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Old Lady Names Get a Refresh

Old Lady Names Get a Refresh

Old lady names are refreshed and ready for the birth certificate.

Celebrities have been at the forefront of the revival of many old lady names revival, with stars among the first to resurrect names such as Ida, Dolores, and Fern and using established favorites including Adelaide, Violet, and Mae.

Here, our look at the four tiers of old lady names. See what’s hot, what’s coming up, what’s currently clunky (but soon will be cool), and what might never, ever come back.

Cool Old Lady Names

The coolest old lady names no longer sound like those of your grandma and her friends. In fact, you’re more likely to hear these names in kindergarten classrooms than nursing homes!

While all these names have vintage panache, they won’t be considered old lady names for much longer. They’ve been back in style for multiple years, and currently rank among the most popular girl names in the US.

Next Wave Old Lady Names

These vintage names are on the brink of cool. They’re old-fashioned, but with soft edges. It’s easy to warm up to these revivals, even if they catch you off guard at first.

Expect to see more baby girls with these names in the coming decade. Some of these old lady names may even be future chart-toppers — Florence, Bonnie, and Harriet are already Top 100 picks in the UK.

Edgy Old Lady Names

The funkiest, clunkiest of the old lady names are not for the faint of heart — these are grandma names through and through!

And yet, we can’t help but love them. The options here will stand out among your child’s peers but have fashion cred — some, admittedly, in a counter-cultural sense.

This is the next next wave of old lady names — names that will likely be more popular among your grandchildren’s generation. You’ll definitely be ahead of the curve, but now’s your chance to get in on the ground floor with these vintage names that are so uncool, they’re cool.

Not Yet

These old lady names won't be revived anytime soon — or maybe ever. While names like Barbara and Ethel may again have their time in the sun — many generations from now — choices such as Fanny and Beulah are designated for extinction.

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top baby name trends of 2021, baby name synesthesia, and the top names in each state. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.