What’s old is new again! Names rise and fall in popularity. They trend. They get a bad rap. All sorts of factors play into what makes a name go out of style. We think it’s a shame that most old fashioned baby names fall out of favor. So, we decided to take a look at some vintage baby names that are ready to make a comeback. These names carry with them plenty of 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.
These Old Fashioned Baby Names Are a Blast From the Past!
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.
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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 its 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.
Silas is a handsome charmer that comes from English by way of Latin. The appellation means “forest.”
One of the lovely old fashioned baby names inspired by botanicals, Fern is a winning option. The name has not been popular since the 1960s. Parents, this needs to change!
Last popular in 1914, Lawton deserves some love. It’s one of the old fashioned baby names you scarcely hear today. The name could be considered a place name due to the name of a town in Oklahoma. However, it is also an English habitational surname that means “from the settlement on the hill.”
Harriet is an English name from French and German that means “estate ruler.” The name is just outside of the top 1000 most popular baby names today. It’s one of the old fashioned baby names that truly deserves a return to popularity.
Warner has not been a popular given name since the 1960s. That makes it one of the old fashioned baby names that will feel slightly retro today. Warner is an English name from German and it means “army.”
Petra is a Greek name that’s a feminine form of Peter. Thus, the name means “stone.” Petra is one of the old fashioned baby names that has not been popular for decades. Let’s bring her back!
Another one of the old fashioned baby names that hasn’t been popular since the 1960s, Hardy is ripe for a return. This appellation comes from German and means “bold” and “brave.”
Delta is a deep-fried southern charmer that has not been widely used in the US for almost 100 years. Delta comes from the Greek alphabet and it’s the fourth letter in it. Delta is one of the old fashioned baby names that we can’t believe doesn’t get more play.
Parents have not been choosing the name Boyd en masse since the early 1980s. This charming Scottish name means “blonde.”
A vintage diminutive form of Elizabeth, Bette is one of the old fashioned baby names that has not been popular for over 100 years. This name takes its meaning from Elizabeth, “pledged to God.”
An endearing little puppet frog might be the reason the name, Kermit fell from favor in the 1970s. Kermit comes from Irish origins as a variant of the name Dermot. Kermit means “free man.”
Althea is a gorgeous name that parents have not turned to since the 1970s. It’s one of the old fashioned baby names from Greek that fell of the charts in the middle of the 20th century. It means “with healing power.”
Orin was last given widely to baby boys in the 1950s! It’s one of the old fashioned baby names that’s truly in need of a renaissance. Orin is of Irish or Hebrew origin and means “laurel” or “pine tree.”
Clarice originated in the Middle Ages as a form of the names Clara and Clarita which come from Italian. Clarice means “clear.” Clarice is one of the old fashioned baby names that has been underutilized since the 1970s.
Regis was a popular option in the first half of the twentieth century but has since fallen way out of favor. Regis is a French surname turned given name that means “kingly.”
Iola is one of the old fashioned baby names that’s a multi-cultural appellation. It can be found in Greek, Spanish, and Welsh and means “violet” and “beautiful lady.”
Don’t let some old chipmunk steer you away from this handsome name! Alvin is of Old English origin and means “friend of the elves.”
Maida is an Old English name that refers to a “maiden.” It’s one of the old fashioned baby names for girls that has not been well-used for over 100 years! It was last popular in 2019.
One of the old fashioned baby names that’s on the rise today, Conrad comes from German and means “brave counsel.” We must admit that this name is truly rad!
One of the old fashioned baby names that peaked in the 1920s, Geneva has been all but forgotten by new parents today. The name comes from French and means “juniper tree.” It’s also a name to a Swiss city that you’ve likely heard of!
Another one of the old fashioned baby names that’s making a comeback, Harlan is of German and English origin. It’s a habitational name that means “rocky land.”
Vita is the feminine form of Vito, both names mean “life.” Vita is one of the old fashioned baby names that has seriously been absent on birth certificates for nearly a century. Let’s bring this vivacious name back!
One of the old fashioned baby names that sounds truly new is Newell. The name is of English and French origin and it means “new town.” It has not been popular since the 1940s.
One of the old fashioned baby names that’s heating up once more, Cleo is a gentle and endearing appellation. The name comes from Greek and means “glory.” Glorious, indeed!
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The name Hollis peaked in the 1930s and 40s and has yet to return to favor. Hollis comes from English and it has a lovely botanical meaning: “from the holly bushes.”
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 These Old Fashioned Baby Names Are a Blast From the Past!
- 2 Marjorie
- 3 Cecil
- 4 Opal
- 5 Sibyl
- 6 Giles
- 7 Etta
- 8 Aldous
- 9 Avis
- 10 Eben
- 11 Carmella
- 12 Noble
- 13 Ida
- 14 Ring
- 15 Theda
- 16 Montgomery
- 17 Birdie
- 18 Lloyd
- 19 Inez
- 20 Jabez
- 21 Alma
- 22 Rupert
- 23 Maeve
- 24 Vito
- 25 Agatha
- 26 Waldo
- 27 Lelia
- 28 Sol
- 29 Rosalind
- 30 Ferdinand
- 31 Lorna
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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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