What’s Your Favorite Name Era?

Our Question of the Week

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Most of us name lovers, even those who are fans of new, cutting-edge monikers, also have an affinity for names of the past. But which part of the past? There are so many possibilities!

Ancient names like Cassius?

Medievals like Isolde?

Puritan names like Prudence?

Frilly Victorian Valentine names ?

Gay 90s nicknames such as Millie and Minnie and Archie?

The Downton Abbey World War I era of Violets and Ediths and Coras?

Midcentury/Mad-Men-type faves–Roger, Sally, Peggy?

The more recent past when names like Amy and Amanda, Jason and Joshua ruled?

So this is our Question of the Week: What’s your favorite variety of vintage?  Is there one period of time whose names call out to you?

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24 Responses to “What’s Your Favorite Name Era?”

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Impwood Says:

June 12th, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Technically the Medieval era, but since it spans over a millennium and one naming style is completely impossible to pin down over that time, I would probably say the late Victorian and Edwardian era. The stately classics were still standing strong, but at the same time there was a new opening to the mysterious in names, with interest in the Celtic languages particularly. The result was the beautiful mixture that is Winifred, Gwladys, Mary and Arthur.

Myosotis Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 3:19 am

I kind of think my naming preferences somewhat follow the historical eras I find interesting. Pretty much anything pre-1950s I quite like. More modern stuff, I need much more persuasion. Right now on my shortlist, I have Ancients (Pandora, Artemis, Lysander, Ptolemy), Medieval (Guinevere, Morgana, Adelise), Puritan (Prosper), Victorian (Adelaide, Arabella), Nicknames, which are still popular in the U.K. today (Archie, Albie, Kitty, Elsie), WWI era (Beatrix, Lavender, Sybil, Marigold, both of which I started to love after watching Downton), and mid century (Sally, Marilyn, Jane).

At the moment, the Ancients are probably winning out as firsts. But the WWI, Victorian, and Georgian even are in the next set of loves.

Eu Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 4:23 am

What lmpwood said. I think my love of Victorian/Edwardian/Medieval names is also very tied to my loving those literary traditions. There’s nothing like a book to make you enjoy a name you never would have considered.

eoxima Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 8:39 am

Flower power, hippie-dippie late 60s to early 70s names. Like Celeste, Meadow, Phoenix, Saffron, River, Serenity, Willow, Arlo, Marley, etc. If that counts lol.

lawsonhaley Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 8:51 am

I really love the names of the 80s and 90s – Kelly, Jessica, Nicole, Amber, Brittany, Stephanie, Heather, Lauren, Courtney, etc. They were the “it girls” that I admired and looked up to as a child.

teacupsandtiaras Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 10:21 am

I’m very much Victorian Valentine–1890s Nicknames (Minnie!)–Edwardian era.

FreundHein Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 11:33 am

I’m in love with the Ancients- especially Ancient Greece. The names were so creative back then without seeming tacky!

cactusgram Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 12:21 pm

1890s-1910s! I love Winifred nn Winnie. 🙂

ARead Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 1:44 pm

I adore all things medieval, and the names are no exception! I tend to prefer English medieval names but there are plenty of German, Italian, Scandinavian, and French names I love from this period, too! When I think of medieval names, I tend to mean those than came into general use during those (roughly 1000) years. Names from earlier periods that were in wide use then I don’t tend to consider strictly “medieval”, like Mary or John. I’d say those are really more Classical or Biblical.

It’s actually a requirement I have for my kids’ names: if I can’t trace them back to medieval times, I don’t use them!

jpruitt76 Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 2:04 pm

I would say my favorites trend towards gay 90s through Downton Abby/WWI with just a splash of mid century.

Kate4hisglory Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Anything from Victorian through world War 1, though mideaval names are awesome, too!

paulapuddephatt Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 4:46 pm

I love names from pretty much every historical period, but considerably fewer “modern” names. I adore names that were popular from 1960s through to the 1990s. Because I write modern historical fiction, these names, along with classic ones, are very important to me, and I feel drawn to them.

Namehabbit Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 5:08 pm

I’m sorry… Are the gay 90s what I think they are? Lol I love the ancient names…Athena, Thisbe, Atlas, Rhea.

Mega_Muffin Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 8:17 pm

Ancient and Victorian Valentine names are my favorites, with a little bit of medieval thrown in.

Mhill46 Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 9:05 pm

I would say Ancient and a medieval names call out to me most!

WynneC Says:

June 13th, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Does anyone have a link to a website or blog or wikipedia page that provide informations about all the name era throughout history? I’ve searched about them on google before but can’t seem to find any articles that talks about them.

Araminty Says:

June 14th, 2017 at 2:24 am

I love some names from the 1930’s and 40’s that are mostly right out of fashion now: Gillian, Marion, Judith, Jeanette, Jacqueline, Kathleen, Peggy. Audrey and Penelope are also from that era and obviously popular again. That was a relatively quick turn around period for them.

Frank, Sidney, Ralph, Gregory, Roland, Rex, Geoffrey, Clive, Donald, Duncan, Bruce for the boys.

Also love medieval names and really I could find names to love from any era!

leespieces Says:

June 14th, 2017 at 3:27 pm

I love names that were popular in the late 18th century and in the 19th century (and quite some are still pretty popular today!)

iwillpraise Says:

June 14th, 2017 at 3:31 pm

I would have always said Victorian (which include many Greek/Roman names), but I love coupling the frills and stately names of that era with midCentury. It creates a name layered with history and is quite possibly like a vintage scrapbook page for the soul 😉

chi1127 Says:

June 14th, 2017 at 10:20 pm

Definitely, medieval! There are so many names with medieval roots, and it covers such a vast amount of time. How could you not love medieval names?

Calico_Calliope Says:

June 15th, 2017 at 10:12 am

THE FUTURE!!! Check out these new rules of baby naming fo the future! Really cool! http://www.themotherlovingfuture.com/parenthood/the-new-rules-of-baby-naming

NaomiNY Says:

June 15th, 2017 at 2:01 pm

I don’t have a particular favorite era of naming; a lot of my favorite names come from different eras of history.

mickie86 Says:

June 17th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

My Favorite of all time are names of the 40’s and 50’s! Love, Love names like:

Francine
Caroline
Ava
Marilyn
Barbara
Irene
Marjorie
Patricia
Sandra
Dorothy
Rita
Kathleen
Dinah
Margaret
Judy
Suzanne
Esther
Jacqueline
Kimberly
Brenda
Sylvia
Lena
Jeanne

Joseph
Walter
Phillip
Wesley
Edward
Gary
Wayne
Reginald
Scott
Kenneth
Dean
Timothy
Alan
Glenn
Bernard
Randall
Theodore
Curtis
Jerome

Just gorgeous! Not quite classic, but oh so Iconic!

snowyowlgal Says:

June 17th, 2017 at 10:38 pm

For girls, I recently have been loving 1920s sounding names such as Hazel, Beatrice, Zelda, Stella, Violet, Coco… The list goes on! Although I always have a soft spot in my heart for Arthurian names like Avalon, Gwendolyn, Blanche, Grainne, Faye, Morgana and Isolde. Also Irish and Welsh legend names like Niamh, Aine, Deirdre, Dearbhail, Aoife, Aisling and Bridgid. For boys, no time period really captures me. I just prefer the simple English sounding names like Daniel, William, Jude, James and Jack.

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