1900s Names

1900s Names

1900s names include some choices back in style (or even past their most recent peak), such as Lillian and Leo, Josephine and Jack. Other names from the early 1900s are still moored in that long-ago era, including Ethel and Elmer.

Along with Josephine and Lillian, other 1900s girl names that are currently in the US Top 1000 include Elsie, Hazel, Beatrice, and Mabel.

Along with Leo and Jack, 1900s boy names trending today include George, Theodore, Oscar, and Walter.

In addition to Ethel, the 1900s names with the steepest drops in popularity include Bessie, Myrtle, Thelma, and Bertha. While we may not be hearing many babies named Gertrude and Clarence soon, names such as Mabel and Florence, Henry and Arthur are very much back in style.

Sourced from the Top 100 of the decade from 1900 to 1910, here is a list of popular baby names which are relatively rare today, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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Popular Names

Vintage Baby Names

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. AliceHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Alice is a classic literary name that's both strong and sweet, ranking in the US Top 100 and popular throughout the western world. Alice is derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis, which is composed of the Proto-Germanic elements aþala, meaning "noble," and haidu, "kind, appearance, type."
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. JamesHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      James is one of the classic Anglo-Saxon names, a stalwart through the ages that is more popular—and yes, stylish—than ever today. It recently came out Number 1 in a poll of America's favorite boys' baby names, and is the most common male name, counting people of all ages, in the US.
  7. HazelHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "the hazelnut tree"
    • Description:

      Hazel has a pleasantly hazy, brownish-green-eyed, old-fashioned image that more and more parents are choosing to share. Former Old Lady name Hazel reentered the popularity lists in 1998 and now is near the top of the charts.
  8. HenryHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Henry is back. The classic Henry climbed back onto the Top 10 in the US in 2021 for the first time in over a century, and now stands at Number 7.
  9. LeoHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lion"
    • Description:

      Leo is a strong-yet-friendly name that was common among the Romans, used for thirteen popes, and is now at its highest point ever in the US thanks in part to Leonardo "Leo" DiCaprio.
  10. ElsieHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Elizabeth via its Scottish variation, Elspeth
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Elsie is a sweet vintage nickname-name turned modern star. After a 30-year hiatus, Elsie started climbing the US popularity list 20 years ago and is still headed for the top.
  11. JosephineHeart
    • Origin:

      French feminine variation of Joseph
    • Meaning:

      "Jehovah increases"
    • 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.
  12. BeatriceHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness; blessed"
    • Description:

      Beatrice is back. Stored in the attic for almost a century, the lovely Beatrice with its long literary (Shakespeare, Dante) and royal history is being looked at with fresh eyes by parents seeking a classic name with character and lots of upbeat nicknames, like Bea and Bee.
  13. MabelHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Amabel, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lovable"
    • Description:

      Mabel is a saucy Victorian favorite rising in popularity in the US over the past decade, after a 50-year nap If you love offbeat old-fashioned names like Violet or Josephine, only sassier, Mabel is one for you to consider.
  14. EvelynHeart
    • Origin:

      English from French and German
    • Meaning:

      "desired; or water, island"
    • Description:

      Evelyn derives from the French feminine given name Aveline, which is from an obscure Germanic root which may mean "desired, wished for" or "water, island". The name Aveline was brought over to England by the Normans, but it first became popular as a masculine name – a transferred use of the surname Evelyn, which comes from the same source. Variations include Evaline, Evalyn, Evelin, and Eveline.
  15. EmmaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "universal"
    • Description:

      Emma has now been among the top girl names in the United States for several years, claiming the Number 1 crown in 2008 and again from 2015 to 2018 before dropping back to second place.
  16. RubyHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "deep red precious stone"
    • Description:

      Ruby, vibrant red, sassy and sultry, outshines other revived vintage gem names, with its sparkling resume of cultural references. Ruby is proof of the 100 Year Rule, trending again for the first time since its last heyday in the 1920s.
  17. WilliamHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      William is one of the most enduring of classic names for boys. It's also among the most popular boys' names, as American parents see it as being ideally conservative yet contemporary, and hands-down the most popular baby name beginning with W of all time.
  18. JackHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Jack may have fallen from its Number 1 place in England, but in the US it's as popular as it was at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. A durable, cheery, everyman form of John, Jack ranks as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.
  19. FlorenceHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "flourishing, prosperous"
    • Description:

      Florence is back, returning to the US Top 1000 girl names in 2017 after a nearly 40 year absence. Other English-speaking countries have been quicker to welcome Florence back into fashion.
  20. GraceHeart
    • Origin:

      English, virtue name
    • Description:

      Grace, a simple and pure virtue name which originally referred to divine grace, is a fashionable classic. In the early 2000s, it seemed headed for the Top 10 but pulled back from the upward trajectory, which you may consider a very good thing.