Classic Baby Names Reborn

July 30, 2015 Pamela Redmond
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.


The Scottish word name Bonnie, which means pretty, was a midcentury favorite, reigning in the Top 50 in the 1940s and 50s thanks to its use for the ill-fated little girl in Gone With The Wind. From there it went on a long decline, falling off the Top 1000 in 2003 only to return this year at Number 833. Why the comeback? It might be because its GWTT parent names Scarlett and Rhett are ascending decades after the book and movie, or because Bonnie was showcased in popular contemporary vehicles The Vampire Diaries and Hunger Games.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles


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