30 Victorian-Era Baby Names That Deserve a Revival Today

The Victorian Era in England was defined by the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 until her death in 1901. For the better part of the 19th Century, the country was ruled by a Queen. “The King of Victorian Literature” Charles Dickens was the most popular novelist of the era and became one of the most-read English authors of all time. Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, and Bleak House captured the world’s imagination. That doesn’t mean we’re going to be suggesting names like Ebenezer, Fagin, Esther, or Dorit!

We just used Dickens as a jumping-off point for some of the most popular and beloved Victorian Era baby names. While things started out rather dire in the UK, they improved by the end of the century. Across the pond, in the US, the country was ensnared in a bloody civil war. People decided to take respite from the violence of the time by giving girls frilly or floral names. It was a whole thing! While you might think that many Victorian names sound old-fashioned, many of the names popularized at the time have become hip again.

Without further ado, here are Victorian-Era baby names we think you’ll love and would be welcome on the pages of any Dickens or Brontë novel and would be awesome for new parents to bring back today.

Victorian-Era Names for Girls

Rosina

victorian-era baby names

Hypnotism, divination, and spiritualism were huge in the Victorian Era. Rosina Thompson was a famous medium back in the day in England and was popular for her trance “mediumship.” The name Rosina means “rose” and has Italian origins.

Adelia

victorian-era baby names

We told you that the Victorian Era brought many flower-inspired names! Adelia refers to a genus of flowering plants. The name Adelia, however, comes from German and shares the same root as the name, Albert. Adelia Cleopatra Graves was a Victorian Era academic and poet in the US. Most people know her by her pen name, “Aunt Alice.” Her poetry and books appealed to children interested in learning new languages and different cultures.

Gwendoline

victorian-era baby names

The names Gwendoline or Gwendolen only came into common use in the 19th Century. The name hails from Wales and means “fair” or “blessed.” Many people associate the name with the mythical queen of the Britons who spelled it Guendoloena. Welsh painter Gwendolen John preferred to go by “Gwen” was a Victorian Era painter who was overlooked at the time but art historians today consider a formidable portraitist.

Phoebe

victorian-era baby names

Phoebe comes from Ancient Greek and means is the feminine form of Phoebus. The name means “bright.” Gilbert and Sullivan were all the rage in the Victorian Era creating classic comic operas like The Pirates of Penzance. In 1888, the duo released their 11th opera, The Yeomen of the Guard that featured the character, Phoebe Meryll.

Constance

victorian-era baby names

As you might have guessed, the name Constance means “constant” and it’s the name Connie came from. Constance Georgine Markievicz was an Irish woman who blazed a trail in the Victorian Era and would eventually become the first woman ever elected to the Westminster Parliament.

Sylvia

victorian-era baby names

Probably the name with the best meaning on this list, Sylvia is Latin and means “spirit of the wood.” At the end of the Victorian Era, Sylvia was the 137th most popular girl’s name in Britain.

Flora

victorian-era baby names

We weren’t joking about the flowery names! Flora was one of the most popular names of the Victorian Era and means “flower.” A famous Victorian with the name was Flora Stevenson who became one of the first, if not, the first woman elected to a school board. She fought tirelessly for education to be expanded to the poor and also advocated for women’s inclusion in all school settings.

Mercy

victorian-era baby names

The name Mercy means so many things to so many people and that’s why the name became popular in Victorian times. The name can mean “forgiveness,” “thanks,” or “blessing.” This is another name that fell out of fashion in the Victorian Era but became popular again. By the 1970s, the name was extremely popular in the US.

Violet

victorian-era baby names

Violet is a name for girls that’s also shared with pretty purple flowers. Violet was one of the most popular names given to girls in the late Victorian Era. Born right at the end of the era in 1899, Violet Wood became a British supercentenarian who lived for 112 years. She spanned the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Amelia

victorian-era baby names

Amelia comes from the Old German word “amal” which means “to work.” Amelia Bloomer was an American women’s rights advocate who operated during the time. Victorian fashion was brutal for women and entailed the wearing of corsets, skirts, and dresses. It was not acceptable for a woman to wear pants. “Bloomers” got their name from Amelia Bloomer’s tireless advocacy.

Freda

victorian-era baby names

Freda, Frida, Frieda, and Frinta are all different spellings of this popular name. The name is German and means “peace.” Freda Dudley Ward was an English socialite best known for being a married paramour of the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII. It was a poorly kept secret in aristocratic circles. Edward VIII’s father Edward VII became king after Queen Victoria’s death.

Selina

victorian-era baby names

Selina is a Greek name that means “moon.” In Australia, there was a gold rush in 1850 that brought many new faces to the country. English culture, of course, played a huge role in Australian society at the time as it still does to this day. The name Selina took off in Australia after political activist Selina Siggins popularized the name by running for a spot in the Australian House of Representatives in the late Victorian Era.

Victoria

victorian-era baby names

We could not talk about Victorian names without discussing the name that defined the era, Victoria. In Roman mythology, the goddess of victory was named Victoria. Before the current Queen, Victoria was the longest-ruling monarch to ever wear the British crown.

Olive

victorian-era baby names

Olive is such a special name for a baby girl. This English name refers to an olive tree which is a symbol of peace and success. Olivia is a popular form of the name that has, since the Victorian Era, been the more popular of the two.

Cora

victorian-era baby names

The name Cora comes from Greek and was Persephone’s maiden name. Hence, the name means “maiden.” As we mentioned, spiritualism, mediums, and seances were very common in the Victorian Era. Cora L. V. Scott was one of the best-known mediums of the late 19th Century. She was so popular, in fact, that she was invited to London to give a speed at Cleaveland Hall. Cora is a beautiful name that we wish would make a comeback.

Victorian-Era Baby Names for Boys

Silas

victorian-era baby names

The name Silas comes from the Latin name Silvanus and both Silas and Silvanus are names used in the Bible. Commonly shortened to Sy or Si, the name has some flexibility. It means “forest” and for nature lovers who don’t want to seem too granola, the name is perfect.

Albert

victorian-era baby names

Prince Albert was Queen Victoria’s husband and was seen as very progressive at the time. He worked to abolish slavery around the world and also changed University Cambridge’s curricula to be more inclusive and modern. For parents who love science or art, you could do no better than choosing the name, Albert. The name comes from Old German Adalbert and means “noble” and “bright.”

Rufus

victorian-era baby names

The name Rufus really took off in the US in the Victorian Era but before that, the name was popularized by King William II who was called the name because of his red hair. The name is Roman/Latin and does indeed mean “red-headed.”

Miles

victorian-era baby names

In Latin, the word “miles” means soldier, and many knights through the Medieval era were also referred to as “miles.” The name Miles means “merciful soldier.” Miles has ticked up in popularity in the US after Chrissy Teigen gave her son the name.

Valentine

victorian-era baby names

Valentine is a unisex name that’s popular for both girls and boys now. During the Victorian Era, the name was more commonly given to baby boys. The name’s origin is Latin and means “strong.”

Felix

victorian-era baby names

Felix is a popular name across Europe today and was way back in the Victorian Era. The name is Latin and means “lucky” or “happy.” Felix Mendelssohn was a world-renowned German composer in the early Victorian Era who gave us the melody to the Christmas carol, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

Cecil

victorian-era baby names

Cecil is a popular English name that comes from Latin and means “blind.” This beautiful name belonged to Victorian British Imperialist Cecil Rhodes who mined across Africa. The African territory Rhodesia was named for him and the Rhodes Scholarship is a result of a fund started by his family.

Bernard

victorian-era baby names

The name Bernard has a fantastic meaning, “brave bear.” The name comes from German and the French form and spelling became popular in English speaking regions. The name fell out of fashion by the end of the Victorian Era in the UK but became extremely popular in the mid 20th Century in the US.

Eustace

victorian-era baby names

The funny-sounding name Eustace was very popular among Victorians and many gave their baby boys the name. The name means “fruitful” and belonged to everyone from saints to politicians. Lord Eustace Cecil was a British nobleman and politician who published Impressions of Life at home and abroad in 1865 which detailed his experiences traveling the world.

Vincent

victorian-era baby names

The name Vincent is derived from Latin and means “conqueror.” Vincent is often shortened to “Vince” and it was a very popular nickname in the Victorian Era. Post-impressionist painter, Vincent Van Gogh was considered a madman and a failure during is life from 1853-1890. Although Victorian times were not too kind to him, later generations would go on to treasure his art.

Simeon

victorian-era baby names

The name Simeon comes from Hebrew and means “obedient.” If Simon is a bit bland for your tastes take inspiration from the Victorian Era and choose the name Simeon for your baby boy.

Nigel

victorian-era baby names

The name Nigel is a very English name that was popular in the Middle Ages. It fell out of fashion until the Victorian Era when antiquarians repopularized it. The name means “champion.” Nigel has never been as common in other countries but was among the 1,000 most common names for boys born in the United States from 1971 to 2010.

Llewellyn

victorian-era baby names

Llywelyn is a Welsh name that’s spelled a few different ways. The name means “lion” or “leader” Many Victorians favored the old name over the newly used Lewis.

Duncan

victorian-era baby names

Duncan is the anglicized version of the Gaelic name Donnchadh. The name means “chief.” In the UK, a common nickname for a Duncan is Dun. This handsome name would be a great one for your little leader.

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Basil

victorian-era baby names

Please name your son Basil. It’s an incredible name that you don’t hear much anymore. Basil is a Greek name that means “king” and shares the same root as words like basilica and basilisk. Basil Mott was a cherished Basil in the Victorian Era. He was a civil engineer that helped extend the Central London Railway and was later became a Fellow of the Royal Society, which was a rare honor for engineers.

We love these Victorian-inspired baby names and hope that you might consider one of them for your baby. From Albert to Victoria, many of these names carry a sense of romanticism that was celebrated at the time. If you are still interested in learning about baby names from the past, keep reading. We have forgotten Depression-era baby names to share with you!

Rosalie

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

In the 1930s, Rosalie was a hot name for young girls. At number 153 on the list, it wasn’t as common as Mary, but it was really popular. The name Rosalie has French origins and means “beautiful rose.”

Virgil

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

At number 140 of 200 names for boys, Virgil was a favored name. The name Virgil has Latin origins and means “staff bearer.” This poetic name is a true classic that deserves some love today.

Ida

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Ida has Germanic roots and means “work.” Ida is a fantastic name for girls and parents in the 1930s cherished it. It was the 120 most popular name for girls in the decade.

Cecil

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Cecil is number 113 on the list and was a very popular boy’s name throughout the depression. The name Cecil is of English origin and means “blind.” Cecil would be a unique name for a little boy today.

Constance

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

at 124, Constance wasn’t the most popular name but it certainly is one of the most beautiful on the list. Its shorter form, Connie also made the list so there’s was no shortage of love for the name. It means “constant” and has Latin origins.

Morris

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Morris made the top 200 list of names for boys. Today, it’s more common to hear Morris as a surname, but it was all the rage as a given name during the Depression. The Morris is the French form of the Latin, Mauritius which is a reference to the Moorish people.

Pearl

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Pearl is a gorgeous name for girls that was very common in the 1930s landing at number 158 on the list. Pearl means “precious” and is an English name.

RELATED: 35 Baby Names Inspired by Gems and Jewels That Are Just as Precious as Your Little One

Homer

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Enjoying the same popularity as Pearl, Homer was another favorable name for children in the 30s. This strong-sounding name is of Greek origin and belonged to the Greek epic poet, Homer who wrote The Oddysey.

Mae

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

At number 160, Mae was a stylish name for Depression Era girls. Mae West was a popular actress with the name in the 1930s and 40s. The name Mae has English origins and means “bitter” or “pearl.”

Clyde

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

The name Clyde broke into the top 100 baby names for boys in the 1930s. The name Clyde refers to a Scottish river that flows through Glasgow. Clyde has a very cool sound to it and we’d love to hear more of this name today.

Hazel

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Another top 100 name, Hazel is number 92 on the list. Hazel is an English name that refers to the hazelnut tree. The tree symbolized protection and authority in the Middle Ages. Which helped make the name popular among English speakers.

Luther

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Luther was a hot name for boys during the depression. The name has English and German origins and means “people army” or “lute player.”

Verna

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Verna is a beautiful name for girls with an equally attractive meaning. The French name means “springtime.” Verna is number 180 out of 200 and has a lot of charm.

Junior

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

We tend to think of Junior as a nickname, but the given name Junior was highly favored in the 1930s. Junior has Latin origins and as you might expect, means “younger.” Junior would be a playful and sweet name for a baby boy.

Viola

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Viola, Velma, and Violet were three very popular V names for girls. Our favorite is Viola which comes from Latin and Italian and means “violet.” This floral-inspired name would be beautiful for a Spring baby.

RELATED: 30 Beautiful Spring-Inspired Baby Names for Girls, Ranked by Uniqueness

Johnnie

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Would you believe that the name Johnnie was the 199 most popular name for girls in the 1930s? You better believe it! Johnnie has Hebrew roots and it’s a short form of Johnna. The name means “God is gracious.” We love the idea of a little girl named Johnnie!

Stella

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Stella!!! The name Stella is a knockout! The name comes from Latin and Italian and means “star.” Stella was one of the most popular names for little girls in the 1930s.

Willis

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Willis is another name that we associate as a surname today that was actually more common as a given name in the 1930s. Willis is a Norman name that means “well” as in “drinking well.” Or, let’s be romantic! A wishing well!

Lillie

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Lillie was the preferred spelling of the name back in the 30s and it was red hot! The name Lilly is English. It refers to the lily flower. It was not as fashionable as Lillian at the time, but both names made the top 200.

Manuel

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Manuel is a name that originated in the Hebrew name, Immanuel. The name is common in Spanish and we think it is extremely handsome. Manuel was the 132 most popular name for boys during the Depression.

Bobbie

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Like Johnnie, Bobbie is another name we were surprised to find on the top 200 list for girls. The name was more popular than Sara in the 30s. Bobbie would make an adorable name for a baby girl. The name comes from Barbara or Roberta means “bright fame.”

Oscar

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Oscar the Grouch gave Oscars everywhere a bad rap! Oscar was a very popular name for boys that is primed for a comeback. Oscar has English and Irish roots and means “deer-lover” or “God Spear” or “champion warrior.” We’ll take all three!

Patsy

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Country music legend, Patsy Cline was born in 1932. It was one of the top 100 names given to girls during the Depression. Patsy is a shortened form of Patricia with Latin and English origins that means “noble.”

Victor

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Victor is a strong name for a boy that’s fallen out of the top spot. In the 1930s, the name was the most commonly given names for boys. Early Christians used the name to honor Christ’s victory of sin and death. It’s a Latin name that means “conquerer.”

Hilda

25 forgotten depression era baby names that ruled during the 1930s

Hilda is such an enchanting name for girls. It barely made the list at 197. Hilda is a Norse name that means “battle.” We think this charming name is ready to hit the charts again.

While an economic depression might not be the most upbeat thing to think about, the 1930s were a great time for baby names. As they used to say, these names are cute as a bug’s ear! We hope you found baby name inspiration from these fantastic monikers.

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