Many parents dream of naming their future children long before the time actually comes to do so. The names dreamed about over the years change from time to time but the excitement remains. When the time actually comes for any new parent to start thinking of actual baby names, it can turn out to be a bit stressful, in addition to exciting. A name is a foundation on which any child will build their personality and life off of. A name is, well, the essence of who that child will be. Luckily, there are a ton of classic baby name options that will always stand the test of time.
“According to baby name expert and UCLA professor Albert Mehrabian, the names that sound best for many of us are those that are personal — names of family members or friends — historical — names of famous people in history — and names of fictional characters or religious figures. If a name gives [mom] fond feelings or memories, chances are it will do the same for others,” writes Romper.com.
Choosing one of these names doesn’t have to be complicated either. These days there is an abundance of resources available to help parents name their kids. From baby books to search engines and even baby name apps, there is no shortage of research options. Listed below are 25 retro baby names that will only get more beautiful with time. Keep reading for some timeless classics, sure to be worth of jotting down on any name possibility list.
Hattie is first up on this list of retro baby names. This sweet name means home ruler and is of German origin. “Hattie was popular at the end of the nineteenth century, in the Top 50 from 1880 to 1900, along with other similar nickname names like Lottie and Letty. It fell off the list in 1969, to return in 2011, the year of Hattie McDermott's birth,” shares NameBerry.com. The name Hattie is currently ranked at number 480 on popularity charts, according to NameBerry.com. Hattie is a darling little girls name, so it’s no wonder why it’s make a big comeback.
The name Wiley is a boys name of Scottish origin. It ranks in at number 1,983 on popularity charts, according to BabyCenter.com The name means well-watered meadow, according to SheKnows.com. “People with this name tend to be idealistic, highly imaginative, intuitive, and spiritual. They seek after spiritual truth and often find it. They tend to be visionary and may inspire others,” shares SheKnows.com on the personalities of those with the name Wiley. This name is both classic and unique, making it a perfect fit for any dapper young lass or lad! Jot it down on your list of potentials!
Looking for a name that’s feminine, sweet and not super trendy? Look no further than Cora! “Though she has never been completely out of favor, Cora has had her ups and downs. A Top 20 name in the 1880's, she had sunk to Number 876 in 1988, but has gradually come back into style, with every indication that she will continue to rise in popularity. A current inspiration is the appealing American-born Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey,” shares NameBerry.com. NameBerry.com also states that the name Cora currently ranks in at number 83 on popularity charts.
A name that I will always think is way too darling, Alma is next on the list. As if the name itself isn’t cute enough, it is of Latin origin and means soul, according to NameBerry.com. It currently ranks in at number 452 on popularity charts, according to BabyCenter.com. “People with this name have a deep inner desire for love and companionship, and want to work with others to achieve peace and harmony,” shares SheKnows.com. It’s a short name with a lot of big and meaningful history to it. Any little girl named Alma is sure to succeed in whatever she does!
“The name Edith is a girl's name of English origin meaning "prosperous in war". Edith is ranked #476 on our popularity charts,” writes NameBerry.com. This name might sound like an elegant and classic choice, but it is one with a powerful and stately meaning behind it. This makes it a perfect fit for any warrior princess baby! “People with this name tend to initiate events, to be leaders rather than followers, with powerful personalities. They tend to be focused on specific goals, experience a wealth of creative new ideas, and have the ability to implement these ideas with efficiency and determination,” shares SheKnows.com.
This gender neutral name is so sweet for a boy or girl. As a boys name, it currently ranks in at number 667 on popularity charts. As a girls name, it currently ranks in at number 445, according to NameBerry.com. “A growing number of high-profile (and other) parents are choosing to honor their musical idols, such as Hendrix, Presley, Jagger, and now Lennon, an Irish name with a wonderful meaning on many levels. Lennon first came to notice when Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit used it for their son in 1999, and singer-musician Adam Pascal followed their lead two years later,” shares NameBerry.com.
“The name Norma is a girl's name of English origin meaning "from the north; or, the pattern,” shares NameBerry.com. Norma is a precious name that totally gives off old-lady vibes, which I think is too cute! “People with this name are excellent at analyzing, understanding, and learning. They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars, and teachers. Because they live so much in the mind, they tend to be quiet and introspective, and are usually introverts. When presented with issues, they will see the larger picture,” writes SheKnows.com. Norma is a classic girls name, but it’s not too be overlooked as a boys name either!
Another gender neutral name, Everett is the next name we’ll take a look at. As a boy’s name it is currently ranked at number 104 on popularity charts, according to NameBerry.com. It’s much less common as a girl’s name, but not unheard of. SheKnows.com states the following, “The name Everett is an English baby name. In English the meaning of the name Everett is: Hardy; brave.” This classic name is strong and fierce for a little boy or girl. Those who opt for naming a girl Everett often choose to soften it up by adding an ‘e’ to the end, Everette. Either way, it’s a strong suitor for your list of baby name contenders!
Ethel is next up on the list, another classic name that deserves a big comeback. Ethel is currently ranked at number 743, according to NameBerry.com. The name means noble, making it that much more charming for a little girl with a big, bright future ahead of her! NameBerry.com shares the following, “At the turn of the last century, when Ethel Barrymore was the belle of Broadway, her first name was wildly popular, a Top 10 name for sixteen year and in the Top 100 until 1939. Other well-known bearers have been musical stars Ethel Merman and Ethel Waters and Robert Kennedy's widow.”
Does it get any more dapper than Theodore? I doubt it! “The name Theodore is a boy's name of Greek origin meaning "gift of God". Theodore is ranked #62 on our popularity charts,” states NameBerry.com. This astute baby boy name has adorable nicknames options including Teddy and Theo. NameBerry.com also shares, “The name has a distinguished history. In addition to being presidential, it was borne by novelist Dreiser, poet Roethke, and French painter Gericault, and it was the first name (spelled Theodor) of Dr. Seuss.” If you’re looking for a boy name that will surely never go out of style, Theodore is one to consider.
It doesn’t get much more loveable than Mabel, a name that literally means loveable. “Although it enjoyed considerable time outside of the Top 1000, Mabel is back on the list -- although nowhere near where it was in the 1880s and 1890s, when it was a Top 20 name. There is a Princess Mabel in the Netherlands today, born a commoner and married to Prince Friso,” writes NameBerry.com. NameBerry.com also shares that the name is currently ranked at number 451 on popularity charts. It’s a quaint name that isn’t too popular yet, so you can rest assured any Mabel likely wouldn’t have a classroom duplicate!
I may be a little partial to this name, Charlotte is next up on the list. “The feminine form of "Charles," it means "petite" and "feminine." It has been a common name for royalty,” shares BabyCenter.com. The name is undoubtedly popular, currently ranking in at number 7 on popularity charts. “Charlotte is an elegant royal name, with a host of widely varied role models, from Charlotte Brontë to the spidery protagonist of E. B. White's Charlotte's Web to the more recent Charlotte York, aka the prissy one, of Sex and the City. Charlotte is appealing to a wide range of parents because it sounds feminine yet grownup, sophisticated yet lush,” states NameBerry.com.
If Clarence doesn’t make you think of a sweet old man, I don’t know what will! Regardless, it’s a darling retro baby name for a little boy. “The name Clarence is an English baby name. In English the meaning of the name Clarence is: From the surname and place name Clare, meaning bright or clear. Famous bearers: George, Duke of Clarence, brother of King Edward IV and King Richard III, who is traditionally believed to have drowned in Malmsey wine,” states SheKnows.com. Clarence is a name not to be missed if you’re looking for a boys name that is charming, timeless and makes anyone think, “Awwww!”
Ranked in at number 61 on NameBerry.com popularity charts, Alice is next up on the list. “Alice is a classic literary name that's both strong and sweet, which got a big bounce via Tina Fey's choice of the name for her daughter. Alice has experienced a recent surge in popularity,” writes NameBerry.com. The name is of English origin and means both noble and kind, according to BabyCenter.com. There’s a reason this name is seeing a big comeback. It’s a classically charming name worth considering adding to your list of possibilities if you don’t mind a more commonly used name.
A French name meaning red haired, Russell is the next boys name on this list of retro baby names. “One of many R- boys’ names that started as a nickname for a redhead, Russell had a measure of popularity from the early twentieth century through the 1950s,” writes NameBerry.com. NameBerry.com also adds that the name si currently number 403 on popularity charts. Red haired or not, it’s a charming name for any dapper little dude. “People with this name have a deep inner desire to lead, organize, supervise, and to achieve status, power and wealth,” writes SheKnows.com on the personality of those named Russell.
It might sound like the name of an old farmer, but it’s a super cute baby boy name! Vernon is next up, and is a name that is not going out of style anytime soon. “The name Vernon is a Latin baby name. In Latin the meaning of the name Vernon is:Flourishing,” shares SheKnows.com. This name is not currently too trendy, making it even more of a unique choice to consider adding to your list of possibilities. “People with this name have a deep inner desire to inspire others in a higher cause, and to share their own strongly held views on spiritual matters,” shares SheKnows.com.
“The name Sampson is a boy's name of Hebrew origin meaning sun,” shares NameBerry.com. Not to be missed as a girl’s name as well, Sampson is a name that could work either way. It is an interesting name that has a bright meaning and is for sure one to add to your list of names to consider. “People with this name are excellent at analyzing, understanding, and learning. They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars, and teachers. Because they live so much in the mind, they tend to be quiet and introspective, and are usually introverts,” shares SheKnows.com.
Della, sweet Della! Another name on this list that I think is just too cute for words. “The name Della is an English baby name. In English the meaning of the name Della is:Noble. This has been used commonly as an independent name since the late 19th century,” shares SheKnows.com. It is a unique name that isn’t too popular yet, but may see a rise in popularity. “People with this name have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family or community, and a need to work with others and to be appreciated,” suggests SheKnows.com. Choose Della for your little one and you might just get the trend started!
Boy or girl, Presley is a big name packed with charming character. The name is of English origin and means Priest’s meadow. Odd as that might be, the name is still super sweet! Ranked at number 784 on popularity charts for boys names and at number 200 for girls names, according to NameBerry.com, the name is certainly seeing a larger rise in popularity as a girl’s name. “More universal than Elvis...and more attractive, too. Cindy Crawford used it for her son, though it's on the rise mainly for girls,” shares NameBerry.com. Either way, it’s a fun name that is sure not to go out of style.
One of the coolest retro baby names coming back into style, let’s take a look at the name Ida. Currently ranked at number 293 on popularity charts, NameBerry.com shares the following, “Ida hasn't been in the Top 1000 since the 1980s, but we do see it as slated to rise again. It is hugely popular right now in Scandinavia—Number 3 in Denmark, Number 10 in Norway, and Number 43 in Sweden, where it's pronounced EE-da.” This short name is both sweet and spicy and is more than worth considering at to your list of possibilities for little girl’s names.
Of Greek origin, the name Irene means peace, shares NameBerry.com. If you’re looking to raise a little girl intune with nature and her natural surroundings, Irene just might be a good fit. The name is currently ranked at number 594 on popularity charts, according to NameBerry.com. “People with this name have a deep inner desire to use their abilities in leadership, and to have personal independence. They would rather focus on large, important issues, and delegate the details,” shares SheKnows.com on those with the name Irene. If you’re looking for a name that is classic, quaint and a bit whimsical in meaning, Irene might be a good fit!
Does it get any more sweet than Elsie? I don’t think so! Meaning noble, Elsie is of German origin, shares SheKnows.com. “Elsie was a popular name at the end of the nineteenth century until its image was damaged in this country by the association with Elsie the Borden cow. But it's rising now on the heels of Ella and Ellie, suddenly sounding fresh and frisky,” writes NameBerry.com. This sweet name currently ranks in at number 301 on popularity charts, according to NameBerry.com. If you’re looking for an adorable baby girl name, with a strong meaning behind it, consider adding Elsie to your list of potential names.
This name remains a popular choice, ranking in at number 42 on popularity charts, according to NameBerry.com. The name is of latin origin and means star, making it sweet inspiration for a baby name. “People with this name have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family or community, and a need to work with others and to be appreciated,” shares SheKnows.com on the traits of those named Stella. If you don’t mind a name that is growing in popularity, Stella is another classic name to consider for any little girl worthy of the universe and more!
Another one of my favorites, Lila is next on the list! The name Lila is a girl's name of Arabic, Hindi, Persian origin meaning night and is currently ranked at number 210 on popularity charts, according to NameBerry.com. “People with this name are excellent at analyzing, understanding, and learning. They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars, and teachers. Because they live so much in the mind, they tend to be quiet and introspective, and are usually introverts,” writes SheKnows.com on the personality of people with the name Alma. It’s truly a darling baby girl name that deserves a big come-back!
This whimsical name means from the forest. Sylvia currently ranks in at number 488 on popularity charts, according to NameBerry.com. It’s not too popular, but definitely not overused! “People with this name have a deep inner desire to use their abilities in leadership, and to have personal independence. They would rather focus on large, important issues, and delegate the details,” shares SheKnows.com on those with the name Sylvia. This timeless classic is not going out of style anytime soon! Naming any little girl Sylvia is certainly a decision you will not regret, and your daughter will surely thank you for it!
References: www.romper.com, www.nameberry.com, www.sheknows.com, www.babycenter.com