You might think baby names are all sunshine and rainbows, but some have surprisingly dark meanings. If you want an edgy name for your new arrival, this list has 17 female names that literally translate to ‘death.’ While not everyone’s cup of tea, these darkly beautiful names could be the perfect fit for your little Goth girl.
Morana was the Slavic goddess of winter and death. Her name literally means “death” or “plague” in Slavic languages.
According to legends, each year Morana would battle the life-giving goddess Vesna. When Morana won, winter continued. But once Vesna defeated her, Morana would retreat and spring would arrive.
Some myths say Morana was married to Veles, the god of the underworld. Together, they ruled over the realm of the dead. Morana was believed to live in the underworld during the warm months, only emerging in winter to spread death and decay across the land.
To honor Morana, Slavs held festivals each spring to celebrate her defeat. Effigies of Morana were burned or drowned to symbolize the end of winter and the victory of life over death.
Mordana is a Persian name meaning “the angel of death.” In Persian mythology, Mordana was the angel responsible for separating the soul from the body at the time of death.
According to legend, Mordana carried the soul to the afterlife once it was separated from the physical body. The name Mordana highlights the eternal nature of the soul and its journey to the next world after earthly life ends.
While the name has a rather grim meaning, its roots in spiritual beliefs around death and the afterlife give it a somewhat mystical and poetic quality.
Mara comes from Hebrew and Latin origins, meaning “bitter” or “sorrowful”. Well, that’s not the most cheerful meaning, is it? But with such a lyrical, melodic sound, it’s easy to see why Mara has become a popular name.
According to legend, Mara was the demon that tempted Buddha as he meditated under the bodhi tree. But don’t let that scare you off! Mara is also the name of a goddess in Slavic mythology, associated with winter, death, and nightmares.
If you’re looking for a unique, mystical name for your little one, Mara certainly fits the bill. Its haunting beauty and connection to spirituality and the cycles of life and death give it an air of wisdom and depth.
While the meaning may be gloomy, the name Mara itself has a timeless, whimsical quality. Your daughter is sure to grow into a clever, perceptive young woman with such an evocative name.
Calamity is a name that means misfortune or disaster. According to Nameberry, Calamity is an English name first used by the Puritans in the 17th century to show that even bad events were ultimately under God’s control. This unique name peaked in popularity in 1880 but remains very rare today.
If you’re looking for an unusual name with a rather fatalistic meaning, Calamity could be an intriguing choice. However, for obvious reasons, it may be better suited as a middle name!
The name Morwen comes from Welsh mythology. In Welsh legends, Morwen was a sorceress queen who appears in the story Culhwch and Olwen. The name Morwen literally means “maiden” or “virgin” in Welsh.
In many baby name books and websites, the name Morwen is said to mean “death” because of its connection to the Welsh word “marw” which means “to die”. So if you’re looking for a unique baby girl name with a rather morbid meaning, Morwen could be an interesting choice. The name has a mysterious, witchy vibe to it which some parents may find appealing.
In Greek mythology, Keres literally means ‘violent death’. Keres were female ghosts or spirits of destruction and death. The Keres were the daughters of Nyx, the goddess of night, and sisters of the Moirai, the Fates.
The Keres were malevolent spirits who personified violent death in battle. They were associated with the bloody spoils of war and would feast on the dead bodies of the losing side after a battle. The Keres were considered sinister goddesses who indiscriminately spread death in battles, plagues, and natural disasters.
To the ancient Greeks, the Keres represented the inescapable doom of death. They were a constant reminder that mortality comes for us all, whether we are brave warriors or defenseless citizens. The Keres knew neither mercy nor prejudice. They feasted equally on the flesh of young and old, brave and cowardly.
The Keres continue to serve as a sobering memento mori and emphasize how fleeting life can be. Their legend lives on as a reminder to make the most of each moment rather than taking life and loved ones for granted.
Badra is an Arabic name meaning “full moon” or “the first full moon of the lunar month.” In Arabic astrology, the full moon was an omen of good luck and prosperity. As such, Badra suggests a bright, optimistic and joyful personality.
The name Badra conjures up images of a luminous celestial body glowing in the night sky. It gives the sense of a person who radiates warmth, light and positivity to all those around them. Badra is a melodic, feminine name with a magical, mystical quality due to its celestial meaning. It has a rhythmic, lyrical flow and pleasant sound.
For your baby girl, the name Badra represents a source of comfort, guidance and inspiration. She will illuminate your life and the lives of all who know her with her vibrant spirit and radiant smile. Though uncommon in the West, Badra is a timeless and captivating name that celebrates feminine beauty and grace.
In Norse mythology, Hel is the goddess of death and ruler of Helheim, the underworld. Her name literally means “one who hides or covers up.”
As the daughter of Loki, the trickster god, and the giantess Angrboda, Hel was depicted as a half-dead woman. Her body was human, while her legs were skeletal. When she came of age, Odin, the king of the gods, feared her power. He banished her to the underworld, where she gained dominion over the dead.
Hel’s realm was not a place of punishment. It was a dark and misty abode where the dead simply continued their existence. Only those who died of disease or old age entered Hel’s domain. Warriors who died heroic deaths in battle were taken to Valhalla, a majestic hall in Asgard ruled over by the god Odin.
The modern English word “hell” is derived from the name Hel. However, the Norse underworld Hel ruled over was not a place of torment or suffering like the Christian concept of Hell. It was a dreary, joyless place of eternal rest.
Ankou is a name with Breton origin meaning “death”. In Breton mythology, Ankou is the personification of death. Legends say Ankou is a skeletal figure who roams the countryside with a creaking cart to collect the souls of the dead.
The name Ankou derives from the Breton word ankoun which means “the last” or “the end”. The legends of Ankou were used to frighten children into good behavior. Ankou is usually depicted as a tall, haggard figure with a wooden cart and scythe. His face is white like a corpse and he is said to wear a black suit with a broad hat to hide his bony face.
Some also believe Ankou is not one figure but multiple spirits who serve the “King of Death”. The spirits take dying souls to the underworld in their carts. The spirits are said to fight over particularly sinful souls, with each spirit claiming the soul for their own cart.
While a creepy name and legend, Ankou has a certain gothic charm to it. For those drawn to darker, more mysterious names, Ankou would be an striking choice with a captivating backstory. The name gives a nod to Celtic mythology and may appeal to those interested in pagan or Wiccan beliefs.
The word “Kali” literally means “the black one” in Sanskrit. In Hinduism, Kali is the goddess of death, time and doomsday. She is the female counterpart of Kala, the male god of time and death. Kali is often depicted in art as a fearsome figure with a garland of skulls around her neck, wielding a sword in one hand and a severed head in the other.
As the goddess of death and time, Kali’s role is to destroy the ego and free her devotee from the cycle of life and death. She symbolizes the death of the ego, which is essential to achieve enlightenment and liberation. Despite her fearsome appearance, Kali is a benevolent and loving mother goddess for her devotees. She is seen as a protector of humanity who destroys evil to protect the innocent.
The name Kali has been gaining popularity in recent years and has made its way into baby name books. If you name your daughter Kali, she will surely grow up with a strong and unique name meaning behind her. However, some may find the meaning too morbid or fearsome. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons to see if this edgy name is right for your little girl.
Lilith is a Hebrew name meaning “night”. In Jewish folklore, Lilith was Adam’s first wife before Eve. She was depicted as a dangerous demon in Mesopotamian mythology.
The name Lilith has mysterious and sinister connotations. If you give your baby this unique and edgy name, she’s sure to have an interesting story to tell when people ask about its origins. The name peaked in popularity in the 1870s but remains an uncommon choice today.
While the name Lilith has a dark history, its melodic sound and connection to female empowerment and mysticism have enduring appeal. Your daring little Lilith is sure to grow into a confident, independent woman. But be prepared – she may live up to the spirited reputation of her name!
An Arthurian name meaning “sea circle,” Morgaine was the half-sister of King Arthur and a powerful sorceress. According to legend, Morgaine was sent away as a child to be raised by the Lady of the Lake. She returned as a young woman with knowledge of magic and the Isle of Avalon.
Morgaine plays an important role in many Arthurian stories. She gives Arthur the sword Excalibur, helps defend Camelot but also works against Arthur at times. A complex and mysterious character, Morgaine represents the allure and danger of magic in the legends.
The name Morgaine has a mysterious, mystical quality which many find appealing. It conjures up images of medieval fantasy and magic. While not as well known as other Arthurian names like Guinevere or Elaine, Morgaine has a dramatic, evocative sound with a rich literary history behind it. For parents seeking an unconventional name with depth and meaning, Morgaine can be an intriguing choice.
The name Myrtle comes from the flowering evergreen shrub of the same name. In Greek mythology, Myrtle was a nymph who was turned into a shrub after being pursued by a god named Poseidon.
In many cultures, myrtle is a symbol of love, peace, and purity. However, its delicate white flowers and pleasant fragrance belie its morbid meaning. Myrtle translates to “death” or “bitter death” in Latin, Greek and Arabic.
While a beautiful name with historical significance, Myrtle’s ominous etymology may give some parents pause. But its association with eternal life through death could also be seen as poetic. If interested in this name, consider using it as a middle name or nickname.
Thana is a name of Indian origin meaning “death, dying, mortality”. In Hinduism, Thana is the name of the deity of death, similar to the Grim Reaper.
According to Indian mythology, Thana rides a black buffalo and carries a noose to capture the souls of the dying. He is one of the many attendants of Yama, the god of death. Thana appears when a person’s lifespan has come to an end. He seizes the dying person’s soul and takes them to Yama for judgment.
Thana is a unique yet ominous name for a baby girl. While the meaning and associations may be grim, the name has an exotic Indian flair. The name Thana also has a melodic, feminine quality to it. If you’re looking for an unusual name with a mystical backstory, Thana could be an intriguing choice.
In Egyptian mythology, Osiris was the god of the afterlife and ruler of the dead. His name means “seat of the soul” or “most high.” As a baby name for a girl, Osiris has a powerful meaning connected to rebirth and immortality.
The story of Osiris is one of death and resurrection, making his name symbolic of overcoming death and coming back to life. After Osiris was murdered by his brother Set, his wife Isis helped resurrect him so he could live on in the afterlife. This tale of Osiris’ rebirth and immortality through the power of his wife’s love could inspire the name’s meaning for your daughter.
Osiris, as a girl’s name, could imbue her with qualities of wisdom, spirituality, and endurance. The name evokes strength in facing life’s challenges and finding hope beyond death. While an unconventional choice, Osiris could make a unique and meaningful name for your baby girl that honors Egyptian mythology and the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
The name Ophelia means “help” in Greek, but it has come to be associated with death due to Shakespeare’s character in Hamlet.
In the play, Ophelia goes mad after being rejected by Hamlet and eventually drowns in a river. While tragic, Ophelia’s story brings up themes of innocence, fragility and the fleeting nature of life. Her character has become a symbol of youth, beauty and mortality.
As a name for your daughter, Ophelia has a melodic and poetic sound that will suit a creative and sensitive girl. The nickname “Fia” is sweet and feminine. The name’s connections to death are rather symbolic and abstract, not literal or morbid. Ophelia represents themes of life’s impermanence and the fragility of the human condition.
If you’re searching for baby girl names that mean death, Nemesis is an interesting choice. In Greek mythology, Nemesis was the goddess of vengeance and retribution. Her name means ‘divine retribution’ or ‘righteous anger.’ She would punish those who were arrogant and acted with hubris.
As a baby name, Nemesis has a strong and unique sound that stands out. While it literally means death, it also carries a sense of justice and balance. Nemesis as a name could represent your hope that your daughter grows up to have a strong moral compass and sense of fairness, standing up for what’s right. The name suggests a confident and fierce spirit with a strong will.