Baby naming trends are always fluid. Names come and go from the top names that the Social Security Administration keeps records for each year. The SSA recently released their findings from 2019 and we were shocked to see so many names return to the list after years of inattention. These attractive names are getting a new shine and we couldn’t be more excited!
In 2019, 163 girl names returned to the charts. Some were relatively popular before they fell into disuse, while others are just occasional blips in the data. The longest gap for names for girls was Azena, which was last recorded in 1913. So, for over 100 years this name had essentially fallen off the charts and out of parents’ minds. We’re thrilled to share our newly returned favorites with you! Here are 25 names for girls that made a comeback and we think should keep climbing the popularity charts.
The cute double name Georgia-Mae made a return to the charts after not making an appearance since 1921. Georgia is an English name that means “farmer.” And, Mae is a form of Mary that means “bitter.” The name means “bitter farmer” but it certainly sounds sweet.
Revie is a cool shortened form of Reverie or Revel. Stick a pin in Reverie. Revel is a word name that simply means “joy.” Like Georgia Mae, these R-names haven’t been popular since the 1920s, but parents are beginning to rediscover their versatility and beauty.
Another hit from the 20s making a comeback is Louelle. Lou-names, in general, are having a moment now for both girls and boys. For boys, Louis and Lewie are a thing. Girls are enjoying the combination name Louelle which is equal parts, Louise and Elle. The name means “renowned female warrior.” We dig it.
Ida and Idabelle have fallen from the charts, but parents have not totally forgotten about these gems. Idabelle which is part Ida and part Isabelle is full of vintage charm. The name has been virtually unheard since the 1940s and we’d love for parents to continue to change that. Ida comes from German roots and means “labor.”
Parents briefly flirted with the flower name Jacinth in 2005 before moving on. That’s changed! The name is just outside of the top 1000 now. This gorgeous Greek and Spanish name is sometimes seen in the form of Jacinta. The name means “hyacinth.”
We told you the Lou names are having a big showing. If Louelle was too soft for you, consider its sister Louetta. Again, Lou means “renowned warrior” and the added Etta means “estate ruler.” Louetta sounds dainty, but it’s a moniker with very strong meaning. Louetta has always been more popular than Louelle in the US and it finally tanked in 1979. We’re happy to see it return.
Otillia is the female form of Otto and it has historically been seldom used by parents in the US. That’s changing. For the first time since 1926, the name’s being dusted off once more. Otillia is a German name that means “wealthy.”
Well, the latest naming data released by the SSA is from 2019. That means the name Cova might no longer be trending thanks to its similarity to COVID. What a shame! Cova is another retro combination name that was marked for a comeback. It combines the best parts of Cora and Nova. Combining the meanings of those two names gives you “new maiden.”
Parents are really having a ball combining names lately. Evanelle might have come from the double name Eva-Nelle or as a feminine form of Evan. Either way, Evanelle is not new. It was once popular way back in 1930. The combined meanings of Eve and Nelle give you “bright life.” Evan, however, is a Welsh form of John which means “the Lord is gracious.”
The Kai names are really slaying the game. Kai, Kaia, Kailana, Kairi, Kailey, Kaisley, and Kaiya all appeared on the top 1000 list for girls last year. That’s a lot of Kai. Kaiona was one of the first forms of this name to take off back in 2003, but it hit a figurative speedbump until now. This Hawaiin name means “gift from the sea” or “gift from God,” or simply “sea.”
One of the very best names for girls ever is finally on the rise once more! Domino is considered a gender-neutral choice, but absolutely adore it for baby girls. Domino has Latin origins and means “lord” or “master.” If it doesn’t land right as a first name for you, consider it as a middle.
Poem took a decade and a half off but this lyrical name sings once more. Poem, Poet, and Sonnet are becoming options for many parents who want to impart a little poetry in a name. Poem is our favorite of the three.
Before this name was given solely to baby girls, it was enjoyed as a popular choice for boys. Things have changed and the name had a short-lived burst of popularity in 2008, before blowing away until now. Clover is an English name that means “key.”
Like Clover, Leilani had some time in the sun over a decade ago, but now it’s on the rise again. Leilani had a big year in 2019 and it’s now a top 200 name in the US. It has Hawaiin origins and means “a heavenly flower.” This was definitely a glow-up.
If you’d like a Greek name that’s not been used notably since 2006, go with Aglaia. Aglaia was one of the Three Graces in Greek mythology. Her name means “splendor.”
Franca has captured parents’ attention once more after falling from favor in 2002. It’s a zippy form of Francesca and Frances that has Latin origins that give it the meaning “free.” Of all the Fran- names Franca is one of the very best.
Not since 1992, has this somewhat obscure Hebrew name been widely chosen. Pnina is sometimes spelled Penina and the second syllable gets all the stress here, so it’s pronounced pen-EE-nah in both cases. This pretty name has an equally rich meaning “pearl.”
We told you to stick a pin it. This names back from the roaring 20s and we could not be more excited about it. Rebecca Woolf of Girls Gone Child named one of her twin daughters Reverie which helped thrust this option into the spotlight. Like Revie and Revel, this name means “joy.”
Look who cracked the top 1000 again in 2019. She took five years of but she’s back taking the 999 spot. Ariadne is a Greek name that means “most holy.” In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of Minus who gave Theseus the thread by which he escaped from the labyrinth. If you’re looking for a storied alternative to Ariana, give this one a try.
As with Ariadne, Naya had a moment in 2014, before losing steam to sister-name Nia. The name can be found Swahili, Irish, and Welsh traditions and it can mean “resolve” or “brilliance.” After the tragic death of Naya Rivera, we expect fans of the beloved actor to honor her memory by choosing this name.
Elara is inching her way towards landing a spot in the top 1000, but she’s got just a couple hundred more spots to go. The popularity of this name can be attributed to parents looking for alternatives to Laura, Lara, or Ella. Elara is completely charming and has Greek origins. Well, maybe not completely it comes from a Greek word that means “tree which furnished shafts for spears.” Okay?
Audra has long paled in comparison to Audrey. The name reached the height of its popularity in the 1960s and it’s taken decades for the name to start trending once more. Audra has vintage charm to spare and we’d love to see parents continue to choose the name for their daughters. This English name means “noble strength.”
Brenna is a feminine form of the Irish surname Brennan and has a not-so-cheery meaning: “descendant of the sad one.” That’s not stopping parents from picking this stylish name. Brenna enjoyed the most favor in 1995 when it peaked. It’s climbing again and we expect to see it as a solid alternative to Brianna and Briana.
The year after Saint Bernadette was canonized, her name reached number 252, and not long after the successful film The Song of Bernadette was released, it hit number 188 in 1946. It’s been a very long time but it’s trending once more. It increased in popularity last year by 20%. Bernadette has both French and German origins. It means “brave as a bear.”
Sybil was at the height of its prevalence in the 1920s and 30s. However, the name completely fell out of the top 1000 in 1966. Sybil has origins in Greek and means “prophetess.” Lady Sybil, the sad youngest daughter of the Crawley family on Downton Abbey might be to blame for the resurgence of this classic.
There you go! 25 forgotten baby names for girls that are poised for huge comeback success. We love these wonderful names and hope they’ve inspired you to think outside the top 1000 to monikers that have been neglected over the last decade.
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 25. Georgia-Mae
- 2 24. Revie
- 3 23. Louelle
- 4 22. Idabelle
- 5 21. Jacinth
- 6 20. Louetta
- 7 19. Otillia
- 8 18. Cova
- 9 17. Evanelle
- 10 16. Kaiona
- 11 15. Domino
- 12 14. Poem
- 13 13. Clover
- 14 12. Leilani
- 15 11. Aglaia
- 16 10. Franca
- 17 9. Pnina
- 18 8. Reverie
- 19 7. Ariadne
- 20 6. Naya
- 21 5. Elara
- 22 4. Audra
- 23 3. Brenna
- 24 2. Bernadette
- 25 1. Sybil
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