Retro Girl Names

Retro girl names long overdue for reconsideration. Give this vintage lacework a fresh twist with some fun nickname possibles and what-really-springs-to-mind origins.
  1. Adelle
    • Alexandria
      • Origin:

        Variation of Alexandra, Greek
      • Meaning:

        "defending men"
      • Description:

        Alexandria turns Alexandra into a more distinctive place-name, in both Egypt and Virginia.
    • Alison
      • Origin:

        Norman French, diminutive of Alice
      • Meaning:

        "noble"
      • Description:

        Alison has been long popular in Scotland and widely used here since the fifties. This more feminine medieval elaboration of Alice had long surpassed the original in popularity, but now sounds a tad dated in the U.S., with Alice having leapfrogged back over Alison, Allison, Alicia and other variations.
    • Amelia
      • 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, is now comfortably ensconced in the US Top 10.
    • Angeline
      • Origin:

        French variation of Angela
      • Meaning:

        "angel"
      • Description:

        With Angelina becoming so popular thanks to Ms. Jolie, this could be a new twist—but everyone will always misunderstand it as Angelina. While it currently ranks at Number 951 in the US, it's Number 352 in France.
    • Audrey
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "noble strength"
      • Description:

        Audrey is one of the girls' names that have been rising due to their connection to Old Hollywood glamour—in this case the eternally chic and radiant Audrey Hepburn. Audrey has another very different appeal as one of the elite group of girl names that mean strong, brave, or powerful.
    • Beatrice
      • 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.
    • Camilla
      • Origin:

        Latin
      • Meaning:

        "young ceremonial attendant"
      • Description:

        The Spanish Camila, pronounced ka-MEE-la, is the fastest rising version of this ancient Roman name, but recent royal Camilla may have helped promote the British brand. In Roman myth, Camilla was a swift-footed huntress so fast she could run over a field without bending a blade of grass.
    • Cecilia
      • Origin:

        Feminine form of Cecil, Latin
      • Meaning:

        "blind"
      • Description:

        Cecilia is a lovely classic name deservedly enjoying a new turn in the sun. Always among the Top 500 girls' names in the US, Cecilia is now at its highest point ever.
    • Charlotte
      • 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.
    • Claudia
      • Origin:

        Feminine variation of Claude
      • Meaning:

        "lame; enclosure"
      • Description:

        Claudia is a classic name with ancient Roman roots. Never truly in or truly out, Claudia feels like a strong, modern choice that hits the sweet spot between too popular and too unusual..
    • Clementine
      • Origin:

        French feminine version of Clement, Latin
      • Meaning:

        "mild, merciful"
      • Description:

        Clementine is a Nameberry favorite that broke back into the US Top 1000 in 2014 after more than half a century off the list.
    • Cora
      • Origin:

        Greek
      • Meaning:

        "maiden"
      • Description:

        Cora is a lovely, old-fashioned girls' that has been recently rejuvenated by its contemporary-feeling simplicity. In fact, Cora seemed headed straight for the top of the popularity list when the coronavirus pandemic somewhat weakened its appeal.
    • Cordelia
      • Origin:

        Latin; Celtic
      • Meaning:

        "heart; daughter of the sea"
      • Description:

        Cordelia is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name for girls that many parents are seeking for their daughters today. The name of King Lear's one sympathetic daughter, Cordelia has both style and substance along with its Shakespearean pedigree.
    • Cinna
      • Deirdre
        • Origin:

          Irish
        • Meaning:

          "sorrowful"
        • Description:

          Sadly, this strong Celtic name often has "of the sorrows" attached to it because of the tragic character in Irish legend. Also a bit drab when compared with newer Irish imports.
      • Elanor
        • Origin:

          English, Literature, Sindarin
        • Meaning:

          "sun star"
        • Description:

          An alternative spelling of Eleanor or Elinor, whose meaning is debated. It may come from the Germanic name Adenorde, meaning "ancient north" or "noble north". Another theory is that it derives from the Latin phrase alia Aenor, meaning "other Aenor," used to distinguish some original Eleanor, who was named after her mother Aenor.
      • Eliza
        • Origin:

          Hebrew
        • Meaning:

          "pledged to God"
        • Description:

          Eliza is a name with a wonderful combination of streamlined zest and Eliza Doolittle charm and spunk. It's a classic that's popular right now -- but not too popular.
      • Eloise
        • Origin:

          French and English variation of Heloise
        • Meaning:

          "healthy; wide"
        • Description:

          Well balanced between sleek, sweet, strong, and vintage, newly chic Eloise re-entered the US Top 1000 in 2009, following a 50 year absence. In 2022, it broke into the Top 100 in the US and across the pond in the UK. Given to nearly 3000 babies each year, Eloise is showing no sign of stepping out of the spotlight.
      • Emily
        • Origin:

          Feminine variation of Emil, Latin
        • Meaning:

          "rival"
        • Description:

          Emily may have dropped somewhat in the current standings, but it was the most popular girls' name for over a decade because it appeals on many levels: Emily is feminine, classic, simple, pretty, and strong. Emily is Number 1 among Gen Z names. It also has those nice literary namesakes, like Emily Dickinson and Emily Brontë.