grandparent names that have my heart

  1. Agnes
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pure, virginal"
    • Description:

      Agnes is the Latin variation of the name Hagne, which itself derived from the Greek word hagnos, meaning "chaste." In medieval times, St. Agnes was a very popular saint, leading to its popularity as a girl's name. Agnes Grey is the title of one of the two novels written by Anne Brontë.
  2. Albert
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble, bright"
    • Description:

      Albert has acquired a new gloss as one of the top royal baby boy names, a considerable upgrade from its serious, studious image (think Einstein, Schweitzer).
  3. Arthur
    • 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.
  4. Cecil
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "blind"
    • Description:

      Once a powerful Roman clan name, Cecil has lost much of its potency over the years, though it retains a strong presence in the sports and jazz worlds. Past bearers include film giant Cecil B. DeMille, poet Cecil Day Lewis, father of Daniel, and photographer Cecil Beaton. Fictional Cecils appear in Oscar Wilde's play, Lady Windemere's Fan, E. M. Foster's A Room With a View and the film Lee Daniel's The Butler.
  5. Donald
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "proud chief"
    • Description:

      Donald has been used for centuries in Scotland, where the Macdonald clan is one of the most ancient and where there have been six early Scottish kings by that name. Donald was a Top 20 name throughout most of the early twentieth century. But first there was the quacking Donald Duck, introduced in 1934, to affect its image, and then there was The Donald Trump, leaving it drained of much baby appeal. Trump's surprising run to the presidency didn't save Donald's decline on the baby name charts; it fell 47 spots between 2015 and 2016, from 441 to 488, and is now a less popular name than it's been since records have been kept.
  6. Edie
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Edith
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in war"
    • Description:

      Edie is part of the Evie-Ellie et al family of cute and friendly short forms that sometimes stand on its own. Briefly popular in the 1960s, it could well be due for rediscovery. It's already a fashionable choice in the UK, where it has ranked just outside the Top 100 for several years.
  7. Edith
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in war"
    • Description:

      Edith was a hugely popular name a hundred years ago that's being revived among stylish parents in Stockholm and London. It's currently beginning to gain traction in the US among those with a taste for old-fashioned names with a soft but strong image.
  8. Elijah
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "Yahweh is God"
    • Description:

      The Top 10 boys' name Elijah is derived from the Hebrew name Eliyahu, composed of the elements ’el and yah, both of which refer to God. In the Old Testament, Elijah was the prophet who went to heaven in a chariot of fire, a story sure to inspire any young Elijah.
  9. Elmer
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "noble and renowned"
    • Description:

      Thanks to Elmer Fudd, Elmer the Cow, and even Elmer's glue, this name has become a bit of a joke -- the quintessential so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out name. But with its trendy El-beginning and popular er-ending, who knows?
  10. Enid
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "life, spirit"
    • Description:

      This Celtic goddess and Arthurian name may sound terminally old-ladyish to many ears--but so did names like Ella and Etta not so long ago. So Enid is yet another forgotten four-letter E-possibility: she's has been M.I.A since 1954.
  11. Estelle
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "star"
    • Description:

      Maybe it's because she shares that winning -elle sound with Isabel and Bella, but Estelle is no longer seen as a muumuu-wearing canasta player of a certain age (think George Costanza's mother on Seinfeld or Joey Tribbiani's talent agent in Friends). This could be in part thanks to the young Royal Couple of Sweden, who chose it for their firstborn daughter, or the single-named British R&B singer. It reentered the US Top 1000 in 2012 after a nearly fifty-year absence.
  12. Ethel
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "noble maiden"
    • Description:

      Ethel is a name we once declared as 'So Far Out They'll Probably Always Be Out,' but with the return of other names on that list and with its new starbaby cred via Lily Allen, its soft sound and admirable meaning, we're not so sure.
  13. Florence
    • 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.
  14. Gail
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, short form of Abigail
    • Meaning:

      "my father rejoices"
    • Description:

      Gail was a mid-twentieth century favorite, which has been far surpassed by its original form, Abigail and nickname Abby. Spelling variations include Gale and Gayle, the latter represented by TV journalist and Oprah bestie Gayle King. Gail was most popular in the 1950s, when it was in the Top 40, and could rise again, possibly as a middle.
  15. Gideon
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "hewer; or, having a stump for a hand"
    • Description:

      Gideon is a no-longer neglected Old Testament name, but still makes an excellent choice for parents looking to move beyond such overused biblicals as Benjamin and Jacob. In the Old Testament, Gideon was a judge called on by God to rescue the Jews from the Midianites, and the name was popular among the Puritans.
  16. Gilbert
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "shining pledge"
    • Description:

      Considered ultra debonair in the silent-movie era, Gilbert then went through a nerdy phase, a la Gilbert Gottfried. Now though, like Albert and Alfred and Walter and Frank, it could be in for a style revival.
  17. Harriet
    • Origin:

      English variation of French Henriette
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Harriet has long been considered a stylish, upscale name in England, but it's still waiting to be revived in the US—though some parents seeking a solid, serious semi-classic are beginning to consider it.
  18. Helen
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "torch; shining light"
    • Description:

      Helen is a name that has connoted beauty since ancient times – Helen of Troy was the the mythological "face that launched a thousand ships," over whom the ten-year Trojan War was fought.
  19. Howard
    • Origin:

      German or English
    • Meaning:

      "high guardian or brave heart"
    • Description:

      Howard, once hugely popular -- in the Top 50 from the 1870s to early 1950s, hitting Number 24 in 1920 -- has been stuck in Dad-Grandad limbo for decades, but is showing some signs of stirring back to life. Along with such formerly-fusty names as George and Harold, Howard may soon feel baby-appropriate, perhaps with the short form Ward.
  20. Iola
    • Origin:

      Greek or Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "violet; beautiful lady"
    • Description:

      Isla is hot, Iona is cool – maybe it's time Iola got a second look? Last heard from on Carol Burnett's Mama's Family show, Iola feels like just the sort of uncommon, vowel-rich, vintage name that should be ripe for rediscovery.