Names Popular in the 1880's

  1. 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).
  2. Alice
    • 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."
  3. Anna
    • Origin:

      Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Anna has become the dominant form of the Ann family, offering a touch of the international to English speakers and a bit more style than the oversimplified Ann or Anne.
  4. Annie
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Ann
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Annie is one of the most open and optimistic, the-sun'll-come-out-tomorrow type of name, having been celebrated over the years in song (Annie Laurie), comic strip (Little Orphan Annie), folklore (Annie Oakley, born Phoebe), and film (Annie Hall). It strikes a nice old-fashioned-but-jaunty chord that still has appeal, but we do suggest that you consider putting a more formal version on her birth certificate.
  5. 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.
  6. Bertha
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "bright, glorious"
    • Description:

      Ever since the enormous German cannon was dubbed by Allied soldiers "Big Bertha" in World War I, this name hasn't worked for a sweet little baby girl. But this was not always so. Hard as it might be to imagine now, Bertha was a Top 100 name until the 1930s, and in the 1880s was the seventh most popular name in the land--the equal of Joseph.
  7. Charles
    • 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.
  8. Clara
    • 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. It now ranks right around Number 100, making it a modern classic that's neither too popular nor unfamiliar.
  9. 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.
  10. Edward
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy guardian"
    • Description:

      Unlike perennials William, John and James, Edward is a classic that moves in and out of fashion. This royal Anglo-Saxon standard has benefited in recent years from the popularity of the hot hero of the vampire sensation Twilight — Edward Cullen — who has given his name a new infusion of cool.
  11. Elizabeth
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Elizabeth is one of the most popular girls' names of all time, the female equivalent of James or William. Yet Elizabeth has so much going for it—rich history, broad appeal, and timeless style—that no matter how many little girls are named Lizzie, Eliza, and Beth, you can still make Elizabeth your own.
  12. Ella
    • Origin:

      German; English
    • Meaning:

      "all, completely; fairy maiden"
    • Description:

      Ella is a sweet, simple name that owes much of its current popularity to the popularity of other names, from Emma to Bella to Emily to Ellie.
  13. Emma
    • 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Frank
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Francis or Franklin
    • Meaning:

      "Frenchman or free man"
    • Description:

      A Top 10 name from the 1880s until the 1920s, Frank has been falling for decades but last year reversed course for the first time in a century, edging up the popularity list a few notches. And Frank still has a certain warm, friendly real-guy grandpa flavor that could come back into style, like other such choices as Jake and Jack.
  16. Fred
    • Origin:

      German, diminutive of Frederick and Alfred
    • Description:

      Where have all the Freds gone? We haven't seen many since the days of Flintstone and Munster. But it could be time for a comeback--if you think more of the sophistication of Fred Astaire, and of other nice guy names like Jack and Charlie and Sam.
  17. George
    • 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.
  18. Harry
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Henry
    • Meaning:

      "estate ruler"
    • Description:

      Harry is the medieval English form of Henry, which derived from the Germanic name Heimrich, meaning "estate ruler." Harry was the nickname of all eight King Henrys; it is also a diminutive of Harold and Harrison.
  19. Henry
    • 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 8.
  20. Ida
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "industrious one"
    • Description:

      Many vowel names stylish a century ago are coming back, and Ida seems like a possible, logical successor to Ada and Ava.