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Names Searched Right Now:

Category: antique names

What Are Your Grandparents’ Names?

rabbitfamily

Do you want to share that with the class, Sarah?

Sarahmezz’s thread in the forums, which asks What are your grandparents’ names?, sounded like an intriguing one to put to the Nameberry community.

Indeed, the question has been asked before, but never as our official Question of the Week.

So please let us know your grandparents’ names, your great-grandparents’ names, and which you’d pass on to the next generation.

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Antiquarian Names: Colonial craftsmen names

antiques2

For a number of years, when I wasn’t writing about names, I was writing about antiques and collectibles for a syndicated newspaper column.  But of course when I was thinking about antiques, I was still also thinking about names.

Looking at the field of antique furniture, for example, I found that when it came to early British cabinetmakers, the names were relatively unexciting.  George Hepplewhite. Robert Adams. Thomas Chippendale. Thomas Sheraton.  Nothing too juicy there.

But with the Early American cabinetmakers and clockmakers it was quite a different story.  Lots of antiquated Biblical names, more than one Chauncey, Ebenezer and Lemuel, a few virtue names rarely heard in modern times (Prudent, Noble), a couple of Latinate names and a Greek god—in other words a variegated picture of American Colonial and Federal era nomenclature:

Some prime examples:

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1910boy

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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How To Find An Antique Gem

gem

One of the most popular lists on nameberry is the Old Lady Cool Names: names that have been in retirement for several decades now but just might be ready for a comeback.

Antique names for both sexes are popular too, as parents search for names that are out of the ordinary yet have the backing of tradition.

Of course, not every neglected name deserves to be revived.  Gertrude, Ethel, Melvin: These may be best left in the time capsule, at least for now.

Some of the quirkier old-school names — Olive, Rufus, Hazel, Edwin — have already been resuscitated by hipster parents.  But what are the less obvious old gems worthy of a fresh look?  We wouldn’t necessarily stake the farm (or the loft) on the comeback of the following, but parents who are both adventurous and tradition-minded may want to consider these choices:

girls

ADELIA

AGATHA

AUGUSTA

ESTHER

FAY

FLORENCE

GLORIA

HARRIET

HELEN

HENRIETTA

LENORE

MILDRED

MURIEL

RUTH

SYLVIA

boys

ALBERT

ALFRED

ARTHUR

BERNARD

CLYDE

FLOYD

FRANK

GEORGE

HAROLD/HAL

HOWARD

MARTIN

RALPH

VICTOR

VINCENT

WALTER

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Introducing the First Nameberry Baby!

unused cute-baby-smiling

The first message board ever in nameberry’s illustrious three-week-long history asked: To V or Not To V?  A mom was trying to decide whether to name her about-to-be-born daughter Vera.

What did everyone think?, she asked.  Was Vera fresh and appealing?  Or did it still sound too old-ladyish?  Did people have other V names they might suggest?

The nameberry community pitched in, and we are proud to introduce the first-ever baby named with the help of nameberry: Vera Adelaide Kingston.

Vera Adelaide was born to Melody and Richard on October 27. Her mom, Melody, found out about the name on this website and fell in love with the meaning and sound. She’ll be called Vera. Her siblings are Elizabeth Rae and Elliot Gray. They got their names from Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison and Montana. They are called Lizzie and Elliot.

Vera was in the Top 100 from 1890 to 1930 when it started a long downward slide, now not in the Top 1000.  But it’s recently started to be reappreciated by a new generation of parents taking a second look at such antique names as Ada, Iris, and Josephine.  With the wonderful meaning “truth,” Vera also connects with a range of V names newly in fashion, from those with V beginnings such as Vivienne, Violet, and Victor to such favorites as Ava, Olivia, and Evan.

Welcome, Vera, and all our warmest wishes for a long and wonderful life with your beautiful name.

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