Bonny baby girl names straight from Scotland

Dec 7, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. ET
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Scotland may be a small country, but it has a large, diverse selection of baby girl names. It wasn’t always this way — in medieval times, Scottish parents didn’t have a great deal of freedom when it came to baby name choices. They had only a small selection of words considered acceptable to be used as names. This resulted in a lot of name "sharing" among families, and with so few names to choose from, middle names were unheard of. However, over time, naming practices became less rigid, and the selection increased as other cultures influenced the Scottish people.

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This is what gives Scotland its diverse pool of baby names. Some are traditional (ancient Celtic or Gaelic), while others are influenced by other European countries that have played a part in Scottish history. This was a result of numerous invasions — as well as frequent attacks from the English, Scotland had to defend itself from countries as diverse as Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Denmark), Italy (the Romans) and France.

Despite the wide range of baby girl names, parents in Scotland are more likely to pick a name that's not traditionally Scottish. However, some traditional Scottish girl names never go out of style, such as Isla and Eilidh, both of which featured in the top 25 baby girl name chart in Scotland in 2015 (No. 4 and No. 21, respectively).

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One Scottish baby girl naming trend was to add the suffix "ina" to the end of a boy name to make it a feminine version, such as Alexina, Davina, Edina and Jamesina.

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