150+ Popular 1930s Baby Names For Boys And Girls

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The 1930s can be categorized as a tumultuous decade, but it also gave birth to significant cultural movements, and films, music, literature, and art flourished. Popular 1930s names were often heavily influenced by silver screen stars of Hollywood and embodied the spirit of resilience, glamor, and artistic expression that defined the era. In the harshest of times, people discovered beauty and clung to it, which is mirrored in the care with which parents chose beautiful names for their children.

Let’s explore the most popular names of the 1930s that reflect the allure of Hollywood, the rhythm of Jazz, and the everlasting beauty found despite adversity. The names on this list are amongst the most well-loved baby names from the 1930s as per SSA data (1).

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1930s Girl Names With Meanings

Here is a list of popular 1930s girl names inspired by prominent women both in real life and fiction. You will also find several diminutive names, such as Ann, Betty, and Patsy, as they were quite trendy during the 1930s.

1. Alice

Alice is a widely loved name in the US and France. It is a shortened version of the Germanic name Adalheidis, meaning ‘nobleness’ or ‘nobility,’ and has an air of grandeur to it. Alice Walker, the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, proudly bears the name.

2. Ann

Ann is the shortened English form of the name Anne, which is further a derivative of the French name Anna, a diminutive of the Hebrew name Hannah, meaning ‘favor’ and ‘grace.’ Ann-Margret is a Swedish-American actress who won five Golden Globe Awards.

3. Anna

Besides Ann, Anna is another spelling variant of Hannah that was well-loved in the 1930s. Anna shares the same meaning as Hannah and is a pretty name for a girl. It is borne by Anna Kournikova, a former professional tennis player.

4. Annie

Annie is another ‘graceful’ name derived from the given name Hannah. Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox is known for her appearance in the music video Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).

5. Arlene

The name Arlene has Celtic origins and means ‘promise’ or ‘pledge.’  It is also a variant of the French names Karlene and Charlene, which are the feminine equivalents of Charles. The protagonist in Michael William Balfe’s play The Bohemian Girl is named Arlene.

6. Audrey

A name inspired by a seventh-century Anglo-Saxon saint and princess, Audrey means ‘noble strength.’ Audrey Hepburn is one of the most popular actresses with the name.

7. Barbara

Barbara is a name with Greek roots and inspired by Saint Barbara, the patron saint of artillerymen and miners. It means ‘foreigner’ and is borne by Barbara Joan “Barbra” Streisand, an American singer who won an EGOT–Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.

8. Betty

Betty is a shortened form of Elizabeth, meaning ‘God is my oath.’ Betty White, an American actress, comedian, and first woman to produce a sitcom, was one notable individual with the given name.

9. Beverly

Beverly is one of the few gender-neutral names on this list. It is derived from a British habitational surname meaning ‘beaver stream.’ Beverly is a popular name due to its association with Beverly Hills in California.

10. Bonnie

It’s a baby girl name taken from the Scottish word ‘bonnie,’ which translates to ‘pretty.’ Bonnie Wright, an actress, filmmaker, and environmental activist, is best known for her role as Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter film series.

11. Carol

Carol is a unisex name with connotations of a ‘hymn’ or ‘song.’ Scottish-born Poet Laureate (2009) Carol Ann Duffy holds the name.

12. Carolyn

A modern respelling of the traditional name Caroline, Carolyn shares the same meaning as its masculine form Carolus, meaning ‘man’ or ‘army.’ The name is held by Carolyn Jane Maloney, the first woman to represent New York City’s 7th Council district and the first woman to give birth while in office.

13. Catherine

A sophisticated feminine name, Catherine is the French form of Katherine, derived from the Greek word ‘katharos,’ meaning ‘pure.’ One of the most famous Catherines in the world is Princess of Wales, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.

14. Charlotte

Charlotte is the French feminine form of Charles, a masculine name that means ‘man’ or ‘army.’ It has been a popular appellation since the 19th century and was held by poet and author Charlotte Brontë, one of the famous Brontë sisters.

15. Delores

Delores is a slight variation of the English and Spanish name Dolores, meaning ‘sorrow.’ Delores Maria Etter is one notable bearer of the surname. She is the former United States Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology and former Assistant Secretary of the Navy for research, science, and technology.

16. Dolores

Dolores is a Spanish and English feminine name derived from the Spanish title of ‘Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora de los Dolores,’ meaning ‘Our Lady of Sorrows.’ The name was borne by María de los Dolores Asúnsolo y López Negrete (Dolores del Río), one of the most famous actresses during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

protip_icon Did you know?
Names may sound alike despite different spellings due to historical changes or diverse origins. For example, while Delores and Dolores may sound identical, Delores is typically English, and Dolores is a Spanish or English appellation.

17. Donna

Donna is an English name with Italian roots. It is the feminine form of Douglas, meaning ‘lady.’ Donna Summer, an American singer and songwriter of the 1970s, is known as the ‘Queen of Disco.’

18. Doris

Doris is a trendy feminine name with Greek roots. It carries the connotation of a ‘Dorian woman’ and is also found in Greek mythology, where Doris is the name of a sea nymph and a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. The world-renowned song ‘Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)’ was sung by Doris Day, an American actress and singer.

19. Dorothy

Dorothy is a splendid girl name derived from the Greek name Dorothea, which means ‘gift of God.’ A renowned person with this name is the Nobel Prize winner and chemist Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin.

20. Edna

Edna is a classic feminine name of Hebrew origin. It means ‘rejuvenation’ or ‘renewal’ and is also considered to be a Biblical appellation–it can be found in the Apocrypha. Edna is a well-known name in real life as well as fiction. Edna St. Vincent Millay was a renowned American lyrical poet, playwright, and feminist. In the fictional realm, Edna “E” Mode is a famous animated superhero in the Pixar film ‘The Incredibles.’

21. Elaine

For parents who love literature and Greek mythology, Elaine might be the perfect name for their baby. It is the Arthurian form of Helen, meaning ‘torch’ or ‘light.’ One well-known bearer of the name is the Hong Kong actress and television host Elaine Yiu, who won numerous awards for her roles in different Hong Kong dramas.

22. Eleanor

Eleanor is an Old French name taken from the Occitan name Alienòr. It has a touch of royalty, with the name believed to have originated from Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Queen of France, and later, England.

23. Elizabeth

Elizabeth is both a Hebrew and a Biblical feminine name. It means ‘God is my oath’ and was borne by Elizabeth II, one of the longest-reigning monarchs in British history.

24. Evelyn

A unisex name, Evelyn is a portmanteau from the Hebrew name ‘Eve,’ meaning ‘alive,’ and the Welsh name ‘Lynn,’ meaning ‘lake.’ In recent times, Evelyn is more commonly found as a feminine given name. The name made waves in the literary world through the Taylor Jenkins Reid novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

25. Florence

The Latin name Florence can be used for both boys and girls. It comes from the word ‘florens,’ which means ‘prosperous’ or ‘flourishing.’ Florence Pugh, an English actress, is one of the most famous bearers of the name in Hollywood.

26. Frances

The feminine form of the name Francis, Frances means ‘from France.’ Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett was an British-American novelist who wrote children’s books such as The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and A Little Princess.

27. Geraldine

Geraldine is the feminine form of Gerald, a German-origin name that means ‘power of the spear.’ One of the individuals who made history with the name is Geraldine Batista Roman, a Filipino journalist and politician and one of the first transgender persons elected to the Congress of the Philippines.

28. Gladys

Gladys is a name commonly found in English, Spanish, and French families. It has its roots in Old Welsh and means ‘royalty’ or ‘country.’ Gladys Pearl Monroe, mother of the famed American actress Marilyn Monroe, bears the name.

29. Gloria

Here’s a jubilant name for a baby girl! Gloria is a Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish name that means ‘glory.’ National leader of the second wave of feminism in the US, Gloria Marie Steinem, proudly bears the name.

30. Helen

The face that launched a thousand ships! Helen is a Greek name that carries the connotations of ‘torch’ or ‘light.’ The name is made famous by Helen of Troy, who is known as the most beautiful woman in the world in Greek mythology.

1930s names, Helen means ‘torch.’

Image: Momjunction Design Team

31. Irene

Irene is a Greek-origin name meaning ‘peace.’ A famous fictional character with this name is Irene Adler of the Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

32. Jane

The Old French feminine form of John, Jane is a Hebrew name that means ‘Yahweh is gracious.’ Jane Austen, the author of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and more, is a famous bearer of this name.

33. Janet

A medieval diminutive of the feminine given name Jane, it has its roots in the masculine name John and means ‘God is gracious.’ Janet Jackson, an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer is one of the most notable bearers of the name in contemporary times.

34. Janice

Here’s yet another form of Jane—but an elaborated version of it. Janice means ‘God is gracious’ and is borne by Janice Bolland, an American road racing cyclist. She won a gold medal at the UCI Road World Championships in 1992.

35. Jean

Jean is a unisex name and a spelling variant of Jane, which means ‘Yahweh is gracious.’ Mary Jean Heriot Powell, an American actress known for her roles in shows such as The Brothers and Tenko, is a popular bearer of this name.

36. Joan

A spelling variant of Joanna, one of the feminine forms of John, it has Hebrew roots and means ‘Yahweh is gracious.’ When one hears the name Joan, they are immediately reminded of the brave patron saint of France, Joan of Arc.

37. Joann

Joann is an alternative spelling of Joan, a name taken from Joanna and the feminine form of John. It is a Hebrew name and means ‘God is gracious.’ Joann Garcia Camacho, Former First Lady of Guam (2003-2011), bears the name.

38. Josephine

Josephine is an English, Dutch, and Swedish name. It is also the feminine form of Joseph, a Hebrew name that means ‘He will add.’ The first black woman to star in a major motion picture, Josephine Baker, was one noted bearer of the name.

39. Joyce

Joyce is a unisex name derived from the medieval surname Josse. It comes from the Breton name Judoc, which means ‘lord.’ A prominent figure with this name is the American Charismatic Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer.

40. Juanita

Juanita is a diminutive of Juana, the Spanish and feminine form of Juan. It is the Spanish and Manx form of the masculine name John, meaning ‘Yahweh is gracious.’ The name is borne by Juanita Casey, an American poet, playwright, novelist, and artist known for her novel The Horse of Selene.

41. Judith

Judith is a Hebrew name meaning ‘Jewish woman.’ It refers to someone who belongs to the tribe of Judah. Many may not know, but Judi Dench’s full name is Dame Judith Olivia Dench. She is a prominent English actress whose work has spanned over six decades.

42. June

Naming a baby after a month is a popular trend. June is the sixth month and is also associated with the Roman goddess Juno. American singer, songwriter, and five-time Grammy award-winner Valerie June Carter Cash holds the name.

43. Kathleen

Kathleen is derived from the Irish name Caitlín. It carries many varied connotations such as ‘each of the two,’ ‘torture,’ ‘my consecration of your name,’ or ‘pure.’ The exact origin of the name remains ambiguous, but it is assumed to be Greek or Coptic. Mary Kathleen Turner, an American actress with numerous awards under her belt, shares the name.

44. Lillian

You may have never guessed it, but Lillian is a diminutive of the classic Elizabeth. It may even be considered as an elongated form of Lily, a floral name. The name carries the connotation of ‘my God is my oath’ and was borne by fashion model turned royal member Princess Lilian of Sweden, Duchess of Halland.

45. Lois

Lois has its roots in Greek and the Bible, specifically in the New Testament. It means ‘better ‘or ‘more desirable’ and can be used as a unisex name. In the contemporary world, the name was made popular by Lois Lane, a fictional character created by DC Comics. She is the love interest of Superman.

46. Lorraine

Lorriane is a feminine given name derived from a region in France. The name translates to ‘kingdom of Lothar.’ American ice-dancer and two-time US national junior champion Lorraine McNamara bears this name.

47. Louise

Louise is the French feminine form of Louis. It is also found in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, and German-speaking countries. The name comes from the root name Ludwig, which means ‘famous in battle.’ Louise Joséphine Bourgeois was a French-American painter and sculptor known for her large-scale sculptures and installation art.

48. Margaret

Margaret, which has Latin and Greek roots, means ‘pearl.’ Former British Prime Minister Margaret Hilda Thatcher, also known as the ‘Iron Lady,’ bore the name.

49. Marie

Marie is the Czech and French form of the Latin name Maria or the English name Mary. It has its roots in Hebrew and is also a Biblical name. It carries the connotations of ‘sea of bitterness,’ ‘rebellion,’ or ‘wished for child,’ and is borne by the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette.

50. Marilyn

Marilyn is a fun English name made up of the name Mary and the suffix ‘lyn.’ It carries the same meanings as Mary–‘rebellion,’ ‘wished for child,’ or ‘sea of bitterness.’ An icon who bore the name was Marilyn Monroe, an American actress and model.

51. Marjorie

Marjorie is the medieval spelling variant of Margery, a form of Margaret, and means ‘pearl.’ Marjorie Merriweather Post, the owner of General Foods Corporation, American businesswoman, socialite, and philanthropist, was an influential woman with the name.

52. Marlene

The German and English name Marlene is a combination of two feminine names, Maria and Magdalene. One of the most notable bearers of the name is Mary Magdalene of the New Testament.

53. Martha

Martha comes from Aramaic and means ‘the lady’ or ‘the mistress’ and is featured in the Bible several times. One notable person with this name is Martha Washington, the wife of the first president of the United States of America.

54. Mary

The feminine name Mary has its origins in Egypt as ‘mry,’ which translates to ‘beloved.’ Mary is also the name of the mother of Jesus Christ and is considered a very sacred Christian name.

55. Mildred

Taken from Old English, Mildred is a feminine given name meaning ‘gentle strength.’ Mildred Fox, an Irish politician, is a famous person bearing the given name.

56. Nancy

Nancy was once a nickname for Ann, Anne, or Anna and recognized as a first name in the 18th century. The name has Hebrew roots and means ‘favor’ or ‘grace.’

57. Norma

Born through literature, Norma was created by Felice Romani for the main character in the opera titled Norma. It is also the feminine version of the masculine name Norman. Famous author Norma Klein is one of the many famous people with the given name.

58. Patricia

Patricia is a feminine given name derived from the Latin word ‘patrician,’ which means ‘noble.’ It is also the feminine version of Patrick. Patricia Anne Stratigeas,  who goes by the stage name Trish Stratus, is a famous wrestler featured in WWE.

59. Patsy

Patsy is an Irish name that can be used as a unisex appellation. It is also a diminutive of Patricia and means ‘noble.’ Patsy Mink was an American politician who bore the given name.

60. Pauline

Pauline is a French name and the feminine version of Paulinus. It has its roots in Latin and means ‘small’ or ‘humble.’ One of the famous people with this name is the Australian politician Pauline Hanson.

61. Peggy

The feminine given name Peggy is a medieval variant of Meggy, which is diminutive of Margaret. It means ‘pearl.’ Author Peggy Frew is a famous person bearing the given name.

1930s names, Peggy means ‘pearl.’

Image: Momjunction Design Team

62. Phyllis

Phyllis is a feminine given name which means ‘foliage’ in Greek and also has connections to Greek mythology. Phyllis Hyman, an American Jazz singer, bore this name.

63. Rita

Rita is an Italian name and the short form of Margherita, which means ‘pearl.’  It is also a rare Latvian name and means ‘morning.’ Saint Rita of Cascia and actress and author Rita Avila are some of the many famous people named Rita.

64. Rose

Rose finds its roots in Latin and means ‘flower.’ It is originally a Norman French form of the Germanic name ‘Hrodohaidis’ meaning ‘famous type.’ It is composed of the elements ‘hruod,’ meaning ‘fame’ and ‘heit,’ meaning ‘kind,’ ‘sort,’ or ‘type.’ Rose Leslie, a Scottish actor, is one among the famous personalities with the name Rose.

65. Ruby

Ruby is derived from the Latin word ‘ruber,’ meaning ‘red.’ One of the famous people with the name is singer Ruby Rose.

66. Ruth

Ruth is a Hebrew origin name meaning ‘friend.’ Some famous people named Ruth include the Canadian basketball player Ruth Hamblin and the British politician Ruth Kelly.

67. Sally

Sally is a diminutive of Sarah, a name which means ‘lady,’ ‘princess,’ or ‘noblewoman’ in Hebrew. Sally Margaret Field is an immensely popular American actress bearing the name.

68. Sandra

Sandra is a shortened form of the Greek name Alessandra, meaning to ‘defend’ or ‘help.’ A famous bearer of the given feminine name is the American actress Sandra Bullock.

69. Sarah

Sarah is a name of Hebrew origin and means ‘lady,’ ‘princess,’ or ‘noblewoman.’ It is also the name of Abraham’s wife, according to the Old Testament. Sarah Jessica Parker, an American actress, is one notable bearer of the name.

70. Shirley

Shirley is a unisex given name that finds its origins in an English habitational surname meaning ‘bright clearing.’ This Old English name can also be spelled as Shirlee. The famous child actor Shirley Temple bore the name.

protip_icon Quick fact
Many believed that the non-alcoholic drink Shirley Temple was named after the then-child actress. However, in an interview, she clarified that she had nothing to do with the creation of the drink and said she did not even like it.

71. Sylvia

Sylvia is a variant of Silvia, a Roman name and the feminine form of Silvius. It means ‘wood’ or ‘forest’ and is used across German, Dutch, Norwegian, and various other languages. Sylvia Jane Hutton, a famous American singer and songwriter, bears the name Sylvia.

72. Thelma

A rare name of Greek origin, Thelma means ‘will,’ ‘desire,’ or ‘volition.’ It gained popularity when British author Marie Corelli used it for the Norwegian heroine of her novel Thelma.

73. Virginia

Virginia is the feminine form of the Roman family name Verginius or Virginius. The meaning of the name is unclear, but it is believed to be associated with the Latin word Virgo, meaning ‘maiden’ or ‘virgin.’ A popular figure with this name is  the writer Virginia Woolf.

74. Wanda

Wanda is a feminine name with Polish roots. It is used across English, German, and French and means ‘slender, young tree.’ The legendary American singer Wanda LaVonne Jackson bears the name Wanda. In fiction, Wanda Maximoff, generally known as the Scarlet Witch, is a popular character.

75. Wilma

Wilma is the short form of Wilhelmina and is of German origin and means  ‘resolute protector,’ or ‘strong-willed warrior.’ It is also the feminine form of William. Wilma Elles is a German actress who bears the name in the real world, and Wilma Flintstone is the wife of Fred Flintstone in the animated television series The Flintstones.

1930s Boy Names With Meanings

Boy names from the 1930s are full of charm and hold special meanings. Read on to learn which popular masculine names during the 1930s stood the test of time.

76. Albert

Albert is a popular English name with Germanic roots. It comes from the name Adalbert, meaning ‘noble and bright.’ One name widely known all over the world is Albert Einstein, a German theoretical physicist. He was awarded the  Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

77. Alfred

Alfred is an Old English name made up of two components, ‘æl,’ meaning ‘elf’ and ‘ræd,’ meaning ‘counsel.’ The name translates to ‘elf counsel.’ Victorian Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson is known for his poems such as Mariana and Ulysses.

78. Andrew

Andrew is an English name with Greek and Biblical roots. It is found in the New Testament, borne by Apostle Andrew, and means ‘manly’ or ‘masculine.’  Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was a prominent figure by that name.

79. Anthony

Anthony is believed to be of Latin origins and means ‘priceless one’ or ‘invaluable.’ One of the most popular bearers of the name was St. Anthony of Egypt.

80. Arthur

Arthur is a male given name with Brythonic roots and means ‘pure or powerful as a bear.’ Commonly known as Lord Balfour, Arthur James Balfour was the Prime Minister of the UK from 1902 to 1905.

81. Bernard

A name brought to England by the Normans, Bernard is a German name and means ‘brave bear.’ A famous person by this name was George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright, critic, and political activist.

82. Bill

Bill is a casual and shortened form of William, a Germanic name that connotes ‘strong-willed warrior.’ The name Bill came into use in the 19th century. The co-founder of Microsoft and billionaire Bill Gates proudly bears the name.

83. Billy

Billy is a diminutive of Bill, a shortened form of William. The name has German roots and means ‘strong-willed warrior.’ William Patrick Corgan Jr., commonly called Billy Corgan, is the co-founder, lead singer, primary songwriter, and guitarist of the band Smashing Pumpkins.

84. Bobby

Bobby is a diminutive of Bob, a shortened form of Robert. It has its roots in German and means ‘bright fame.’ Piyush “Bobby” Jindal is an American politician who served as the 55th governor of Louisiana from 2008 to 2016.

85. Carl

Carl is the German and Scandinavian form of Karl, a variant of Charles. It carries the meaning ‘man’ or ‘army.’ A name that is well-known in the world of psychology is Carl Jung, who was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who developed the theory of analytical psychology.

86. Charles

Charles is the French and English form of Carolus, a name derived from the Germanic masculine appellation Karl. It means ‘man’ or ‘army.’ One of the most eminent bearers of the name in the contemporary world is Charles III, the current King of the United Kingdom and the 14 other Commonwealth realms.

87. Clarence

Clarence is a name with royal ties. It comes from the Latin title Clarensis, a title belonging to the British royal family. It has its roots as a locative name, referring to the town of Clare in Suffolk. Clarence Thomas, who made history as the second African American to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, proudly carries the name.

88. Dale

Dale is a unisex Old English name that originated as a habitational surname given to a person who lived near a dale or a valley. One of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, Ralph Dale Earnhardt, has been given nicknames such as the Intimidator, the Man in Black, and Ironhead.

89. Daniel

Daniel, a powerful Hebrew name with Biblical origins, means ‘God is my judge.’ One of the famous bearers of the name was the Hebrew prophet with a Book dedicated to him in the Old Testament.

90. David

Another powerful Biblical name with Hebrew roots, David means ‘beloved’ or ‘uncle,’ and is borne by the second and greatest of the kings of Israel. You will find many stories about the eminent King David in the Old Testament.

1930s names, David means ‘beloved.’

Image: Momjunction Design Team

91. Dennis

Dennis is the English, German, and Dutch variant of Denis. It comes from the root name Dionysos, the Greek god of wine. Denis Villeneuve is a Canadian filmmaker known for his award-winning works Maelström, Polytechnique, Incendies, and Enemy.

92. Don

Don is the shortened form of Donald, a Scottish name meaning ‘ruler of the world.’ Donald Wayne Johnson, commonly known as Don Johnson, is an American actor known for his roles in shows such as Miami Vice and Nash Bridges.

93. Donald

Donald is the anglicized form of the Scottish Gaelic Dòmhnall. It comprises Old Irish elements, domun, meaning ‘world,’ and ‘fal,’ meaning ‘rule.’ The 45th president of the United States, Donald John Trump, bears the name.

94. Douglas

Douglas is a Scottish name meaning ‘dark river.’ It originated as a locative surname taken from a town name in Lanarkshire. Douglas MacArthur, a General of the Army for the US and World War I veteran, was awarded the Medal of Honor three times.

95. Earl

If you want a name with an air of nobility, Earl could be perfect. It comes from a title usually given to aristocrats and means ‘nobleman’ or ‘warrior.’ Earl Warren, an American lawyer, politician, and jurist, was the 30th Governor of California and the 14th Chief Justice of the US.

96. Edward

Edward is an Old English and Polish name meaning ‘rich guard.’ Many kings bore the name, including Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, Edward VII, and Edward VIII.

97. Ernest

Ernest is a French, Catalan, Polish, Slovak, Slovene, and English name with Old Germanic roots meaning ‘serious’ or ‘earnest.’ Ernest Miller Hemingway, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, bore the name.

98. Eugene

Eugene comes from the Greek name Eugenios, which means ‘well born.’ Canadian actor and comedian Eugene Levy proudly holds the name. He has won four Primetime Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

99. Francis

Francis is a unisex name taken from the Franks, a Germanic tribe, but has transferred its meaning to ‘Frenchman.’ It is used as both a French and an English name. The popularity of the name can be attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi. Another notable person with this name is Francis Ngannou, a professional boxer and MMA fighter.

100. Frank

Frank comes from the Germanic tribe of the Franks. It is also a shortened form of the name Francis. A popular personality with this name was the American singer and actor Frank Sinatra.

101. Franklin

Franklin is an English name derived from the Middle English word ‘frankelin,’ meaning ‘free man.’ The 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, bore the name.

102. Fred

Fred is the shortened form of Frederick, an Old German name meaning ‘peaceful ruler.’ Fred McFeely Rogers (Mister Rogers) was an American TV host, author, producer, and Presbyterian minister who won a plethora of awards during his lifetime.

103. Frederick

Frederick is an Old German name meaning ‘peaceful ruler.’ It is a name borne by the last Hohenzollern monarch or King of Prussia, Frederick II.

104. Gary

Gary comes from an English surname derived from a Norman given name. The name first came into use as a shortened form of Germanic names that begin with the element ‘ger.’ It carries a powerful meaning of ‘spearman.’ Former World Chess Champion and Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kimovich Kasparov is an impressive bearer of the name.

105. Gene

Gene is a shortened spelling of Eugene, an English name meaning ‘well born.’ The name was borne by Eugene Lee Coon, commonly known as Gene L. Coon, the screenwriter of the original Star Trek.

106. George

George comes from the Greek word ‘georgos,’ which means ‘farmer’ or ‘earth worker.’ It is a common name in English, Romanian, and Christian-Indian families. The name was proudly held by George Washington, the first president of the United States of America.

107. Gerald

Gerald is a common German, Dutch, and English name. It carries the meaning ‘power of the spear’ and was brought to England by the Normans. An inspiring bearer of the name is Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., the 38th president of the US.

108. Gordon

Derived from the name of a town in Berwickshire, Gordon is a Scottish name that originated as a surname. It carries the meaning of ‘spacious fort.’ Gordon James Ramsay, a popular name in the culinary world, is a British celebrity chef, restaurateur, television presenter, and writer.

109. Harold

Harold is an Old English name made up of two components–‘here,’ meaning ‘army’ and ‘weald,’ which translates to ‘powerful’ or ‘mighty.’ James Harold Wilson or Baron Wilson of Rievaulx served as Prime Minister of the UK twice.

110. Harry

You might be surprised, but Harry is the medieval spelling of Henry. It has German roots and means ‘home ruler.’ The name is well known by both adults and children, given the popularity of the Harry Potter series.

111. Henry

Henry is an English name with Germanic roots. It comes from the name Heimirich, which means ‘home ruler.’ The name was borne by Henry VIII, the King of England who separated the Church of England from papal authority.

112. Herbert

Herbert is a German, Dutch, Czech, Swedish, French, and English name composed of two Old German elements ‘Heri,’ meaning ‘army’ and ‘beraht,’ which translates to ‘bright.’ Herbert Hoover served as the 31st president of the United States during the onset of the Great Depression.

113. Howard

Howard is a name with many possible origins. It might have been taken from the Anglo-Saxon Germanic name Huard or Hughard, meaning ‘brave mind or spirit.’ It could also be connected to the Anglo-Saxon Haward or the Old Norse Hávarðr. American broadcaster and media personality Howard Allan Stern is known for his radio show The Howard Stern Show.

114. Jack

Jack is an English medieval diminutive of the all-time favorite John. It has Hebrew roots and means ‘Yahweh is gracious.’ John Joseph Nicholson, one of the greatest actors of the 20th century, won three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Film Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, and a Grammy Award.

115. James

James is a variant of Iacomus or Jacob, a Hebrew name that connotes ‘holder of the heel,’ ‘supplanter,’ or ‘may God protect.’ James Joyce was an Irish novelist, poet, and literary critic known for his epic novel Ulysses. The name has been popularized in the film industry by the fictional character James Bond.

116. Jerry

Jerry is used as both a feminine and a masculine given name. It could be a shortened form of any of these names–Jeremy, Jerome, Gerald, and Geraldine. Thus, Jerry takes on the meaning of the name it is a diminutive of. Jerry Seinfeld is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer, who portrayed himself in the sitcom Seinfeld.

117. Jimmie

Jimmie is another unisex name on the list. It is a diminutive of James, a Hebrew name that means ‘may God protect,’ ‘supplanter,’ or ‘holder of the heel.’ Jimmie Kenneth Johnson is an American professional auto racing driver who has won seven consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championships.

118. Jimmy

Jimmy is another English diminutive of the masculine Hebrew name James. This spelling is more commonly used than Jimmie. It means ‘supplanter,’ ‘holder of the heel,’ or ‘may God protect.’ Jimmy Earl Carter Jr. was the  39th president of the United States and is the oldest living former U.S. president.

119. Joe

Joe is the shortened form of Joseph, a Hebrew name with the enlightening meaning of ‘God will add.’ Joe Biden is the 46th and current President of the United States.

120. John

John is an English and Biblical name derived from the Hebrew name Yochanan. It means ‘Yahweh is gracious.’ The Bible depicts two of the world famous Johns–the first is John the Baptist, and the other is apostle John.

121. Joseph

A French, German, English, and Biblical name with Hebrew roots and means ‘He will add.’ The Bible has the name Joseph in both the Old and the New Testaments. In the former, Joseph is the eleventh and favorite son of Jacob, who later became an advisor to the Pharaoh. In the latter, Joseph is widely known as the mortal father of Jesus Christ.

1930s names, Joseph means ‘He will add.’

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122. Kenneth

Kenneth is a popular English name and the anglicized form of Coinneach and Cináed, which could mean ‘handsome,’ ‘good,’ ‘beautiful,’ ‘to be born,’ or ‘fire of respect.’ Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh, a British actor and filmmaker who has been involved in numerous adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, has won an Academy Award, four BAFTAs, two Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Olivier Award.

123. Larry

Larry is the shortened form of Laurence, a name which means ‘from Laurentum.’ Laurence was initially found as a Roman cognomen that was locative in nature. It could also carry the connotation of ‘laurel.’ Larry Joe Bird, one of the greatest basketball players, has earned nicknames such as “the Hick from French Lick” and “Larry Legend.”

124. Lawrence

Lawrence is another spelling of Laurence, a name derived from the habitational Roman cognomen, meaning ‘from Laurentum.’ Lawrence Julius Taylor, a former American football player for the New York Giants, is known as the greatest defensive player of all time..

125. Leonard

Leonard is an Old German name composed of two elements–‘lewo,’ meaning ‘lion,’ and ‘hart,’ meaning ‘brave,’ ‘hardy,’ or ‘firm.’ Leonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian poet, singer-songwriter, and novelist inducted into the  Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

126. Leroy

The French name was initially used as a nickname that translates to ‘the king.’  Leroy Sané is a German professional footballer who plays for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the German national team.

127. Louis

Louis is the French, Dutch, and English form of Ludwig, a Germanic name that means ‘famous in battle.’ Louis is a powerful name in the history of France. There were 18 kings with the same name.

128. Marvin

Marvin could have been taken from the Welsh name Merfyn or the Old English name Mærwine. The Welsh meaning could be ‘wished for a child,’ ‘bone marrow,’ or ‘eminent sea,’ while the English connotation is ‘famous friend.’ Marvin Pentz Gaye Jr., a man influential in shaping the sound of Motown, was a singer and songwriter. Some of his hits included Ain’t That Peculiar, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You), and I Heard It Through the Grapevine.

129. Melvin

Melvin is a Scottish surname and a spelling variant of Melville. It originated from a Norman French place named Malleville, which means ‘bad town.’ Melvin Van Peebles was an American actor, filmmaker, writer, and composer known for his movies such as The Story of a Three-Day Pass and  Watermelon Man.

130. Michael

Michael is a Biblical name referring to Archangel Michael. This Hebrew name carries a rhetorical question as its meaning–‘who is like God?’ The King of Pop, Michael Joseph Jackson, was one of the popular bearers of the name.

131. Norman

Norman was a Germanic name used to refer to the Scandinavians since it means ‘northman.’ Norman Milton Lear was an American producer and screenwriter who worked on over 100 shows, including All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, and Good Times.

132. Paul

Paul comes from the Roman family name Paulus and means ‘small’ or ‘humble.’ The name is also considered Biblical owing to apostle Paul, an important leader of the early Christian church.

133. Peter

Peter, which means ‘rock,’ is a widely used Biblical name with Greek roots. One of the widely known apostles of Jesus Christ was Simon Peter. He is also considered to be the first pope.

134. Philip

Philip is a popular Biblical name with Greek roots. It means ‘lover of horses.’ The name was borne by five kings of Macedon, and one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ was Philip.

135. Ralph

Ralph is the shortened form of  Ráðúlfr, an Old Norse name. The name came to England through the Scandinavians, way before the Norman conquest. Ralph means ‘wolf counsel’ or ‘wolf advice.’ American fashion designer, philanthropist, and billionaire businessman Ralph Lauren is known for his fashion company  Ralph Lauren Corporation.

136. Ray

Ray is the shortened form of Raymond but is commonly seen as an independent name. It means ‘protective advice or counsel’ and could also refer to a ‘ray of light.’ American singer, songwriter, and pianist Ray Charles Robinson Sr. was one of the most influential musicians in history. He helped the soul music genre grow by mixing other genres such as blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel.

137. Raymond

Raymond is the French and English spelling of the German name Raginmund, meaning ‘protective counsel,’ ‘protective advice,’ or ‘protective decision.’ The name was initially introduced to England by the Normans. Raymond William Stacy Burr was a Canadian actor known for his roles in films such as Rear Window and Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

138. Richard

Richard is a name with royal connections. It is an Old German name that means ‘brave ruler.’ One notable person with the name is Richard Gere, an actor and human rights activist best known for his role in the movie Pretty Woman.

139. Robert

Robert is a popular name worldwide. It comes from the Germanic name Hrodebert, which means ‘bright fame.’ The name is borne by the poet Robert Frost, who wrote The Road Not Taken.

protip_icon Quick fact
The top three names for boys during the 1930s were Robert, James, and John, while the top three choices for girls were Mary, Betty, and Barbara (1).

140. Roger

Roger is another name with Germanic origins. It comes from the name Hrodger, which means ‘famous spear.’ Roger Federer, a former Swiss professional tennis player ranked world No. 1 in singles by the ATP, bears the name.

141. Ronald

A name brought to England by the Scandinavians, Ronald is the Scottish form of Ragnvaldr. It is made up of two Old Norse elements–‘regin,’ meaning ‘advice’ or  ‘counsel,’ and ‘valdr,’ meaning ‘ruler.’ The complete interpretation of the name is ‘ruler’s advice.’ Ronald Wilson Reagan, an American politician and actor who later became the 40th president of the United States, bore the name.

142. Roy

Roy is the Anglicized form of the Scottish and Gaelic byname Ruadh, which means ‘red.’ It was given to someone with red hair. It may also be a derivation of the Norman word ‘Roy,’ which means ‘king.’ An impressive individual who bears this name is Roy Levesta Jones Jr., an American professional boxer who held multiple world championships in four weight categories.

143. Russell

Russell can also be used as an English nickname. It has Norman roots and is used as a nickname for someone who is ‘red-haired.’ Russell Carrington Wilson is an American football quarterback named to the Pro Bowl nine times.

144. Samuel

Samuel is derived from a Hebrew name meaning ‘name of God.’ Another meaning of the name is ‘God has heard.’ Samuel Leroy Jackson, the highest-grossing actor of all time, bears the name.

145. Stanley

First used as a toponymic surname, Stanley refers to ‘stone clearing’ in Old English. Stanley Oliver Tucci Jr. is an American actor who set the bar for character actors. He has won six Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and numerous nominations.

146. Theodore

The classic English name Theodore has Greek roots and carries the divine meaning ‘gift of God.’ Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was the 26th president of the United States.

147. Thomas

A name found in the Bible and with Aramaic roots, Thomas means ‘twin’ and is the name of one of the apostles in the Bible. It is a popular name among Christian believers.

148. Walter

A powerful name for a baby boy, Walter has Germanic roots and means ‘power of the army.’ Walter Elias Disney, more popularly known as Walt Disney, was an American animator, film producer, entrepreneur, and the founder of The Walt Disney Company.

149. Wayne

Wayne is an English occupational surname for a wagon maker. Its meaning is derived from the Old English word ‘wægn,’ which means ‘wagon.’ English professional football manager and former player Wayne Rooney is considered one of the greatest players of his generation.

1930s names, Wayne means ‘wagon.’

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150. William

William has a protective aura because of its meaning. It has Germanic origins and means ‘will helmet.’ A name known worldwide, William Shakespeare is one of the most famous English playwrights and poets.

151. Willie

Willie is a unisex name derived from the root name William, meaning ‘will helmet.’ American country singer, guitarist, and songwriter Billie Nelson is one of the influential people who helped develop the outlaw country subgenre.

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. Can I use 1930s names for a modern-day character in fiction?

Names transcend the boundaries of time and place. Hence, names that were popular during the 1930s can be used for a modern-day fictional character. A few examples of popular 1930s names in modern-day fiction are The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

2. Can I modify or modernize 1930s names for a contemporary setting?

Yes, you may change names from the 1930s to give them a more modern feel. You may respell the names for a contemporary touch, combine the name with a modern-sounding name, or even use nicknames for a fresh feel. However, ensure the modified names do not offend or disrespect the cultural or historical significance of the original names. A few examples can be Beverly, which can be respelled as Beverlie, and Phillip, which can be respelled as Filipp or Phylip.

Popular 1930s names were more than just trivial tags. They were echoes of resilience amid the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, resonating with the tempo of Jazz and embodying hints of the world of Hollywood. Beyond cultural icons, 1930s names were inspired by extraordinary leaders like Franklin D. Roosevelt, classic figures like Helen, Saints like Saint Barbara, and Biblical figures like Elizabeth and David. These names are a testament to a generation characterized by hope and the unflinching human spirit.

Key Pointers

  • Many masculine names on the list are also borne by US presidents.
  • Diminutive or shortened names such as Willie, Ray, and Larry were common in the 1930s.
  • The origins of the names on this list are mostly Biblical or habitational.
  • Spelling variants of the same name, such as Larry and Lawrence, Marjorie and Margaret, are quite common.


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. Top Names of the 1930s.
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Benidamika holds a masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Assam Don Bosco University and another masters degree in English Literature from North Eastern Hill University. At MomJunction, Benidamika writes on human psychology and relationships. Her academic experience in counseling psychology helps her guide readers with useful and well-researched information. The former school teacher is a poet, with her work published...read full bio