Old Hollywood Names for Girls
Names from the Golden Age of Hollywood glamour are playing starring roles as baby names once again. We’re starting to see names such as Dorothy (Lamour) and Ingrid (Bergman) come back into fashion, no doubt boosted by their glamourous, Old Hollywood image.
Along with Dorothy and Ingrid, other Old Hollywood names for girls in the US Top 1000 include Audrey, Ava, Greta, Gloria, Josephine, Mae, Monroe, and Sophia. Old Hollywood glamour girl surnames worth considering for a daughter include Bardot, Gardner, Harlow, and Havilland. While Marlene (Dietrich) and Shirley (Temple) are not yet again ready for their closeup, here's a selection of the Glamour Girl names enjoying a revival.
Origin:French feminine variation of Joseph
Description:Josephine, with its large measure of class and character and a gently offbeat quality, has been on a gentle uphill climb in the US for over 30 years, now ranking in the Top 100. With an intriguing number of vivacious nicknames, from Jo to Josie to Fifi to Posy, Josephine is a Nameberry favorite.
Description:Clara is a strong, lovely girls' name that's always ranked among the US Top 1000 girl names but has been climbing since the turn of this century. Now holding steady around Number 100, Clara is a modern classic, neither too popular nor too unusual.
Origin:Hebrew, Latin or Germanic
Meaning:"life; bird; water, island"
Description:Ava is one of the prime examples of a modern classic name, rising thought the course of a generation into the Top 10, where it has lingered for nearly 20 years.
Origin:Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
Meaning:"bitter or pearl"
Description:Mae, a sweet and springlike old-fashioned name, hadn't been on the national charts in forty years, but finally made it back in 2010. Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood.
Origin:English, from Latin, nature name
Description:Though greatly overshadowed by the trendy Olivia, Olive has a quiet, subtle appeal of its own -- and is now enjoying a remarkable comeback. Olive is one of only four girl names starting with O on the US Top 1000. Cool couple Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen chose it for their daughter, reviving the name to stylishness, and now Drew Barrymore has a little Olive too, as has country singer Jake Owen.
Description:Audrey is one of the girls' names that have been rising due to their connection to Old Hollywood glamour—in this case the eternally chic and radiant Audrey Hepburn. Audrey has another very different appeal as one of the elite group of girl names that mean strong, brave, or powerful.
Origin:English, virtue name
Description:Grace is derived from gratia, the Latin word for "grace." It existed as Gracia in the Middle Ages but was not in common use until the Puritans adopted it along with other Christian attribute names in the sixteenth century. It was used as a virtue name, in reference to divine grace — the love and kindness of God.
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Elizabeth, one of the premiere classic girls' names and most popular Hebrew names for girls, is now just outside the Top 10, having been replaced in 2014 by the rising Charlotte. Yet Elizabeth has so much going for it—rich history, broad appeal, and timeless style—that no matter how many little girls there are named Lizzie, Eliza, and Beth out there, you can still make Elizabeth your own.
Meaning:"leaping water, lady of abundance"
Description:As memories of the outragrous actress Talullah Bankhead have faded, this hauntingly euphonious Choctaw name has re-entered the public domain. A modern hipster favorite, it's been chosen for their daughters by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Patrick Dempsey, Damian Dash, Rachel Roy and Sara Rue, trail-blazed by Demi Moore and Bruce Willis for their now grown daughter. (Trivia tidbit: Bankhead's namesake was her paternal grandmother who, in turn, was named after the Georgia town of Tallulah Falls.)
Origin:Latin form of Eve, Hebrew
Origin:English from Latin
Meaning:"lily; pledged to God"
Description:Lillian has ranked among the US Top 50 for the past 20 years, Lily's less popular but more grownup cousin. In fact, many parents choose Lillian as a formal name that leads to the nickname Lily or Lilly.
Origin:English from Latin
Meaning:"from France; free man"
Description:Frances, a soft and gentle classic last popular a hundred years ago, is trending again. The cool nickname Frankie is one reason for the revival of Frances, adding lightness and sass to a serious name. Frances is the feminine form of Francis, the English variation of the Latin name Franciscus. Franciscus, meaning "Frenchman," was taken from the Germanic tribe the Franks, which got its name from the francisca, the axe they used in battle. Until the seventeenth century, the spellings Frances and Francis were used interchangeably for both sexes.
Meaning:"she who brings victory; true image"
Description:The name Veronica projects a triple-threat image: at once saintly, sensuous, and strong. The name derives from Berenice, the Latin form of the Greek name Berenike "she who brings victory", with the spelling influenced by the Latin phrase vera icon "true image". Veronica was the name of the compassionate woman who wiped Jesus's face when he was on his way to Calvary and whose cloth was miraculously imprinted with his image: she is now the patron saint of photographers.
Description:Sophia, which was the Number 1 girls' name in the US from 2011 to 2013, is among the top girl names in the Western World, with a sensuous sound and high-minded meaning. A real winner, Sophia reached the top of the charts without losing any—okay, much—of its sophisticated beauty. Sophia's a real winner.
Meaning:"fair; Ing is beautiful"
Description:The luminous Ingrid Bergman's appeal was strong enough to lend universal charisma to this classic Scandinavian name, which has been somewhat neglected in the US. Even today, a child named Ingrid would be assumed to be of Scandinavian ancestry, signaling the name has never been fully integrated into the English lexicon the way other European choices from the same era like Danielle or Kathleen have.
Origin:German, diminutive of Margarethe
Description:Greta is an Old World name long tied to the iconic Garbo. Along with other Old Hollywood glamour names, Greta seems to be showing slight signs of a comeback; it was chosen by David Caruso and by Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline for their daughters.
Meaning:"rock hill or army hill"
Description:Jean Harlow (born Harlean Carpenter), the original platinum blonde bombshell, was a symbol of 1930s glamour, a factor that first Patricia Arquette and then Nicole Richie and Joel Madden probably had in mind when they gave their daughters the distinctive surname name Harlow.
Meaning:"supple horse or pretty rose"
Description:Rosalind has a distinguished literary history – used and popularized by Edmund Spenser and Shakespeare via one of his most charming heroines, in As You Like It. Along with a bouquet of other Rose names, Rosalind might be ready for a comeback.
Origin:English variation of Greek Dorothea
Meaning:"gift of God"
Description:In the 1930s, Dorothy left Kansas and landed in the Land of Oz; by the '80s she had become a Golden Girl, living in Miami with roommates Blanche and Rose, giving her a decidedly older image. But parents today seeking a quiet classic are bringing Dorothy back—she reentered the Top 1000 in 2011 after almost completely disappearing.
Origin:English diminutive of Alana
Meaning:"rock or handsome"
Description:Popularized in the 1940s by Lana (born Judy) Turner, today Lana is synonymous with American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey. Although it has been rising steadily since the early 2000s, Lana still sits in the popularity "sweet spot" – familiar, but not overused. Simple, sleek and seamlessly international, it makes a great choice.