153 old-fashioned baby names for boys and girls
Old-fashioned baby names are back in style - choose from this list of over 150 vintage girl and boy baby names, their origins and their meanings
Old-fashioned baby names are everywhere you look. Despite originating in the 1700s, 1800s and beyond, many of them are still popular today.
Whether that’s because trends tend to roll around time and time again, or popular figures like the royals and celebrities make these names fashionable, or our kids are often named after much older relatives - is up to you to decide.
The surge in old-fashioned baby names may well be because we’re all looking for an interesting, unusual or unique moniker for our baby, too.
Here, we reveal the best old-fashioned baby names to consider for your child…
82 old-fashioned baby name ideas for girls…
Agnes – ‘pure’ and ‘joy’ in Greek
Alice – 'noble' and 'truth', of French and German origin
Alma – thought to be derived from Latin, means kind
Anna – an English name with Latin origins, meaning Grace. Annie – an English name with Latin origins, also meaning Grace. Possibly a shortened version of Annabel, Angela, among others
Augusta – a Latin baby name meaning ‘majestic’ or even ‘grand’
Barbara – the name Barbara has numerous meanings in different languages. We quite like the Greek meaning: 'strange'!
Bertha – a Germanic name, meaning ‘bright one’. Fun fact: it’s been around since at least 500AD
Beryl – an English name, taken from the eponymous gemstone, which can take on a variety of colours
Betsy – a shorter version of ‘Elizabeth’, which is a Hebrew name meaning ‘my God is an oath’
Blanche – an old French name, which is also the French word for ‘white’
Caroline – the origin of Caroline’s a bit tricky to pin down. Many think it’s the feminine form of the Latin name Carolus
Carrie – an abbreviation of Caroline, that works just as well on its own
Cecil – an English name with Roman origins. Apparently, it’s derived from a Roman word that meant ‘blind’
Christiana – a name of Greek origin, meaning ‘follower of Christ’
Clara – meaning ‘bright’ or ‘clear’ Constance – has English, French and Latin roots, which means ‘steadfast’
Cora – popular in the 1880s and declining ever since, this is a great name coming back into fashion. Means ‘maiden’, of Greek origin
Darcy – popular in the 1960s, Darcy is an Irish or French name which can mean ‘dark one’
Delia – a name of Greek origin, related to the island of Delos. Possibly a short version of Cordelia
Diana – a Latin name meaning ‘divine’. Of course, made popular by the late Diana, Princess of Wales
Dora – a name of Greek origin, meaning ‘gift’
Dorothy – a top name in the early 1900s, meaning ‘gift of God’
Edith – an English name, meaning ‘prosperous of war’ Edna – a name of Hebrew origin meaning ‘delight’ or ‘rejuvenation’
Elizabeth – a Hebrew name meaning ‘my God is an oath’
Elsie – a Scottish origin name. Usually a shortened version of Elspeth, the Scottish version of Elizabeth
Emma – a name of German origin, meaning ‘universal’
Estelle – a French name meaning ‘star'
Esther – there are a few theories about this name. Some think it has Persian origin, and means ‘star’. Often Esther is thought of as a biblical name, too.
Ethel – an English name that generally means ‘noble’.
Flora – means ‘flower’, of course!
Florence – means ‘flourishing’, of Latin origin. Or could represent a very famous Italian city, too.
Frances – a Latin name, meaning ‘free one’
Geraldine – a Germanic name in origin, which means ‘rule with a spear’. Basically: you don’t mess with Geraldine!
Gertrude – another Germanic name, meaning ‘strong spear’. Can be shortened in a few ways, like Trudie or Trudy
Grace – means what you think it does. Think: eloquence, elegance, beauty…
Gwendolyn – a Welsh name, can be styled as Gwendoline and shortened to Gwen. Thought to have a few meanings: ‘white bow’ or ‘white ring’, or ‘fair’ as in fair-haired
Hattie – a shortened name for Harriet we don’t hear much of these days. Harriet is the English version of French name Henriette, from the 1800s. Means ‘ruler’
Henrietta – French, again a variation from the name Henriette, which is just as lovely
Hilda – a name for a true warrior. An Old Norse name, meaning ‘battle’
Ida – a name that means ‘action’ or ‘work’, despite it having a few different origins
Iris – an English name, describing a flower
Iva – a Slavic origin name meaning ‘gracious’ or ‘good’. Could be a shortened version of Ivanka or Ivana Janet – a name we hear little of these days, but suggested by one of our MFM mums. Lovely! Means ‘god’s gracious gift’, apparently!
Kitty – a lovely alternate to Kate, Katherine, Katrina. Typically, this nickname’s assumed to come from Ireland.
Laura – a Latin origin name, meaning ‘by Laurel’. The name ‘implies victory by invoking the laurel wreath worn by Olympic athletes and Roman emperors’, according to Nameberry
Leona – means ‘lion’, and comes from Latin origins
Lillian – Latin origin, and means ‘lily’. Was very popular in the 1880s, and had a resurgence of popularity in the early 2010s, according to Baby Name Wizard
Mabel – a sweet English name often associated with the older generation, that actually means ‘lovable’. Can be a shortened version of the name Amabel
Maggie – an English name with Hebrew origins. It means ‘pearl’, and is a shortening of Margaret
Margaret – also means ‘pearl’ and is Hebrew in origin. Other nicknames include Meg, Peggy, Mae and Margo
Marianne – a French name, combining the meanings of Marie (wished-for child, rebellion, bitter) and Anne (grace)
Marion – similar to Marianne, it is a French name, with numerous possible meanings. ‘Rebellion’ and ‘wished-for child’ being 2 of them. Some people also reckon it means ‘lady of the sea’, which is pretty cool
Mary – a name of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘bitter’. The original name behind Marion, Marianne and other variations
Matilda – means ‘strength in battle’, and comes from a Germanic background
Maude – similar to Matilda, it is also Germanic in origin and means ‘powerful battle’
Mildred – very popular in the US in the 1910s, Mildred’s the definition of an old-fashioned name. It’s an Anglo-Saxon name (so, Old English) and means ‘gentle strength’
Minnie – means ‘intellectual’ or ‘of the mind’, as it’s a short version of the name Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, invention and the arts
Myrtle – named from a flowering, evergreen plant. Also popular in the 1920s, and probably best recognised from The Great Gatsby
Nancy – thought to be a variant of Anne, so it also means ‘grace’
Nellie – means ‘bright shining one’, as it’s a short form of Nell, Helen or Eleanor. Of English origin
Nettie – very popular in the early 1900s, and one there’s still time to bring back into style! Usually a nickname for someone called Annette
Nora – comes from the Latin word ‘honora’, meaning ‘honor’. Lovely, and very elegant
Pamela – suggested by one of our MFMers. There’s a very famous Pamela out there, but we don’t know too many personally… a unique choice!
Patience – means the same as a name, as it does in day-to-day life. A wonderful quality to inspire
Pauline - the female version of Paul, thought to be French in origin, meaning ‘small’
Pearl – named after the gemstone
Peggy – apparently, Peggy can also mean ‘pearl’, it’s of Greek origin, too
Penelope – a greek name meaning ‘weaver’
Rose – it’s obvious where the name Rose comes from, the famous flower!
Ruth – a Hebrew origin name, which comes from the word for ‘friend’
Sally – the name Sally actually comes from an old nickname for Sarah, according to Baby Name Wizard. Its popularity peaked in the 1930s
Trudie – means ‘universal strength’, of Germanic origin
Vera – surprisingly, a Russian origin name, which means ‘faith’
Wilhelmina – German or Dutch name, often given to Princesses and Queens. Means ‘desire’ and ‘protection’
70 old-fashioned baby name ideas for boys…
Albert – means ‘noble’ or ‘bright’. No wonder it’s a popular name for royals
Albie – a shortened version of Albert, which we’ve definitely noticed coming back into fashion. Alexander – a name of Greek origin, meaning ‘defender of men’
Alfred – the name Alfred is taken from Old English, where it meant ‘magical counsel’ or ‘elf’
Allen – a Celtic name, meaning ‘noble’ or ‘stone’ or ‘harmony’ Archie – means ‘genuine’, ‘bold’ and ‘brave’. Comes from Germanic origins
Arnold – means ‘power’ and ‘strength’, and is actually taken from old Germanic terms for ‘eagle’ and ‘power’. According to Baby Name Wizard, its popularity peaked in the 1910s
Arthur – an English name, made most famous by King Arthur in the 6th century. It was very popular in the Middle Ages, unsurprisingly – so you can’t get more old-fashioned than that
August – we love this name. It’s very different, and comes from a Latin background. It can mean lots of things, though we’ve seen it represents holding someone ‘in high regard’
Benjamin – the English version of a Hebrew name, which means ‘son’
Bernard – a modernised version of an Old German name, which means ‘bold as a bear’
Charles – in both Germanic and English origins, Charles simply means ‘a man’. Very popular in the 1880s, but made more modern by Charles, Prince of Wales
Chester – a Latin origin name, meaning ‘fortress’
Clarence – means ‘bright’ and ‘clear’, just like the female names Clare, Claire and Clara
Cyrille – a name often used by the French. Can be spelled ‘Cyril’
Edward – means ‘wealth’ or ‘fortune’ and ‘guardian’, and comes from Old English. Another popular regal name choice
Edwin – like Edward, Edwin means ‘wealth’ and ‘fortune’, but also means ‘friend’, rather than ‘guardian’
Elijah – a godly name, of Hebrew origin, reported to mean both ‘Jehovah is God’ and ‘God the Lord’
Emmett – means ‘universal’, can be Hebrew, English or German in origin
Ernest – the English version of a German name, which means ‘seriousness’ (think: the word ‘earnest’)
Felix – a name of Latin origin, meaning ‘blessed’ or ‘lucky’
Francis – of French origin, and means ‘a Frenchman’
Frank – apparently, Frank means pretty much the same as Francis! They are, to be fair, pretty similar names!
Frederick – another Germanic name, meaning ‘king of peace’ or ‘ruler of peace’
Gabriel – ‘god is my strength’, a Hebrew name
George – ‘earthworker’ or ‘farmer’. A very regal choice, brought back into fashion by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their son Prince George of Cambridge
Grover – an unusual pick among these old-fashioned monikers. Not much is known about its origin, other than it's English
Harry – we’ve read that Harry means ‘ruler of the household. A possible nickname for Henry, too Harvey – means ‘strong’ and ‘worthy’, and comes from Old English and Old French
Henry – same meaning as Harry, mentioned above. Did you know that Henry is actually Prince Harry’s birth name?
Herbert – of German origin, meaning ‘bright army’
Hugh – we’ve seen lots of different meanings for Hugh, which vary from ‘intellect’ and ‘mind’ to ‘heart’ and ‘spirit’
Humphrey – we love this baby name meaning. Humphrey means ‘a peaceful warrior’
James – became popular in the 1600s after Britain inherited the Scottish King James VI. Apparently, it means ‘one who follows’
Jasper – little is known about the name Jasper, though people think it’s of Persian origin, and means ‘bringer of treasure’
John – a Hebrew origin name, meaning ‘God is gracious’ Joseph – another Hebrew name, this time meaning ‘Jehovah increases’
Laurence – can also be written as ‘Lawrence’. Means ‘from Laurentium’, which was a Roman city known for having laurel trees, according to Nameberry
Laurie – we’re not quite sure what Laurie means, but we reckon it’s a lovely boys or girls name
Leonard – means ‘brave lion’, and comes from German origins
Levi – another Hebrew name, meaning ‘joined’ or ‘attached’
Lewis – ‘renowned warrior’, of English origin
Louis – this is the French version of Lewis, basically, so it has the same meaning. Can be pronounced ending ‘-ee’ or ‘-is’, totally up to you
Luther – means ‘army people’ and has German origins
Marvin – surprisingly this is a Welsh name, anglicised, which means ‘sea hill’
Melvin – ‘council protector’, and Scottish and English in origin
Miles – no one’s really sure where this name came from, as there are several possibilities. We do know it could take on the meanings ‘peaceful’, ‘calm’ or ‘merciful’, though
Noah – can mean ‘rest’ and ‘wandering’. A biblical name, of Hebrew origin
Oliver – a Latin name, in origin, which means ‘olive tree’. Lovely!
Oscar – we know Oscar is either English/Irish or a bit of both, and can have a bunch of meanings, like ‘champion warrior’ or ‘God-spear’. Bit weirder? ‘Deer lover’ is also apparently one of the poss meanings. Hmmm
Paul – means ‘small’, of Latin origin
Phillip – in Greek, this name means ‘lover of horses’. So says Nameberry, anyway
Ray – this charming, old-fashioned name is short and sweet and means ‘wise protector’
Reginald – an English name, meaning ‘counsel power’. This is a cute name that can be shortened to ‘Reggie’
Richard – a Germanic name meaning ‘dominant ruler’
Robert – originally German in origin, before becoming a popular English name. It means ‘bright fame’
Roger – another Germanic name, and this one means ‘famous warrior’
Rowland – apparently this name also means ‘famous’, but refers to a place rather than a warrior.
Royston – an English name, meaning ‘settlement of Royce’ (a town). Can be shorted to Roy
Russell – a French name, meaning ‘fox-coloured’ or ‘redhead’
Samuel – a Hebrew origin name, meaning ‘told by God’
Stanley – means ‘near the stony clearing’, of English origin
Theodore – a Greek name meaning ‘gift of God’
Thomas – interestingly this name is of Aramaic origin (from the same family as the Hebrew language), and means ‘twin’
Valentine – a Latin name meaning ‘strength’ or ‘health’, but probably most likely associated with the meaning of love, thanks to St Valentine’s Day
Victor - a Latin name meaning ‘conqueror’
Walter – a German name meaning ‘army ruler’
Wilbur – ‘resolute’ or ‘brilliant’, again of Germanic origin
Wilfred – means ‘desires peace’, of English origin. Probably best know as the name of Wilfred Owen, British WW1 soldier and war poet
Willard – means ‘resolutely brave’, of English and Germanic origin
William - means ‘resolute protection’, of English and Germanic origin
Share your old-fashioned baby name ideas
Have you got a brilliant vintage moniker we’ve missed? Tell us in the comments below
Images: Getty Images
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