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Old-Fashioned Baby Names

Old-Fashioned Baby Names

Old-fashioned baby names rule the popularity lists today, with such old-fashioned girl names as Emma, Olivia, Amelia, Sophia, Charlotte, and Isabella ranking as top girl names in the US and old-fashioned boy names Noah, Oliver, Elijah, Benjamin, and Henry topping the boys' list.

Baby names tend to follow hundred-year cycles of popularity. Many of the old-fashioned names here were last popular a century ago before coming back into style over the last decade.

Along with Emma and Henry, other old-fashioned baby names in the US Top 500 include Abraham, Arthur, Edith, Frederick, Josephine, Olive, Philip, Rosemary, and Walter.

Old-fashioned names popular on Nameberry that haven't yet hit the US list include Aurelius, Imogen, Ottilie, Phineas, Rupert, and Winifred.Other old-fashioned names trending now include Amos, Ida, Lucinda, and Ralph.

The old-fashioned names on this list are ranked in order of their current popularity on Nameberry.

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  1. SilasHeart
    • Origin:

      Aramaic, Latin, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "of the forest; or prayed for"
    • Description:

      Silas is both a mythological and Biblical name, hitting its highest popularity point ever in the US last year. Now ranking firmly in the Top 100, Silas is a longstanding favorite with Nameberry visitors.
  2. AureliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "the golden one"
    • Description:

      Aurelia is an ancient Roman name that's become a surprise hit in the contemporary world. A top favorite on Nameberry, it reentered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after a 70-year absence and continues to climb.
  3. FelixHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "happy, fortunate"
    • Description:

      Felix is one of those ancient but nontraditional names for boys that have come into favor over the past few decades, a favorite of parents who want a masculine name with history and heft that breaks ranks with the standard Franks and Freds. Felix is also an international darling, ranking in the Top 100 in several European and English-speaking countries.
  4. EloiseHeart
    • Origin:

      French and English variation of Heloise
    • Meaning:

      "healthy; wide"
    • Description:

      Along with many other names with the El- beginning and featuring the L sound in any place, Eloise is newly chic. Eloise reentered the US Top 1000 girl names in 2009 after a 50 year nap and broke into the Top 100 in 2022. And she shows no signs of slowing down.
  5. TheodoreHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      As unlikely as it may seem, Theodore is a hot new hit name, vaulting into the Top 10 in 2021 for the first time ever. Friendly nickname Theo may be responsible for some of that, though there are plenty of baby boys given Theo as their full name too. Add their numbers together, and the two names jump to Number 6.
  6. IrisHeart
    • Origin:

      Flower name; Greek
    • Meaning:

      "rainbow"
    • Description:

      Iris is one of the bouquet of turn-of-the-last-century flower names that is gradually beginning to regain its appeal: it is now at the highest point ever. Iris is also rooted in the trending mythological class of names..
  7. OliverHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "olive tree or elf army"
    • Description:

      Oliver is an international star, ranking near the top of the charts in the US and throughout the English-speaking world, along with a host of European and Latin American countries, from Norway to Chile, Slovenia to Switzerland.
  8. ClaraHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • 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.
  9. AtticusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Attica"
    • Description:

      Atticus, with its trendy Roman feel combined with the upstanding, noble image of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, is a real winner among boy names. Atticus entered the US Top 1000 in 2004 and is a firm Nameberry favorite.
  10. CharlotteHeart
    • Origin:

      French, feminine diminutive of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Charlotte, the name of the young Princess of Cambridge, is the latest classic name to join Sophia, Emma, Olivia, and Isabella at the top of the popularity list. It is now among the most popular girl names in many English-speaking and European countries.
  11. AliceHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Alice is a classic literary name that's both strong and sweet, which got a big bounce via Tina Fey's choice of the name for her daughter. Alice has experienced a recent surge in popularity along with other girl names starting with A.
  12. AugustHeart
    • Origin:

      German form of Latin Augustus
    • Meaning:

      "great, magnificent"
    • Description:

      The name August is at its highest point since the 1890s, when it ranked among the Top 100 boy names in the US. And deservedly so, given its great meaning, historic roots, and cool nicknames.
  13. HugoHeart
    • Origin:

      Latinized form of Hugh
    • Meaning:

      "mind, intellect"
    • Description:

      Hugo, the Latin form of Hugh, has more heft and energy than the original -- and of course we love names that end (or begin, for that matter) with an o. This one is especially appealing because it's backed up by lots of solid history and European style.
  14. OscarHeart
    • Origin:

      English or Irish
    • Meaning:

      "God spear, or deer-lover or champion warrior"
    • Description:

      Oscar is one of the most stylish Old Man Names of our era. While it's softened slightly in popularity over the past 20 years, that may be considered a very good thing.
  15. OpheliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "help"
    • Description:

      Ophelia reentered the US Top 1000 in 2015 after more than 50 years off the charts, and rose more than 600 spots since then, with no signs of slowing down. Could Ophelia may be the next Olivia?
  16. VioletHeart
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "purple"
    • Description:

      Violet is soft and sweet but far from shrinking. Today, Violet is near the top of the charts, joining other such popular flower names as Lily, Daisy, and Rose.
  17. AmeliaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "work"
    • Description:

      Amelia is one of the hottest girls' names, a successor to the megapopular Emma and Emily. Amelia, which spent several years at Number 1 in England, vaulted into the US Top 10 in 2017 and continues to rise.
  18. TobiasHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek from Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is good"
    • Description:

      Tobias is one of a number of s-ending boys' names that are riding a wave of popularity. With its Old Testament-Dickensian feel, it's a name with a distinguished pedigree.
  19. JudeHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin diminutive of Judah
    • Meaning:

      "praised"
    • Description:

      Jude is a modern star, maintaining a steady level of popularity -- but not TOO much popularity -- for more than a decade now. Thank Jude Law and the great Lennon-McCartney song "Hey Jude", double-handedly responsible for propelling Jude up the charts.
  20. ArthurHeart
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      " bear"
    • Description:

      Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by stylish parents, inspired perhaps by the new generation of royals. Arthur has led the list of possible names for the young British princes, chosen as a middle name for Prince Louis, son of William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales.