Menu

Film Noir Baby Names

Film Noir Baby Names
Baby names drawn from film noir, or "black film," the genre of Hollywood crime dramas that capture the suspenseful happenings of private eyes in distinct black and white form, tend to be dramatic and rooted in an earlier era. While some of these names, such as Della and Harvey, have begun to make a comeback in the US, many others are stuck in style limbo.

Along with Della and Harvey, other film noir names in the US Top 1000 include Axel, Bruno, Celia, Jules, Stella, Vivian, and Walter. Some of the most icon names from film noir include Gilda, Velma, Laura, and Dixon.

Names like Eunice and Barton don’t have the same Classic Hollywood glamour they once did, but there are many names in the noir style worth reviving. Here, our collection of film noir baby names.
  1. MilesHeart
    • Origin:

      English form of Milo
    • Meaning:

      "soldier or merciful"
    • Description:

      Miles, which took on a permanent veneer of cool thanks to jazz great Miles Davis, is a confident and polished boy name starting with M that has been appreciated in particular by celebrity baby namers, including Elisabeth Shue, Mayim Bialik, Larenz Tate, Joan Cusack and Lionel Ritchie.
  2. NoraHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish, diminutive of Honora, or Greek
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Nora has two separate origin stories, as a derivative of both Honora and Eleanor. The Irish and Anglo-Norman version derives from Honora, based on the Latin word honor. The Hungarians spawned Nora as a short form of Eleonora, a variation of Eleanor.
  3. CoraHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "maiden"
    • Description:

      In classical mythology, Cora—or Kore—was a euphemistic name of Persephone, goddess of fertility and the underworld. Kore was the name used when referencing her identity as the goddess of Spring, while Persephone referred to her role as queen of the Underworld. Cora gained popularity as a given name after James Fenimore Cooper used it as the name of his heroine, Cora Munro, in his 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.
  4. PoppyHeart
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "red flower"
    • Description:

      Poppy, unlike most floral names which are sweet and feminine, has a lot of spunk. Long popular in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at #5 in 2014, Poppy is just starting to catch on in a big way in the US, where it entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2016 and – just three years later – the Top 500 in 2019.
  5. StellaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "star"
    • Description:

      Stella was derived from stella, the Latin word for "star." It was coined by Sir Philip Sidney in 1590 for the protagonist of his poem collection Astrophel and Stella. The title literally means "the star lover and his star," but unlike Stella, Astrophel did not catch on as a given name.
  6. LolaHeart
    • Origin:

      Spanish, diminutive of Dolores
    • Meaning:

      "lady of sorrows"
    • Description:

      A hot starbaby name – chosen by Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Lisa Bonet, Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Carnie Wilson, and Annie Lennox, and used as the nickname of Madonna's Lourdes – Lola manages to feel fun and sassy without going over the top. Be warned, though: "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets," to quote a song from the show Damn Yankees.
  7. WillaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of William
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Willa has become increasingly fashionable, with its combination of Willa (born Wilella) Cather-like pioneer strength and the graceful beauty of the willow tree.
  8. LilithHeart
    • Origin:

      Assyrian, Sumerian
    • Meaning:

      "ghost, night monster"
    • Description:

      Lilith is derived from the Akkadian word lilitu meaning “of the night.” In Jewish folklore she is portrayed as Adam's rejected first wife, who was turned into a night demon for refusing to obey him. Lilith is unrelated to most other Lil- names, with the exception of Lilita, which is the Latvian variation.
  9. VeraHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian
    • Meaning:

      "faith"
    • Description:

      Vera was the height of fashion in 1910, then was for a long time difficult to picture embroidered on a baby blanket. Now, though, it has come back into style along with other old-fashioned simple names such as Ada and Iris.
  10. MillieHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mildred or Millicent
    • Meaning:

      "gentle strength; strong in work"
    • Description:

      Millie is back. It's a Top 100 name throughout much of the English-speaking world, though not yet in the US. Millicent would be an appealing long form, but many people are using Millie all by its cute self -- so many, in fact, that it returned to the Top 500 in 2015 for the first time since World War 2 and continues to climb.
  11. EdenHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "place of pleasure, delight"
    • Description:

      Eden is an attractive, serene name with obvious intimations of Paradise, one of several place names drawn from the Bible by the Puritans in the seventeenth century.
  12. LuciaHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian, feminine variation of Lucius, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "light"
    • Description:

      Lucia is derived from lux, the Latin word for light. It is considered to be the feminine form of Lucius as well as the Latinate spelling of Lucy. Due to its connection to light, Lucia was traditionally given to babies born as daylight was breaking.
  13. AltheaHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "with healing power"
    • Description:

      Althea is a poetic, almost ethereal name found in Greek myth and pastoral poetry, associated in modern times with the great tennis player Althea Gibson, the first African-American to win at Wimbleton.
  14. LauraHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bay laurel"
    • Description:

      Laura is a hauntingly evocative perennial, never trendy, never dated, feminine without being fussy, with literary links stretching back to Dante. All this makes Laura a more solid choice than any of its more decorative counterparts and one of the most classic girl names starting with L.
  15. AxelHeart
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian variation of Absalom
    • Meaning:

      "father of peace"
    • Description:

      A classic in its native Scandinavia, Axel has a cool rock 'n' roll flavor in the US, thanks to Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose (born William). Axel is a popular Scandinavian form of the Biblical Absalom, who was a son of King David, and is the name of the title character of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom.
  16. WalterHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "army ruler"
    • Description:

      Walter was seen as a noble name in the Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Walter Scott era, but it then spent decades in baby name limbo. Now quite a few independent-minded parents are looking at it as a renewable, slightly quirky, classic, stronger and more distinctive than James or John, second only to William among the handsome classic boy baby names starting with W. The recent popularity of Breaking Bad has brought us Walter White, conferring on the name Walter a new kind of cool and prompting a fresh wave of popularity.
  17. HarveyHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "battle worthy"
    • Description:

      Two of the worst events of 2017 involved the name Harvey, the storm and accused sexual harasser Weinstein. And that's not good for the baby name Harvey's future.
  18. IdaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "industrious one"
    • Description:

      Many vowel names stylish a century ago are coming back, and Ida seems like a possible, logical successor to Ada and Ava.
  19. CeliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "heavenly"
    • Description:

      Celia, splendidly sleek and feminine, is a name that was scattered throughout Shakespeare and other Elizabethan literature, but still manages to feel totally modern.
  20. EffieHeart
    • Origin:

      English diminutive of Euphemia, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pleasant speech"
    • Description:

      Effie is the old-fashioned short form for Euphemia. It shares a vintage charm with Hattie and Letty although is much rarer than either. Effie is a character in The Hunger Games and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.