20 Divine Names for Girls: Heaven, Nevaeh and Baby Names from the Beyond

Nov 3rd 2014

 baby name roundups by theme
Expecting a little angel soon and want her name to match? You're not alone—many parents look for heavenly qualities in a name. Whether you want to express spiritual beliefs, pass on a wish for her lifelong bliss, or share what your daughter means to you, these idyllic choices are full of otherworldly charm.

Of course, we couldn't create this list without addressing one name in particular. It's been a few years since Nevaeh, which spells "heaven" backwards, took this country by storm, and we thought it was time for a check-in.

Even though Nevaeh is still in the top 50 names for girls (sitting between Alexis and Sarah), it's slowing down in popularity since it hit a peak in 2010. The Baby Name Wizard has discussed how polarizing Nevaeh can be, but whether you love it or hate it, there are plenty of equally inspiring celestial names. The great news is that these encompass a variety of styles, so you are bound to find one or two that lift you to another realm.

Angelina, Angela, Angel, Angelica, and Angelique: These names, listed in order of popularity, all signify what an angel your daughter is. The most popular option, Angelina, has a little star-power in actress Jolie and Jersey Shore's Pivamick. They all come from Latin, meaning "messenger of God".

Celeste: This French form of the Latin for celestial is perfectly heavenly, though it's tapered off a bit in use recently and sits in the middle of the top 1,000 girls' names. It may not have any traditional short forms, but Ella is a round-about possibility.

Celine: Brought to us by a certain French-Canadian singer, Celine hit a peak right after the movie Titanic came out. Parents are starting to catch on to this name's elegant sound and blissful message once again, as it means "heavenly."

Cielo: This romantic name is synonymous with "sky" and "heaven" in Spanish and Italian, and it was given to 100 American girls last year. This celestial name is truly without borders, given that its lyrical lilt will be understood in nearly every romance language spoken, and it's showing potential in America, too. In Italy, this name is pronounced CHEH-loh, while the Spanish form sounds like SYEH-loh.

Eden: A picture of paradise gives Eden a heavenly feel, which comes from a word that means "delight". Eden has ancient sensibilities coupled with a perfectly modern sound. It feels like a biblical, feminine answer to the popular boys' name Aiden.

Evangeline: Once old-fashioned and nearly unheard of, Evangeline is now contemporary and fresh. It has a natural nickname in Eva, and we also love that it has the word angel in the middle, making opportunities for variations like Angie, Angeline, and Vangie. It means "good tidings" and sits in the 300s. The name was coined in an epic poem of the same name by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and recently revived with the help of actress Evangeline Lilly.

Eternity: Something close to a virtue name, Eternity is an otherworldly, pretty word along the lines of Serenity and Felicity. It's much more unusual than both of those names, which is one reason why some prefer it.

Ever: This simple storybook word hints at forever and is sweet and blissful. It is still rare, while Everly (which has different origins) quickly rose to 383 last year. Chosen by actress/model Milla Jovovich for a daugher, and Alanis Morissette for her son.

Gabrielle, Gabriella: The feminine form of Gabriel, a prominent angel named in the Bible, Gabrielle and Gabriella are pitch-perfect choices featuring the much-loved bree sound. Their ancient roots give them both a sound that is equal parts traditional and contemporary.

Gloria: After WWI, Gloria soared. Its beautiful sound, coupled with angelic associations, kept it in the top 100s for nearly four decades. While it manages to be elegant and cute at the same time, Gloria isn't quite ready for its former (ahem) glory because it reminds us of our parent's generation instead of our grandparents.

Halo: Fit for a cherub, Halo is saccharine and saintly...unless, of course, it reminds you of the online gaming phenomenon of the same name. With such divergent associations, it's hard to know where a name like Halo sits. We place it in the heavenly realm for now, though some gaming fanatics may find the name appeals from every angle.

Haven: A lovely name that conjures safety and warmth, Haven is a step away from Heaven with a hint of Raven. Famously used by Jessica Alba and Cash Warren for their second daughter, sister to Honor.

Heaven: For the past decade, Heaven has been near the 300s out of the top 1,000 girls names. It has a soft sound and a can't-miss-it meaning, making it the most straightforward heavenly name on this list.

Lani: Hawaiian for "heavenly", Lani is more often than not combined with other words to create naming sensations like Leilani, which means "heavenly lei". But on its own, Lani is still an elegant celestial name with lots of potential.

Luz: A Spanish name meaning "light" with references to Our Lady of Light, this name makes us think of beams of sunshine and parting clouds. Pronounced "loos", it shares roots with other light-related names like Lucy, Lucia, and Lucille.

Miracle: Every year there are hundreds of baby girls born with this name, and its obvious why. A lovely word that means "divine work", this name makes it clear that the girl bearing it is extraordinary. The short form Mira is beginning to catch on, though it's not as popular yet.

Nevaeh: This name has a remarkable story and a not-so-secret meaning. Its on-trend sound fits in with names like Evelyn and Elena. So much can be said about this name that it has its own section for more reading at the end of this post!

Raphaela, Rafaela, and Raffaela: In several religious works, an angel named Raphael brings healing, making it a standout name on an international level. Feminine forms are particularly popular in European countries.

Seraphina: Derived from a Hebrew word that describes an order of six-winged angels in the Bible, Seraphina goes a step beyond angelic. This beautiful name has echoes of Sophia and Serena, and can be shortened to Sera. It was chosen by Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner for their second daughter.

Trinity: Most parents discovered Trinity after watching The Matrix back in 1999. And since then, it has proved to have true staying power and is currently near the 100 mark. It's a spiritually-significant, divine name clad in patent leather and sunglasses. We love how it walks a line between spunky and holy.

Read the story of the baby name Nevaeh

In Search of Nevaeh: A Tale of a Networked Name

Hayaven Backwards: On the Meaning of Meanings

The Most Hated Baby Names in America


November 3, 2014 10:36 AM

The "Angel" names come from a Greek root, not Latin, meaning 'messenger,' not 'messinger of God.' 

November 4, 2014 2:21 PM

I think you missed a good one - Celia! It's very on-trend with old-fashioned charm and nickname options Cici and Lia, and the meaning of 'heaven' makes it a good option for name-enthusiast parents unhappy with the meaning of Cecilia (blind). Not to mention, its long history as a name gives it a stylistic grounding missing in modern word-names like Halo. 

November 4, 2014 2:58 PM

I'd like to add Araceli too- "altar of heaven".

November 5, 2014 11:51 PM

Please for the love of God, never call a little girl Vangie. That's just begging for trouble on the playground.

November 10, 2014 4:48 PM

At this point Gloria would actually be as likely - if not more likely - to be a grandmother of our readers (the peak was in the 1920s-40s, so for the younger parents on here that would be well within grandmother range - for those of Mrs. Wattenberg's generation your statement of it being a "mom name" would be true though).

November 17, 2014 1:20 AM

DD is Evangeline. :-)

Seraphina, Gabriella, and Celeste are on our wish list (with many other names).