Expecting a baby? Can’t find a resource with the types of names that you’d consider? We’ve compiled the best Jewish/Hebrew baby name guide. This one is for girls (and the boys list will be coming up soon!).
Note that this list includes the actual names that your baby would be called at the Torah. It does not include English names. We’ve also included the common nicknames for each name, when relevant, in parentheses. Each name is listed alphabetically according to its most common spelling.
A Guide to the Symbols After Some Names:
*Biblical names are those that come from a specific woman in Tanach. We’ve noted those with the star symbol. Most of these names are commonly used by both Ashkenazim and Sepharadim.
+All Yiddish names are denoted with a plus sign symbol.
^ Names in the Sephardic mesorah are denoted with the arrow. Note that many of these names are also commonly used among Ashkenazim (some are more common among Ashkenazim than Sepharadim). Aside from the Biblical names, these are names found in the back of many Sephardic siddurim.
Some interesting name facts:
*The Gemara in Brachos says that one should not name after a rasha.
*The Dvrei Chaim says that the name of child can only be chosen by two people: either the parents or the rebbe. Grandparents or other relatives have no say.
*It says in Sefer Chasidim that when parents fight over a name of a child it can harm the child.
*The Emrei Pinchas says that a ה in a girls name is a segula for having children as it says in Parshas Mikeitz ה לך זרע.
*We found this article from Aish.com on naming a child very interesting.
*Why are there so many Yiddish names with funny meanings? We learned that this is because in Europe, the streets were not clean, and people did not want to call their children by names which included Hashem’s name. So, they called them by Yiddish equivalents. Tzipporah was called Faige, for example. That’s why a lot of Yiddish names also have Hebrew counterparts.
Don’t see a name that you know or love? Add it in comments below.
Aidel+ / Adele^ (Nicknames: Aidy, Idy)
Ahuva^ (Nickname: Huvi/Huva)
Aliza^ (Nickname: Lizi)
Ariella / Arielle
Avigail* (Nickname: Abby, Gali)
Aviva^ (Nickname: Viva, Vivi)
Ayala (Nickname: Yali, Ayali)
Basya/Batya* (Nickname: Bassie)
Batsheva* (Nicknames: Shevy, Sheva)
Chana* (Nicknames: Chany/Chani/Chanie)
Charna+ (Nickname: Charny)
Chava* (Nicknames: Chavie/ Chavy/Chavi/Eve/Eva/Ava)
Chaya^ (Nickname: Chayala)
Devorah/Devora* (Nicknames: Devoiry/Debbie)
Duba+ (Nickname: Dubby)
Elana (see Ilana)
Elisheva* (Nicknames: Shevy, Sheva)
Elka+ (Nickname: Elky)
Esther* (Nicknames: Esty/Estee/Esti/Teri/Terry)
Frieda/Fraidel+ (Nickname: Fraidy/Freidy)
Gita/Gittel+ (Nickname: Gitty)
Hadassah* (Nicknames: Dassy/Dassie)
Henya/Henna+ (Nickname: Henny)
Ilana (Spelling Variations: Elana, Alana)
Ita (Spelling Variations: Itta)
Kaila+ (Nickname: Kaily)
Krassel+ (Nickname: Krassie)
Leah* (Nickname: Laykie, Layala, Lele)
Liba/Leeba+ (Nickname: Libby)
Malka^ (Nickname: Malky)
Malia (Nickname: Molly)
Mattel+ (Nickname: Matty)
Mindel+ (Nickname: Mindy)
Mirel+ (Nickname: Miri)
Miriam* (Nicknames: Miri, Mimi)
Mushka (Nickname: Mushky)
Musya (Nickname: Mussy)
Naomi* (Nickname: Nomi)
Perl/Pearl+ (Nickname: Perri)
Pessel+ (Nickname: Pessy)
Penina* (Nickname: Nina)
Rivka* (Nickname: Rivky, Riki/Rikki)
Raizel/Roiza+ (Nickname: Raizy, Roizy, Rosie, Rose)
Rachel* (Nickname: Ruchy, Rochie, Rachelli)
Ruth/Rus* (Nickname: Ruthie, Ruti, Russy)
Sarah/Sara* (Nickname: Suri, Sary, Sari, Sarit)
Shaindel+ (Nickname: Shaindy)
Shifra* (Nickname: Shiffy)
Shira^ (Nickname: Shiri)
Shoshana^ (Nickname: Shani, Shana, Shoshi)
Shulamis/Shulamit^ (Nickname: Shuly)
Tamar* (Nickname: Tammy)
Toiba+ (Nickname: Toby)
Tzipporah* (Nickname: Tzippy, Pori)
Tzirel+ (Nickname: Tziri)
Yachet+ (Nickname: Yachy)
Yehudis/Yehudit* (Nickname: Hudis, Hudit, Yidis)
Yentel/ Yenta+ (Nickname: Yenny, Yenty)
Yitta+ (Nickname: Yitty)
Zelda+ (Nickname: Zeldy)
Zissel+ (Nickname: Zissy)
Zlota+ (Nickname: Zlati/ Zlaty)