Old-fashioned baby names

Old-Fashioned Baby Names You’ll Love

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11/10/18
6 min read

If you're hunting for baby names that have stood the test of time, you're in luck. Names that might have once seemed dated are now making a comeback, giving you fresh inspiration in the form of vintage names.

You can also play a little bit with our Baby Name Generator where you can search for names by origin, first letter, and theme for both boys and girls. However, if you want to collect some ideas for some traditional names, then read on.

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Old-Fashioned Baby Boy Names Old-Fashioned Baby Girl Names

Old-Fashioned Baby Boy Names

Classic

When it comes to picking a name, you can’t go wrong with the classics. Even though these boy names have an old timey feel, the classics never go out of style, so even when trends come and go, these names endure with a timeless quality.

  • Ernest. With its origins from the German word, Ernst, meaning “serious”, Ernest is a solid, reliable name.
  • Frank. The name Frank comes from the Germanic tribe, the Franks, who settled in France. Frank made its way over the English Channel to Britain with the Normans and has since become a classic boy’s name.
  • Ralph. Contracted from the Old Norse name Radulfr, meaning “council” and “wolf”, Ralph came to England through the Vikings, and became even more popular name under the Normans. Maybe you’d like to pick this name for your little one if you think it’s a cute name for a baby boy.
  • Roger. From the Germanic words hrod, “fame” and ger, “spear”, Roger is a good name for a little Medieval warrior. It went out of fashion in the 18th century, but it made a comeback and became very fashionable in the mid-20th century.
  • Walter. This name derives from the Old High German Walthari, which means “ruler of the army”. It can also be a surname, and is not a commonly used name, but that’s part of its charm. Could you see your little boy as a Walter?

Regal and Traditional

You don’t need to have royal blood to pick one of these noble names, but if you’re looking for something distinguished and traditional, try one of these regal, baby names.

  • Albert. This old Germanic name meaning “noble” and “bright” was once used for Medieval German royalty. It became especially popular in Britain in the 19th century, but it’s a traditional name you’ll find all across Europe. With royals, scientists and writers once bearing this classic name, your little one would not be in bad company.
  • Arthur. This name evokes misty myths and legends with the Knights of the Round Table and the Lady in the Lake. The origin of Arthur is unclear, some say it’s a Celtic name meaning “bear”, others say it comes from a Roman family name.
  • Charles. Coming from the German name Karl, which means “man”, Charles is a name that has had a distinguished past. Kings, Holy Roman Emperors, and great writers bore this noble name. It’s a timeless title that will never feel dated, so why not name your little boy Charles for something traditional with class?
  • Edward. Derived from the Old English words for “wealth” or “fortune”, and “guard” or “guardian”, Edward has regal connections, once being a name for several Anglo-Saxon kings. Today, there are many little Edwards (and big Edwards) running around, so it’s still a powerful name that has a timeless quality.
  • Frederick. The Germanic version of Frederick, Friedrich, means “peaceful ruler”, which is probably why many European kings, emperors and nobles received this name. It became very popular in the US until the 1950s, but it’s still a classy, retro name that could be great for your little boy.

Unusual Vintage

Are you on the lookout for an unusual name, but you want something with history or with a vintage feel? Why not pick one of these unusual old-fashioned names that haven’t quite made it back into fashion yet so your little boy stands out from the crowd?

  • Augustine. Coming from the Latin word “to increase” or “great”, Augustine has its roots in the name Augustus. There were two saints with the name Augustine, but even if your little boy has less then saintly behaviour at times, it’s still a distinguished, original name to give your little one.
  • Enoch. Enoch is a Hebrew name that means “dedicated”. Perhaps your son will put his mind to anything he chooses with this classic, yet rare name?
  • Everett. Everett is one of those classy names that comes from a surname. It means “brave as a wild boar” in Old English. It’s a smooth, strong name that has retro appeal.
  • Jasper. This name means “treasurer” in Persian, and is a once popular name that’s due to make a comeback and is a stylish, old timey name. Maybe you feel your little boy has panache and deserves a swanky name like Jasper?
  • Silas. This Biblical name could either be a short form of the Roman name Silvanus or a Greek form of an Aramaic name. If you were thinking of a name like Samuel or Saul, but you’d prefer something a little more original, then Silas is a great choice.

Old-Fashioned Baby Girl Names

Classic

Expecting a little girl? If you want to give her a name that still has an retro charm, but won’t go out of style, you may want to consider these classics.

  • Clara. Coming from the Latin name Clarus, which means “clear”, “bright” or “famous”, Clara is an old name that has endured over history. If you have been thinking about naming your baby girl Clare, but want something a little more old-fashioned, you can try the Latin spelling Clara.
  • Dorothy. Before there was a Yellow Brick Road, there was Dorothy. Coming from the name Dorothea, an ancient Greek name meaning “gift of God”, the modern version of Dorothy became one of the most popular girl’s names from 1904 until the 1960s. Why not help give the Dorothy a comeback by calling your little girl this classic, old timey name?
  • Edith. This name from the Old English words meaning riches and war was once popular among Anglo-Saxon royalty. Over the centuries it’s enjoyed surges of popularity, like in the 16th century, and then again in the 19th century. It’s one of those names that is charmingly old-fashioned, which could make a great, unique name for your daughter.
  • Martha. Martha means the “mistress” or the “lady” in Aramaic, so perhaps your little lady deserves a name that suits her position in the house.
  • Ruby. Maybe your little girl has ruby red cheeks or is as precious as a gem. Why not give your daughter this retro name and bring some sparkle into her life?

Pretty Floral Names

If you’re looking for a name with a floral or plant-theme, these names should help you get inspired.

  • Florence. This elegant name means blossoming in Latin, so it’s a charmingly feminine name for a little girl. Perhaps your daughter reminds you of a blooming flower, you’re in love with the Italian city of the same name, or you have someone in your family with this name you’d love to remember.
  • Lillian. Lillian comes from the Latin word for “Lily”, making it a charming, vintage alternative floral name for your daughter.
  • Olive. Maybe you want a botanical name that’s less flowery? Then Olive is a great choice. Inspired by a beautiful tree whose branches represent peace, this is a name that should make a comeback.
  • Rose. This sweet smelling name is a classic. Rose may not be as fashionable as it once was, this name is perfectly feminine, and ideal for a little girl who is sweet and rosy.
  • Rosemary. Another classic, Rosemary is an herbal name that was once popular, and is ready to come back into fashion. Why not get ahead of the trend and name your little one after this aromatic plant?

Unusual Vintage

Want something a little unique? Check out these more unusual old-fashioned baby girl names for something different.

  • Ada. This was a popular name at the end of the 19th century. It comes from the German meaning “noble”, but it could also have its roots in Greek mythology and Hebrew. If you like names like Eva or Ava, but want something with a vintage feel, this is a good name for your little girl.
  • Adelaide. Similar to Ada, Adelaide comes from a Germanic name meaning “noble natured”. It became fashionable in Britain in the 19th century, so much so that the city of Adelaide in Australia got its name from the wife of King William IV.
  • Cora. This rarely used old name goes back to Ancient Greek mythology. The name Koré was the maiden name of the goddess Persephone before she was dragged down into the underworld. Cora is the Latin version of the Greek name, which became fashionable in the English speaking world in the 19th century. Why not bring it back with your little one?
  • Goldie. Goldie evokes images of gold, and is a beautiful name for a pretty girl with golden locks.
  • Zelda. Zelda might evoke the swinging 20s, but it’s a name with German origins that could mean “dark battle” or “woman warrior”. It’s a strong name for a feisty little girl that has a feel that takes you back to the Jazz age.

If you’re still looking for inspiration, what about enlisting family and friends to help? Baby naming parties are becoming popular among parents-to-be, and we have all the information you need to host one yourself. Maybe some of your guests will come up with vintage baby names you haven’t thought of. Have fun!

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