Category: vintage girl names

Unusual Vintage Names for Girls

unusual vintage names for girls

by Pamela Redmond

We’ve been digging around in the baby name lists from the 1880s (around here, that’s called fun) and we’ve come up with dozens of rare and surprising names for girls.

These vintage names for girls go way beyond traditional choices like Mary and Jane that we think of as 19th century names. Many of these names are all-but-unknown today, while others are familiar yet unusual.

If you are looking for an unusual name for your baby girl that feels new and deeply-rooted at the same time, consider the names here.

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Vintage Girls’ Names and Nicknames

vintage girls' names

by Pamela Redmond

Vintage baby names have been back for a while now, but some vintage names are still waiting quietly for their new turn in the spotlight.

These pairs of vintage girls’ names and their old school nicknames are drawn from the list of popular baby names in 1880, the first year the US kept baby name records.

Nickname-names, usually ending in -ie for girls, were often used all by themselves, with Minnie, Annie, and Nellie all in the Top 20.

But there were also lots of companion names, proper laced-up girls’ names with adorable nickname options. In the list that follows, sometimes it’s the proper name that’s more unusual — Adelia is way more distinctive than Addie, for example — and sometimes it’s the nickname, as in Mellie as a short form of Amelia or Jettie for Juliet. And sometimes — Araminta and Mintie, for instance — it’s both.

Whatever your choice, this is a perfect way to get two names in one: formal and playful, vintage and fresh, unusual and familiar.

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By Abby Sandel

Let’s say you love old-fashioned girl names with a tailored quality. You’re all about names that topped the charts a century ago, but feel fresh and modern today.

Top Ten Charlotte fits this description. The same is true of fast-rising Evelyn and Eleanor.

The only problem, of course, is that you might already know a few Violets and Graces. Or you worry that your Lillian will be lost in a crowd of girls with similar names.

What’s the solution? Look for the next wave of new old girl names, of course!

To make this list, I focused on names that previously charted in the US Top 100. So Winifred and Millicent and Sybil failed the test. Any name ending in an ‘a’ was ruled out, too. Good-bye to Lucinda, Luella, and Viola!

Plenty of possibilities remained. They’re feminine, but not too elaborate. Vintage describes them well, and yet parents aren’t using them in big numbers. None of the choices on this list appear in the current US Top 1000, either – at least not as of 2015, the most current data available from the US Social Security Administration.

If you’re crushed that your favorite old-fashioned girls’ name is on everybody else’s list, too, these names might be for you.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

Like our cousins across the pond, we’ve fallen in love with vintage nicknames for our girls—names like Maisie and Mabel and Sadie and Josie and Hattie are already on the rise. But do those parents who want a little Hattie necessarily consider putting Harriet or Henrietta on the birth certificate?

Maybe, maybe not.

In some cases, the adorable short form is actually succeeding in waking up its sleeping mother name. Like Josephine, for instance, and Beatrice. But here are some others whose full versions have not seen as much—if any– action, as adorable as their period nicknames may be.

Which of these cute, often tomboyish, girl nicknames do you think are capable of reviving their more staid Great-Grandma names?

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Vintage Girl Names: 9 Fresh Ideas

By Abby Sandel

Vintage girl names can make great choices for a daughter born today. They’re tied to the past, have plenty of great namesakes, and yet feel fresh and unexpected, too.

The only problem? Many of them are far more popular than you might expect.

Anna Chlumsky, the My Girl child star turned Emmy-nominated Veep cast member, recently welcomed her second daughter. She and husband Shaun So embraced the vintage girl names trend with her name: Clara Elizabeth, a little sister for Penelope Joan.

A former Top Ten favorite, Clara brings to mind The Nutcracker, silent film star Clara Bow, and Red Cross founder Clara Barton. No surprise, then, that the name ranked Number 98 in 2015.

That’s not nearly as common as Emma, Sophia, or Charlotte. But with similarly antique choices like Lucy, Violet, and Eleanor in vogue, it’s likely that Clara is catching on.

What’s a lover of vintage names to do? Look farther down the list, of course! Here are nine vintage girl names that remain quietly under-the-radar – for now.

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