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25 Names From The 1800s That Actually Sound Brand New

When did the world decide that old was not good? That everything needed to be new and fresh to be considered worthy? This is the problem a lot of new and parents-to-be are facing as they try and figure out a name for their child.

Naming a child is not easy, and it seems to be only made more difficult in the age of social media. More and more parents are noticing how common some names are, and they are noticing that more and more parents are choosing to go with ‘out there’ names in order to stay unique. They want their child to stand out in the crowd, so they believe that they practically have to make up words to use as names.

We want to let everyone in on a secret: it doesn’t have to be this way. If we look back throughout history, we can find some names that are pure gems that people are not using anymore. Either because they are thought to be “too old” or they just have not heard of them because somewhere along the way they have faded out of usage. Well, it is time to bring them all back.

We went all the way back to the 1800s and found some of the most beautiful names that would be considered unique in today’s world. There is a well-rounded mix of everything here and sure to be something that mom and dad love.

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25 Minnie

The only Minnie the world is familiar with today is Minnie Mouse, but this name has been around a lot longer than a cartoon mouse ever has and it was incredibly popular for little girls in the 1800’s. The name is considered a diminutive of the name Mirena and it means “of the mind, intellect.”

According to Nameberry, this name is not currently ranked when it comes to popularity, meaning that it is not currently within the top 1000. In the 1800’s the name found itself in the top 5th or 6th spot.

24 Ida

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Ida is a name that would be a big hit today if people knew that it existed. The trend for baby names now is short, one or two syllable names. Everyone also loves names that are easy to spell and pronounce, so this is a name with the whole package.

The name Ida is of German origin and it means “industrious one.” The name is also not ranked currently when it comes to popularity, so it is sure to be one-of-a-kind.

23 Clarence

We haven’t forgotten about all the boys that are coming into the world, so we need to include some names for the little men in our lives. The name Clarence was incredibly popular in the 1800’s for young boys.

The name is of Latin origin and it means “bright.” The name is not currently ranked when it comes to popularity, meaning that it is not a name you will hear to often on the playground or in the classroom. It is bound to be a name that will make your little guy stand out in a crowd.

22 Ernest

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Ernest is definitely a name that people have heard of, but it is a name that is often reserved for grandfathers. Well, grandfathers were once young boys and the name suited them just fine. The name Ernest is of English and German origin and it means “serious, resolute.”

Unlike the previous names on our list, this one is currently ranked. In 2017, the name found itself at #967 when it comes to popularity. It may be on the list, but it is no where near the top.

21 Nellie

The name Nellie is short, sweet and has a lot of charm to it. Names that end in ‘ie’ tend to be very popular among parents and are considered hip. The name Nellie is of English in origin and it means “bright, shining one.”

The name is also a diminutive of the name Helen and Eleanor. It has a much more silly and cute appeal than those two names do. The name is not currently ranked in popularity, but it did rise 1% this week so it may be slowly on its way to a comeback.

20 Mabel

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Mabel is such a sweet name that is full of charm, and it is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face when they hear it. The name is a diminutive of the name Amabel and it means “lovable.” Such a sweet meaning.

In 2017, the name ranked in at #451 so it is more popular than a lot of people think it is, but it is no where near common grounds. Mabel is considered one of the sassier Victorian era names.

19 Bessie

Bessie is definitely not a name you hear every day, and that is probably because it was originally used as a nick name. The name is derived form the name Elizabeth and it means “pledged to God.” There are a lot of names that were once used as nick names that are making their way to stand-alone status.

The name is not currently ranked, so this would be one of the best names for parents who are searching for that one-of-a-kind name that will blow everyone away.

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18 Earl

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Earl is very rarely though of as a name, but it could be one of the sweetest and most sophisticated names you could give your little guy. The name has no place of origin and no formal meaning because it is simply an English aristocratic title.

The name also has no current spot in the top 1000, but it did rise 30% this week so it may be on the way to a comeback. Earl is not a name that you commonly see being used for little boys, but little boys grow up to be men and we need a name that is strong and lasting.

17 Elmer

If you thought Early sounded old-fashioned, it may only be beat out by Elmer. There is nothing wrong with picking names that are old-fashioned, they are some of the most unique names. The name Elmer is not currently ranked in popularity, so it is no where near seeing a top 10 spot.

The name is of English origin and it means “noble and renowned.” A lot of people take the meanings of names very seriously. They believe that it will help build the person their child will one day become.

16 Maude

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For anyone who is about to give birth to a girl or has a little girl already we know that we want them to grow up to be strong and independent. We don’t want them to have to rely on anyone. The name Maude may be perfect. The name is a variation of the name Matilda and it means “battle-mighty.”

This another name that is not ranked at all when it comes to popularity, but it did rise 15% this week. Which means it may be on its way back on to the charts.

15 Myrtle

The name Myrtle is one that hasn’t been heard since the Victorian era, so it may be the perfect choice for parents who are looking for a true and unique name from the 1800’s. The name has no place of origin or meaning, but it is listed as a Greek botanical name.

The name is not ranked in popularity at all, meaning it is not within the top 1000. Not only that, but it dropped an additional 18% this week alone meaning it is not even close to coming back on the chart.

14 Herbert

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I know what everyone is thinking, but don’t cast this name off yet. It is charming, and the nickname Herb is incredibly cute and trendy. The name is of German origin and it means “bright army.” It is also a name that is not currently ranked, meaning that everyone will be utterly shocked when they hear it.

Many are saying this name will come back into fashion, as did Albert, and every other name that has a ‘bert’ ending. This name has been around since English medieval times.

13 Claude

Believe it or not, Claude is the first name on our list that is actually considered a unisex name, though it is most commonly used for little boys. The name is of French and Latin origin and it means “lame, enclosure.”

When it comes to being used as a name for a little boy, the name is not ranked when it comes to popularity. It is also not ranked when it comes to being used for a baby girl, though it is possible it is a short form of the name Claudette.

12 Lena

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The name Lena is not heard very often, but it has a rich back story and history. The name has no meaning, but it has many places of origin. Its origins are in English, Scottish, Dutch, German and Scandinavian. It is a very worldly name that will always sound exotic.

In 2017, the name was ranked in at #304, so while it may still be making its rounds it is nowhere near the top ten statuses. The name did rise 4% this week alone.

11 Grover

If parents can get past the fact that this is also the name of a Muppet from Sesame Street, then they may have the perfect name for their little prince. The name is of English origin and it means “lives near a grove of trees.” Perfect for families who love being outdoors with nature.

It is also the name of Grover Cleveland, one of the most respected presidents of the USA. The name is not currently ranked in popularity, which may be a good or bad thing dependant on how you feel.

10 Chester

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Chester is a great alternative for any parent who is tired of hearing the name Charles and Charlie. It has a unique flair to it, when in reality it was quite popular in the 1800’s. The name is of Latin origin and it means “fortress, walled town.”

The name is not currently ranked when it comes to popularity, so this would be a perfect boy name for those parents who want something you just don’t hear anymore. It is about time we bring these old names back from the dead and give them a second chance.

9 Effie

Effie is definitely not a name you hear very often, but we all think that it is time for it to make its grand comeback. The name is of Greek origin and it means “pleasant speech.” The name is not currently ranked when it comes to popularity, and it is actually dropping further away from a spot.

This name was actually an old-fashioned shot form for the name Euphemia, which many thinks sounded a little too out dated. Effie brings a fresh new spin on an old classic.

8 Nettie

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Nettie is an interesting name and it follows the same type of format as the name Effie. The name Nettie is of English origin and it does not have a specific meaning. It is inspired by other names that end in ette or etta.

The name is not currently ranked when it comes to popularity. The name Nettie was very popular until the year 1901, so there is a chance you had someone named Nettie in your family tree. The name stayed on the Social Security list until 1962.

7 Homer

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The name Homer may have gotten a bad rap thanks to a certain yellow cartoon character, but if parents can get past that they may have found a very rare and charming name. The name Homer is Greek in origin and it means “security, pledge.”

The name is not currently ranked when it comes to popularity, and it is dropping even further off the list as I type this. The name Homer has been chosen by many celebrities including Bill Murray, and Anne Heche.

6 August

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August is another name that is considered to be a unisex name, though I have personally seen it be used more for little boys. It is also the one name that is making its comeback, showing that there is potential for all the names on this list.

The name is actually the German form of the Latin name Augustus, and it means “great, magnificent.” With a meaning like that, we can all see the appeal. In 2017, the name ranked in at #191, and it is only a matter of time until it breaks the top 100.

5 Lottie

Lottie is another name that follows the trend of names that had an ‘ie’ ending, it appears these names were very popular in the Victorian era. The name is of English origin and it is a diminutive of the name Elizabeth and it means “free man.”

The name is not ranked on the popularity chart, but it is slowly creeping its way back onto the list. A lot of people love this name because it seems to envelop a period of lockets and lace, which is perfect when parents want a name that screams old-fashioned.

4 Etta

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If mom and dad are fans of the iconic Etta James, then they will love this name that was very popular in the 1800’s. The name Etta is of English and Scottish origin and it is actually the feminine diminutive of the name Henry. It means “estate ruler.” We all want our girls to rule the world.

The name is not ranked when it comes to popularity, but it did rise 24% this week alone. If parents want this name while it is still rare and unique, then this is the time to fill out the forms.

3 Horace

Horace is a name that may not be everyone’s first choice, but that is because it is not on anyone’s radar, so they don’t even think about it. The name is also not ranked in popularity, but surprisingly the name jumped 60% this week alone.

The name Horace has its place in history, with a lot of notable figures sharing the same name. There was an educator named Horace Mann, and a jazz legend named Horace Silver.

2 Clifford

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If you are like me and you grew up in the 90’s than the only Clifford, you know is probably the big red dog. Mind you, it was a fantastic program. The name Clifford goes all the way back to the 1800’s and it was very popular.

The name is of English origin and it means “lives near the ford by the cliff.” The name is not currently ranked when it comes to popularity. The ability to use the nickname Cliff also makes this a great and irresistible choice for any parent.

1 Lulu

Lulu is a name that is sweet, charming and just cute. It is a wonderful name for any little girl. The name is of Arabic origin and it is a diminutive of Louise or Lucy and it means “pearl.” Our little girls are the gems of our eyes, so when their name means something like pearl it is very sweet.

The name is not ranked when it comes to popularity, but it should be making its comeback any time now. Lulu was first used as a nickname, but it is making its own way as a stand-alone name.

References: Nameberry.com

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