful on the list of popular names, and many are feminine and melodic-sounding.

We put together a list of the top three-syllable names for baby girls, which includes some that are sure to be familiar, as well as a few surprises.


The reigning queen of the three-syllable name, Sophia has been a top three girls' name for more than a decade. Meaning "wisdom" in Greek, it is a fine choice for a new baby girl, although one that won't be unique given the name's popularity.


Although she's declined somewhat from her perch atop the list of popular girls' names, as her two-syllable sister Emma has risen, Emily is still well-loved for baby girls. She has some literary cred, with famous authors like Emily Dickinson and Emily Bronte, and is likely to remain popular for some time to come.


Despite her established spot on the name charts for girls for more than 25 years, Madison's roots are anything but girly. The name is derived from the Germanic medieval name, Matilda, which means "strength in battle." Don't mess with Madison. 


Well this name came out of nowhere: Avery has a spot in the top 20 suddenly, even though she barely ranked on name charts at all 20 years ago.

The "ruler of the elves" is a fine, mischievous name for a baby girl, no wonder it's grown in popularity. 


This quaint, old-fashioned name is part of the comeback crowd. A solid top 20 name in the 1920s and 1930s, Evelyn had dropped way down by the 1980s. She's slowly climbed back up into the top 20 and seems to be on an upward trajectory.

Evelyn has a lovely meaning: "wished-for child," which seems fitting for proud parents of a new daughter.


This name with Latin roots (and a Russian cousin, Natalia) has never totally fallen out of favor, but is enjoying a renaissance among Millennial parents.  Since the origin of the name comes from the term dies natalis, "day of the birth," Natalie is often a name given to baby girls born on Christmas. 


This name may owe its popularity to the TV show Grey's Anatomy, which featured a character named Addison, or it may have evolved as a variation on Madison, which was beginning to be ubiquitous among baby girls. Even though it means "son of Adam," Addison is now established as a well-liked girls' name.


This very old-fashioned but pretty name also is seeing a bit of a rebound. Lillian peaked in the 1920s and 1930s, then virtually disappeared from baby name charts. But she bounced back about 10 years ago and has been climbing her way back to the top. She's a cousin to Lily, and draws her meaning from the same delicate flower.



This was a hot name from about the late 1980s through the turn of the century. She's cooled off a bit in the past few years, but might be a good pick for parents seeking a little retro name for their baby daughter. The feminine version of "Samuel," Samantha means "told by God." 


She's the modern take on the classic name Alice, and has been a steady presence among the most popular girls' names for about 40 years, even though she's never broken into the top tier. Allison means "noble" in her native Scottish, a fine sentiment to bestow on a wee bairn.

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