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Do you love vintage names but want to move beyond the usual classics and Biblical choices?  We looked at the popularity lists of 1910 to uncover hundreds of vintage boys’ names that are no longer in use — but could be revived.

It’s odd that there seem to be more terminally-antiquated boys’ names from 1910 than girls’ names.  After all, girls’ names change more quickly and dramatically than do boys’, which tend to hinge more on tradition and less on fashion.

Yet beyond the Johns and Williams that have always predominated for boys (and still do today), there are dozens, even  hundreds of names that filled the Top 1000 list a hundred years ago and now are lost to time.

They include hero names, surname-names, nickname-names, androgynous names, and even regular old first names that few people seem to use any more.

Sure, some parents who love vintage names might revive Chester or Homer or Julius or Oswald.  But many of these popular names for boys in 1910 are rarely heard today

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476px-Cassatt_Mary_Baby_John_Being_Nursed_1910

Do you want a vintage name for your daughter but are hoping to uncover a hidden treasure from the past?  We combed the popularity lists in search of cool vintage names you may not have heard before.

We’ve written a lot about the names of 1910 that are coming back, thanks to the Hundred Year Rule: Alice and Florence, Lillian and Hazel and Ruby.

But what about the names in the Top 1000 of 1910 that are virtually unknown now? A hundred years ago, Helen was the number 2 name for girls, right behind Mary. Mildred was number 8, Ethel number 13, and the dubious Gladys hot on her heels at 15. You don’t meet many Ethels and Gladyses (Gladysi?) anymore outside the nursing home.

And I’ve never heard of a Ceola, Ozella, or Exie, yet those names and dozens of others now lost were in the 1910 Top 1000.

Several months ago we looked at the Lost Names of 1880, and were surprised by how many there were. We declare ourselves surprised anew by how many lost names we’ve located on the 1910 roster that are different from those we listed in the 1880 story.

The first group are not lost, exactly, as they’re still heard from time to time. A few — Blanche, Lula, Viola — may even make a comeback. But most of these names, popular in 1910, have been in mothballs for decades now and may never make it out.

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vintagebaby2

Check out our list of Vintage Baby Names.

In the world of baby names, there used to be something  called The Hundred Year Rule, based on the assumption that it took a full century for a name to shake off its dusty image and sound fresh again.  I use the past tense because this obviously doesn’t hold true anymore; like everything else, the process of name resuscitation has speeded up wildly.

So when we look at the popularity lists for a hundred years ago–1910– we see any number of names that have already popped back—names like Grace, Ruby, Emma, Ella, Violet, Sadie, Ruby, Isabel, Max, Oliver and Felix.

The question is, are there any names from a century ago that we’ve overlooked and are still worthy of re-evaluation?  Here are some you might consider, all in the Top Thou of 1910—although we do have to keep in mind that the US population then was about 30% of what it is now, so some of these names were attached to a very small number of babies.

GIRLS (starred names were in the Top 100 then; none of them appears on the current list)

ADELIA

*AGNES

AILI

ALBERTINE

AMALIA

ANTONIA

ARA

AURELIA

AVIS

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vintagebabies

See all our Vintage Baby Names.

If the Hundred-Year Rule – which states that it takes a century for most names to come back into fashion – holds true, then we’re in for some interesting times, judging from the list of 100 Most Popular Names of the 1910s.

A handful of the top names in the decade from 1910 to 1920 are already solidly back in style.  These old fashioned baby names include:

girls

ANNA
CHARLOTTE
ELEANOR
ELLA
EVA
GRACE
JULIA
LUCY
ROSE
STELLA
VIOLET

boys

ANDREW
BENJAMIN
CHARLES and CHARLIE
HARRY
HENRY
JACK
LEO
RAY
SAM
WILLIAM

A larger group is, not surprisingly, on the cutting edge of style, supporting the whole Hundred-Year theory by indicating which names we’ll be hearing more of in the decade ahead.  The old-fashioned names from the Top 100 in the 1910s that sound fashion-forward today include:

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