12 European Baby Names About to Be Huge in the U.S

Woman in a hat holding a newborn baby

Mimi Thorisson

When you're pregnant for the first time, you may feel an overwhelming combination of pure bliss fused with simultaneous anxiety, fear, and excitement—an overwhelming mix of emotions words cannot describe. Aside from preparing yourself (and your home) for this magical new arrival, you also have to choose a name. For some parents, this is an easy decision: They've either had it picked out their whole life, or they want to honor a family member.

For many others, it's a nine-month search through books, websites, family members, friends, countries, and even popular culture to find the one that will define their bundle of joy for the rest of their lives. It's a big decision. Inspired by our friends at PureWow, we looked abroad for some interesting European baby names we think will soon be big in the U.S. Since we've already uncovered some of our favorite French baby names (including under-the-radar ones), here are a few more picks from Italy, Poland, Spain, and more.


mother and child walking
Daniel Kim Photography / Stocksy

Name: Lilou

Meaning: If you already love the names Lily and Louise, you'll adore Lilou, a cute combination of the two. We also love that this French baby name can't be shortened into anything else. So classic and pretty, just like the French.

Name: Baptiste

Meaning: A unique name that comes from the word for "baptism," Baptiste is thought to be in reference to St. John the Baptist. Chic and a bit unusual, it's a perfect French-inspired name.

high chair
Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair $349


kids chasing after dogs
Mimi Thorisson

Name: Chiara

Meaning: We're big fans of popular Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, but aside from her great fashion sense, she also has a powerful name. Chiara means "light" in Italian. This is a perfect representation of the shining light your baby will be in your lives and for many others throughout her own.

Name: Giotto

Meaning: This gorgeous name has a creative legacy in Italian history. The name was borne by Giotto di Bondone, an Italian painter, and architect from Florence in the 1300s who was "the most sovereign master of painting in his time." The name continues its artistic legacy today on the streets of Milan with Giotto Calendoli. He and his girlfriend, Patricia Manfield, are carving a name for themselves as global street style stars.

Giraffe teether
Vulli Sophie la Girafe Teether $25


Young mother and child walking in park with dog
Viktorcvetkovic / Getty Images

Name: Èlena

Meaning: According to SheKnows, Èlena translates to "shining light" or "the bright one," which is exactly what your child will be in your life. Take a page from the Greeks and give your newborn this European baby name.

Name: Alexandros

Meaning: With its powerful meaning ("defender or helper of mankind"), this Greek baby name will be a strong and bold choice. People with this name "are excited by change, adventure, and excitement."

Little Feminist Board Book Set
Mudpuppy Little Feminist Board Book Set $13


Mother and baby
Mimi Thorisson

Name: Esmeralda

Meaning: The English translation of this beautiful name is "emerald" in both Spanish and Portuguese. We have a hunch this name will blow up in the U.S. since Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling named their little girl Esmeralda. Turns out the doting parents are big fans of The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, in which Esmeralda is the Gypsy girl loved by Quasimodo.

Name: Luis

Meaning: According to Baby Names, Luis means "famous warrior," making it a solid European baby name for your newborn. The spelling is a variation of Louis, and it was the name of famous Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel, who is known as "the father of cinematic surrealism" and "one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium."

Knit rattle
Estella Estella Lion Knit Rattle $20


Father and sons dressed up and standing in a crowded street
Claudio Lavenia / Getty Images

Name: Mareike

Meaning: The name translates to "bitter," according to Name Berry, but the sound of it is anything but. Virtually unknown in English-speaking lands, this sweet German baby name is a variation of Mary or Mariah. Its pronunciation is varied, but we think the U.S. version will be read "mah-reek," which sounds super sweet, just like your little angel will be.

Name: Ferdinand

Meaning: The name translates to "courageous" and "adventurer" which is quite a wonderful set of adjectives to bestow upon your newborn. What bold adventures will your little Ferdinand experience in his life?

cashmere blanket
Parachute Cashmere Baby Blanket $149


mother rasing baby in the air and giving it kisses
Sarah Sherman Samuel

Name: Michalina

Meaning: The Polish variation of Michaela is pronounced "Me-HA-LEE-na" and translates to "no one compares to the Lord."

Name: Marek

Meaning: In Polish, Marek means "warlike," so this is a strong choice for any child. People with this name tend to be "creative and excellent at expressing themselves. They are drawn to the arts and often enjoy life immensely."

healing balm lotion
The Honest Company Organic Healing Balm $13

Related Stories