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Category: classic names for girls



A Celebration of Classic Baby Names

classic baby names

By Abby Sandel

After writing about baby names for the last eight years, I sometimes think that nothing can surprise me. I’m always ready to explain why a baby called, say, Pomegranate, isn’t really so outlandish.

And yet, some weeks I do breathe a sigh of relief when the names feel classic, controlled, inspired by family. Even understated.

That’s not to say that they lack style. A classic name doesn’t have to be dull or stodgy. Call them the George and Charlotte names. They’re traditional, yes, but with a crisp, tailored appeal.

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Classic Baby Names Reborn

classic baby names

Every year, new baby names vault onto the US Top 1000, some of them (hello, Zendaya!) for the very first time and others making a return appearance.

But what about those names that have been off the list for a decade or longer — sometimes more than half a century! — and are now making a comeback?

There were only 13 such reborn names on the Top 1000 for 2014.  It may be questionable to call some of them classics as they only entered widespread use in the 1970s or 80s.  But many of these names were hugely popular 100 or more years ago and are true classic names once again spreading their wings.

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rising vintage baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz & Pamela Redmond Satran

One day you’re out, and the next day — if you’re one of the old-fashioned formerly-dowdy baby names here — you’re very very in.  Just a few years ago, you might have cringed if the family expected you to name the baby after Great-Aunt Martha or Grandpa Harvey.  Today, those names and the others on the list are among the fastest-rising on the Social Security list.  These are the Olives and Oscars, the Sadies and Silases of tomorrow.

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classic girls' names

There are so many gorgeous classic girls’ names to love — from the classic classics like Katherine and Elizabeth to the fashionable classics such as Clara or Juliet.

Then there are the quieter classics such as Ruth and Helen and Mary, a bit sleepy at the moment, as well as new favorites that may or may not qualify as classics: Hazel, or instance, or Beatrice.

What’s your very favorite classic girls’ name?  And yes, sure, you can mention more than one.

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Buttoned-up Girls’ Names

classic girls' names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

The trendiest girls’ names of recent years have been flowery and elaborate: Isabella and Sophia, Olivia and Arianna.  They end in vowels….and often begin with them too.  And if they’re not exotic confections, stylish girls’ names are often gender-and-tradition-confounding novelties such as Harper and Hadley and Neveah.

You can almost hear your granny asking: What ever happened to a nice name like AnneAren’t any babies named Mary these days?

Well, fewer and fewer, in many cases, yet all the frippery in girls’ names is enough to make the old-fashioned buttoned-up standards feel downright refreshing.

A few of these buttoned-up names – Eleanor, most notably – are already making a comeback.  But most are simply lovely standards that may feel buttoned-up, but come with fanciful nicknames for now that can be shed (or not) if and when the future demands more seriousness.

Supreme Court Justice names, anyone?

The buttoned-up names for girls we think deserve a closer look include:

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