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1930s Names

1930s Names

1930s names took a serious turn along with the mood of the country during the Great Depression, with many names popular in that decade feeling decidedly out of style today. But given the Hundred Year Rule, we see names from the 1930s starting to feel more appealing over the coming decade

We may be in for a new generation of girls named Barbara and Joan and boys called Ronald and Howard. Along with Ronald and Howard, other 1930s boy names that remain in the US Top 1000 include Alice, Arthur, Francis, Marvin, and Walter. 1930s girl names still in the Top 1000 include Dorothy, Irene, and Patricia.

Other 1930s names are fading from sight. Among those 1930s baby names with the greatest drop in popularity are Wanda and Phyllis for girls, and Fred and Earl for boys.

These 1930s names may be familiar to you via grandparents or great-grandparents or other older relatives born in the first half of the 20th century.

If you are interested in exploring names from the 1930s for your baby, browse the selection here drawn from the Top 50 for that decade but relatively rare today, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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Popular Names

Vintage Baby Names.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. EleanorHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of French Provencal Alienor, meaning unknown
    • Description:

      Eleanor's straightforward feminine image combined with its royal medieval history is striking just the right note for parents in search of a girls' name that combines substance and style.
  4. JamesHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      James is an English derivation of the Hebrew name Jacob. James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), presidential (with more U.S. Chief Executives named James (six) than any other name), and it is shared by countless great writers and entertainers.
  5. HenryHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Henry was derived from the French Henri, which ultimately comes from the Germanic name Heimrich, made up of the components heim, meaning "home" or "estate," and rich, meaning "ruler." The most famous wearer is Henry VIII of England, best known for having six wives—two of whom he beheaded for not bearing him sons. It’s been used in the British royal family many times since.
  6. JaneHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      No, we don't consider Jane too plain. In fact, for a venerable and short one-syllable name, we think it packs a surprising amount of punch, as compared to the related Jean and Joan.
  7. LouisHeart
    • Origin:

      German and French
    • Meaning:

      "renowned warrior"
    • Description:

      Kate and William shocked the world when they announced that they'd named their third child Louis -- Prince Louis Arthur Charles, to be more precise. But we've been predicting a comeback for this classic name for a long time.
  8. ElizabethHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. ThomasHeart
    • Origin:

      Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "twin"
    • Description:

      Thomas is the Greek variation of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’. It came about because there were too many apostles named Judas; Jesus renamed one Thomas—meaning "twin"—to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and the Judas also known as Thaddeus. At first, it was used only for priests.
  12. JackHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Jack is a derivative of John that originated in medieval England. The name went from John to Johnkin to Jankin to Jackin to Jack. The name was so common in the Middle Ages that Jack became a generic term for a man.
  13. WilliamHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      William is derived from the Germanic name Wilhelm, composed of the elements wil, "will," and helm, referring to a helmet or protection. The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, with William being the Norman variation of the name. In Central and Southern France, it was translated as Guillaume.
  14. MargaretHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Margaret is derived from the French Marguerite, which in turn came from Margarita, the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. Margarites was based on the Old Persian word margārīta, meaning "pearl."
  15. RoseHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "rose, a flower"
    • Description:

      Rose is derived from the Latin rosa, which referred to the flower. There is also evidence to suggest it was a Norman variation of the Germanic name Hrodohaidis, meaning "famous type," and also Hros, "horse". In Old English it was translated as Roese and Rohese.
  16. GeorgeHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "farmer"
    • Description:

      Iconoclasts though we may be, we like Fred, we like Frank, and we like George, which was among the Top 10 from 1830 to 1950, when the number of little Georges started to decline. Solid, strong, royal and saintly, yet friendly and unpretentious, we think that George is in prime position for a comeback, especially since it was chosen by Britain's royal couple.
  17. DanielHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is my judge"
    • Description:

      Daniel was derived from the Hebrew name Daniyyel, from the elements din, meaning "judge," and ’el, "God." The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament describes the Jewish prophet’s life of captivity in Babylon and visions of the last days of Earth. Dan and Danny are common short forms of Daniel.
  18. AnnaHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Anna has become the dominant form of the Ann family, having been firmly in the Top 25 for years and only slipping in the past couple of years. Anna offers a touch of the international and a bit more style than the oversimplified Ann, used for generations throughout Europe, from Russia to Italy, Spain to The Netherlands.
  19. CharlesHeart
    • Origin:

      French from German
    • Meaning:

      "man, free man"
    • Description:

      Charles derives from the Germanic name Karl, meaning "man" or "freeman", and is a royal name in multiple European countries. A famous early bearer is Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Lombards and then Roman Emperor in the 8th-9th centuries. The word for "king" in several languages came from Charles, including Slavic, Russian, and Polish. And, of course, Charles III is the current king of Great Britain.
  20. AnthonyHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Antium"
    • Description:

      Anthony is derived from the Roman family name Antonii, and was initially used as Antony, without the "h." The name evolved into Anthony in the 17th century, when it was speculated that it derived from the Greek word anthos, meaning "flower." In England, whether it's spelled Anthony or Antony, the name is often pronounced as the latter, while Americans typically utter the "h" if present.