Like vintage cars, dresses, and wines, names also have a lasting appeal. However, selecting old-fashioned baby names can be tricky as you aren’t sure of their meaning. Yet, one thing you can’t deny is that these names are attractive and evergreen. Even the US Social Security Administration has revealed that many parents give their babies vintage names.
If you want to ditch the suburban naming trend and go for a name that’s old yet fashionable, read our post. We bring a collection of adorable yet classy, old-fashioned baby names you may pick for your little prince or princess.
Top 50 Old Fashioned Boy Names
They did not call 20’s the Roaring 20s for nothing. 190s had the most perfect and pretty names, Robert being one of them. The meaning of Robert is ‘shining or bright’.
In the 1940’s, post World War 2, the baby boom began, causing births to skyrocket. John was the most famous name of those times. The old fashioned baby name John means ‘mercy or grace of Lord’.
Leo is a short and cute name that exudes strength. It’s a beautiful alternative to the popular and even common Luke and Jack. An association with Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t hurt either. The meaning of Leo is ‘lion’.
Derived from a Hebrew Word, Noah is a male name meaning ‘rest and comfort’. This old fashioned name is as famous now as it was before and we don’t see it fading anytime soon.
Its cousins Elmer and Ernest may not be climbing the chart anytime soon, but Everett is definitely on the rise again. Everett has an upbeat vibe to it. And of course, a leading British association with actor Rupert Everett.
Silas, a serious and modern name, is an excellent substitute to Sidney and Samuel. It also has an eternal literary association in “Silas Marner’ a novel by George Eliot. The meaning of the Latin name Silas is ‘from the forest’.
The old style baby name Oliver is sourced from the name Olive. It is a sweet, retro name for parents who give a stylish moniker to their child. The book ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens’ gives it a literary influence, with a bookish vibe.
Despite being an old-fashioned baby name, Wallace has an effortlessly cool sound to it.
Max was once a common choice for boys. The name is pleasant, yet confident, making it a stylish choice for parents who are fond of short, one syllable names.
Owen is a sophisticated male name that’s gaining popularity with modern parents. It has a literary association in John Irving’s “A Prayer for Owen Meany”. It also has a pop culture namesake in actor Owen Wilson. The meaning of Owen is ‘young warrior’.
William is another classic old fashioned baby name of Germanic origin. The name William became one of the most popular names in England during the Medieval Period. Will or Willy will make a perfect nickname for this name. The meaning of William is ‘resolute protector’.
Alexander is one of those names that can never fall out with traditional parents. The name’s popularity declined drastically during the first and second world wars but started improving steadily in the seventies.
James, meaning supplanter, has its roots in the Hebrew name Jacob. The popularity of the name James can be fathomed from the fact that six of USA presidents had this name. Even two of the Jesus apostles were named James. Besides, innumerable celebrities are bearing this name. So you can safely pick this name as it’s not going anywhere, at least anytime soon.
The meaning of this simple name is ‘priceless and praiseworthy’. Note- If you are considering naming your kid Anthony, then we’d suggest you take note of the meaning and history of this name in your region.
The British Prince Alfred and Poet Alfred Tennyson helped big time to popularize this name in the Victorian Era. The meaning of Alfred is ‘wise’.
Just like our generation, names ending ‘e’ were very popular in the 1950’s. Archie was the short version of the stuffy name Archibald. Comic strip star Archie did a great deal to popularize this name.
Bernard, meaning ‘strong as a bear’ was a popular baby name in Victorian times. You can soften this name by giving it the nickname ‘Bernie’.
Bert is often used as a derivative of Robert, Albert, and Bertram. This short and sweet name packs a punch for a boy’s name. And no, you don’t have to add an ‘Ernie’ to complete this name.
Whether it is the powerhouse attorney Clarence Darrow or the lifesaving guardian from “It’s a Wonderful Life”, this name is full of masculine charm and vigor.
Claude is a delightfully short and sophisticated French name that made a strong come back this year. The name has roots in Emperor Claudius.
Edgar Degas was an influential painter in the 1950’s. Even Edgar Allen Poe has been just as famous as his predecessor as Edgar Degas. No wonder this name has been so popular for all these days.
Elmer is a Teutonic name meaning ‘awe-inspiring’. If you like male names that have a delicate feel to it, then Elmer could be your pick.
Ernest is the name that you should consider if you want your boy to follow the path of literature. It was popularized by the American author, Ernest Hemingway.
Here’s a name for the “Boardwalk Empire” fans out there. Deriving from Hebrew origin, the name Enoch means ‘dedicated.’
Cool and whimsical, Cassius is one of the names that can never go out of trend. It’s a playful name for your young boy.
A whole slew of historical figures have sported this moniker, and it still sounds as good as new. You can shorten it to Sam if you want.
Francis is one of the popular and evergreen old names. Even Brooke Shields used the name Francis as the middle name for her daughter.
Cool and dignified Fredrick is another name to consider for your little one.
Augustine, a unisex name will make a beautiful name, no matter the gender of your baby.
Here’s an unique old fashioned baby name for your little prince. Coming from a Hebrew word, Ephraim sounds refined and classy.
Abraham, the first of the Old Testament patriarchs, was the founding father of the Jewish. It means ‘father of multitudes.’
The name Albert remained in vogue for over a hundred years, but with a studious and serious image. And it’s still in fashion.
Calvin is a retro, yet quirky name that’s been occupying a safe place on the top 100 list since the 20th century.
Elijah is a fashionable biblical choice for boys. Elijah was the prophet who went to heaven in a fire chariot.
Matthew was the third most popular name for boys in American in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, it’s the epitome of the fashionable classic name.
Chester, meaning fortress or walled town, is a cute and cuddly name for your son.
Here’s a beautiful name for the little twinkle in your eye. It is a form of Marjorie and means the ‘child of light.’
We feel that there’s something tough and rugged about the name Warren. It will make a great name for your son.
The old baby name Harold was no less than a phenomenon in the 19th century. Even its derivative Harry was very popular those times. But Harold sound bolder for a boy’s name.
With catchy nicknames like Sammy and Sam, Samuel is a great formal name without being too stuffy.
During the Romantic period, Raymond was every mom’s most preferred name for their son. It means ‘wise protector.’
Is Grover one of your favorite characters from the “Sesame Street”? Well, then why don’t you opt for this name for your son? It was popular in the 18th century too!
The Celtic name Floyd meaning ‘gray,’ was popularized by the novel “Aurora Floyd” by Elizabeth Braddon. Today, the popular bearer of this name is the “Pink Floyd” brand.
Harvey has something wonderfully vintage about it. This classic name evokes the simple times of the bygone eras.
Henry is another wonderful timeless name. It recalls all the famous Henrys including Henry Ford, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Fonda.
Jack is one of those short names that pack a wallop in it. It is one of the most popular names of all times. Presently, it the 46th most popular name in the United States. Not bad for a vintage name, huh!
Luther, meaning ‘renowned warrior’ conjures the memories of the American civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. It was also the name of a popular crime drama in the United Kingdom.
Walter has seen a rise in popularity since the finale of the show “Breaking Bad.” Mr. Walter White was one of the prime characters of the show.
Top 50 Beautiful Old Fashioned Girl Names
Stella sees an enormous surge in popularity since the last decade. It has a balance of sass and refinement. The most popular namesake of this name of our times is Stella McCartney, a British designer. The meaning of this Italian name is ‘star’.
The name Hazel in an old take on evocative color names like Violet, Indigo, and Sienna. But it’s a serious name and does not give any scope for nicknames. Who needs a nickname when you have such a cute name already? The meaning of Hazel is ‘hazelnut tree’.
This charming name has been a winner ever since it was introduced the first time. Modern parents love this less dowdy sounding name. Addie or Addy will make the best nicknames for this sprightly and sweet name.
Don’t you think that the fashion in the Victorian Era was simply amazing? So were the Victorian names. Scarlet is one of those names that have stood the test of time.
Lillian is a matronly sounding name that has made a strong comeback to the baby name’s word. This antique, floral name means ‘lily flower.’ Even Mart McCormack named her daughter Lillian.
The moment we hear the name Betsy, a cute little girl, wearing big hoop and fitted top comes to our mind. The meaning of this lovely name is ‘God is satisfaction’.
Can you guess who made this name popular? It’s Howard’s girlfriend from the show “Big Bang Theory”.
Unlike its early contemporaries, Clara is a name that has always found appeal with parents of all generations. This soft and sweet name is reminiscent of Claire. The meaning of Clara is ‘bright and clear’.
Like its cousins Elijah and Elias, Eli is also a vintage name. Currently, it’s on a major upswing. We are seeing a big-time growth in the name Eli over the last few decades.
This old-fashioned variation of the ever-popular Emily is far more distinctive than its source. It is the most sophisticated; a-ending that makes it sound so cool.
Naomi is one of the few names that give a sense of determination and strength when you call it out. It has associations with some of the most beautiful women, Naomi Campbell, and Naomi Watts being a few of them. Naomi means ‘pleasant.’
Popular decades ago, Elizabeth disappeared for a while, but made a strong comeback last year. It is sophisticated, elegant and has a timeless appeal to it. The meaning of Elizabeth is ‘my God is abundance’.
In the olden days, parents would use Charlie for their boys, but today, the name is more common in girls than boys. The name has a sort of playfulness, something that you won’t find in many old fashioned names. The meaning of Charlie is ‘strong.’
Alice does sound old-fashioned, but has a dainty vibe to it. And even after several decades of being out of favor, it is on an upswing with the parents. The meaning of Alice is ‘noble’.
The name Olive had completely fallen out of style, but is now on the rise. Currently, it is one of the top ten classic names. Olive has an appeal, a style of its own. The meaning of Olive is ‘olive tree’.
Rose is one of those names that straddles between old and new effortlessly. And with nature and floral names gaining popularity, we bet more of an upsurge in store for this name.
This retro name got a boost from the popular singer Norah Jones. Nora has more gravitas than most of the a-ending retro names.
The name Sophia was very popular amongst the European royals in the middle ages. Its popularity increased manifolds with the arrival of the German Hanover monarchy. This name is a Greek word for virtue.
Emma is a quintessential feminine name coming from the Germanic origin. It’s believed to be a derivative for Emily, Emmeline and Emily. The name Emma dropped in popularity during the40s, but bounced back in the late 90s.
Charlotte, meaning free woman, was one of the royal names of the bygone era. You can shorten the name Charlotte in a number of ways like Charlie, Char or Lotta.
Aubrey is a unisex retro name, but we’d suggest you to use it for your baby girl as it has a feminine appeal to it. The meaning of Aubrey is ‘Elf ruler.
This lovely Victorian name has many positive meanings in different languages. It means ‘good’ in Celtic, ‘apple’ in Persian and ‘loving’ in Swedish.
This French, retro name is anything but boring. Meaning ‘white’, Blanche has a sophistical Victorian flair.
The name Clara evokes the sweetness and delicateness of the past era. The meaning of this beautiful name is ‘bright and clear’.
Just like its cousin Nora, even Cora is on the rise. It reminds us of Lady Cora Grantham from the DDC series “Downtown Abbey”. The meaning of this Greek name is ‘light’.
The name Della has a literary charm to it. It is a derivative of the name Adele and Adeline. You can use it as a nickname too.
Edith was another incredibly popular name in the past eras. It currently sees a revival, all thanks to the drama “Downtown Abbey”.
Effie is the short form Euphemia, a name popular in the Victorian era. The name Effie has become famous again, all because of the “Hunger Games” series of books and film.
People in the past centuries were obsessed with names ending with ‘ie’, Fannie being one of them. We think it’s one of the sweetest retro names you can bestow on your princess.
Whether you are inspired by the modern rock ballad of the “Florence and the Machine” or the beautiful city of Italy, Florence would make a perfect artsy name.
The name Harriet carries a vintage charm with itself. It sounds pleasing to the ears too.
Hattie is a derivative of the name Henrietta, which means ‘ruler of the home’. The name is full of whimsy and nostalgic charm.
Ida is a German name meaning ‘diligent and hardworking’. You can even lengthen to the elegant Idabelle or demure Idabel.
Josephine, the feminine form of Joseph, will make an excellent name for your baby. The name captures the purity and innocence of the Romantic era.
Lula sounds quite an odd name, but it ranked 36 in the baby girl’s name list during the 90s. It will make quite an uncommon name if you consider it for your baby.
Lizzie is a wonderful shortened version of the formal name Elizabeth. How can you forget Lizzie from “Pride and Prejudice”?
Mabel, meaning ‘lovable’ is the cutest and the perfect name for your little princess.
Maggie is the short form of the ever-popular name Margaret. This short and sweet name was a favorite in the Victorian Era.
Minnie was long famous even before the appearance of your favorite mouse, Minnie. Minnie was one of the fastest risings names at the turn of the century.
Nelly was a household name in America in the 19th century. Nelly Furtado, the famous singer is the most popular bearer of this name.
Short and delicate Pearl is a reminiscent of the treasured riches from the sea. It will make an excellent middle or first name for your little gem.
Ruth is a short and powerful name to select for your young girl.
Sadie was an extremely popular name at the end of the 19th century.
This retro name is perfect for a spring baby. Even your girl won’t feel shy bearing a name like Violet.
Your delicate little girl will be fearless like a lioness with the name Leona, the female variant of the name Leo.
Despite being a classic name, Mercy still feels original. It will make a unique name for your little one. It’s also a shortened version of Mercedes.
Beatrice is the perfect old traditional baby name for your little princess. It has been the name of royalty for generations. It means ‘she who blesses’.
Anastasia is one of the most elegant and classy retro names of Greek origin. Anna or Anne would be the perfect nickname for it.
Vera, meaning ‘summer’ will make a breezy and shiny name for a girl.
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. What are some unique old-fashioned baby boy names that are not commonly heard today?
2. How do old-fashioned baby boy names contribute to a child’s sense of identity and connection to the past?
Some old-fashioned names have a religious significance, which helps a child feel connected to their traditions. For instance, the name Abraham is important to Abrahamic religions and helps a child develop a sense of belonging to that religion. Similarly, some names are considered royal names of a certain era, which again connects a child to their culture and traditions.
3. What are some characteristics of old-fashioned baby boy names that make them timeless and enduring?
Old-fashioned names are rare and have unique pronunciations that make them stand out. These names are deeply rooted in history and tradition. Some of them also belong to famous personalities who have gone down in history, which adds to their appeal.
4. How can old-fashioned baby boy names honor family heritage and traditions?
An old-fashioned baby boy name that belongs to an ancestor is a good way to honor a family’s heritage and promote its legacy.
5. What are some potential drawbacks to choosing old-fashioned baby boy names for your child?
In most cases, when people hear an old-fashioned name, it is assumed that the name bearer must be an old person.
6. What are some factors to consider when choosing an old-fashioned baby boy’s name?
Avoid names that are associated with negative history, such as those of dictators or tyrant kings. Ensure the name has a good meaning even in different languages.
7. What are some examples of old-fashioned baby boy names that have experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years?
We’re sure you will fancy several names in the list. So why wait? Grab a pen and paper and start jotting down your favorites. And do not forget to share your favorite old fashioned baby names with us in the comment section below.
Infographic: Classic Baby Names For Your Babies
While it is said that we should update ourselves with current trends, some customs, beliefs, and traditions are too impactful to let go of. The same goes for some names. So we bring you this infographic with some old-fashioned yet evergreen names that are still popular to name a baby. Keep reading!
Check out this video if you need help finding the perfect old-fashioned vintage baby boy name! Explore 20 unique names to find the perfect fit for your little one.