Baby Names

50 Toy-Inspired Baby Girl Names Perfect for Your Little Doll

written by KATHY SISSON
barbie, power ranger, cabbage patch kid and american girl doll"
barbie, power ranger, cabbage patch kid and american girl doll
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider

When my husband and I chose Samantha as the name for our daughter, my mother-in-law’s first reaction was: “You totally had the Samantha American Girl doll, didn’t you!?”. First of all, no. I had Kirsten. Second, my husband was actually the one who suggested the name. However, my mother-in-law wasn’t totally off in thinking there was some baby name inspiration to be found in baby dolls and toys from our childhood.

For example, it’s hard to miss Barbie right now, thanks to the success of the Barbie movie, yet the actual name Barbara is a rare pick for baby girls these days. But cute names inspired by Barbie’s friends throughout the years—like Midge, Deirdre, or Francie—could be adorable picks for a baby girl today. Read on for more baby girl name ideas from American Girl, Barbie, and other toy dolls from way back when.

Baby Girl Names Inspired by American Girl Dolls

Seeing some of the original American Girls like Samantha, Kirsten, or Addy and even today’s “historical girls” from the 1990s—Isabel and Nikki—can make many ‘80s and ‘90s babies feel a little nostalgic.

Additionally, American Girl released a limited number of “Girl of the Year” dolls, each with their own unique backstory, starting with Lindsey Bergman a troublemaking trumpet player from Chicago in 2001 to Kavi Sharma, an Indian-American dancer from Metuchen, New Jersey in 2023. Here, we’re sharing 3o of our favorite baby girl names inspired by American Girl dolls throughout the years.


Origin: German  | Meaning: Noble

American Girl Backstory: With one of the more harrowing historical American Girl stories, Addy Walker was from 1864, born into slavery, she escaped with her mother during the Civil War. The Addy American Girl was released in 1993.


Origin: Scottish | Meaning: Plain, Field 

American Girl Backstory: Blaire Wilson was the Girl of the Year 2019, living at her family’s bed-and-breakfast. Blaire loves cooking, but later learns she’s lactose intolerant.


Origin: Latin, French | Meaning: Follower of Christ

American Girl Backstory: Chrissa Maxwell, the 2009 Girl of the Year is an animal-lover, living in a multi-generational household in Minnesota.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Lame 

American Girl Backstory: A historical doll released in 2022, Claudie Wells grew up during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance in New York.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Beautiful Maiden

American Girl Backstory: The American Girl of the Year in 2022, Corinne Tan is a bilingual Chinese-American who lives in Aspen, Colorado.


Origin: Latin  | Meaning: Happiness

American Girl Backstory: The historical American Girl doll Felicity Merriman was released in 1991, representing colonial America during the Revolutionary War.


Origin: Welsh | Meaning: Fair

American Girl Backstory: Released in 2009, American Girl Gwen Thompson was the first homeless American Girl doll, sparking important conversations about children and families dealing with homelessness.


Origin: Spanish, Italian | Meaning: Heroine of God

American Girl Backstory: The Girl of the Year in 2017, Gabriela McBride is a dancer and poet, who uses spoken word poetry to help her overcome a stutter.


Origin: French | Meaning: Pledged to God 

American Girl Backstory: The Girl of the Year in 2014, Isabelle Palmer is a ballet dancer living in Washington, D.C.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Youthful

American Girl Backstory: The Daisy Jones of the American Girl collection, Julie Albright is the historical American Girl doll from 1974, who has a dream of becoming president. The Julie doll was released in 2007.


Origin: Mexican | Meaning: The Lord Adds 

American Girl Backstory: Josefina Montoya was released in 1997, as part of the historical American Girl collection representing New Mexico ranch living in the early 1800s. She hopes to become a healer like her grandmother.


Origin: English | Meaning: The Merry One

American Girl Backstory: The Joss Kendrick doll was the Girl of the Year in 2020 who surfs and skateboards while dealing with hearing loss.


Origin: Irish; Hebrew | Meaning: Slim One; Princess 

American Girl Backstory: Another surfer girl, Kailey Hopkins was the Girl of the Year in 2003. She’s an ocean lover who cares about the environment.


Origin: Hawaiian | Meaning: Beautiful One

American Girl Backstory: Kanani Akina was the Girl of the Year in 2011. Kanani is multiracial and lives in Hawaii with her family and dog. She’s passionate about protecting Hawaiian wildlife.


Origin: Indian | Meaning: Wise Poet

American Girl Backstory: 2023’s Girl of the Year, Kavi Sharma represents Indian-American culture. She lives in New Jersey and becomes passionate about performing after seeing a Broadway show.


Origin: Native American | Meaning: Elder Sister

American Girl Backstory: Kaya, short for Kaya’aton’my, which translates to “She Who Arranges Rocks” was the first Native American historical American Girl doll, released in 2002. Part of the Nez Percé tribe, Kaya represents the first Americans. The name Kaya has many meanings in different languages, from “pure” in Greek to “home” in Swahili. 


Origin: Scandinavian | Meaning: Follower of Christ

American Girl Backstory: One of the original American Girl Dolls released in 1986, Kirsten represented the European pioneers making a new life on the American frontier.


Origin: English | Meaning: Bearing Christ, Pure

American Girl Backstory: The historical Kit Kittredge was released in 2000, representing the 1930s and the Great Depression Era.


Origin: English | Meaning: Path, Roadway 

American Girl Backstory: A nature lover and aspiring scientist, Lanie Holland was 2010’s Girl of the Year.


Origin: English; Hebrew | Meaning: Meadow; Weary 

American Girl Backstory: A photographer and nature lover, Lea Clark was 2016’s Girl of the Year. She also loves connecting with her Brazilian roots.


Origin: Italian | Meaning: Light 

American Girl Backstory: Luciana Vega is of Chilean descent, and was 2018’s Girl of the Year. She dreams of being the first person to explore Mars and even visits Space Camp.


Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Sea and Sun, Mary of Solitude

American Girl Backstory: Girl of the Year in 2004, Marisol Luna is a Latina dancer who has to contend with her family moving from her Latin-American neighborhood in Chicago out to the suburbs (which stoked some controversy at the time, as her book described the neighborhood as too dangerous).


Origin: Gaelic | Meaning: Son of Kenneth, Arise, Soar 

American Girl Backstory: Doll McKenna Brooks is from Seattle and was the Girl of the Year in 2012 with a passion for gymnastics.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Song 

American Girl Backstory: A historical doll released in 2016, Melody Ellison grew up in 1960s Detroit during the rise of Motown.


Origin: Spanish, Italian | Meaning: Mine 

American Girl Backstory: An ice skater living in update New York, Mia St. Clair debuted as the Girl of the Year in 2008.


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Star of the Sea 

American Girl Backstory: One of the original American Girl dolls, adorably spectacled Molly McIntire debuted in 1986 representing the World War II era.


Origin: Hawaiian | Meaning: Fascinating

American Girl Backstory: Another World War II-era historical doll, Nanea Mitchell was released in 2017. She experiences Pearl Harbor first-hand as well as martial law following the attack, which affects her friend of Japanese descent. Her story was inspired by the experience of author Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson, who witnessed the attack as a 6-year-old and advised the company as they were developing Nanea’s story.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Wise

American Girl Backstory: A horse-lover and artist living in New Mexico, Saige Copeland was 2013’s Girl of the Year.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: God has Heard

American Girl Backstory: One of the OG Historical American Girls, Samantha Parkington—an orphan raised by her wealthy “Grandmary”—was from 1904, with the doll released in 1986.


Origin: Sanskrit | Meaning: Gold, Goddess

American Girl Backstory: Released in 2009, Sonali Matthews has family ties to India and becomes friends with Girl of the Year Chrissa in the American Girl book series.

Baby Girl Names Inspired by Barbie Dolls

Though an “it” name in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, Barbara’s popularity started falling with the release of the iconic Barbie doll in 1959. However, over the years, Barbie’s had many younger sisters and friends join her party with plenty of cute names to consider for your own little icon. Here are 13 cute baby girl name ideas inspired by Barbie:


Origin: Sanskrit | Meaning: Hope

Barbie Tie: Part of the Barbie-adjacent Marvelous World of Shani line from the 1990s, Asha was one of Shani’s besties.


Origin: English | Meaning: Chalk landing

Barbie Tie: Barbie’s younger sister.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Follower of Christ

Barbie Tie: Barbie’s friend, and considered the first Black Barbie doll who debuted in 1968.


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Broken-hearted

Barbie Tie: Friend of Barbie’s sister Kelly and the younger sister of Barbie’s friends Nikki and Janet.


Origin: English | Meaning: Deep Valley Dwellers

Barbie Tie: Released as part of Barbie’s dance club friends.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: From France, Free One

Barbie Tie: One of Barbie’s first friends, Francie debuted in 1966, followed by a darker-complected Francie doll in 1967.


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Bright-headed

Barbie Tie: Barbie’s younger sister.


Origin: English | Meaning: Knowing

Barbie Tie: The feminine version of the name of Barbie’s one-and-only, Ken.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Lady

Barbie Tie: Long-standing friend of Barbie who debuted in the 1980s and was discontinued in the 2000s.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Pearl

Barbie Tie: Debuted as Barbie’s best friend, but was discontinued in the late 1960s. She came back pregnant in the 1990s and is featured in the Barbie movie!


Origin: Japanese | Meaning: Beautiful Child

Barbie Tie: Barbie’s friend in the late 1980s.


Origin: Swahili  | Meaning: Marvelous

Barbie Tie: A Barbie-adjacent line of dolls by Mattel, Shani and her friends came on the scene in the 1980s and were the brand’s first line of Black dolls without Eurocentric features.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Fruitful

Barbie Tie: Barbie’s younger sister.

More Nostalgic Toy-Inspired Baby Names

While (Chatty) Cathy or (My) Buddy might not make your list of baby name considerations, these nostalgic baby name picks from ‘80s and ‘90s toys are totally adorable.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Star of the Sea

Childhood Tie: Tiny Polly Pocket dolls had their whole world inside a small, pocket-sized toy. Kids today can still find Polly Pockets at their favorite toy store.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Princess

Childhood Tie: In the 1990s, the Sally Secrets doll came with hidden surprises like stamp pads in her shoes and stickers in her pockets.


Origin: English | Meaning: Rainbow

Childhood Tie: While Rainbow might exude some hippie 1970s baby name vibes, Rainbow Brite came on the scene in 1984, starting as a TV series and later merchandised into popular toys.


Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Holy Trinity

Childhood Tie: Also known as the Yellow Power Ranger, Trini morphed into a fierce Sabre Tooth Tiger-inspired warrior.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Greatest

Childhood Tie: Similar to Polly Pockets, Mighty Max toys were popular in the 1990s. And even though the toys might have been marketed to boys, the name “Max” is a cool nickname for the girl name Maxine, like the character in the 1980s-inspired TV show, Stranger Things.


Origin: Spanish | Meaning: Bright

Childhood Tie: Any kid who owned a Cabbage Patch Doll will probably remember their doll coming with an adoption paper (and bum tattoo) signed by company founder Xavier Roberts. Xaviera is the feminine version of Xavier, with Xavi as the most adorable nickname.


Origin: Aramaic | Meaning: Lady

Childhood Tie: Because we must give credit where it’s due, it was later revealed Xavier Roberts copied his Cabbage Patch doll design from American folk artist Martha Nelson Thomas. Martha is also a pretty vintage name with adorable nickname potentials like Mattie or Martie.

The Most Popular Baby Girl Names of the Year
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