Your newborn might look like a wrinkly, grumpy lady, and you can give her a name to match! We kid. However, we’re certain there are some names that have fallen from fashion that deserve some love from new parents. These classic baby names once enjoyed broad appeal and many will be familiar to you. Names like Winifred, Mona, and Muriel might look a bit dusty to you. Let’s knock the dust off and make them shine once more!
Old-fashioned doesn’t necessarily mean dated sensibilities. The act of choosing a name that’s not commonly used anymore brings it back to life and can actually seem extremely modern because it is now seen as unique. Here are 25 old-fashioned names for girls we’d love to see make a comeback.
Soul singer Gladys Knight of “Gladys Knight and the Pips” fame sure has a splendid name. The name Gladys has Welsh origins and means “ruler.”
Broadway star, Bernadette Peters has a delightfully French vintage name that means “strong bear.” The name Bernadette exploded with popularity after the canonization of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes in 1933.
Gospel singer Mavis Staples has a very attractive old-fashioned name. The name Mavis is Scottish and means “songbird” which makes Mavis Staples’s name even more perfect.
Esme is a popular name among authors such as J.D Salinger who wrote a short story “For Esme – With Love and Squalor” and Victor Hugo who used the name, Esmerelda for the hero of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Esme has French origins and means “loved.”
Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann named their daughter Maude after her birth in 1997. We absolutely adore this blunt-sounding name. Maude has German origins and means “mighty in battle.”
One of the most influential film critics of all time, Pauline Kael held some controversial and strong opinions that inspired critics to follow like Roger Ebert and Owen Gleiberman. Pauline is a beautiful name with Latin origins that means “small” or “humble.”
Nora is a fascinating name that Henrik Ibsen named his main character in A Doll’s House. Writer, Nora Ephron is a real-life example who has had a huge impact on American culture. Nora is an Irish name that means “light.”
John Lennon was inspired by Mia Farrow’s sister, Prudence Farrow when he wrote the classic tune, “Dear Prudence.” Prudence is a Latin name that means “sensible.” The nickname Prue is 100% reason enough to choose this name for your daughter.
A moon goddess name with Welsh roots, Gwendolyn is a classic name for girls that offers a touch of whimsy. In Arthurian legend, Gwendolyn was wife to Merlin. There are several influential women with name including poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, and pioneering journalist, Gweondlyn Ifill. The name means “white ring.”
The origin of the name Agnes is debatable with some positing it’s from the Greek word for “chaste” and others suggesting it comes from the Latin word for “lamb.” Chaste lambs are fine! The late, French New Wave filmmaker, Agnès Varda directed some of the most brilliant, under-the-radar films of the last 60 years.
Another French woman who left a lasting impression was Edith Piaf, who gained international fame and acclaim. The name Edith is actually English and means “prosperous in war.” We love the nickname Edie and think it’s also perfect as a given name.
Fashion designer, Vera Wang is keeping this name for girls stylish. Vera has roots in Latin and means “true one.” This name might just be the “true one” for your daughter.
Another virtue name like Prudence, Constance has Latin origins and means “steadfast.” Actor Constance Wu dazzled audiences in Crazy Rich Asians. The name was very popular during the Great Depression and we think it’s overdue for a comeback.
Florence Nightingale established the modern school of nursing in 1860. The name Florence is another name with Latin origins and it means “flourishing.” For art lovers, Florence, Italy would be another great reason to name your baby girl this gorgeous name.
Liza is a shortened form of Elizabeth, a name with Hebrew origins that means “God is my oath.” The singular entertainer, Liza Minelli famously sang a song all about the correct way to spell the name in a concert entitled Liza with a Z.
An iris is a flowering plant. It’s also the colored tissue at the front of the eye that contains the pupil in the center. The name Iris comes from Greek and means “rainbow.” Apparently Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann have an affinity for old-fashioned names because, in addition to Maude, they also has a daughter named Iris.
Hazel is an English name that refers to the hazel tree and hazelnuts. Julia Roberts has a daughter named Hazel, so do Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. Hazel has been climbing the charts again and we’re here for it!
While you might associate the name Olive with Olive Oyl from Popeye, Olive is a very old name with origins in Latin. The means “olive tree” in case that was not clear! If you love the name Olivia but want something with a bit more vintage charm, Olive would be a great choice.
Game of Thrones actor Maise Williams is helping to make this old-fashioned name cool again. Maise is the Scottish form of Margaret and it means “pearl.”
Similar to Maise, Sadie deserves some love after falling from favor in the 1980s. This Hebrew name means “princess.” Jackie and Adam Sandler named their daughter Sadie after she was born in 2006.
Ruby comes from Latin and means “red.” It is also the name of a precious stone. The Rolling Stones had a hit with their song “Ruby Tuesday” which was released in 1966. Ruby was most popular in the US from 1900-1936. It’s time for Ruby to hit the top 50 again!
If Ruby is not your speed, you can always go with another colorful name like Violet. Emily Blunt must have a thing for colors because, in addition to Hazel, she also has a Violet. The name has Latin origins and means… “purple.”
Elsi is a short form of Elspeth, which is the Scottish version of Elizabeth. Elsie Fisher is a young actor who won numerous awards for her work in the film, Eighth Grade. If you are looking for an alternative to Elsa, Ella, or Ellie, Elsie would be a perfect one.
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Beyoncé and Jay-Z made news when they named their daughter Blue Ivy. Ivy is a classic name with English origins that refers to the ivy plant. Ancient Greeks presented an ivy wreath to newlyweds as a symbol of fidelity. Ivy has long been a symbol of faithfulness and harmony. Thankfully, because of Queen Bey, the name Ivy is becoming popular once more.
What’s old is new again! These old-fashioned baby names are ready to be reintroduced. Beautiful, bold, and with plenty of gravitas, a classic name for your daughter will never go out of style.
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Baby Name Generator
No baby name sounding good? Want a quick way to generate unique baby name ideas? Try our baby name generator below!
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