Vintage Girl Names: How To Find A Cool Old Name

Vintage Girl Names: How To Find A Cool Old Name

Vintage girl names are back in style, which choices such as Emma, Olivia, and Adeline ranking high on the popularity lists. But maybe you want a vintage name for your daughter and are hoping to uncover a hidden treasure from the past. 

We’ve written a lot about the 1910s baby names that are coming back, thanks to the Hundred Year Rule: Alice and Florence, Lillian and Hazel and Ruby.

But what about the names in the Top 1000 of 1910 that are virtually unknown now? A hundred years ago, Helen was the number 2 name for girls, right behind Mary. Mildred was number 8, Ethel number 13, and the dubious Gladys hot on her heels at 15. You don’t meet many Ethels and Gladyses (Gladysi?) anymore outside the nursing home.

And I’ve never heard of a Ceola, Ozella, or Exie, yet those names and dozens of others now lost were in the 1910 Top 1000.

Several months ago we looked at the Lost Names of 1880, and were surprised by how many there were. We declare ourselves surprised anew by how many lost names we’ve located on the 1910 roster that are different from those we listed in the 1880 story.

Girl Names Popular in 1910

The first group are not lost, exactly, as they’re still heard from time to time. A few — Blanche, Lula, Viola — may even make a comeback. But most of these names, popular in 1910, have been in mothballs for decades now and may never make it out.

  1. Aline

  2. Alma

  3. Avis

  4. Beulah

  5. Bernice

  6. Bertha

  7. Blanche

  8. Clarice

  9. Doris

  10. Elnora

  11. Ernestine

  12. Eunice

  13. Fern

  14. Hilda

  15. Inez

  16. Iola

  17. Iona

  18. Leona

  19. Lois

  20. Lorena

  21. Lula

  22. Melba

  23. Merle

  24. Myrtle

  25. Opal

  26. Pansy

  27. Rosetta

  28. Thelma

  29. Veda or Vida

  30. Velma

  31. Verna

  32. Viola

  33. Wilma

  34. Zelma

Obscure Names of 1910

The second group are names that have already slipped under the surface. While I’m certain that some of you knowledgeable berries will protest about the visibility or viability of a handful of these names, most seem to me to no longer be part of the basic American name lexicon. Your opinions on exceptions welcome.

I want to note that several of these names seem like quasi-names, a group we singled out in the 1880 story. We include here choices not included there — Alta, Elva, Lera, Rilla — and there are enough of these name snippets to assume it was still a trend in 1910….though it is not today.

  1. Albina

  2. Alida

  3. Almeda

  4. Alpha

  5. Alta

  6. Altha

  7. Alva

  8. Alvina

  9. Arvilla

  10. Ceola

  11. Della

  12. Delma

  13. Delphia

  14. Dona

  15. Elda

  16. Elna

  17. Elva

  18. Emmer

  19. Erma

  20. Ethelyn

  21. Eula

  22. Florine

  23. Floy

  24. Glenna

  25. Hulda

  26. Idell or Idella

  27. Ira

  28. Leatha or Letha

  29. Lela

  30. Leola

  31. Leora

  32. Lera

  33. Louvenia

  34. Lue

  35. Lura

  36. Marvel

  37. Meta

  38. Mozelle

  39. Myrtice or Myrtis

  40. Nedra

  41. Neva

  42. Nona

  43. Novella

  44. Odell

  45. Oleta

  46. Ozella

  47. Palma

  48. Reatha or Retha

  49. Reva

  50. Rilla

  51. Rosina

  52. Treva

  53. Trula

  54. Vada

  55. Velva

  56. Verda

  57. Verla

  58. Vesta

  59. Zada

  60. Zella

  61. Zola

  62. Zula

Nicknames of 1910

And then there are the lost nickname-names, epidemic in 1880 and still raging in 1910. We listed a lot of those names in the 1880 story and didn’t want to repeat, but here are several nicknames that were hot in 1910 and are rarely heard now.

  1. Arie

  2. Arlie

  3. Bennie

  4. Bertie

  5. Callie

  6. Claudie

  7. Exie

  8. Flossie

  9. Gussie

  10. Jannie

  11. Kattie

  12. Linnie

  13. Lonnie

  14. Lossie

  15. Macie

  16. Maudie

  17. Mazie

  18. Mossie

  19. Myrtie

  20. Nannie

  21. Ollie

  22. Ossie

  23. Ressie

  24. Tennie

  25. Tressie

  26. Vergie or Virgie

  27. Verlie

  28. Versie

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby 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. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.