What’s old is new again! Names rise and fall in popularity. They trend. They get a bad wrap. All sorts of factors play into what makes a name go out of style. We think it’s a shame for most baby names to fall out of favor and we decided to take a look at some vintage baby names that are ready to make a comeback. These names carry with them charm and stories of adventures past. While many names have staying power like Margaret, John, Charlotte, and Robert, others fade out of parents’ imaginations. Many people tend to think that traditional names seem old-fashioned, but there are tons of older names with plenty of character that deserve some love. Don’t be afraid to pick an older name for your child for fear that the name will sound aged. It’s what will make the name stand out! Here are 30 forgotten baby names that are past due for a comeback.
The name Marjorie is closely associated with herb marjoram. However, the name comes from the Latin name, Margarita and means “pearl.”
The name Cecil comes from the Old Welsh personal name Seisyllt. The name means “blind” but that didn’t stop American film director Cecil B. DeMille from making 70 feature films. We love this name and think Cecil should be given to baby boys these days.
During the late Victorian Era, gemstone names like Ruby and Opal were all the rage. The name Opal comes from the Sanskrit word upala and means “jewel.” The stone is the birthstone for those born in the month of October, so if you’re expecting a baby girl in the Fall, please consider giving her the beautiful name Opal.
In ancient Greece, Sybils were considered prophetic fortunetellers and prophets. The name means “prophetess.” We’d love to hear the girl’s name Sybil more often.
This name always makes us think of the supernatural TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But the name predates the character Rupert Giles, of course. The name Giles comes from the French saint, Saint Giles. He was known as “Giles the Hermit.” The name means “goat-kid” and if you wanted to pick a name with a bunch of weird facts attached to it, this would be the one.
The name Etta is often used as a shortened form of Henrietta. Etta can stand all on its, however. The name means “keeper of the hearth.” Etta James was an American singer that was born in 1938. Her gorgeous voice was hard to miss on the radio in the 1950s and 60s.
British novelist who penned Brave New World Aldous Huxley is a notable individual with the name. It comes from German and means “old” or “old house.” The name has been popular in England since the Middle Ages. We hope Aldous becomes popular in the US. It’s a handsome name.
You will rarely hear the name Avis in the US. While the name has enjoyed popularity across Europe, it hasn’t had transatlantic appeal in years. The name Avis comes from Latin and means “bird.” This name is generally given to girls and we think it’d be really cute.
If the common name, Evan is too vanilla for you but you like the way it sounds, consider Eben. Eben is a boy’s name that comes from the more buttoned-up Ebenezer. Eben comes from Hebrew and means “stone.”
Edie Falco’s character in The Sopranos spelled her name with just one “L,” but we still think she was the best-written character on the whole show. Carmella is a beautiful name for a girl that comes from Hebrew and means “vineyard.” The name references Mount Carmel.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 30 Victorian-Era Baby Names That Are Downright Dickensian
Noble Johnson was a trailblazing African-American film actor who appeared in a ton of films in the early 20th Century including King Kong, The Mummy, and The Most Dangerous Game. As you might have guessed, the name means “aristocratic” and connotes nobility.
The name Ida has been having a moment in Nordic countries over the last decade with it being one of the most popular names for girls. The name occurs in many different languages and has varied meanings in each. In German, the name means “work.” Journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells was a famous figure with the name.
In 1888, American writer Ring Lardner was given the name Ringgold but preferred to go by Ring instead. The name was an English occupational surname generally given to ring makers.
The Greek name Theda means “supreme gift.” Silent movie star, Theda Bara, also known as “the Vamp,” famously used the name. While she went by Theda, her given name was Theodosia. We are fond of the name Theda.
The name Montgomery has roots in Normandy, France. It refers to a person from the region. The name had a moment as a popular given name in the US in the late 19th Century. 120 years later, the name has since fallen from fashion. We love this name but whatever you do, do not use the nickname Gomer. Please and thank you.
It’s unclear who the first Birdie was or where the name actually came from. It has both German and English origins and means “little bird” or “bright.” In 1963, the screen adaption of the musical comedy Bye Bye Birdie debuted to acclaim. Although that Birdie was the last name of Conrad Birdie, we think the name is perfect for a girl.
Lloyd or its Welsh spelling Llwyd are popular names for boys in the UK. The name was popular in the US until the 1950s when it started to decline. The name means “grey” and is a stately sounding name fit for any boy.
Forms of the name Inez are prevalent in many languages. In Spanish and Portuguese it’s commonly spelled with an accent and appears Inés. The English form of the name comes from Greek, Agnes. It means “holy.”
The name Jabez is Hebrew and is a character from the Bible. The name means “he makes sorrowful.” But, don’t let the sad meaning of this name turn you away from its jazzy flair. The name became scarce by the 1900s and we think that should change.
The name Alma appears in a variety of languages and means “nurturing soul.” It reached peak popularity in 1901 and is way past due for a comeback.
The names Rupert and Robert have the same origin and both mean “fame-bright.” While Robert is a much more popular name in the US, we actually like Rupert a bit better. The name is extremely popular in the UK and we’d be wise to replicate it in the US.
Maeve is a popular name in Ireland and comes from Gaelic. The name means “she who intoxicates.” The name has finally begun to take off and it’s popularity significantly grew for the first time in 2018.
The handsome Italian name Vito came from the Latin Vitus. The name means “life” or “life-giver.” Unfortunately, the name fell out of popularity after both real and fictional mobsters had the name. Vito Genovese was a famous prohibition-era member of the mob. Famous character, Vito Carleone from The Godfather was played by Marlon Brando. Let’s give this name a fresh start.
Agatha Christie is probably one of the best-known crime writers in the world. Agatha is a beautiful name that’s Greek and means “good” and variations of the name exist in almost every language.
Where’s Waldo? In your loving arms! Waldo is a German name that’s short for Oswald. The name means “powerful.” We wish this fun-sounding name would be shown some love. Waldo Miller Salt is one famous Waldo who wrote the screenplays for films Midnight Cowboy and Coming Home.
Lelia is a Greek baby name that means “well-spoken.” You don’t hear this pretty name for girls as often you would 60 or 70 years ago when it was most popular. Lelia Foley was the first black woman ever elected as mayor. She became mayor of Taft, Oklahoma in 1973.
In Roman mythology, Sol was a sun god. However, it’s more commonly known today as a nickname for Solomon. Sol LeWitt was an influential conceptual artist who helped shape modernism. He’s considered a founder of both conceptual art and minimalism.
Flower-inspired and -sounding names were the hot thing in the Victorian Era. Violet, Rose, Daisy, Poppy, and Lilly were some of the most common names given to girls at the time. The name comes from Latin and means “horse” and “soft.” Pronunciation of the name changed by the Middle Ages so that it would sound more like “beautiful rose,” rosa-linda. Rosalind is not uncommon, but we’d like to see the name even more.
The name Ferdinand comes from Old German and means “brave traveler.” In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the prince of Naples is named Ferdinand. This name is often shortened to the nickname Fred, but we prefer Ferdie.
The name Lorna was created by the English novelist R.D. Blackmore. He came up with the name for one of the heroines in the novel. Lorna Doone. Lorna is based on the Scottish word Lorne and is also the name of a place there. The name means “forest.” Since Lorna Doone was published, the name skyrocketed in popularity across the UK. Let’s bring the Lorna-love to the states.
Coming up with a unique baby name can be a challenge if you’re looking for something serious. These old or traditional baby names have stood the test of time and are ripe for bringing back in a big way. We love these 30 baby names and think that any would sound great for your little one.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 30. Marjorie
- 2 29. Cecil
- 3 28. Opal
- 4 27. Sibyl
- 5 26. Giles
- 6 25. Etta
- 7 24. Aldous
- 8 23. Avis
- 9 22. Eben
- 10 21. Carmella
- 11 20. Noble
- 12 19. Ida
- 13 18. Ring
- 14 17. Theda
- 15 16. Montgomery
- 16 15. Birdie
- 17 14. Lloyd
- 18 13. Inez
- 19 12. Jabez
- 20 11. Alma
- 21 10. Rupert
- 22 9. Maeve
- 23 8. Vito
- 24 7. Agatha
- 25 6. Waldo
- 26 5. Lelia
- 27 4. Sol
- 28 3. Rosalind
- 29 2. Ferdinand
- 30 1. Lorna
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.
Baby Name Generator
No baby name sounding good? Want a quick way to generate unique baby name ideas? Try our baby name generator below!
Set your terms (sex of the baby, number of letters, popularity, etc.) and then get a list of names that meet your criteria. Maybe the perfect name is just waiting to be generated for you.