25 Gorgeous Baby Names That Have Been Popular For Over 100 Years

Names that have never fallen far out of favor have remained popular for a reason. The Social Security Administration began keeping track of the top 1000 American baby names for both boys and girls in 1880. These are the names that parents in the U.S. have always seemed to love and come back to, even if they gravitated away from them for a few years.

There are some names that we can just predict will never fully go out of style. Some of them might just be strong names with a history too deep rooted to ever be cut down. Some of them might be Bible names used in the earliest times of civilization, while others may just have started as trends, but turned into classics.

For parents who are looking for something stunningly gorgeous that have withstood the test of time, we've got the perfect list. We've put together 25 baby names that have been popular for over a century.

Names that have been popular for that long probably aren't headed out of popularity any time soon. So for those expecting parents who find themselves seeking that all encompassing beautiful name for their baby girl, grab a pen and paper!

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25 Marie

Marie is one of those simple classic names that we'll always love. It's dainty and sweet and makes just as great of a middle name as it does a first name. It was in the top 100 from 1880 until 1957 and has never left the top 600.

Marie is the French variation of the name Mary, which means "bitter." Marie wasn't used in the English speaking world until the 19th century.

Marie has been the name of several famed women in history. Marie Antoinette was just one of several queens with the name. Marie Curie was a famous physicist, and Napoleon's wife was named Marie as well.

24 Elizabeth

Elizabeth is the name that so many people loved that there became too many variations of it to count. This original spelling, however, has never left the top 25 baby names. Elizabeth is still ranked #13 today and is a top 100 name in 5 other countries.

Elizabeth is Hebrew for "pledged to God." There have been countless significant Elizabeths smothered throughout history, beginning as far back as the New Testament.

There are also enumerable nicknames for Elizabeth including Betty, Betsy, Liza, Liz, Lizzy, Beth, Eliza, Libby and many many more.

23 Dorothy

Dorothy was a big hit for several years beginning in 1880. It entered the top 100 in 1890 and remained there until 1960. It wasn't until 2006 that the Wizard of Oz feel got the best of Dorothy and it dropped to the bottom 1000.

Dorothy is the English variation of the Greek name Dorothea, which means "Gift from God." It has been used in English speaking countries since 16th century Britain and is where we get the word "doll" from.

Today, Dorothy is making a comeback and has reached #601 once again, probably because of the retro and vintage name trend.

22 Virginia

Virginia is another name that was a huge hit early last century. It, too, was a top 100 name from 1880 until 1959. Virginia only dipped below the top 500 in 2009, and still remains just outside at #514 today.

Virginia is Latin for "virginal, pure." The state of Virginia was given its name via Sir Walter Raleigh, who chose the name in honor of "The Virgin Queen," Queen Elizabeth I.

Virginia Woolf is a famous English writer and Virginia Hamilton was an American children's writer. Ginger Rogers' real name was Virginia, as was "Pepper" Potts from Marvel Comics.

21 Katherine

Katherine is one of the most classic names of all time and for parents who don't mind a more common beauty, it is still full of potential. Katherine only left the top 100 for a couple of years, but has basically been safely inside since 1880.

Katherine is Greek for "pure." Katherine has been the name of saints, royalty, nobles and literary figures alike. Katherine also has several spelling variations that are equally popular like Catherine and Kathryn.

Katherine also has a slew of nicknames to choose from like Kitty, Kate, Kat, and Kathy. It has also been used by great writers from The Taming of the Shrew to Fifty Shades.

20  Samantha

This classic name is still a top 100 name today. It began its life in the top 1000 in 1880 and actually spent over 50 years out of the top 1000 beginning in 1907 and ending in 1964. It has been a top 100 name since 1976.

Samantha is the feminine form of the Hebrew name Samuel, which means "told by God." It has been around the States since about the 18th century, but was given a boost in popularity thanks to the show, Bewitched." 

Grace Kelly gave the name a classy appeal when she played a character with the name in High Society, while it was given a more deductive feel when it was used in Sex and the City. 

19 Carolyn

Carolyn's popularity has only recently begun to fade. It spent over a century in the top 300 beginning in 1880 and 43 of those years were spent in the top 100. Carolyn fell out of the top 500 in 2006 and sits at #841.

Carolyn is a form of Caroline, which is the feminine form of Charles and means "free man." Carolyn Keene was the author of the Nancy Drew series and Carolyn Spellman is a famous astronomer.

Carolyn is slowly being pushed aside by the trending Caroline, but for parents looking for a classic beauty that is now more rare, Carolyn is the way to go.

18 Mary

Perhaps the most classic baby name of all time, Mary, was the number 1 baby girl's name from 1880 until 1961, and it only fell a few spots after that. Mary has dropped to its lowest ranking ever as the 126th most popular baby girl's name.

Mary is Hebrew for "bitter." Mary is the most popular female Bible names of all time. There are six people named Mary in the Bible, most popular, of course, was Jesus' mother, the virgin Mary.

History has since been painted with famous women named Mary, like Mary Queen of Scotts, Mary Stuart and Mary Tyler Moore. Meryl Streep was also born Mary.

17 Anna

Anna is still going strong after centuries of popularity. It entered the American top 1000 in 1880, when the list was created, and was a top 100 and has basically spent the entire time since then in the top 100. Today, Anna is ranked #53 and is a top 100 name in 11 other countries.

Anna is a variation of the Hebrew name Hannah, which means "grace." Anna has been used throughout history and has long been the most popular of its sisters Anne and Annie.

Anna has been the name of several royal women. Tolstoy's Anna Kareninina gave the name a mysterious charm, while youthful name bearers Anna Kendrick, Anna Friel and Anna Paquin keep the name young and fresh.

16 Jane

Plain Jane has actually been wowing parents for centuries. This moniker has never left the top 500 and spent most over 50 years in the top 100. Jane still sits at #282 today.

Jane is English for "God is gracious." Jane has been used since the days of the Tudors and has been the name of several famous women, including literary icons Jane Austen and Jane Eyre.

Jane was once so commonly used that it became the generic name for females, like as in Jane Doe. However, Jane is anything but old or common. It was recently chosen by Jimmy Kimmel for his daughter.

15 Ruth

Ruth is another Bible name that has always been in favor. It spent from 1880 until 1961 in the top 100 baby girl names and since has remained in the top 400. Today, Ruth is ranked #265.

Ruth is Hebrew for "compassionate friend." Ruth is a book in the Old Testament and the name of the beautiful daughter-in-law of Naomi famed for her quote, "whither though goest I will go. Your people will be my people."

Ruth has been used in television, novels and movies throughout time. It's even the name of the candy bar, Baby Ruth, named for Ruth Cleveland, daughter of President Grover Cleveland.

14 Minnie

This adorable moniker spent from 1880 until 1924 in the top 100 baby names, but by 1971 fell out of the top 1000 baby names. Though it's #306 in England, it has still never reappeared in the American top 1000.

Minnie is a short form of Minerva, which means "of the mind, intellect." Minnie can be found as early as Dicken's Little Dorrit, and, of course, was used for the beloved girlfriend of Mickey Mouse.

Minnie Driver and Minnie Driver are both famous name bearers, though Driver's real name was Amelia and used Minnie as a nickname.

13 Rose

via: instagram

This floral name was in the top 100 from 1880 until 1960. Like others on our list, it has never been outside of the top 400 and is currently making a comeback at #141 today. It's a top 100 name in 5 other countries as well.

Rose is one of the most popular floral names of all time. It has been used in movies like Titanic to Harry Potter. Rose was also one of the Golden Girls.

Rose's most success came in the late 1800s through the Golden Ages. Today, it's making a huge comeback, perhaps some thanks to celebrities Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Jon Stewart, Eric Clapton, and Ewan McGregor.

12 Alice

This simple and sweet moniker is no rookie to the American top 1000. It was actually in the top 100 from 1880 until 1956, and spent 35 of those years in the top 25. Though it sunk slightly in the 1980s and 90s, Alice is still ranked #70 today.

Alice is German for "noble." Historically, German names fell out of style after World War II, but this one didn't seem to waver too much.

There have been several Alice's in literature, one famed one being Alice in Wonderland, of course. Alice was also the name of Queen Victorian's second daughter. Today, Alice is a top 50 name in 9 other countries.

11 Eleanor


This presidential name still has a lot to offer after years of popularity. Eleanor's success is seen first in 1880 in the top 1000 and again when it entered the top 100 in 1895. Eleanor did dip below the top 500 for a few decades, but today is back at #35.

Eleanor's meaning is unknown, but it stems from the French Provencal, Alenor, which was used to distinguish the original, who was named after her mother, Aenor.

Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the most beloved first ladies and it was also the name of two English queens. Jane Austen used it in two of her novels as well. Nellie and Ellie are two adorable nickname options getting some popularity too.

10 Frances

Parents who like boy names for girls will appreciate this one. Frances was in the top 100 from 1880 until 1955, and though it never completely left the top 1000, it hasn't seen that popularity again. Today, Frances is only ranked #438.

Frances is Latin for "from France" or "free man." Frances was a favorite of the Tudors after Henry VII chose it for one of his daughters.

Though Judy Garland and Dinah Shore, who were born Frances, dropped the name with stardom, it was still by some amazing women like Frances Perkins. An alternative spelling is Francis.

9 Cora

Now firmly in the top 100, Cora, surprisingly, only spent a short time in the top 100 early last century. It dropped completely out of the top 500 in 1964 and didn't reenter until 1999. Cora is ranked #83 today.

Cora is Greek for "maiden." In Greek mythology, Cora was a daughter of Zeus and in classic mythology she was the goddess of fertility and the underworld.

Cora is the #2 most searched girl's name on Nameberry.com, given some inspiration by Cora Crawley the Countess of Grantham, on Downton Abbey.

8 Lena

Lena is another success story, which is a surprise considering it's really only considered a nickname. It entered the top 100 in 1880 and spent 30 years there before slowly started to drop. While it did leave the top 500 for a little while, it's back at #304 now.

Lena is considered the English, Scottish, Dutch, German and Scandinavian diminutive basically of any name ending in "lena" or "ena," which means it doesn't really have a meaning of its own.

William Faulker used Lena Grove as a character in one of his novels, while Lena Dunham has given the name a contemporary twist.

7 Mae

Whether you spell it Mae or May, this short and sweet moniker has been a favorite of parents as both a first and middle name for years. Mae was in the top 500 from 1880 until 1959, and spent most of that time in the top 100. However, today, Mae is ranked #654.

Mae, pronounced May, is a diminutive of Mary or Margaret and means "bitter or pearl." This spelling makes the name less like a month of the year, however, Mae is also a word for "mother" in Portuguese.

Mae Jemison was the first African American to travel to space giving the name an intellectual appeal, while old Hollywood stars  Mae Clarke, Mae Marsh, Mae Busch and Mae Murray did a lot to glamorize it.

6 Ruby

This classic jewel spent over 50 years in the top 100 and never dropped below #403 on the charts. It reentered the top 100 in 2013 and is still ranked #79 today. Ruby is also a top 100 name in England, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.

Ruby is Latin for "deep red precious stone." Ruby has been a favorite of musicians like The Rolling Stones and Kenny Rogers in their hit songs, Ruby Tuesday and Ruby, Don't Take Your Love From Me. 

It was also chosen by celebrities like Tobey Maguire, Rachel Reynolds, and Rod Stewart. Ruby is one of the most popular gem names and seems to be rising fast once more.

5 Nora

Nora has always been loved by American parents, and today it's loved around the world. Nora has been a top 500 name for over a century and is now at its highest ranking to date, #28. It's also a top 50 name in 5 other countries.

Nora is Greek for "light." It is also the Irish diminutive of "Honora." Norah is another spelling, recently popularized by singer songwriter, Norah Jones.

Nora Eddington was an actress and wife of Errol Flynn, while Nora Ephron was a famous writer and filmmaker. With or without the "h" this moniker is quickly on the rise.

4 Daisy

Another popular and slightly more playful floral name is Daisy. This moniker was in the top 500 for over 60 years before falling slightly out. It reentered the top 200 in 1990 and made it back to #170 today.

Daisy is not only a flower name, but it was also used as a diminutive for Margaret. The French version of Margaret is Marguerite, which is the French word for the flower.

Daisy actually means "days eye" and was called that because its petals opened at day break. Daisy was used in The Great Gatsby and The Dukes of Hazzard. In You've Got Mail, Meg Ryan's character claimed it is the "friendliest of flowers."

3 Margaret

Margaret has never left the top 200 baby names and was basically a top 100 name for over a century. It spent from 1880 until 1955 in the top 25 baby names, and though it has dropped slightly today, it is still ranked #132.

Margaret is Greek for "pearl." Margaret has been the name of several queens and princesses and has been one of the top royal family names of all time. It is considered the Scottish national name.

Margaret has also been a favorite Christian name because of its ties to Saint Margaret, who was the patron saint of women in childbirth. Rich in history and culture, Margaret is a keeper.

2 Marjorie

Though this moniker seems to have met its demise, Marjorie spent most of its prior life in strong favor. It was a top 500 name for just shy of a century, but, sadly, spent almost an entire decade off the charts early this century.

Marjorie is the Scottish variation of Margery and also a diminutive of Margaret. This moniker dates back to medieval times and has a deep rooted history that has only recently lost its appeal.

Marjorie Stinson was a famous aviator, Marjorie Reynolds was a famous actress and Marjorie Rawlings was a famous author. Jorie is a great option as a nickname to replace the outdated Marge.

1 Grace

via: instagram

This popular beauty was in the top 100 from 1880 until 1938 and has never left the top 400. By 1995, Grace was back in the top 100 and is still ranked #21 today. It is also a top 50 name in 5 other countries.

Grace is a virtue name that was once loved by the Puritans, and now has been chosen by celebrities like Mark Wahlberg, Ed Burns, and Christy Turlington.

Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, did a lot to give this name even more class than it already had. Grace O'Malley was an Irish pirate who gave the name some vigor.

Sources: Nameberry.com, Allparenting.com, Namecandy.com, Everydayparenting.com, Popsugar.com

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