200+ Popular 1900s Names For Baby Girls And Boys

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Let’s turn the hands of time and embark on a journey into the 20th century, an era of the most traditional and classic names. Many 1900s names had biblical roots or took inspiration from historical figures. Literature, too, played a massive part in helping parents find the relevant name for their child. Names inspired by nature and human qualities were also some of the most preferred choices. Even short forms of longer names became popular given names in this era. So, explore this list of the most popular 1900s names for girls and boys and find out what made them so appealing to the parents of that generation.

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200+ Famous 1900s Names for Boys And Girls

Dust off the old photos and take a trip down memory lane by exploring names most popular in the 1900s. Below is the official SSA list of baby names that have been most popular in the 1900s (1).

Popular 1900s Boy Names

From John to William, boy names in the 1900s reflect rich history and legacy. Check the following boy names to get a glimpse into the 20th century.

1. Albert

The classic Germanic name Albert means ‘noble and bright.’ Albert was popular because of its connection to royalty, literature, and historical figures. German physicist Albert Einstein and Saint Albert the Great are a few notable namesakes.

2. Alexander

Having ancient Greek roots and royal connotations, Alexander means ‘defender of the people.’ Former King of Macedonia, Alexander the Great is undoubtedly one of the most prominent name bearers. Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United states, is another famous namesake.

3. Alfred

Alfred is an English name that means ‘elf counsel.’ It may have gained prominence because of its association with historical English king Alfred the Great and British poet Alfred Tennyson.

4. Allen

The simplicity of the name Allen may have appealed to people in the 1900s. The Gaelic name means ‘handsome’ or ‘small rock.’

5. Alvin

Having Old English origin, Alvin means ‘noble friend.’ Its friendly vibe may have charmed people all over the world. The popular American animated band Alvin and the Chipmunks that released in 1958 may have further boosted the name’s popularity.

6. Andrew

The Greek name Andrew means ‘strong’ or ‘masculine’. The name is still popular probably because of its religious roots. In the Holy Bible, Andrew was the name of one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.

7. Anthony

Rooted in Latin, Anthony means ‘invaluable.’ Several noteworthy namesakes in varied fields made Anthony remain a popular name for so long. Welsh actor Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins is one of the most prominent name bearers.

8. Arthur

Arthur has Celtic roots and comes from the words *artos, meaning ‘bear,’ and *rixs, meaning ‘king.’ The mythical King Arthur of Britain can be credited with popularizing this name.

9. Ben

From a nickname to a given name, Ben has managed to charm people with its versatility. Of Hebrew origin, Ben means ‘son.’

10. Benjamin

Meaning ‘son of the right hand,’ Benjamin is a Hebrew name. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Benjamin was the name of the youngest of the twelve sons of Jacob (2).

11. Bernard

Evoking a sense of sophistication, Bernard is a German name meaning ‘brave’ and ‘strong.’ Its association with historical personalities such as Saint Bernard and the French naturalist Bernard de Jussieu may have helped keep the name relevant for centuries. Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw also deserves a mention.

12. Carl

The Old Germanic name Carl means ‘free man.’ Its appeal lies in how short and straightforward it is. Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung was a noteworthy namesake.

13. Cecil

Undeniable vintage charm and unique sound make Cecil different from other names. Its Welsh roots refer to the meaning ‘the sixth child,’ while its Roman origin connotes ‘blindness.’

14. Charles

The name Charles has been borne by several kings from the 18th century and even the current King of the United Kingdom, Charles III. The name means ‘free man.’

15. Charlie

From being a nickname for Charles to a popular unisex name, Charlie has worked its way into people’s hearts. British comic actor Charlie Chaplin may have helped boost the popularity of this name.

16. Chester

Derived from the Latin word castrum, Chester means ‘fortress.’ Chester was initially used as a habitational surname. American politicians such as Chester A. Arthur and Chester Crocker have helped popularize this name.

17. Clarence

Rooted in Latin, Clarence means ‘bright.’ It is associated with nobility as Clarence was used as title by the British royal family. The associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Clarence Thomas is one of the prominent name bearers.

18. Claude

Claude means ‘strong-willed’ in Latin. For years, it has been using its European charm to allure parents. Its soft, melodic sound makes it stand out from other names.

19. Clifford

An Old English name, Clifford means ‘a ford near a slope.’ Its strong, masculine sound probably made it a popular name in the 1900s.

20. Clyde

Meaning ‘warm’ and ‘friendly,’ the Scottish name Clyde brings to mind images of rugged landscapes of Scotland. Parents may have liked this name for its connection to Scottish roots.

21. Daniel

Coming from the Hebrew language, Daniel means ‘God is my judge.’ Its biblical connection may have been a reason behind its popularity. According to the Old Testament, Daniel was a noble Jewish boy who possessed the ability to interpret dreams (3).

22. David

David may have also been a popular name because of its biblical roots. In Hebrew, it means ‘beloved.’ According to the Old Testament, David was the King of Judah.

23. Donald

The Scottish-Gaelic name Donald means ‘ruler of the world.’ Its regal sound may have been the reason for its popularity.

24. Earl

Known for its aristocratic flair, Earl is an English name that means ‘nobleman.’ It exudes elegance, which may have made it a charming name option.

25. Eddie

Eddie is an English name that is a diminutive of other longer names such as Edward and Edmund. Its appeal lies in its informal and endearing quality.

26. Edgar

American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most famous bearers of this name. It means ‘wealth’ or ‘spear.’ Its classic sound may have helped it gain popularity.

27. Edward

Edward is a loved name because of its royal associations; it has been borne by several kings in the past. The name means ‘a rich guardian.’

28. Edwin

Derived from an Old English term, Edwin means ‘rich friend’. Edwin still holds an old-fashioned charm that makes it a beautiful name.

29. Elmer

Having Germanic origins, Elmer was seen as a classic, reliable name. It means ‘noble and famous.’

30. Ernest

Filled with positive vibes, Ernest is an Old German name that means ‘serious.’ The name is appealing because it conveys qualities such as sincerity and integrity.

31. Eugene

The Greek name Eugene means ‘noble.’ It may have been popular in the 1900s because of its classical roots and sophisticated sound.

32. Everett

Belonging to the German language, Everett comes from the terms ebur, meaning ‘wild boar,’ and hart, meaning ‘brave’. It stands for strength and sturdiness, which may have attracted most people.

33. Floyd

Floyd means ‘gray-haired.’ It represents Celtic heritage and may have been popular for its distinctiveness. American former boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a popular namesake.

34. Francis

The name’s association with Saint Francis of Assisi may have made it extremely popular in various nations around the globe. Francis means ‘Frenchman.’

35. Frank

Simple and easy, Frank referred to a member of the Old Germanic tribe, the Franks. American singer Frank Sinatra was one of the most popular name bearers.

36. Fred

Fred started as a short form of longer names such as Frederick. Through its simplicity and friendly vibe, it managed to charm its way into the hearts of people and become one of the most popular names in the 1900s.

37. Frederick

The regal sounding name Frederick means ‘peaceful ruler.’ It stands out from other names because of the sense of grandeur that it exudes.

38. George

George has been popular not only in the real world but also in works of fiction. It is a Greek name that means ‘farmer.’ The first President of America and one of the country’s Founding Fathers, George Washington is the most prominent namesake.

protip_icon Did you know?
George is one of the most popular names amongst the members of the British royal family. In the last two hundred years, multiple British royals have been given the name George, six of them being kings.

39. Harold

Of German origin, Harold means ‘army king.’ It has a traditional sound, which may have appealed to many. Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Harold Wilson is one of the most popular namesakes.

40. Harry

1900s names, Harry

Image: Momjunction Design Team

Harry is another popular British name. It has German roots and means ‘ruler of the household.’ Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry is one of the most famous name bearers.

41. Harvey

Representing strength, the French name Harvey means ‘battleworthy.’ This traditional name offers a sense of stability that may have been its attractive point.

42. Henry

With French and German roots, Henry is a name with royal connotations as it has been held by numerous kings and monarchs in the past. It means ‘home ruler.’

43. Herbert

Herbert means ‘illustrious warrior.’ Its Old German origin and association with nobility may have contributed majorly to its unique charm.

44. Herman

Evoking a sense of stability, Herman means ‘army man.’ This German name is associated with positive qualities such as leadership and strength, which may have made it appealing.

45. Homer

A symbol of creativity and wisdom, Homer is a Greek name that was borne by the renowned Greek poet Homer, who composed the two Greek epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Homer means ‘pledge.’

46. Howard

Bearing Anglo-Saxon roots, Howard exemplifies courage and nobility. It means ‘battle’ or ‘guardian.’

47. Hugh

Hugh is a name with diverse roots. Its Anglo-Norman roots give it the meaning ‘intellect,’ while its German meaning is ‘mind.’ The name was popular in the 1900s because it was borne by numerous kings and dukes in France.

48. Jack

Short and simple, Jack offers a sense of approachability. It has diverse roots and one of its meanings is ‘full of vital energy.’

49. Jacob

Having biblical roots, Jacob is a name connected to religion and spirituality. It means ‘supplanter.’ According to the Hebrew Bible, Jacob was the father of the twelve men who founded different tribes of Israel.

50. James

Originating in Hebrew, James also means ‘supplanter.’ It is a biblical name attached to faith and tradition. In the New Testament, there are several figures bearing this name.

51. Jesse

Jesse means ‘oblation.’ It is a name mentioned in the Bible. Jesse was the father of King David, who went on to become the leader of the Israelites.

52. Jessie

Jessie is derived from Jesse and it means ‘gift.’ Its appeal lies in its friendly pronunciation. Parents may have liked this name because of its versatility.

53. Jim

Inspired by the biblical name Jacob, Jim also means ‘supplanter.’ Jim is a short name that is adorable and easy to remember.

54. Joe

Having Hebrew and English origins, Joe means ‘God will add.’ Initially it was a diminutive of longer names like Joseph, but eventually came to be used as a given name.

55. John

John is a timeless name that has charmed people for over centuries. It means ‘God is gracious.’ As per the New Testament, John was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Its biblical connection plays a major role in its undying popularity.

protip_icon Quick fact
According to the official SSA data, the boy name John and the girl name Mary were the most popular names in the 1900s (1).

56. Johnnie

Meaning ‘Yahweh is gracious,’ Johnnie is a Hebrew name that was initially used as a nickname. Being marked by a sense of warmth and friendliness, it slowly came to be loved and used as a given name.

57. Joseph

Joseph is a Hebrew name that means ‘’God will increase.’ It is an important name in the history of Abrahamic religions as Joseph was the first son of Jacob and Rachel.

58. Kenneth

A title suited for a charming boy, Kenneth is a Celtic name that means ‘handsome.’ It may have enjoyed immense popularity because of its positive connotations.

59. Lawrence

Lawrence is a toponymic name referring to a person who hailed from the city of Laurentum. It is a variant of the Roman name Laurence, which was popularized by Saint Laurence, who was martyred in the third century.

60. Lee

In Old English, Lee is derived from leah, which means ‘meadow.’ It was originally a topographic surname that eventually came to be used as a given name.

61. Leo

The Greek name Leo means ‘lion.’ Representing strength and having astrological connotations may have boosted the popularity of this name.

62. Leon

Easy to guess, Leon means ‘lion’ in Greek. Its association with courage may have helped it earn parents’ favor.

63. Leonard

Rooted in Old High German language, Leonard means ‘lion.’ It possesses an old-fashioned charm that makes it stand out.

64. Leroy

Associated with nobility, Leroy is a French name that means ‘the king.’ Linked to royalty and refinement, the name may have easily attracted parents.

65. Leslie

From a surname to a given name, Leslie must have effortlessly worked its Scottish charm. It means ‘garden of Holly.’

66. Lester

Characterized by a soft, melodic sound, Lester is an English name that refers to a ‘person from Leicester.’

67. Lewis

Lewis is a classic name that means ‘famous in battle.’ Having such a strong meaning, it may have appealed to parents who liked such bold names for their boys.

68. Lloyd

Derived from a Welsh surname, Lloyd means ‘gray.’ This color-based surname was so appealing that it was gradually adopted as a given name too.

69. Louis

Connecting French and German culture, Louis means ‘famous warrior.’ It may have been a favored name because of its positive meaning. Several kings of France have borne this name in the past.

70. Luther

Having German roots, Luther means ‘army people.’ American singer Luther Vandross rose to prominence in the 1960s with his award-winning music that won hearts all over the world.

71. Martin

Martin is inspired by the Roman God of War, Mars. American activist Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential personalities during the civil rights movement.

72. Marvin

Having Welsh roots, Marvin means ‘sea friend.’ American singer Marvin Gaye was known for his contribution to R&B music and was also lovingly known as ‘Prince of Soul.’

73. Melvin

Mervin has Anglo-Saxon roots and it means ‘bad town.’ Not as common as other names on the list, Melvin won hearts because of its uniqueness.

74. Michael

Having Hebrew roots, Michael means ‘Who is like God?’ In the Old Testament, Michael is the name of one of the archangels in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Renowned personalities such as singer Michael Jackson and basketball player Michael Jordan are some of the most prominent namesakes.

75. Milton

Meaning ‘mill town,’ Milton is a name of English origin and is also used as a surname in some cultures. English poet John Milton is a famous name bearer who has a great influence on literature enthusiasts.

76. Norman

Norman has Old Germanic roots and means ‘northman.’ It was initially used as a nickname to identify Scandinavian people but it gradually gained popularity and was adopted as an individual name.

77. Oscar

Rooted in Irish language, Oscar means ‘friend of deer.’ Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde may have contributed to the popularity of the name in the early 20th century.

78. Patrick

Referring to a ‘nobleman,’ Patrick is of Latin origin. Fifth-century Christian missionary Saint Patrick is one of the most popular namesakes who has contributed to popularizing this name.

79. Paul

The classic Roman name Paul has been popular across centuries and continues to remain relevant even in the contemporary world. The name means ‘humble.’

80. Peter

1900s names, Peter

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Peter is a Greek name that means ‘rock’ or ‘stone.’ Saint Peter is a significant figure for followers of Christianity as he was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ.

81. Philip

Denoting ‘lover of horses,’ Philip is a Greek name with historical significance as numerous kings have borne this name across centuries and countries. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is a popular namesake who was married to Queen Elizabeth II.

82. Ralph

Having English and Scandinavian origins, Ralph means ‘wolf counsel.’ Its old-fashioned charm and association with leadership and wisdom may have made it a preferred choice for parents.

83. Ray

Ray is a diminutive of the masculine name Raymond, which means ‘protector.’ The short name may have impressed parents with its trendy vibe.

84. Raymond

With French and German roots, Raymond means ‘advice’ and ‘protection.’ Saint Raymond of Spain is a popular namesake and is considered the patron saint of pregnant women.

85. Richard

Richard means ‘brave ruler.’ American President Richard Nixon was a prominent namesake, who may have helped boost the popularity of the name.

86. Robert

Meaning ‘bright fame,’ Robert has mostly been associated with royalty as numerous kings across Europe have borne this name.

87. Roy

Roy is an Anglo-Saxon name that means ‘red.’ It may have been favored by parents for its catchiness and elegance.

88. Russell

A descriptive title, Russell is a Norman name that means ‘red-haired.’ It has an aristocratic sound, which sets it apart from other popular names.

89. Sam

A diminutive and a nickname, Sam is short for many other longer names such as Samuel or Samantha. It is also a Persian name that means ‘fire.’

90. Samuel

Samuel is a biblical name of Hebrew origin meaning ‘God has heard.’ In the Hebrew Bible, Samuel is a prophet who contributed significantly towards the establishment of the monarchy in Israel.

91. Stanley

Referring to ‘woodland clearing,’ Stanley is an English surname that gradually became a popular individual name.

92. Stephen

Rooted in Greek, Stephen bears the royal meaning ‘crown.’ The name evokes a sense of pride and honor. The first martyr of Christianity, Saint Stephen is perhaps the most respected bearer of this name.

93. Theodore

In ancient Greek, Theodore means ‘gift of God.’ Former American President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most popular namesakes.

94. Thomas

Thomas is a traditional Aramaic name, which means ‘twins.’ Prominent personalities such Saint Thomas of Canterbury and American inventor Thomas Edison have helped popularize this name.

95. Tom

Derived from the name Thomas, Tom was a nickname that has become a given name. In Hebrew, it means ‘innocent.’ The name exudes a friendly vibe, which may have made it a common choice.

96. Victor

Easy to guess, Victor means ‘conqueror.’ It has Latin roots and is also used as a surname in different countries. French romantic writer Victor Hugo was a famous bearer of this name.

97. Virgil

Virgil has Latin roots but no known meaning. This name is widely known thanks to Roman poet Virgil, who wrote Aeneid. American composer Virgil Thomson was also a renowned namesake.

98. Walter

Of Germanic origin, Walter is a name that demands respect. It means ‘commander of the army.’ It bears a timeless charm that makes it a relevant name even in the 21st century.

99. Will

Will is a Germanic name that means ‘resolute protector.’ Its USP lies in its short length and versatility.

100. William

William is a classic name with Germanic roots that means ‘strong-willed warrior.’ It is meant for royalty as it was borne by the first Norman king of England and is also the name of the Prince of Wales. Mention must also be made of legendary British playwright and poet William Shakespeare.

101. Willie

Filled with cuteness, this shortened form of William was initially used as a nickname but eventually became a given name.

Common 1900s Girl Names

From Mary to Violet, these girl names are steeped in the charm and tradition of the vintage era.

 102. Ada

The elegant name Ada is of Germanic origin. It comes from adal, which means ‘noble.’ Often used as a nickname for Adelaide or Adelina, the name stands out from other popular names because of its short length and classic sound.

103. Agnes

The Greek name Agnes means ‘chaste.’ Its association with purity may have earned it good favor with parents.

104. Alice

Alice is an Old Germanic name that means ‘noble.’ The name gained popularity after the success of the children’s novel ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll.

105. Alma

Of Latin origin, Alma means ‘nourishing.’ The name denotes vitality and is unique because of its soulfulness.

106. Ann

Ann has English and Manx roots. It means ‘grace.’ It is a popular diminutive of several names such as Anne, Annie, or Annabelle.

107. Anna

Having diverse roots, Anna means ‘grace.’ The name is loved by Christians because of its biblical connection. In the Gospel of Luke, Anna was a devout elderly woman and a prophetess.

108. Anne

Anne has multiple origins as it is considered a variant of numerous names. It is strangely a unique name that is also quite familiar. German-born Jewish diarist Anne Frank, who wrote ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’, is perhaps the most well-known bearer of this name.

109. Annie

Derived from the Hebrew name Hannah, Annie is also a diminutive that eventually became a popular given name.

110. Beatrice

Beatrice is a classic Latin name that means ‘blessed one.’ It possesses an old-world charm that could have made it appealing to parents.

111. Bernice

In Greek, Bernice means ‘bearer of victory.’ The name exudes a regal energy that may have made it a sophisticated baby name choice for parents.

112. Bertha

Gen-Z may not be acquainted with Bertha, but it was a popular name of German origin, meaning ‘bright.’

113. Bessie

1900s names, Bessie

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The English name Bessie is a variant of Elizabeth. It means ‘my God is an oath.’ Today it may be considered a dated name but it was once a popular choice for parents.

114. Betty

Betty has Hebrew and German roots as it is considered a diminutive of different names. It was initially used as a nickname but its friendly vibe eventually helped it become a given name.

115. Beulah

Beulah is a Hebrew name that means ‘married.’ It holds religious importance as it is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. It may have been popular for its poetic feel.

116. Blanche

The French name Blanche means ‘white’ or ‘fair.’ Its charm lies in its classic and elegant sound.

117. Carrie

Carrie is the diminutive of longer names such as Caroline or Carolina. It is a short name with a strong feminine appeal.

118. Catherine

The timeless Greek name Catherine means ‘pure.’ Catherine is often associated with royalty and nobility. Catherine ‘Kate’ Middleton is the Princess of Wales, making her a well-known bearer of this name.

119. Clara

Clara means ‘bright’ and ‘clear.’ Perhaps parents perceived it as a symbol of purity and beauty, which may have made it a popular choice for a baby name.

120. Cora

Derived from the Greek word Kore meaning ‘maiden,’ Cora has a soft, melodic sound, which makes it a graceful name.

121. Daisy

Meaning ‘sunburst,’ Daisy is a name of English origin. Associated with a beautiful flower, the name Daisy too was seen as a symbol of purity and freshness.

122. Dora

Dora is a Greek name that means ‘God’s gift.’ Parents may have liked Dora because of its cuteness and easy-to-remember spelling.

123. Doris

Of Greek origin, Doris means ‘Dorian woman’ or ‘bountiful.’ Connected to Greek mythology, Doris is the daughter of the God of the sea. Its exotic and mysterious nature might have allured parents.

124. Dorothy

Having Greek roots, Dorothy means ‘Gift of God.’ The name became popular in the US following the release of the hit movie ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ whose protagonist was named Dorothy.

125. Edith

Edith is a French name that means ‘blessed.’ It also means ‘prosperous in war,’ which gives it a grand feel. The name may not be so prominent today but it was quite popular in the 1900s.

126. Edna

Edna is a Hebrew name that means ‘rejuvenation.’ Parents consider it a simple and cheerful option for a baby name.

127. Eleanor

Eleanor is a name of French and German origin. It has multiple meanings, one of which is ‘the other Aenor.’ Eleanor Roosevelt was an American activist and the First Lady of the United States (1933-1945) during her husband Franklin Roosevelt’s term in office.

128. Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a timeless name with royal connotations. It finds its roots in Hebrew and it means ‘my God is an oath.’ Several European Queens including the last Queen of England have proudly borne this elegant name.

129. Ella

The Germanic name Ella refers to ‘beautiful light.’ American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald was nicknamed ‘Queen of Jazz’ and ‘First Lady of Song’ for her tremendous contribution to jazz music.

130. Ellen

Ellen is a name of Greek origin, meaning ‘torch.’ The name has been loved for its cool sound and association with prominent figures such as Swedish writer Ellen Key and English actress Dame Ellen Terry.

131. Elsie

Inspired by Elizabeth, Elsie too means ‘my God is an oath.’ This vintage name may have been popular because of its connection to traditional names such as Elizabeth and Eleanor.

132. Emily

A strong yet graceful name, Emily has Latin and Roman roots and it means ‘to excel.’ Poet Emily Dickinson’s growing fame in the late 19th century may have contributed to the name’s popularity.

133. Emma

Emma is a name that refuses to age. This simple German title has been borne by numerous prominent personalities through the years. It means ‘whole’ or ‘universe.’ British actress Dame Emma Thompson is a remarkable namesake with several accomplishments to her name.

134. Esther

A celestial name, Esther has Old Persian roots and it means ‘star.’ The name may have been popular because of its biblical connection. In the Book of Esther, a young woman named Esther marries the king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire and protects the Jews from being unfairly executed.

135. Ethel

Ethel is an Old English name that means ‘noble.’ This name holds an old-fashioned charm that makes it different from its contemporaries.

136. Eva

Rooted in Latin, the name Eva means ‘life.’ The name may have enjoyed immense popularity because of its connection to the biblical name Eve.

137. Evelyn

Evelyn is an English name that means ‘desired.’ It stands for beauty and femininity.

138. Florence

The Latin name Florence means ‘prosperous.’ The name’s association with the Italian city may have been one of its appealing factors, adding an exotic flair.

139. Frances

Derived from the masculine name Francis, the name Frances means ‘from France.’ Author Frances Hodgson Burnett was a famous name bearer known for her popular children’s novels, ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘A Little Princess’.

140. Georgia

Of Greek origin, Georgia means ‘farmer.’ Possessing the rare Southern charm, the name may have been popular because of its association with the state of Georgia.

141. Gertrude

Gertrude is an Old German name that means ‘spear of strength.’ The strong name evokes a sense of protection and dignity.

142. Gladys

The Welsh name Gladys means ‘princess.’ Gladys has a soft and melodious sound, which makes it a lovely pick.

143. Grace

Grace means ‘generosity’ is Latin. It may be perceived as a symbol of beauty and divine favor, making it a popular name. American actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly was one of the most prominent name bearers.

144. Hattie

Over the years, the German name Hattie has gone from being a nickname to a given name. It means ‘home or land ruler.’

145. Hazel

This English name is a nature-inspired title referring to the hazel tree. It was initially used as a topographic surname for people who lived near such a tree.

146. Helen

Helen is a Greek name that means ‘light.’ The historical figure Helen of Troy was considered the most gorgeous woman in the world. It would not be wrong to credit her for popularizing this name.

147. Hilda

Hilda has Germanic roots and it means ‘battle woman.’ With such an intense meaning, this name might have enticed parents looking for a strong name for their daughter.

148. Ida

The Germanic name Ida means ‘hard-working.’ True to her name, American investigative journalist Ida Bell Wells-Barnett was a well-known figure for being one of the leaders in the American civil rights movement.

149. Irene

Irene means ‘peace’ in Greek. The name may have been popular because of its Greek mythological significance and its association with various saints across Europe.

150. Jennie

Jennie derives its meaning from the source name John, which means ‘Yahweh is gracious’ in Hebrew. American philanthropist Jennie Casseday was one of the most noteworthy namesakes of her time.

151. Jessie

Initially used as a nickname, Jessie became so popular with parents that it came to be used as a first name. It has multiple origins and meanings. In Hebrew, it means ‘gift,’ while in Scottish it means ‘God is gracious.’

152. Josephine

Having Hebrew roots, Josephine means ‘God shall grow.’ The name must have been popular because of its connection to the biblical name Joseph. Actor and dancer Josephine Baker was a popular namesake in the 20th century.

153. Julia

Rooted in the Roman language, Julia means ‘downy-bearded.’ Hollywood actress Julia Roberts is a popular name bearer, who rose to prominence in the latter half of the 1900s.

154. Katherine

Royal and classy, the name Katherine is a Greek title that means ‘pure.’ The name is seen as a symbol of grace and sophistication. American actress Katharine Hepburn was a noteworthy personality, who contributed to the popularity of the name in the mid-20th century.

155. Kathryn

Parents who liked Katherine but wanted something unique for their daughter may have opted for the variant Kathryn. It is a modern twist to a traditional name.

156. Laura

The Latin name Laura means the ‘bay laurel plant.’ This nature-themed name is special because it possesses a romantic and ethereal aura.

157. Lena

In German, Lena means ‘torch,’ while its Scandinavian meaning is ‘from the tower.’ Its simple yet exotic nature might have appealed to many parents.

158. Leona

1900s names, Leona

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Strong and regal, Leona means ‘lioness’ or ‘thunder.’ Bearing Latin and French origins, Leona is known for its resilience and courage.

159. Lillian

Evoking a sense of innocence, the Latin name Lillian refers to the flower lily. The name might have been popular for its delicate and innocent charm.

160. Lillie

Possessing the soft aura of the flower lily, the Latin name Lillie means ‘pledged to God.’ As a name, it is considered a symbol of beauty and innocence.

161. Lois

Lois finds its roots in the Greek language and it means ‘more desirable.’ The fictional character Lois Lane in the famous Superman comics may have contributed to the name’s popularity in the mid-20th century.

162. Louise

The French name Louise means ‘famous warrior.’ American Actress Louise Brooks was a prominent name in the 1920s and 1930s. She is best known for her unique bob hairstyle.

163. Lucille

Derived from a French word, Lucia means ‘light.’ It is an elegant and graceful name that parents might have found pretty.

164. Lucy

Having Latin origin, Lucy means ‘light.’ The two-syllable name might have been favored because of its easy spelling and radiant meaning.

165. Lula

The Latin name Lula means ‘a girl born at daybreak’ and ‘famous warrior’. This short and sweet name was initially used as a nickname for several other longer names.

166. Mabel

Mabel is a Latin name that means ‘lovable.’ Noteworthy namesakes include American actress Mabel Normand who enjoyed tremendous popularity in the early 20th century.

167. Mae

Variant of the Roman name Maia, Mae is also used as a shortened name for longer titles such as Margaret or Mary. Its charm lies in its casual and simple vibe.

168. Maggie

Maggie is a nickname for the name Margaret. Its endearing quality may have attracted parents to prefer it as a given name.

169. Mamie

Mamie is a pet form of several long names such as Mary or Margaret. Parents might have liked the name’s informal and friendly appeal.

170. Margaret

A classic name with French and Greek roots, Margaret means ‘pearl.’ It stands out for its timeless appeal. Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood is a renowned bearer of this name.

171. Marguerite

Classy and chic, Marguerite is the source name of the popular French name Margaret. Associated with the precious pearl, this name may have been selected by parents for its sophisticated sound.

172. Marie

Marie is a French variant of the English name Mary. Polish-born French physicist and Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie was a famous personality in the early 20th century, which may have boosted the popularity of this name.

173. Marion

Marion was initially a popular surname that came to be used as a given name. It is derived from the Hebrew Miryam, meaning ‘wishes for a child.’

174. Marjorie

Marjorie seems to be inspired by numerous medieval names and has multiple meanings such as ‘pearl’ and jewel.’

175. Martha

The name Martha may have been a popular title because of its biblical origin. In the New Testament, Martha is mentioned as one of the most devout followers of Jesus. American actress Martha Scott was a famous namesake.

176. Mary

The biblical name Mary needs no introduction; it refers to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Having Hebrew origin, the name means ‘beloved.’

177. Maude

Maude has English and French origin and it means ‘strength in battle.’ This bold name has a vintage appeal that makes it so memorable.

178. Mildred

Mildred is an English name that means ‘gentle strength.’ American actress Mildred Harris was a famous name bearer not only for acting skills but also her personal life as she was the first wife of comedian Charlie Chaplin.

179. Minnie

The German name Minnie is the diminutive of Wilhelmina, meaning ‘willful protector.’ It exudes a cute and friendly vibe, which may be a reason why it was so popular in the late 1900s. It makes a sweet nickname.

180. Myrtle

Myrtle denotes the evergreen shrub. The nature-related name is a symbol of fertility and immortality. It may have been a favored title amongst parents who wanted a gentle and kind name for their daughter.

181. Nellie

Catchy and adorable as a nickname, Nellie is the diminutive of feminine names such as Eleanor or Helen.

182. Nora

Nora is yet another pet name that grew on people and became a given name. It is derived from Eleanor, meaning ‘light.’

183. Olive

Having English and Latin origins, Olive refers to the olive tree. The name may have been a hit with parents who liked nature-related names.

184. Opal

1900s names, Opal

Image: Momjunction Design Team

Classy and precious, Opal is an English and Sanskrit name that means ‘jewel.’ The name may have been loved by parents for its rare and mystical quality.

185. Pauline

The French name Pauline means ‘humble.’ The name might have been popular with parents because of its classic sound.

186. Pearl

Easy to guess, Pearl refers to the gemstone. It is a symbol of beauty and preciousness, which may have earned parents’ attention.

187. Rosa

Having diverse origins, Rosa means ‘rose’ in Latin and ‘dew’ in Polish. The name might have been preferred for its elegance and grace.

188. Rose

Rose is a Latin name which refers to the fragrant flower. A symbol of purity and beauty, Rose has a universal appeal, making it a popular name across centuries.

189. Ruby

The Latin name Ruby means ‘red.’ Its association with the gemstone of the same name makes it rare and precious.

190. Ruth

Ruth is a biblical name of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘friend’ or ‘companion. In the Old Testament, Ruth was a Moabite woman, who decided to live with her mother-in-law after the demise of her husband. She is known as the great-grandmother of David.

191. Sadie

Of Hebrew origin, Sadie means ‘princess.’ It was initially used as an affectionate term for Saraha but eventually became an individual name.

192. Sarah

Sarah is a Hebrew name that means ‘noblewoman’ or ‘princess.’ The name may have been popular because of its biblical connection. In the Old Testament, Sarah was married to Abraham and was the mother of Isaac. American actress Sarah Jessica Parker helped popularize the name even more.

193. Stella

A shining example of simplicity, Stella is a Latin name that means ‘star.’ Its celestial aura may have made it a preferred choice for parents.

194. Susie

Susie is a Hebrew name, which is considered an endearing nickname for the names Susan or Susannah. It means ‘lily.’

195. Thelma

The Greek name Thelma means ‘desire.’ Actress Thelma Ritter was a known theater and TV personality whose fame in the mid-20th century may have contributed to the name’s popularity.

196. Theresa

Theresa has Greek origin and it means ‘summer.’ The name is considered a variant of Teresa. It must have been popular because of its association with the Spanish nun, Saint Teresa of Ávila.

197. Velma

Velma is the variant of Wilma and it means ‘will’ or ‘desire.’ Its distinct and uncommon spelling may have made it a popular name.

198. Vera

Vera is a name of Slavic origin and it means ‘faith’ or ‘true’. Associated with dignity and faithfulness, Vera must have charmed parents with its Russian heritage.

199. Viola

Simple and melodious, the name Viola refers to the color ‘violet.’ Bearing a soft, melodious tone, Viola might have won over parents with its feminine charms.

200. Violet

Of English and Latin origin, the name Violet refers to the color ‘purple.’ Its floral reference makes it a symbol of beauty and grace.

201. Virginia

Virginia is rooted in Latin language and it means ‘maid’ or ‘virgin.’ Its association with chastity may have made it a popular choice for a girl’s name. 20th century British writer Virginia Woolf was one of the most noteworthy personalities bearing this name.

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Did gender-neutral names gain popularity in the 1900s?

Gender-neutral names did exist in the 1900s, but they were not as popular as they are now. The most popular names of that era were strictly differentiated as masculine and feminine.

2. Did the 1900s see the rise of any unique or unconventional names?

Amidst the popular biblical and historical names, unconventional titles such as Ethel, Opal, Velma, and Elmer captured parents’ hearts with their distinctiveness and beautiful meanings. All these names are in the top 100 of the official SSA list (1).

1900s names give a glimpse into our past and tell us much about our history and heritage. The 1900s was also when many surnames and nicknames came to be used as given names. From names such as Mary and John that fail to lose their charm to vintage gems like Dorothy and Edward, these names carry tremendous nostalgic value. Many of these names have stood the test of time and remain relevant in the 21st century. Whether you are looking for a simple title of a bygone era or a traditional name with a rich background, the 1900s have all kinds of options to suit your preferences.

Key Pointers

  • Apart from biblical figures, many names from the 1900s were popular because of historical figures or association with royalty, literature, science or arts, such as Alexander the Great, Albert Einstein, Ella Fitzgerald, and Marie Curie.
  • Several nicknames came to be used as given names. For instance, Willie is the nickname for William, while Maggie is the short form of Margaret.
  • Vintage names such as James, Oliver, Emma, and Emily continue to remain relevant in the 21st century.

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Popular names of the period 1900s.
    https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/decades/names1900s.html
  2. What the Bible says about Benjamin.
    https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/3835/Benjamin.htm
  3. What You Need to Know About The Book of Daniel.
    https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=will_know
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Ratika holds a master's degree in commerce and a post-graduate diploma in communication and journalism from Mumbai University. She has 6 years of experience writing in various fields, such as finance, education, and lifestyle. As a content writer at MomJunction, Ratika writes insightful and informative articles on marriage, relationships, and baby names. She keenly observes human relationships and enjoys studying...read full bio