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Old Money Names That Will Make You Feel Rich

Old Money Names That Will Make You Feel Rich

Old money names conjure the aspirational lifestyle provided by generational wealth — elite country clubs, prep schools, and holidays in the countryside. The old money aesthetic is being felt beyond baby names — this prep-rebrand is suddenly everywhere.

Fashion runways are filled with pleated skirts, penny loafers, and pearl necklaces. Americans are streaming television shows like Succession and The Gilded Age. Social media is littered with slideshows of old money inspiration photos — taken from vintage preppy catalogs and films like The Great Gatsby and The Talented Mr. Ripley. And now, parents are filing birth certificates with old money baby names.

Old Money Baby Names

Old money names serve as connectors to past generations. This can be in a literal sense, through family surnames or handing down notable first names to descendants. It can also be more ephemeral, through the old money style.

The vast majority of old money parents choose classic baby names for their children — names like Eleanor and Caroline for daughters, William and John for sons. These names qualify as old money when paired with an impressive surname as a middle — Eleanor Randolph or William Field, perhaps — but are too common to evoke old money style in isolation.

As the aesthetic suggests, old money names are, well, old. While some may be considered stylish or on-trend (these names cross over with the trend of preppy names) the old money aesthetic is less about how names sound and more about how names feel — historic, dignified, and ever-so-slightly out of touch.

When an old money name catches on among the mainstream population, it suddenly becomes (gasp!) new money. Former old money names like Collins and Daphne for girls, Rory and Remington for boys, have lost their panache and are simply too stylish.

These names now suggest new money, along with those actively trying to sound rich, like trendy designer names Dior and Kenzo. To the old money crowd, it’s incredibly gauche to covet class or style. The aesthetic favors quirkier names that are so out, they can’t help but be in.

It may be too late for you to actually have old money, but you can certainly give the impression that you do. Consider these old money baby names, and you’ll be well on your way.

Old Money Girl Names

Old money girl names are deeply rooted. They may have mythological or literary connections, such as Antigone and Cressida. Certain boy names for girls, like Bryce and Schuyler, also evoke the old money aesthetic.

While many mainstream parents reject names like Allegra (due to the allergy medication) or India (for its colonial roots), the old money aesthetic ignores these associations, for better or worse.

Old Money Boy Names

Old money boy names range from the sparse (Penn, Ward) to the extravagant (Archibald, Orlando). Many were originally last names, such as Sinclair and Sumner, but have been used as given names in old money families for generations.

Just as certain boy names on girls fit the old money aesthetic, so do some girl-leaning names on boys. Historically male names like Aubrey and Courtney have remained dominantly male in usage among old money families, while skewing dominantly female across the US as a whole.

Old Money Last Names

Old money last names are commonly used as first names — but especially as middle names — in old money families. Passing down these distinguished surnames connects a child to their ancestry, and historically was a way to establish inheritance.

The old money last names here include those of the most recognizable old money families, as well as other old money surnames commonly found on birth certificates.

Old Money Family Names

There’s a select group of names so obscure, that they only remain in circulation among certain old money families. With these names, people in the know can trace one’s heritage through given name alone.

Old money family names tend to be shockingly unfashionable. The only reason you’d use one would be to honor your grandfather Almeric or great great aunt Candida. It’s a choice dictated by tradition rather than style.

Old money family names differ from old money last names in that the former have a long history of use as first names. They are also more covert — a name like Astor or Wharton screams wealth, while Denham or Fidelia just whispers it.

Old Money Nicknames

Many old money names could be described as formal and buttoned-up, but old money nicknames are cheeky and irreverent.

Some old money nicknames that clearly derive from given names — Nan is commonly short for Anne or Nancy, Flip comes from Philip — but by and large, these short forms are disconnected from given names.

Jrs, IIIs, IVs, and more are common in old money families, and many of these derivatives arose as a way to distinguish father and son, mother and daughter. Trey is a standard nickname for a III, Fritz has been used for Vs, and Chip comes from the saying “chip off the old block”.

Eurostyle Old Money Names

Many old money families originally hail from Europe — particularly Scotland, England, the Netherlands, and Germany — and thus, Eurostyle names are commonly found on elite family trees.

Historic examples include Ailsa Mellon, daughter of Andrew Mellon. Younger generations with Eurostyle old money names include Tatiana Schlossberg, daughter of Caroline Kennedy, and Dimity Hardwick, daughter of Lydia Hearst.

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About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top 2020s names, Gen Z names, and cottagecore baby names. 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.

Sophie Kihm's articles on names have run on People, Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has been quoted as a name expert by The Washington Post, People, The Huffington Post, and more. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.