Victorian Baby Names Revive an Era

Victorian Baby Names Revive an Era

Victorian baby names are a real treasure trove for lovers of vintage baby names for boys and girls – especially lesser-used ones!

Victorian names share the sweet, old-fashioned feel of popular vintage revival names like Lily, Ivy and Cora for girls, and Ezra, Eli and Jasper for boys. But they also have a cool clunkiness to them: think Agnes, Constance, Lionel, Ralph.

Following Queen Victoria’s own example (more on her royal naming legacy here), Victorian parents chose strong, confident names for an era which oversaw huge scientific, technological and economic advances.

Here, we’ve gathered a selection of the most popular baby names of the Victorian Era, as well as some of the most intriguing uncommon Victorian baby names. Which are your favorites?

NB: Statistics are based on Elea’s excellent historical popularity charts over at British Baby Names.

Uncommon Victorian Girl Names

These uncommon Victorian girl names never cracked the Top 100 – as far as we can tell – during Queen Victoria’s reign, but all were in regular use.

It’s interesting to see some Medieval English names on the list which have now been all but lost, such as Annis (a form of Agnes), Cicely (Cecilia), Jennet (Janet) and Lettice (Letitia). Also notable is the Welsh influence in names like Gwenllian, Lowry and Olwen.

And an interesting aside on Pretoria: this South African place name caught on in a big way in 1900, which was the year of a significant British military victory in the city. Commemorative baby names were big with Victorian parents!


Uncommon Victorian Boy Names

Uncommon Victorian boy names included some wonderfully grandiose choices, like Adolphus, Lancelot, Montague, Theophilus and Valentine.

Obscure Biblical and saints’ names were also in widespread use – as well as some rare English surname names that would feel right on trend today, such as Robinson, Hartley and Hedley.

Note the use of Vivian as still a predominantly male name in Britain during this period. It makes the Top 200 boy names for three of the almost seven decades of Victoria’s reign, but never ranks that high for girls.


About the Author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from where to find a cool vintage boy name to why some names become popular memes. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active forums community ticking. A linguist by background, Emma speaks six languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and three young children. You can reach her at