You know the phrase, "An oldie but a goodie," don't you? Well, there's a reason that phrase is so popular. It's because it's true! And these names are just that - they're old school but they're also amazing. These names are beautiful and sweet, strong and rebellious, graceful and artsy - there's something on this list for every type of little girl. And the one thing they all have in common - coming from yester-year - is actually the best thing about these names. Because they come from a different era, they're not as popular. These names are totally unique! You're not going to have to worry about running around the playground and calling, "Ava! Ava, where are you?" only to have five little girls answer back. These names will make your little one stand out and be her own person. But they're not odd or made up. These aren't celebrity names that you've never heard of before. All of these names should sound a little familiar. You'll think, "Wow! I haven't heard that name in a while." And we say, why not bring the name back? These names are wonderful and they deserve to have a comeback. Let your little girl lead the pack and bring these names back!
I think Adeline is such a beautiful name! Why don't we hear it more often? It's so pretty. Adeline just sounds light and airy. It follows a trend of names like Madeleine and Caroline, but with something a little bit more unique. It almost sounds like it could be a name for a princess. Adeline is a form of the name Adele, which means noble. It has French, American, Latin and German origins. According to Baby Center, Adeline was a popular name from 1885 to 1915 and then totally dropped off. It has been making a resurgence in recent years, but still hasn't managed to crack the top 50. Meaning this name is beautiful and rare!
Corinne is another name that I think is so beautiful. It's a shame we don't hear it more often! If you're a Survivor fan like me, you might associate this name with one of Survivor's more brash and villainous players. But leaving that comparison aside, Corinne is still a great choice for a little girl. It's definitely not a name you're going to hear around the playground. Corinne means maiden and has English, French and German origins. Behind the Name informs us, "The French-Swiss author Madame de Staël used it for her novel 'Corinne' (1807)."
Della is a name I don't think I've actually heard before. But it's got a nice ring to it, don't you think? Della is a more unique take on the very popular Bella - short for Isabella and after the famed heroine of the Twilight series. The only part of Della that I don't like is that it also reminds me of that kids song, The Farmer in the Dell. But I guess it's also pretty cute to have a kid named after a kids song and even cuter if you happen to be a farmer or have farming in your family.
How sweet is the name Flora? It's a different take on the very popular theme of naming little girls after flowers like Rose, Lily or Daisy. Flora sounds just as soft and romantic, without picking one flower in particular. It's also the name of one of the fairy godmothers in Sleeping Beauty! So if you're a Disney fan or big fan of fairytales, Flora is a great nod to that. Behind the Name tells us, "Derived from Latin flos meaning "flower". Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, the wife of Zephyr the west wind. It has been used as a given name since the Renaissance, starting in France."
Now Ida is definitely a name we don't hear very often these names. In fact, I can't think of anyone I've ever met who had this name. I'll admit that Ida definitely has a grandmother quality to it. But it's also super cute! How sweet is it when you meet a little wee baby and she has a grown up name? I love that! Ida means prosperous and was most popular when the Normans first brought the name to England. It died out in the Middle Ages but then came back in 1847 thanks to Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'The Princess.' And now it can come back in 2018 thanks to you and your daughter!
Besides the actress Lena Dunham, I don't know too many other Lenas. There's also the character Lena in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But I can't say that Lena is a name I heard often growing up or know of too many parents selecting these days. But it's such a gorgeous name! I remember reading the Sisterhood books and watching the movies and really loving the name Lena. Plus I loved that she was smart and got to have this awesome experience in Greece and at art school. Not such a bad character to name your daughter after!
Now I will fully admit that Maude might be the ultimate grandma name. But aren't we in an era when it's cool to bring back grandma names? Find me a pair of hipster parents who don't want to name their kids something like Atticus and Muriel and dress them up in prescription-less glasses and beanie hats. And remember, Maude became a grandma name because at one point, those grandmas were young babies being named Maude. It's time for Maude to make a comeback!
I think the name Roxie is the perfect blend of old school and new school. It's cheeky and a little bit rebellious. It's definitely not a name that would be given to a princess or someone of high society. Roxie has some edge to it. But it's also a very pretty name and one that people will know how to spell. Plus, I love when parents choose names that are traditionally nicknames, and use them as their kids' real names. I love the idea of naming your daughter Roxie and not Roxanne with the optional nickname of Roxie. Roxie also reminds me of Roxie Hart from the musical Chicago!
When I hear Vera, I immediately think of famed dress designer, Vera Wang. Now there's a talented, accomplished and well known woman who has built an empire. Not such a shabby person to name your daughter after, right? Plus, Vera is a very beautiful name. It sounds almost regal and distinguished. In Latin, Vera means true. The name was most popular from 1890 to 1925. These days, it's only given to 752 babies out of one million, according to Baby Center. So a rare find indeed!
When I first came across the name Zelma, I thought it sounded familiar. But then I realized it's because Zelma brings together two of my favorite childhood TV characters: Zelda, one of Sabrina's aunts in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Velma, the geeky girl from Scooby Doo. So this is a great name to pay a subtle homage to some of your childhood faves, without being too obvious and naming your kid after the main character. Zelma is a variation of the name, Selma. It means comely or attractive. The name reached peak popularity in 1902 and has been coming down on the charts ever since.
I had actually never heard of the name Minette until I started doing research for this list. But how sweet is this name? I think it sounds like a darling little French girl carrying baguettes along the Seine. But even if you're not a French family living in Paris, this name could be a great choice. Minette is a French name and a form of Williamina. It's also a diminutive of Mina and a nickname of Henriette. In French, it resembles the name for a female kitten, which is a term of endearment for young girls. So if you're a francophile, this is the name for you!
Chandra is another name I hadn't heard of but totally fell in love with as soon as I came across it. It kind of reminds me of Shonda, aka Shonda Rhimes of Shondaland - the most powerful woman in television. But Chandra is a bit different from Shonda, but still has some Shondaland connections. Dr. Miranda Bailey of Grey's Anatomy is played by actress Chandra Wilson. So with this name, you're naming your daughter after some very strong and powerful WOC. Chandra means eminent and illustrious - does it get better than that?
Beverly or Beverley is actually a name I grew up with - I went to elementary school on Beverley Street! Beverley is a grandma name but I think it's also super sweet for a little one. It does sound old school but in a way that makes it unique. Plus, I think the nickname Bev is great. Behind the Name shares the history of Beverly saying, "From a surname which was originally derived from the name of an English city, itself meaning "beaver stream" in Old English. It came into use as a masculine given name in the 19th century, and it became common as an American feminine name after the publication of George Barr McCutcheon's novel 'Beverly of Graustark' (1904)."
Ada is another name I really love. I'll admit: I was totally on the Ava bandwagon. In fact, I'd like to think I was driving the wagon. As soon as I learned that Reese Witherspoon had named her children Ava and Deacon, I thought those names were so cool and so beautiful, without being wacky (looking at you, Apple). I was in love with Ava! But then I realized the entire world was also in love with Ava and that it was one of the most popular names ever. So Ada gives you that same beautiful sound and easy spelling, but without being an exact copy of the overused Ava.
Evelyn is another grandma name that I think is totally making a comeback for little girls. This name can be pronounced two ways: Ev-ah-lynn or Eve-lynn. Personally, I prefer the Ev-ah-lynn version, which is also more common in North America. I think Ev is a cute nickname, and there's also Eve, Eva and Lynn. So lots of options with this awesome name! Baby Center tells us, "Traditionally an English last name, it used to be a boys' name, but now is typically used for girls. May also be a combination of the names Eve (this "first woman" moniker is connected with the Hebrew for "life" or "living") and Lynn."
Louisa is another old school name that definitely deserves a comeback. It takes a slightly boring name like Louise and adds just a touch of creativity and femininity to it. Of course, it also has some Sound of Music vibes. Louisa was one of the Von Trapp children. But if you're a big musical junkie or Julie Andrews fan, this name might be even more special for you! Louisa is the female version of Louis, meaning battle, famous in war or renowned warrior. Plus, it's the name of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott!
Leona is not a name we hear very often. I only know it from pop singer Leona Lewis but have never heard it outside of that. Which is a shame, because it's such a pretty name! Or maybe it's a blessing in disguise because it means this unique name is all yours. In Latin, Leona means like a lion or lioness. Let's hear your little one roar! The name peaked in popularity in 1905, so no need to worry about anyone else having this same name.
Dorothy might be the number one grandma name turned adorable little girl name. But Dorothy is actually a name that works for older women, like Dorothy from The Golden Girls, and for little ones, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. So you don't have to worry about this name aging your little girl. It's sort of whimsical - I love the idea of naming your child after a children's story or fairytale character. In Greek, Dorothy means a gift from god. It was most popular in 1923, which makes sense since L Frank Baum's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, came out in 1900.
Josephine is a sophisticated and feminine name that we just don't hear very often these days. I think it's a very elegant name and almost has a maturity to it. This is definitely a name you don't have to worry about your daughter finding too childish or silly as she grows up. And while this name does sound very sophisticated, it can be made more casual with nicknames like Jo, Joey or Josie. Josephine is the female form of Joseph, which means god will add or may Jehovah increase.
Before you laugh off this choice, take a minute to consider Goldie. Like me, you might only know Goldie as Hollywood actress (and Kate Hudson's mom) Goldie Hawn. It kind of sounds like a silly name only an actress could pull off. But it's actually a very cute name. And it's not that wild or out there - considering the strange names that we hear these days. And if you can name your child Blue or Violet, why not Goldie? Goldie, most naturally, means made of gold! It was a popular name from 1885 to 1905 but hasn't seen much love since. Let's show Goldie some love!
Sweet sweet June. As soon as I hear this name, I automatically think of sweetness and something airy and light. Of course, this is an easy name if your daughter is born in the month of June. But even if she isn't, you're still allowed to use the name June. It's pretty all on its own and not just reserved for those born in that month. June, obviously, is named after the month, which was named for the Roman goddess, Juno. It was very popular in 1925 but has been declining ever since.
Nora is one of my all time favorite names. I think this name is on its way back from being an old lady name and transitioning into something much more fit for a young girl. Nora has come up a few times in pop culture - often as a rom-com heroine - proving that the name can belong to someone without grey hair. Baby Center tells us, "Short for Honora, an Anglo-Norman name from the Latin for "honor." It's also short for Eleanora, a Greek name meaning "light." In Scotland, Nora is the feminine form of Norman."
I think Rosalie is such a pretty sounding name. It gives a bit of substance and flair to the name Rose, but you can still use Rose as a nickname. Given that I grew up in the Twilight era, I can't help but think of vampire Rosalie Cullen from those stories. And while she wasn't my favorite character, I don't think it'd be detrimental to have my child share a name with her. Of course, Rosalie is derived from the Latin name Rose. In 1938, this name shot up on the charts, thanks to the movie Rosalie coming out that same year.
Margot is a name that I hadn't heard very often until Margot Robbie walked into Hollywood and stole the show. Before that, I just thought Margot was a bit of a plain Jane name that sounded kind of harsh and masculine. But since watching Margot Robbie take over Hollywood, I've realized this name is so versatile and can definitely be feminine and beautiful. Margot is a form of Margaret, which means child of light. The name has actually mean gaining in popularity but still sits at #470 on the charts.
Millicent is a name that sounds quite fancy to me. I'm not sure why, but I picture a Millicent living a really luxurious five star life. And who doesn't want that for their little one? Plus, there's the adorable nickname Millie, which is just too cute! Behind the Name tells us, "From the Germanic name Amalasuintha, composed of the elements amal "work, labour" and swinth "strong". Amalasuintha was a 6th-century queen of the Ostrogoths. The Normans introduced this name to England in the form Melisent or Melisende. Melisende was a 12th-century queen of Jerusalem, the daughter of Baldwin II."
Cordelia is definitely a fancy one for you to consider. You can see Cordelia as a princess in some far off European town, can't you? It has got a bit of whimsy to it and sounds very playful. Cordelia certainly isn't a name for everyone, but it's an awesome choice if you're liking the sound of it. Cordelia, from Latin origins, means heart. It's also the name of one of King Lear's daughters from the famous Shakespeare play. The name was most popular back in the 1800's but hasn't seen much popularity since.
Ruby is a classic name. It's got staying power and is definitely a name we all know. To me, Ruby is a very cute name for a little lady. And I think with the right attitude, this name could still be pulled off well into adulthood. But there's no denying that it's sweet and adorable for a little one. Ruby, of Latin roots, is after the ruby jewel named after the Latin word "ruber" for red. It was very popular back in 1923 but doesn't get heard enough these days. It's also the birthstone for July, so an extra special meaning for July babies!
Viola is a more refined version of the name Violet, in my opinion. It seems sophisticated and classic, perhaps because it appears in a Shakespearean play. So this is a name with a lot of history to it. Plus, it has a melodic quality, maybe because it shares its name with a stringed instrument. Viola is a form of Violet, named for the purple flower. Viola peaked in popularity in 1903 and has been a rare choice ever since. Plus, you also share the name with famous actress Viola Davis!
Caroline is another name that is such a classic but that we just don't hear anymore. I actually really like the name Caroline. I think it sounds so beautiful and elegant. It's a feminine name and can sound almost regal. It's easy to picture a Princess Caroline. But because it's such a classic name, it also has some sophistication. It isn't just a playful name for young girls. It is definitely a name that can grow with your daughter. Caroline is a combination of two names: Carol (meaning joyour song) and Linda (meaning pretty).
I think Hattie is a really cool name. I first heard it on Parenthood and was immediately taken with it. It's just so cool! It's definitely not a name you hear everyday. I also have a soft spot for names that seem like they should just be nicknames, but are actual full names. I think it's very cool to go for a name like Sophie, Julie or Hattie and not the longer versions like Sophia or Julia. Hattie could be short for Harriet, but I really like how it stands on its own. Hattie, from German origins, means home ruler.
References: behindthename.com, sheknows.com, babynamewizard.com, babycenter.com